Things a dude must give up at ages 20, 30, and 40

photo credit: Facing The Storm via photopin (license)
photo credit: Facing The Storm via photopin (license)

Men, we do enough to make ourselves look silly.

We wear fedoras, even though we’re not direct descendants of Vince Lombardi, in Justin Timberlake’s close circle of friends, or play bass in a really cool band, for instance.

We pick fights at youth soccer or baseball games.

We Grow a soul patch or wear skinny jeans. Wrong, at any age.

See, no one’s around to guide us.

Those of us who don’t know any better repeat the mistakes first introduced by men such as Galileo, Alexander the Great and Bob Saget.

Those of us who have learned from those foibles are apt to keep the knowledge within, and snicker as the generation next stumbles in the same fashion.

No more.

Many lives were lost and several villages burned and pillaged so that I might bring you these lists – things men should sacrifice of their own accord when they reach the milestone ages of 20, 30 and 40.

(And I asked a few friends. Some of the big ones I even thought of on my own.)

This is not a comprehensive list; you men must learn and discover and stumble and fail and deteriorate at your own rate and in your own way.

This guide, though, will help reduce the scarring, ebb the bleeding, and hinder ever so slightly your rapid decent into the abyss of failed manhood.

Good luck, men. Go with God – or, at least, Tim Tebow, Martin Luther, or John Wayne, but not the John Wayne from the movie someone shot his kneecaps off.

By age 20, a man should …

1.Surrender thy visor

photo credit: HI039787 via photopin (license)
photo credit: HI039787 via photopin (license)

I have one visor, a Charlotte Knights jobbie. I used to wear one when I coached middle school soccer, too. But the visor is kind of like the fat guy with the tiny umbrella, the economy-size bottle of Febreeze for the house of 20 cats, or a Diet Coke when you super-size your Big Mac combo: Why bother?

There’s this elemental design flaw of the visor that irks the hell out of me: Why are you basically wearing a hat with a hole in the middle of it?? In the interest of full disclosure, there was a period in my life in which I wanted to grow an ungodly amount of hair on top of my head, sport a visor, and have it bush up and spill over the sides like ground-cover foliage on cow-manure crack.

I’m happy to report that I’ve outgrown that phase. Unless you’re the Ol’ Ball Coach, or a pro golfer with a serious endorsement deal for whatever’s on the front of the visor, you should leave it in the back of your closet.

2. Give up the socks-sandals combo.

Not sure where all this got started. I don’t feel strongly either way; a man’s feet are his traction. But I hear enough about it. No one on the other gender’s team loves it. So let’s just stop. I’ll tag in the whole “grown-up wearing Crocs” infraction, too.

While we’re at it, men’s dress shoes that clickity-clack like women’s heels.

3. Take down your beloved girl posters down from your bedroom wall

photo credit: Brooklyn Decker via photopin (license)
photo credit: Brooklyn Decker via photopin (license)

Brooklyn Decker (left) can escort you through the loneliness of your teens. Kathy Ireland played her roll for me. Ask your dad about Cheryl Tiegs. She’s all yours, until age 19. Then, you sort of have to talk to real girls. They’re all bumpy and soft and smell like vanilla, and can also bite. You’ll spend your next 40 years trying to demystify them.

Welcome to the club.

4. Drive a car devoid of any word graphics on it, or a muffler that sounds like a lawnmower on crack

When you’re 5 and showing off your matchbox cars, a silver Honda Accord with a pink racing stripe and “Haymaker” etched out in lightning bolts is cool. When you’re a grown man … well, your car should say as little as possible, playa, even if you’re Too Legit.

Or Ain’t Skeerd.

And that pencil sharpener masquerading as a muffler? Leave it in the high school parking lot, yo.

5. Never “hang out,” or “chill, at the mall

Twenty-eight is “in your twenties” the way Katrina was a goodly storm.

Let’s be real here. If you’re 28, the mall’s not your spot anymore.

Unless you’re going there. To buy something. Like, a tie and shirt for your next job interview. And unless you’re holding the hand on your 5-year-old to get her ears pierced, you should definitely not be in Claire’s.

6. Be strong enough to resist any of these reasons for signing up for a credit card at a little tent somewhere:

pretty girla) the girl with the clipboard was hawt

b) they were giving free T-shirts!

c) they were giving free pizza!

d) the hawt girl with the clipboard gave me a free T-shirt and pizza!

This can work in college. College kids will do anything for pizza. Or a free T-shirt. But, you’re like, grown up. You’ve moved on to bigger, better things. Like, buying a car because the the girl with the clipboard was hawt. Or a timeshare. Or donating your kidney.

Just don’t sell your soul for another chunk of plastic, that’s all.

6. Never cave to the peer pressure of dressing in character – to see a movie.

The possible exception is Power Puff Girls, if they made a movie, and if you had a 4-year-old daughter in tow who was at least half as enthusiastic about it as you are.

By dressing as Harry Potter or a Stormtrooper, at age 26, you’re actually helping identify yourself in a very important category during human mating season. So, thanks.

7. Steer clear of your friend’s kid sister.

Even if she’s hawt, and holding a clipboard. Or even if it’s “just on Facebook.” I never understood the need to nosh the forbidden fruit. I had a friend in junior high who insisted on crushing on any girl who dumped me. Seriously?

OK, I know this has nothing to do with kid sisters, but how annoying. Anyway, leave your buddy’s sis alone. This isn’t the American frontier, where marrying your buddy’s sister would mean more hands on both farms. Today, it’s a violation of the man code. It just is.

Her best friend, however, is fair game.

8. Refuse to use LOL, smileys or sad faces.

photo credit: Corgi Puppies at Ten Weeks 35 via photopin (license)
photo credit: Corgi Puppies at Ten Weeks 35 via photopin (license)

I knew a dude in college who got his foot in the door by talking about the cute puppies in those RCA TV commercials. “Aw,” the girls would say. “I love them too!” And it was on. I wanted to punch him.

Dudes who use emoticons are no better, and should have their shaving, belching and throwing-spirals cards revoked, immediately. Dudes don’t do smileys. Ever.

9. Not expect to be treated as a grown-up, when you turn up for work/class with the stamp from the club last night still on your hand.

This is where 20-something girls have the edge. I knew a girl in college who could nap after the club closed, roll out of bed for that 8 a.m. class, pull an Atlanta Braves cap down on her pretty brows, and get to class, club-stamp and all, and look fly.

If you’re a dude pulling the same stunt – you’re just a dude who needs a bath.

And a breath mint.

10. Remember to vote/donate/volunteer.

This one’s tough, because you’re probably used to mama getting things done for you. No more. You’l have to know your stuff now. Be a man of action. You wanted the right to drink at 18, because you could serve your country.

You somehow forgot your privilege of voting. Giving your time. Doing for others. Now’s the time. Trust me, it’ll make a better, smoother transition … to your 30s.

By age 30, a man should …

1. Keep his baseball cap pointed directly forward.

photo credit: Us via photopin (license)
photo credit: Us via photopin (license)

Leave this to fellows chilling at the mall. Hey, you’ve arrived. You’ve matured. You probably have back pain. Some grey hair. The beginning of crow’s feet. Wearing your lid backward is just going to make you look like one of the bad guys in a Home Alone sequel.

You’re closer to Chipper Jones than Ken Griffey Jr. at this age. Look it.

2. Leave the baseball mitt in the closet/trunk/garage when you attend a game.

I didn’t used to believe in this. I used to tote the glove, in case a foul ball came my way (most times, it did.) No longer. Never mind that I can’t find my mitt; on principal, I’ll even the playing field with kids and their gloves who try to snag a foul at the stadium.

Besides, what says “pathetic” better than a man bowling over kidlets for a $4 baseball?

3. Reserve the sleeveless look for backyard, solo activities.

True, you might have guns like Christian Bale’s, but you’re also not in Hollywood.

You have armpit hair. And clumped deodorant in your armpit hair. And let’s face it, you probably *don’t* have guns like Christian Bale’s.

So, that leaves you with the armpit hair and clumped deodorant.

Save the sleeveless look for lawn-mowing day, Batman.

4. Check himself before he wrecks himself (when it comes to alcohol consumption).

photo credit: Lone Star Beer Tee 1987 via photopin (license)
photo credit: Lone Star Beer Tee 1987 via photopin (license)

The man in his 20s has a tough drinking habit to break, I suppose.

He might feel college graduation cut him down in the prime of his beer pong career.

He might feel a mighty pull toward killing a keg or destroying $10 stadium beer.

But when you’re too old to go sleeveless with your cap on backward, you’re just going to look like an old fool when you’re sloshed.

5. Know that driving a sports car means “I can’t afford this, but I want it anyway.”

How cruel is it that by the time we’ve earned enough to drive a sports car, we’re officially classified in the at-risk category for midlife crisis?

Thing is, if you’re fishing for the 20-somethings, your 30-year-old self might consider the sporty, two-door model the perfect wingman for your exploits. Just make sure you clip coupons for all your pending dates.

6. Think twice about razzing minor-league outfielders.

I watched kids at a game politely learn an opposing outfielder’s name, say it to him in their singsong way, hoping that maybe, just maybe, he’d turn and toss them a baseball.

Until Mr. “I Just Turned 30” showed up, insulted the player’s home state, questioned sexuality, and trashed his mascot, all with slobber running down his chin. Two-beer minimum for dweebs, anyone?

7. Not think about Hayden Panettiere more than you do Amy Adams.

Hayden’s 22, Amy’s 37. At age 22, Hayden and her contemporaries think you’re *ancient* at age 30. You are. If you’re 32, and she’s 22, you’re more than a touchdown ahead in the age score. If you’re 32 and Amy’s 37, you’re golden.

Why am I giving this math lesson? Think more silver screen or prime time and less Nickelodeon, and you’ll be golden, too.

8. Not think it’s gospel, because you read it in “Maxim.”

If a magazine were a man, Maxim would be the dude you’d laugh with, but wouldn’t leave your wallet with. Or trust with your car, your goldfish, or your girlfriend. Even your girlfriend’s goldfish.

Unless you particularly enjoy the presence of the man interested in the shiest, shortcut and simpleton’s existence.

Reach for GQ if you’re looking for guidance.

9. Not plant yourself on the couch to watch multiple airings of ESPN’s SportsCenter. Even if Brett Favre and Kobe Bryant figure prominently.

It’s Tuesday morning. You’re home. Alone. Again.

You’ve destroyed all the leftover pizza, a few Slim Jims, and the liquid equivalent of your blood in Mr. Pibb Extra.

You’re still in your jammies. The highlights come one after another, and there’s no commercial break between the end of one SportsCenter and the start of the next. What’s a guy to do? Do yoga. Jog. Get up and eat a banana, for Chris Berman’s sake.

10. Shoot straight, and not gansta lean while you drive.

By this age, you should know: Hands at 9 and 3. Back straight. Eyes forward. Unless you’re built like Chris Farley’s and Oprah’s love child, click the seat up in the upright position and drive right.

I know, super boring. But trust me, Amy Adams wouldn’t look twice at you all leaned over gansta in your Ford Prius. Nor would Hayden Panettiere.

By age 40, a man should …

1. Dance at a club only if they can actually dance.

And never to “Funky Cold Medina,” and think it’s cool.

We 40-somethings know the quality of Tone Loc. Our music-appreciation DNA starts when we’re, oh, 10 or 12, and should wrap up around age 22. That’s your golden age. If Tone Loc falls into that era, good.

Just don’t feel compelled to shake your moneymaker like you did at age 20. Unless you’ve had lessons. If you have, don’t tell your guy friends.

2. Hang up the jersey.

This one is hard to type. I love my collection. Hockey. Football. Baseball. Soccer. They once made me feel sporty and cool.

Today, if I sport my Tampa Bay Rays jersey, I’ll look more like a coach than a player. In my Nashville Predators sweater, I’ll just look like a loser. This pains me, but, leave the jerseys for those young enough to wear sideburns.

3.  Expect to drive a sports car without whispers of “midlife crisis.”

In your 30s, you’re iving beyond your means. Now, you can actually afford it, but with a receding hairline and paunch and Hawaiian shirt, you’re no longer worthy.

Fret not, though, King of Wasted Youth: If you wind up spinning around in a sportster in your 60s, you’ll just look like the coolest grandpa ever.

Patience, my child.

4. Give up the days of shirtless lawn-mowing.

It’s a progression to eventually covering everything but your face and earlobes when you’re an old, old man. This is necessary, so that when you’re in your 60s, you’ll be used to wearing a wide-brimmed hat on sunny days, and long trousers in the heat of July.

But, man of your 40s, unless your name is Will Smith or Patrick Dempsey, let’s not scar the retinas of the teenage girls across the street.

Keep your shirt on. Because you should …

5. Have outgrown the urge to wear beer T-shirts.

Honestly, brother. That Spuds McKenzie tee and Amstel Light freebie you scored before your mane turned silver ought to have gone away by now. There’s no excuse for a man who could be raising a teenager to be tooling around as an alcohol billboard.

Especially if you pair it with a Viagra racing cap. Even more disturbing, I realize, is that in middle school, I had Michelob Light and Coors T-shirts.

Mom, what’s up with that?

6. Keep in mind one’s age before one chooses to blast top 40 with the windows all rolled down.

Let’s not even speak of multiple infractions: I saw a man in a GMC with all four windows down, giving the entire intersection a preview of Carly Rae Jespen when clearly he’d cleared the 40-year-old hurdle and cut the sleeves off his T-shirt (no confirmation that it said “Miller Lite” across the front.)

Stick to your era, and keep the volume reasonable.

My misguided friend likely had to roll all four windows down manually. There’s a better way to live, amigo.

7. Feel you can prove anything about your virility by getting a girl pregnant.

You might welcome a pregnancy scare at your age, to prove your buddies are still swimming like Ryan Lochte on Red Bull.

But careless activity that leads to pee tests for your partner isn’t the answer.

Prove your virility and mate-worthiness other natural ways: Kick down trees like a Secretary Bird or lock horns with a rival like a Smoky Mountain elk.

8. Get his kicks from something less toxic as Mountain Dew/Red Bull/Monster energy drinks.

Hey, we all could use a kick in the pants. If you rip it kid-style with an energy drink, you’re just asking for trouble – can I get a witness, those of you who can smell age 50 from where you’re standing?

You’re likely to be on some medication of some sort by now, and there has to be a risk of bad interaction between phenylalanine and what your doctor’s ordered. Don’t wind up on the news.

9. Attend a Star Wars/comic book convention.

Again, this is a way to distinguish yourself on one side of the natural mating game. I’d like to have been a Stormtrooper, as much as the next guy. I could rock it as Boba Fett.

A man 10, 20 years your junior could possibly don both the Superman T-shirt and the trendy club wear and not spontaneously combust. You, friend, shouldn’t take that chance.

10. Graduate from having  a “roommate.”

Sometimes you’re in transition, or just passing through. But if you’re signing lease after lease with another fellow, maybe you should consider standing on your own. Or declaring your domestic partnership to those you love, and stop the clandestine spooning.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Stand on your own, unless you have a Jack Tripper type setup and Mr. Furley hasn’t caught on …

Things a dude should never stop doing, regardless of age:

1. Hold doors open for women, kids and older folks.

Lift things for them. Move things for them. More than once, if they ask. Be chivalrous, at the risk of being sexist/ageist/cavemanish. David Lee Roth once said men and women are equal, but men can just pick up heavier stuff.

I know this isn’t always the case, and who can forget Amanda Peet destroying Steve Zahn in arm-wrestling in Saving Silverman?

You might take a few lumps, but it’s in the name of decency, courtesy, and just not being a turd of a man. There’s merit in that.

2. Watch your language.

Man, I struggle with this at times. There’s no excuse. Keep the blue language under wraps. It’s not just so that the little ones won’t repeat it, and then point the finger.

If you have daughters, you’re showing them that boys can be boorish around them with no regard. As I said, I’ve gotten so damned lax about this one. I resolve to do better.

3. Refrain from spitting, unless it’s sunflower seeds.

If I have a choice between spitting in the presence of a kid or a woman, or cursing, I’d take the bad words – up to and including the F-bomb.

The worst thing my kids can see in any given parking lot – aside from a Pittsburgh Steelers window sticker – is a fresh loogie. That’s the poster child of the unacceptable, and if it shares your DNA, so are you.

4. Hand out a granola bar/orange/bottled water to the homeless chap on the corner.

And don’t make a big deal of it.

Just share. That’s all you’re doing. Not making a judgement on how he got there.

Lauding your humanitarian brilliance for helping a brother out.

You’re just doing what you ought to. There are few words spoken when we do this out of our car. I just hope the girls understand the gesture and a smile take so little to give, but can make a big difference to someone in need.

5. Give a firm handshake, and good eye contact.

What’s worse than a dead-fish handshake and shifty eye movement when meeting someone new? A wonderful woman in Harris-Teeter once gave me a quick tutorial on the proper mechanics of a proper handshake.

“Firm,” she said. “You’re not going to break my hand.” First impressions are important, especially if you’re 37 and wearing a Kansas City Royals jersey.

6. Stick up for someone who can’t do it for themselves.

Be a champion for someone.

Especially if they can’t pay you back. Life gives us so precious few instances to do just this, so when the universe gives you the chance … you shouldn’t do it just out of fear John Quinones and the “What Would You do?” crew will burst on the scene, but because your act of civility might spawn one in the next guy.

That’s good stuff.

7. Pray. Or, at least, hope.

Postulate all you want about who the energy goes to, or who listens, or who grants our wishes, but positive energy is positive energy.

Heavy, man.

Keep the positive attitude. Whether it’s addressed to Allah or Jesus or a tribal god with the head of a buffalo and the legs of an ostrich, keep the light shining.

Keep hope alive, even when dark prevails.

8. Smile, even under the most stressful conditions. Even when you’re standing next to a Yankees player.

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz reached on a single against the hated Yankees in a close ballgame, then proceeded to yuck it up with first baseman Mark Teixiera. Small talk, despite generations of hatred represented between their jerseys.

Despite the desperation of being nearly 9 games behind in the division race. Smile. This is easiest when you can hit with runners in scoring position.

9. Listen. Really listen.

This is done with your eyes, too, brother. Look up from that laptop. That Sports Illustrated. That I-phone. Hear what someone has to say, without your mind racing about what you’d like to say next.

You’ll be amazed that the listening attention you give off seems to correspond accurately with that you end up receiving when the tables turn.

10. Carry your youngest, even if it’s just for a little while.

Pick her up. Give her that piggyback ride. Lift the tween or teen, just to prove you can. Remember, dads, you once were the strongest man in the world in her mind (until she saw MetroMan in Megamind.)

Sometimes, even that second grader needs to be twirled. To believe in magic a little. And it happens to do wonder for the dad doing the spinning, too. Trust me on this one.

* * *

John Wooden so eloquently put it: “Don’t place your rights ahead of others’ feelings; don’t place your feelings ahead of others’ rights.”

Sometimes, being a man – and a gentleman – is anything but gentle.

Sometimes, it’s anything but easy. No medals are awarded. No certificates granted. But you must have in yourself an expectation you’ll do what’s right, and behave as nobly as you possibly can, no matter who your audience.

Never mind the example you might be setting for your kids.

Never mind the reputation you might be establishing for yourself.

Never mind the impression you might be creating in others.

If you walk like a man – truly and humbly and nobly – you’re on the right path.

Unless you’re wearing socks and sandals, your cap on backward, and a Budweiser T-shirt. In which case … we need to talk.

man quote



  1. Victor Field says:

    “By age 30, a man should …

    7. Not think about Hayden Panettiere more than you do Amy Adams.

    Hayden’s 22, Amy’s 37. At age 22, Hayden and her contemporaries think you’re *ancient* at age 30.”

    Don’t be too sure – given Miss Panettiere’s not averse to flirting with men older… a lot older… than she is, you may be able to get away with it in her case (if not, say, Selena Gomez’s).

    1. I didn’t know this about Hayden. Obviously, she’s a brilliant young mind, to know the value and merits of we older gentlemen.

      Let me try it for a second …

      OK. That wasn’t so bad.

      I think we should change No. 7 to read:

      7 Not *admit to/speak publicly of/do extensive blogging about* Hayden Panettiere than you do Amy Adams.

  2. queenofchaosmom says:

    I totally agree with all of these but 2 of them. Leo is still the hottest when wearing a hat on backwards (might just be a me thing, though which I will concede) and he can rock a jersey like no other. Still makes my heart skip a beat. All of the others, you are spot on!

    1. Now *that’s* an endorsement. Maybe Bruce Willis, Woody Harrelson and Leo are the exceptions to those rules. I had to use a backup lid yesterday, and turned it backward – it was a fitted Atlanta Thrashers cap, so maybe because it was fitted and retro (kind of), it might have passed inspection.

      Let me go try on my Dutch soccer shirt and see if I look like Antonio Banderas …

      Um, no. I’ll leave the jerseys to Leo.

  3. queenofchaosmom says:

    Love, love, love that I am on your blog roll. If I had one, you’d be on mine. 🙂

    1. I love that you’re there, too, especially because i tried to go in and add another worthy entry ( and couldn’t do it!

  4. queenofchaosmom says:

    Don’t sell yourself short…I have a feeling there are more women than just me who appreciate a hat on backwards. 🙂 After you mentioned the soccer jersey, I thought about the Italian one Leo has and how I do make fun of him when he wears that one.

    1. My France jersey has a gold rooster on the chest, and My Dutch shirt has a collar. And is form-fitting.

      No one will even notice which way my hat’s facing in that one.

  5. lanelexie says:

    “By age 40, a man should …” Think a lot of men do get away with a lot of these points because it seems as though the generation of men in this age period are starting to get the idea of “you only look as old as you feel,” which can be quite sexy.

    “Things a dude should never stop doing, regardless of age:” Love this!

    1. Oh, I definitely think we should hold onto certain things – I’m in no hurry to eat dinner at 4 p.m. and start wearing wing tips – I just don’t want to parade around like the 20-year-old me (whose butt I could probably kick today, by the way). I think if a dude is adhering to a few of the items in the last list, he earns points toward wearing his hat backward, thinking about Hayden Pantierre and watching lots of SportsCenter – so long as he doesn’t spit in front of the kids.

  6. Mervyn Byrd says:

    Coach, this was very rich…and funny. The one that gets me is the jersey. I know that queenofchaosmom loves to see her man in a jersey, even though he’s north of 40, but it makes the rest of us feel like spitting (and we know how detestable that is, right?). My wife likes to see me with my hat turned backwards sometimes, but we need to reserve that for the private moment. This was a great read.

    1. Thanks Mervyn. I know where you’re coming from on the cap, Spiderman. Enough said.

      Your comment is proof that some of us know when to hang up the jersey, and some don’t. Like Brett Favre.

      1. brooke fiocato says:

        Nothing wrong with a Kansas City Royals shirt -:) he just had some faith! 2015 World Champs!!!!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Now all the Royals swag has gold on it, Brooke. Notice that? It’s like when the Buffalo Bills added that speed stripe to the buffalo on their helmet after O.J. Simpson busted the 2,000-yard barrier.

  7. laurie27wsmith says:

    Found this and thought it to be very well done. You forgot comb-overs for guys over 40. Definitely an area worthy of inclusion. The only thing I fall down on is emoticons, those little suckers are cute.

    1. Thanks, Laurie. It’s my most-viewed post, and I desperately need to get in there an update some images. You’re right, the comb-over is absolutely necessary in any over-40 convo. I’ll leave the emoticons to you, friend, and also any LOLs – I’ve never used that term, either.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        Thanks Eli, I try to avoid lol. I like the smiley face only because some people can be a bit thick and you need to point out it’s a joke.

  8. susank456 says:

    This is great! I need to send this to quite a few friends that can definitely learn from this. I loved it.

    1. Thanks Susan! Many painstaking mistakes had to be made in order to make that post possible.

  9. Ann Koplow says:

    Wonderful post. Love it.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Ann! If a dude has to go out on Black Friday, this is the way to do it.

  10. davidprosser says:

    Hilarious, and unfortunately true.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Rules to live by, right David? Great to see you here, friend.

  11. Matt says:

    “The worst thing my kids can see in any given parking lot – aside from a Pittsburgh Steelers window sticker – is a fresh loogie”.

    That’s what I like to call responsible parenting.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Amen, brother. If only the world could see it our way.

  12. 1jaded1 says:

    Love the big exhaust…hate the sound, unless it is throaty…yeah, necrocomment. Good post.

  13. Kevin says:

    I’m 33 and love skinny jeans. Sorry but I’m gonna keep wearing them. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Props to you, my brother. Most of us guys couldn’t pull them off. I mean, if we got them on, we couldn’t actually pull them off.

  14. What’s the purpose of living near the beaches if I can’t do any of those things anymore?……..LOL

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Russ, you get the king’s exemption!

  15. Deepsouth says:

    We should never give up our hobbies, no matter the age. You like going to Star Wars conventions? Age should not restrict you… Although at forty I wouldn’t recommend cosplaying as Luke. Solo would be the better fit.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Hobbies are tough to let go of if you’re still into them. At my age, Yoda might be a more appropriate cosplay.

  16. reocochran says:

    This could be a small and very helpful, insightful and humorous book, Eli!! You may have found your “niche” in writing, my friend! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s by far my most viewed post, Robin. I’ll have to email you the story behind why it happened in the first place.

  17. Brian says:

    So, what I’m getting from this is that no man should ever drive a sports car until they’re too old to actually enjoy it. Go fuck yourself, you Camry driving cunt. Maybe stop setting so many rules for us and we can all actually live the life that we want to.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Nah, man – relax. It’s a blog post. Not an indictment. Would I drive a sports car in my 40s? Hell yes. Rules are made to be broken.

      (I don’t drive a Camry, but would consider one.)

      Next time I write a post of hard-and-fast rules that must never be broken, I’ll check with you first.

  18. Brian says:

    Also, your posts reeks of a guy who’s desperate to prove his worth to the opposite sex. I’m guessing your ideal life is a house in the burbs with a generic sorority girl whose life goal is to be married with three kids in the midwest before she hits 25.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I always felt like my posts reeked mostly of garlic – but that’s neither here nor there. And if that girl was a Broncos fan who liked guacamole, who am I to question her life goals?

  19. Tre says:

    Some of these are quite valid… however it is ironic that the poster is criticizing the way people appear. They may look silly, but why should u care?
    For example the part about wearing socks/sandals combo. I do that all the time… I know it looks silly.. but guess what, I don’t care what judgemental people like u think. It’s a matter of practicality vs appearance. I walk around in socks 99% of the time indoors. It takes me 1 min to put on my shoes and tie them. It takes me 20 seconds to take my socks off and put on crock (if I care about appearance). It takes me 2 seconds to throw my crocs on over my socks… with the least amount of effort. Guess what, I care more about my convenience than what u think I look like in public.

  20. Wayne says:

    What if I’m not a “dude” your lists are a joke, I think you’re a lightweight and I’ll do what I please because this is America?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Helluva point, Wayne. This post was written so long ago. It wasn’t meant as a fast-and-hard rulebook.

      i love America. I’m a lightweight, though, only when it comes to IPA beers. Everything else … I’m bantamweight, at the very least.

  21. So good!!!! This was great!
    Not gonna lie tho – my man is straight sexy in the backwards ball cap – and I’m totally cool with that!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks! This was written way back when, and it’s by far my most viewed post … which is unfortunate.

      I wrote it with a lot of bile.

  22. kimboxin says:

    Well, obviously I’m late to the game, but I adore this post! I can’t believe how many hateful comments it garnered, though. Ohhh,people!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Kim! I wrote it so long ago, and it was born of spit and vinegar, truthfully. It’s the only post of mine that gets the trolls rolling!

  23. TheMostAbsurd says:

    This post is utterly stupid on so many levels. The poster reeks of underachievment. Just for starters: you couldn’t afford a sports car by the time you were mid 30 in your profession? Were you the night supervisor at Mcdonalds?

    Whatever family/wife you have, hold on to her for dear life. You would not survive being single/divorced. Wait, I guess you could devote your time to god, church picnics and hosting bingo playoffs.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s just a post. I’ve definitely underachieved, but like Kansas City Chiefs fans, I can live with that.

      I couldn’t afford a Yugo, esse. Writers make a pittance, and I probably could have tried to hold down the night-shift job at McDonald’s to make ends meet.

      I do have my blog, and most of my hair, and no one can take that away from me, except of course Hillary Clinton. I’m doing okay, brother. Usually, I’ve struck a nerve when I get a comment like this on this post.

      There’s a lot of drama in bingo playoffs, though. Holy hell.

      1. TheMostAbsurd says:

        You did strike a nerve. I took offense w your vulgar sentimentality and gaudy virtue signalling points at the end.

        I generally agree with most of your age-appropriate points and would suggest even going beyond:
        Spitting is not okay, but eating sunflower seeds post highschool is? What adult eats sunflower seed voluntarily — jeeze. Graduate to pistachios or peanuts for its nutritional value if you must.

        Sport jerseys and beer shirts not okay post 40? All are bad post college. Don’t wear clothes that makes you look like a walking billboard. Also, there is something about wearing another man’s name/number across your back/chest that may bring your sexual orientation to question [and there is nothing wrong w that].

        Men will always fantasize about good looking women regardless of their age — but it usually means younger women. It’s as sure as taxes and death. It’s programmed/evolution. Stop with the post modern feminist nonsense.

        Swearing will be the least of your children’s problems. As if they don’t/will hear it at school, friends, media. Stop with the delusion. Don’t think it will make the difference between law school or a stripper’s poll for your daughter.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I love sunflower seeds. Early in this post, I make the point that all men must follow their own paths. This isn’t for all men. It’s my most clicked-on post, however. I suspect from men looking for answers. Some of you disagree with my assertions, which is fine. Hell, if Colin Kaepernick can sit for the anthem, you can rip my points here. Because ‘merica. I’m not concerned about my kid hearing me swear; I’m concerned about being a gentleman around them.

  24. Okay…so I’m trudging along on the elliptical while I read this, Coach…soccer season is coming quick and I have to be able to hang with my 8 year olds. I almost fell off laughing. Like AFOTELMAO. Wearing a Parks and Rec soccer jersey at 43 is cool for any dude. Also, hats turned backwards. Clipboards rule, too…

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Is this their first season? It’ll change your life!

      This post perplexes me. It was a rant from years past, and it’s still by far my most visited. Go figure!

  25. bpnurse says:

    This is a great post! I loved it. Thanks for the follow at

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks! Look forward to reading you.

  26. abetterman21 says:

    Thanks for the post. Time for me to face the facts!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s all tongue-in-cheek. I was in an … interesting period when I wrote this!

  27. MARVIN GARCIA says:

    You sound like a loser brother. I’m in my 40s and look great without a shirt. I have abs thou. If you want to feel and look old that is you. You sound like a 40 year old loser. Smh. Change your life for the better, 40s, 50s and 60s still young for today standards.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I don’t feel like a loser, bro. Awesome that you look good shirtless at any age. This was just a humor post, not meant to condemn or glorify anything or anyone.

      I feel better than I did in my 20s, in fact. No reason to feel old if you don’t stop moving. I’m good. Really good.

  28. This was one of the funniest things that I’ve read in quite some time! Thank you for the laughs ( and the insight ). Here’s to hoping other men will catch on to your advice! I’m not very active on WordPress, and actually found you on Medium. I may just be a WordPress convert now! I’ve followed your blog. Again, thank you for making me laugh! Keep up the good work…

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thank you so much for this comment! This was an old, old post but it gets lots of traffic for some reason. Glad you enjoyed this! I’ll check out your blog too.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.