The Lost Art of Being a Gentleman

I recently attended a funeral where other than myself, the only men wearing suits were the decedent’s grieving sons. Every other man in attendance was wearing what they would wear to spend the day on the golf course or to go to Walmart. I thought: what gives? What has happened where we don’t need to put on a suit and tie to pay respect to someone at his funeral? The “casualization” of our culture strikes me as lazy, and by embracing it men deny themselves the opportunity to present themselves as gentlemen from time to time.

It’s not about money. You don’t have to buy an Armani suit. My grandfather was a coalminer and butcher all his life, but he always went to church in a suit and tie. Any man can find a respectable suit from Goodwill. It’s not about your net worth; it’s abut your self-worth. Putting on a suit for wedding, funeral or other formal event shows that you respect the occasion and respect yourself. Come on guys. Step up. And clean your nails and polish your shoes while you are at it.

And when you get there, open and hold the door for the ladies. Stand up when someone enters the room. Offer a firm handshake. Don’t ask a woman if she is pregnant. When walking with a woman, remember to be on the side closest to the street so if someone get’s splashed by a car it’s you, not her. Don’t make snide or disrespectful comments about other people’s bodies. Give up your seat on the bus. Cut your elderly neighbor’s grass. Don’t tell people you’re going to the bathroom, just say, “excuse me” when you get up. Let the lady order first. Pick up the tab.

It’s fun to pull out your inner James Bond every once in a while. You can go back to dressing like the Big Lebowski when you get back home.