Rhetorical Analysis: 24 Rules For Being A Gentleman In 2014

2013 was the year of hipster-craft-cocktail-douchebags and now 2014 is apparently the born-again gentleman. Well, I gotta say, I take issue with some of the things this “Chelsea Fagan” is spouting off on in her “24 Rules For Being A Gentleman In 2014.” As always, original text in italics.

The Age of the Gentleman — that semi-imaginary time we all have in our heads where men you actually wanted to sleep with wore fedoras and treated ladies like ladies — might be over, but there’s no reason it can’t come back next year. We just need to set up a few ground rules for being a modern Cary Grant/Paul Newman/Ken Cosgrove. We’ll all be drinking scotch and wearing linen suits again in no time.

Cool “Ken Cosgrove” name-drop there, Chelsea. We’re all so impressed that you took the time to type “Don Drap—”, then delete it and insert a more secondary Mad Men character to show that you don’t just watch Mad Men - you understand Mad Men. Your pop culture knowledge is off the charts.

1. Have a signature drink that you both can make at home after a long day’s work, and order with effortless swag at any bar you happen to be in. (This means no complicated ingredients and easy substitutes. If it’s a whiskey soda, so be it.)

Uh, done and done. I make the meanest Dark & Stormy this side of the Mississippi. I also make a delectable Miller Lite and pour a stellar glass of wine. This ain’t rocket science, Stephen Hawking. It’s boozin’. Don’t over think it.

2. Keep all negative social media activities to a minimum, because no gentleman engages in things like Twitter fights or passive-aggressive Facebook statuses. It’s just not classy.

Yeah, because we’re all on Twitter to be classy in the first place which is why everyone is finishing their tweets with #sorrynotsorry and #ciroclyfe. And the last Facebook status I had? I was fundraising for my friend’s triathlon where he was raising money for veterans. HOW’S THAT FOR CLASSY, CHELSEA? I’m ‘bout that classy life, Chels. Class class class over here.

3. Hold doors open for everyone, because that’s just a nice thing that you do.

I’m from the Midwest. Kind of like all DJ Khaled does is win, all I do is hold doors open. When I was 4 years old, I got stuck in a revolving door at a hotel for an hour because door service is in my blood. It’s in the air I breathe. This was also a week after I got my head stuck in a beach chair but that’s a different story for a different day.

4. Always text back promptly, even if it’s to let someone down gently. The worst thing you can possibly to do someone is leave them hanging so they can torture themselves with worst case scenarios.

Ehhhhh, prettttttay pretttttttay sure this ain’t happening. One of the most powerful tools we have in life is leaving someone in text purgatory. If I like you, I’m going to text you right back. If you’re on my shit list, you better take a number, bud, because you’re about to be in it for the long haul. Plus, I go OP constantly. So if I don’t text you back, I’m probably on a boat crushing voddy-sodas out of Tervis tumblers or cruising a golf course on the lake. It’s nothing personal, toots. I just got bigger fish to fry. And those fish I’m frying are stiff cocktails and long drives.

5. Own and be able to sufficiently rock at least one suit. Suits are the greatest untapped resource that most men have access to, and can take even the most slovenly 4Chan dweller into slick presentability. You owe it to yourself to know your way around a suit.

Power suit, power tie, power steering. Not looking so gentlemanly now, is it, Chelsea?

6. Master a good handshake, so that you are neither depositing your limp sea slug of a hand on someone else’s palm, nor crushing them with your Rock-Biter-from-the-Neverending-Story force.

When I’m shaking your hand, I have one goal and one goal only. I’m trying to crush your hand. A punishing handshake is your ticket into Power Move Central Station. Limp-wristed, dead fish handshakes need not apply in my world.

Besides, if you have a shitty handshake, you need to reassess the people that you’re surrounding yourself with. A weak handshake isn’t just your personal problem - it’s your crew’s problem. Your inner circle (meaning your “friends”, not the Contemporary Reggae band) needs to spot that weakness and pound it out.

7. Never attempt to explain, under any circumstances, why a cat call should be considered a compliment.

As the class flirt of my high school class, I can whole-heartedly say that cat calls are indeed compliments. I ain’t cat calling 3s and I ain’t cat calling sarcastically. If I’m cat calling you, I’m feelin’ you. I’m not just yelling at random chickenheads off the street. Dimes only. If you want to take that personally, then get out my grill-piece and let me move on to the next one.

And actually, Chelsea, you’ll like this one. One of my all-time favorite waitresses name was “Chelsea” and she loved when we would let out a big “AYO, CHELSAY!” She smiled every fuckin’ time. Smiles are the polygraph tests of emotions. A good one exudes happiness while a fake one screams “I’m super uncomfortable right now”. Waitress-Chelsea’s smile? Truth City, Utah. Population? Chelsea.

8. Do not be afraid of accessorizing, because a pair of nice shoes or a classy watch can Upgrade U almost immediately, as explained in the Beyoncé song.

"Accessorizing." No.

9. Do not refer to things as “gay” that aren’t homosexual human beings. People who call things “gay” as a pejorative are truly the raisins in the trail mix of life.

I thought we were learning how to be gentleman here, not reading the syllabus in my 6th grade language arts class. It’s 2013 - do people that don’t wear JNCOs and Limp Bizkit t-shirts still do this?

Speaking of 6th grade language arts, sick trail mix metaphor, bro. I happen to like the raisins. They get all salty from the nuts and once I pop, I can’t stop. To each his own, Chelsea, but I don’t see why you had to take this one out on the raisins. Seems a little harsh in this scenario. They never did anything to you.

Oh, and get off your “pejorative” high-horse. I know how to right click and look for synonyms too.

10. Do your best not to put others down in order to elevate yourself, it reeks of the people who categorize men by their Greek letter status.

Looks like someone didn’t get a bid to their desired sorority, did they, Chelsea?

11. Call your mother, even if you have to set up a Google calendar reminder to get yourself to do this.

She’s on my iPhone favorites list right below my 10 best friends and right before every golf course in a 20 mile radius of me. So yeah, you could say I call my mom. She also e-mails me every time she hears Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long,” so that helps.

12. Know how to cook at least a few good meals, because a) there is nothing worse than guys who assume it’s up to the woman to do all the cooking, b) there is nothing sexier than a dude who can cook, and c) everyone deserves to feed themselves well.

Yeah yeah yeah. Making lobster is easier than making mac ‘n’ cheese so if you’re willing to pony up the $14.99/lb, I’ll make that shit all day. ALL DAY.

13. Make good eye contact, but not so much that it gets into “I’ve been watching you from behind your dumpster” levels.

Well, considering my Lulu profile says that I have “#BedroomEyes”, I think I’ve got this one covered. These baby browns brake for nobody. (Alliteration, holmes. Learned that shit it language arts right before metaphors and right after our teacher forbid us from using “gay” to “slam” people.)

14. Don’t corner people at house parties with your political views (and this goes double — nay, triple — for libertarians, as you guys are the most egregious culprits).

Unless your name is Larry Kudlow, I ain’t havin’ no political conversation with you. They never get anywhere and they breed more enemies than friends. But, I do have a friend who ends every political argument with the phrase, “WE LIVE IN THE GREATEST NATION IN THE WORLD, SO AT THE END OF THE DAY, THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS.” I love bipartisan-in-your-face-patriotism more than anything in the world.

15. Erase the word “slut” from your vocabulary.

Done. “Floozy” and “loose” are a lot more fun to say anyway. And actually, Chelsea, I think I’ve heard Ken Cosgrove say both of those. So how do you like them apples?

16. Treat every woman with the same amount of respect and humanity that you would your mother, sister, or daughter — and think about why there might have been conditions on how you treated them in the first place.

Whoa. That sentence was written with one event in Chelsea’s mind that has forever scarred her. And while I respect the the fact that she’s sticking up for herself, I don’t want a horse in this race. I’m moving on. That shit is too real for a Sunday Scaries Rhetorical Analysis feature. I’m going to stick to making fun of nerds and hitting on soulmates.

17. RSVP.

I’ll compromise here. I will RSVP if I receive something with a stamp on it. If this involves me receiving a Facebook notie letting me know that I’m invited to something, you’ll see me when ya see me.

And I’m bringing a plus-one all day, every day. My spirit animal is a pelican and we travel in flocks.

18. Always put a little money away at the end of each month, and not because you’re saving for anything in particular.

Uh, I’m doing exactly that and it’s so I have a bank account that my girlfriend and/or wife doesn’t know about during the divorce hearings. How’s that for responsibility?

19. Be up-front about your finances, because it’s unfair for anyone to believe in the outdated gender roles of “the man should pay for everything.” As long as you’re working hard and trying your best, you deserve to be honest.

I’ll believe this when I see it. Now don’t get me wrong, I like paying for dates. It makes me feel good. But I don’t typically see too much of a fight when I’m pulling out my Tiffany’s monogrammed money-clip.

(Oh man, that money-clip reference was so pretentious. Love it.)

20. Do not sleep with anyone who wants a relationship from you that you are not prepared to give. Using their affection to get something from them physically is easy, but it makes you a bad person.

We already went through this, Chels. Do not bring us into this personal shit that you’re obviously not over. I can’t stand this heat so I’m getting the fuck out of this kitchen.

21. Learn how to dance, at least a bit.

Uh-oh! UH-OH! Sound the alarm! Call the authorities! We’re in my wheelhouse! “Hey everyone! Get over here! He’s going to talk about his dancing!”

Whether I’m spinning you, dipping you, or flat out twistin’ and shoutin’, you’re gonna be impressed with ya boy’s dance moves. In some states, my dancing to The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” is classified as a prescription-only muscle relaxant. That’s how good it is. That’s what you can expect to feel deep down in your loins. THAT is on the table. Luckily, for you, this practice is always open and constantly taking new patients. I’m your primary’s primary. Just make sure to take this pill with a tall glass of water. Oh, wait, I’m that too. How convenient.

22. Never underestimate the great value of unexpected flowers on a day that is otherwise nothing special, especially in long-term relationships.

I once met a guy who bought flowers for his girlfriend every Friday for when she got home from work. “Are they still together?”, you ask. No, they broke up because he cheated on her. Try that on for size and tell me you still want flowers for “nothing special.” If he’s buying you flowers for “nothing special”, then you need to 1. lock that dude down or 2. go through his texts and figure out which floozy’s pants he’s in. (I didn’t say “slut”, so we’re good there.)

23. Don’t be disdainful of selfies, guys have just as much a right to look and feel good about themselves as anyone else. If you want a selfie, take a selfie! Just don’t be a dick about other people who like to do it, too.

I’ll take selfies when I want to take selfies. Just don’t expect me to respond to your Snapchat with anything comparable to what you sent. I’m probably laying down somewhere looking all fat-faced with one hand on the remote and the other on my balls. And if I had a third hand, I can guarantee you it would be making cheese and crackers as opposed to sending a selfie.

24. Be compassionate, and know that you are allowed to experience the full range of human emotion. Where the gentleman of our grandparents’ generation might have prided himself on keeping all of his feelings in check for fear of seeming ‘feminine,’ a real gentleman knows that the best thing about him is his ability to be kind and empathetic. Everything else — yes, even the suit — is just icing on the cake.

If you want to bitch at someone for not being compassionate and feminine enough, you’re barking up the wrong tree. If you’ve ever read Sunday Scaries, you KNOW ya boy crushes romantic comedies unlike any other. Not only do I love the subtle, cute humor, but I also consider it as film study for when I need to lock down “the one.” I’m compassionate as fuck and I don’t care who knows it. Shit, in 2010, I cried during an episode of Boy Meets World. I can’t watch Simon Birch anymore because I walk away from it way too emotionally raw.

And the icing on my cake isn’t the suit. It’s the hair. It’s always the hair.


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