How to be a gentleman

ilana_strauss_views_yale_gentleman_0302

Follow these steps to be a gentleman, and I assure you that your heart’s desires will immediately be realized. These tactics are not easy, but once mastered they will serve you well throughout your undoubtedly long and fruitful life. Cheers!

1) Meeting People:

Until you have met someone at the very least 15 times, treat him or her as a complete stranger. This tactic immediately makes your company feel less important than you. And they should, because, frankly, they are. If you get a cheeky response like, “We’ve met a few times before,” do not act apologetic. Simply retort, “Is that so? Well, it’s hard to keep track of all the people I’m introduced to.” Finally, take your iPhone 4S out and say, “Excuse me, I’m expecting a call from (insert any parliamentary monarchy here),” then put your phone away and talk to someone else.

2) Leather:

Unless you are in the shower, needless to say, always wear at least one piece of leather. It is preferable to have a leather accessory, such as a watch, shoes, vest, iPhone case, shoulder bag or coin pouch. All of these together work wonderfully, but I understand that for some this might not be possible. It is also important to note that leather clothing must never have a zipper, for this is far too functional and has connotations of the peasantry of Urban Outfitters.

3) Beer:

Always complain about the beer you are drinking. American beer, so beloved in this country, is simply unacceptable. It is watered-down, it has no flavor, and you can barely taste the hops. When complaining, always compare your beverage to the beer Father orders on holiday in Brussels. Remind others that you prefer to have a relationship with the brewery, for your family’s corporation cares deeply about local businesses.

4) Parents:

Speaking of Father’s beer preferences, when discussing your parents, which cannot be done enough, never use a possessive. Always say “Father” or “Mother,” as if they are everyone’s parents. For instance, “Father’s merger has taken a toll on dear Isabel, our beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, so that is why I’m acting so moody.”

5) Reading:

Never read in private. There is simply no point. Make sure you are seen reading The Economist, in print of course, every morning. When around friends, it is permissible to read Forbes, but you must do so ironically and point out their childish understanding of global markets. Do not read fiction; it is, of course, a habit for the uneducated.

6) People You Do Not Know:

When someone you do not know is referenced, no matter the age, mention that they are a friend of Father’s from any of the following: his days at Andover (before it was co-ed), his trip to India as a youth, his childhood, work, or, if you are feeling adventurous, the Geneva Convention.

7) Winter Sports:

You must love all winter sports, except the snowboarding; you mustn’t mingle with the nouveau riche. Skiing is a true joy, but be clear that American skiing is not worth the effort. The Alps are really the only acceptable destination for men like you. Cross-country skiing is a favorite pastime of yours, and is even featured on your family’s crest, which you keep in your back pocket. Luge you have tried several times, but only because it was the ’06 Olympics, and you were asked to test the course.

8) Trousers:

Always wear trousers, and always call “pants” trousers.

9) Dancing:

Be comfortable only in a ballroom setting. That said, don’t just pull out the foxtrot every time — make sure you show your knowledge and appreciation for other cultures that you have visited. Use the mambo for courtship, the rhumba to acquire a one-night stand, and the jive if you have had a few whiskey sours and feel like being silly.

10) Food:

You are not a picky eater, but you are a pricey one. Hors d’oeuvres are your favorite, so you never eat at a restaurant that does not serve them. You took classes as a sommelier one summer, so don’t let the waiter tell you ’99 is their best, because that was most definitely not a good year. If there happens to be a “kids’ menu” at a restaurant, walk out immediately and never go back. Children are people too, if their father’s company reported considerable earnings last quarter.

11) Academia:

Take your studies seriously, men. When in the library, always wear a tie, keep your quills sharp and your ink wells deep, and drink diet Red Bulls should you be sleepy. It is important to learn many things in your time at school, because these skills may aid you in your corporate endeavors. That is why an economics degree is a must. Might I also recommend feigning interest in art history, because this will make your travels to Italy all the more pleasurable.

12) Health:

Take care of your body; it is after all, insured. Exercise regularly and always use the elliptical machine. In addition, always take your supplements: protein, vitamins and testosterone (as a preventative measure, of course).

13) Curiosity:

Never be too curious. Only ask a question you already know the answer to, as this is comforting in two ways. First, you will never be surprised and look unintelligent. Second, you can never be wrong.

14) Whom:

Always use “whom” instead of “who,” whether it is correct or not.

14) Seasons and Holidays:

Always refer to seasons as verbs. For instance: “We summer in the south (of France, obviously).” Also, make sure you call vacations “holiday.” As in, “Natasha and I went to Greece on holiday. It was lovely.”

15) Smoking

You only smoke fine, Cuban cigars. You are able to get them because Mother’s first husband took a liking to you, and his relationship with the secretary of state certainly has its perks. Should someone ask for a cigar, remind them that each puff is worth more than their life. You may smoke one cigarette a day, but never inhale. It is for intellectual show only.

That is all for today, gentlemen. Ta-ta!

Comments