There are just some things a man needs to know how to do, whether he ever uses the skill or not.
A couple of basics to begin – do NOT ‘lather’ it on, or otherwise douse yourself. Also, do not constantly reapply, as a good scent will develop as it reacts to your skin. It’s best to apply fragrance after you’ve washed and are dry. Then apply a ‘spritz’ at your pulse points – the wrists and at the side of your neck. Some guides will tell you to spray the scent in the air and walk into it. This is useless and, come on, a bit girly. The scent will do its work by direct contact with your skin.
Choose A Good Wine
Wine is a broad subject and unless you’re a true aficionado, no one’s expecting you to know all the finer details. But a basic grasp of varieties and regions – even if only in your own country – is an essential skill for modern, civilised man. The best education is to try each variety and then research which areas do it particularly well. For instance in Australia, roughly, shiraz is best from McLaren Vale, South Australia, chardonnay from the Hunter Valley, Pinot Noir the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula. This basic knowledge will help refine your tastes and develop your ability to sound like you know enough to be entrusted with choosing the wine for the evening.
One of the trickiest tasks in the man skills cupboard. and, of course, it doesn’t apply for all men, unless your boyfriend really likes women’s lingerie. For the rest, some key things to consider. Buy her something 1) she’ll actually wear and 2) actually fits her. You do this by various subtle means, from asking her leading but not too obvious questions (i.e. while at the shops, in the undies department, sussing out what she stops to admire) to simply raiding her smalls drawer to find out what size she wears and what style she favours. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help in store. They won’t laugh at you… seriously. Or they shouldn’t, at least.
Give A Speech
Colleague leaving work? Relative’s birthday? Defending a friend in a court of law? at some point every man is called on to to step up in public and “say a few words”. In which case, remember these basics. Stay focused – work out ahead of time (if possible) what are the most important things you want to say and stick to them; no one can abide a rambling and mostly unstructured stream of consciousness. Project and make eye contact – pretend you’re talking to the person furthest from you, that way everyone will be able to hear what you’re saying; don’t look at your shoes, or fixate on one person, but try and shift your gaze around all those listening to you. Be sincere – if you look like you’re just reading something, or you’re giving this speech under sufferance, everyone will know and tune out; bring some passion to your delivery and speak from the heart and you’ll be sure to capture the audience’s attention.
Cook A Steak
Let’s just provide the link to the story we did on this skill recently. Suffice to say, all men should be able to do this perfectly because, well, it ain’t that hard. If you’re a vegetarian, sorry, forget we even mentioned it.
Pack A Suitcase
Plan ahead. Try and put things – toiletries, accessories, shoes, etc – into separate bags so that you’re scarily organised at the other end. Rolling shirts, and even suits, is a space-saving certainty and while they may be more creased once you unpack, in all likelihood you’ll have access to an iron, or hang them in the bathroom and let the steam from the hot water help take out the creases.
Hold A Conversation
Are you serious? This is a skill? Well, how many good conversations have you had recently? It’s a dying art. And why is that? Because people have become all too obsessed with only talking about themselves. There’s only one simple rule in the skill of holding a conversation. Listen. Listen and ask questions. If your interlocutor also has a passing acquaintance with conversational basics, they will realise when they’ve gone on long enough and then listen and ask questions of you. Bingo. A conversation.
Host A Dinner Party
Sounds like an old-fashioned idea, right? That doesn’t mean it’s a skill you shouldn’t have, and there is still nothing quite as enjoyable as a Saturday night with the ‘right’ people around a table, drinking vino, eating your food, and putting the world to rights. It’s far more life-affirming and fulfilling than a night with your Xbox, believe us. But there is an art to it. The right people are compatible people, so think long and hard about the mix of guests. No one wants someone to the right of Genghis Khan and another to the left of Jeremy Corbyn dominating table discussion all night. Plan your menu well in advance and we recommend it keeping simple and rustic. Some beef, and share plates of roasted veges, mash, etc. Something chocolate-y for dessert. Music, nothing too wacky. More than one good bottle of red. Port or whisky to finish the evening.