Be a man, my son and know this man stuff

Published 8:55 am Thursday, July 9, 2009

Father’s Day was a few weeks back and on that day my daughter Tayler Rae took me to Barnes & Noble to pick out a book and to have a relaxing Sunday morning. I was looking around Barnes & Noble at all of the “Just for Fathers Day” books and to my surprise there happened to be an abundance of how to be a man again books. There must have been five or six different ultimate man books or guides or survival guides and it made me curious to a couple questions. One was why did publishers think there was a need to have so many man guides and two, did I think I passed the man test or do I need to read a book to be a man?

As I thought more about these questions I looked through some of the books at what the publishers thought would make a man. I saw lists of books, movies, and people, that all men should read, watch, or do. I laughed at a bunch of the lists and then thought about what lists or thoughts I would make to tell my sons about how to be a man. Here are my thoughts:

Man movies:

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1. “The Godfather” and

The Godfather 2”

2. “Cool Hand Luke”

3. “The Shootist”

4. “Dirty Harry”

5. “12 Angry Men”

6. “Gladiator”

7. “Tombstone”

8. “To Kill a Mockingbird”

9. “Fight Club”

10. “From Here to Eternity”

11. “The Searchers”

12. “Braveheart”

Man books:

1. Bible

2. “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway

3. “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry

4. “Red Badge of Courage” by Stephen Crane

5. “The Glory of their Times” by Lawrence S. Ritter

6. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

7. “Freakonomics” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

8. “The River Of Doubt” by Candice Millard

9. “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch

10. Any book by Malcolm Gladwell

11. “Iliad” and “Odyssey” by Homer

Man stuff:

1. Know how to change your oil and other basic car maintenance (change a tire, use jumper cables).

2. Know how to skin a deer.

3. Know how to safely shoot a firearm.

4. Go to a live baseball game and have a beer, eat a hot dog or bratwurst with lots of stuff on it!

5. Know how to barbecue.

6. Know how to drive a stick.

7. Know that drive a stick means driving an automobile that does not have automatic transmission.

8. Go golfing at least six times in your life if not more.

9. Do not ever drive while you are intoxicated.

10. Go buy a Farrah Fawcett poster and hang it on your wall in remembrance of a great angel.

11. Hang a flag on Flag Day, Fourth of July and Memorial Day in remembrance of all the men and women who gave their lives for us.

12. Know how to tie a tie.

How you should treat a lady:

1. Open doors.

2. Pay for the date. Every date!

3. Don’t be cheap!

4. Send flowers.

5. Ask her about herself.

6. Notice the little things.

7. The little things are: hair, nails, shoes, makeup, purse and new outfits.

8. Laugh with her.

9. Leave her notes.

10. Tell her she’s beautiful.

If you become a dad:

1. Treat the mother very well.

2. Change the diapers.

3. Get up in the middle of the night with a crying baby.

4. Hold the baby. A lot!

5. Tell the mom that she is beautiful. A lot!

The reason I am saying these things about being a dad is that the mother carries the child for nine months and deals with the morning sickness, body change and delivery of your child. You need to realize this and act accordingly! Be a man. Anyone can get someone pregnant, but it takes a man to be a father, and that includes taking good care of the mother.

Please, everyone, enjoy a safe and happy weekend.

Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer’s column appears every Thursday.