My wife and I have this strangely fun thing we do around the house. She is REALLY GOOD at getting rid of things and is always thinking of ways to streamline and simplify our way of life.
But she also likes to shop.
So what ends up happening is we get rid of two things after we find three better things. Thank God she likes to thrift and find things used, partly worn, or bartered. It makes it fun.
As I have gotten older, and made a little more money, I have decided to hang onto a few things over the years and it got me thinking about being a guy, and what guys should own so I polled some friends and colleagues and we came up with a LARGE list, of which I knocked down to something creative like 30 Things Guys over 30 Should Own.
Here is what we came up with and in no particular order.
- A Bible – OK I said that these items were not in any particular order but owning a copy of the Good Book (and reading it) is very important! Even if you aren’t that spiritual, it is important to know what it says and why so many of your friends need prayer…
- Chef Knife – Hey, it’s time you learned to cook man! Get a decent chef knife and don’t worry about the fancy brands at this point. Just get a good 10 inch or so knife that will cut the veg, the meat, and the fruit.
- Leatherman/Multi-tool – I learned that these were valuable from my Uncle John, who was a Pastor for most of his adult life, but really was a maintenance man. He worked on the church, his home, his cars, and was always willing to lend a hand. The Leatherman seemed to always be at his side, literally.
- Bar Set – Not all of my readers will agree, but I think it is important to have a simple cocktail shaker, stirring spoon, and a jigger. You never know who you will need to prep a drink for!
- Wine Key – Just like the bar set, it is important to be able to know how to use a wine key or corkscrew so that you can open that bottle of wine your friends bring over. Look like you know what you are doing, please!
- Black and Brown pair of shoes and socks – I am not going to get sucked into the debate on matching brown socks with the brown shoes, or wait, brown shoes and brown belt!? I don’t know, I just think if you have an nice pair of brown and black shoes, and matching socks, you should be able to pull off business casual, the occasional fancy meal, and of course all of your friends weddings.
- At least 3 ties – Why? Basically same reason as the shoes and socks. Be able to look the part when you need to even if you don’t like it!
- A Nice Suit – See above.
- Black and Brown Belt – see above entries on shoes, socks and ties. Same idea. You get the point.
- Grooming Kit – Trust me. I didn’t believe it either but as you get older, hair pops out of places you didn’t think it could. Nails get longer, eyebrows get bushier, the ears and nose…well…just get one and keep it handy!
- Jumper Cables – I know what you are saying. You have AAA right? Well, you are typically limited on how many times per year you can call them, and I am willing to bet that your friend won’t have it when she leaves the lights on, the battery dies, and you want to show her you know what you are doing. Oh yeah, don’t forget – positive to positive and negative to negative.
- Journal – I joke often that “I wrote in my journal today…blur blur blur,” but you know what, I probably did. Some post down the line we can talk about the merits of writing things down. There is a lot of research on it. A lot. So go get one!
- First Aid Kit – Going hiking or camping or riding or kayaking or any other hip outdoor activity in the PNW? Carry a first aid kit, even if its just a few bandaids, and an ability to clean a wound. You might throw in ace bandage too for a sprained whatever. I know I needed it once or twice.
- Tool Box – Look, it doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just something that has a tape measure, hammer, two screwdrivers, crescent wrench, vice grips and a pair of players. That will get you down the road in most situations around the home or when your GF needs you.
- Johnny Cash Album – This was one of the fun entries and I think it came from my oldest son Nate. If you have just one record, this will always be cool.
- Coffee Brewer (french press, aero, pour over) – even if you don’t drink coffee! Why? Because your dad will eventually come visit and expect it! Every man should know how to brew a cup of coffee and have at least one device! My personal favorite? The Aero Press. Light, easy to use and take with you anywhere and makes dam* fine cup of coffee!
- Gun – My son Austin reminded me that I do not own a gun and he is right but I do think this is important at some level. My sons own some and that’s OK. I took them to gun safety class and they passed and we occasionally shoot clay pigeons and other targets. Haven’t gotten back into hunting full on yet but soon!
- Car/Truck – A guy can make it through a big city for a long time using public transportation but there is nothing like having the ability to grab your keys, jump into your car and going.
- Toothbrush – This one came up several times and I think it is hilarious. I mean, do we really have to say something about it? I guess…
- Work pants – Occasionally a guy, even a computer programmer, gets asked to help someone move, set up some IKEA furniture, or something. I think you should have a decent set of work pants for those days (or any weekend day for that matter). I like the ones from Carhartt and Duluth personally.
- Passport – I honestly believe one of the single best things any young man can do is travel outside of our country. Perspective.
- 5 Life Changing Books – Along with the Bible, having a small library of books is a good thing. I am going to do a post on books you might consider having sometime, but if you are anxious, grab Man’s Search for Meaning, The Greatest Salesman in the World, How to Win Friends and Influence People, at least one good biography about someone great, and maybe one piece of fiction (Tolkien or Lewis could work)
- Cuff Links – I am not sure young men even know what these are anymore but I own 2 sets and I think you should too because of that wedding or funeral you will have to look nice at.
- Leather Wallet – Well I guess it doesn’t have to be leather, but they look nice and last a long time. I had the same one from 1996 until just last year, over 20 years! I know some guys who have kept their’s longer. It is good to keep the cards and some cash and maybe your business card handy.
- Golf Clubs – Trust me you will play eventually. It isn’t for everyone but it is for most. Reason? You can be competitive, socialize, network, and have fun at virtually ANY AGE! You won’t be able to play football forever, so find a new sport that will humble even the studliest man.
- Dog – Just don’t own a cat. And don’t be that guy who treats his dog like a child. He is not. He licks is wiener all the time…and none of my kids did that.
- House – Look, if you can do it, you absolutely should! Like the man said, they aren’t making anymore land! Nothing will dust off the memories of your own dad or grandpa more quickly then when you have chores to do on your own home.
- Telephone – Sounds ubiquitous but I think what they were saying is embrace the new and hip technology when it comes to the phone. You really don’t need a computer any longer for personal stuff, if you have a good smartphone so it could be viewed as a good investment. I honestly don’t care though…
- Higher Quality Bed Sheets – Hilarious but true! Ditch the SpongeBob ones and get higher quality sheets man!
- Retirement Fund – If your employer offers it, take it. Especially if they match! I am sure you have heard from a financial whiz or read a book, or something that talks about compound interest. The more you save earlier, exponentially your future savings will grow!
There were some great additional items from my survey but my favorite bonus entry, a pair of balls…
Nothing else matters if you don’t got those I guess!