Keith and I were having a discussion yesterday about our dog, Freja, being “a dog’s dog.” What this means, we decided, is that she’s loved by dogs and humans alike just for her very unfussy, no-holds-barred “dogginess.” This stems from another ongoing discussion between us about being a “Gentleman’s Gentleman.” Just what is a Gentleman’s Gentleman? With kind regards to Mr. Grant Weeks (truly in the running to be a GG), here are some pointers Keith and I came up with.
1. Have a flask on your person as often as possible. The flask must be filled with good liquor, no rotgut. Whiskey is preferred but not required. A true Gentleman’s Gentleman would have an engraved flask, possibly with a picture of a bulldog.
2. Know the rules of decorum and etiquette, but break them most of the time. Frown upon other people breaking them, particularly if their breaking them involves tears or hysterics.
3. Carry a handkerchief, if possible.
4.Â Grooming: It’s ok to look either fresh or disheveled, depending on your preference. The key is to make it clear that you mean to look the way you look and to own it. Sidenote: unless engaged in a sporting activity, shorts should be frowned upon. Unless they are madras or Bermudas. No Gentleman’s Gentleman should ever even look at a pair of denim cut-offs.
5. A Gentleman’s Gentleman should never work on his house or his car. You hire people to do this, although it’s up to you whether or not you actually pay them. It’s fine to know how to fix a house or a car, but don’t actually do it.
6. Be wry!
7.Â It’s OK to have money or not have money, as your circumstances warrant. But a GG shouldn’t let money-status affect the lifestyle.
8. You don’t have to be threatening or go around getting in fights. But to be a true GG, you should exude a presence that would at least make you enter into someone’s calculations if they were thinking about starting a fight. Side note: if he were to find himself engaged in a fight, a GG would not be the first one to hit below the belt. A duel would be preferable to a fistfight. A sword fight would be preferable to a knife fight.
9. Never, ever drink rail. Sidenote: My personal motto, although obviously I can’t be a Gentleman’s Gentleman, is, “Life is too short to drink rail.”
10. Smoke cigars on special occasions and when at a cabin or beachfront property but for day-to-day, smoke a pipe. No, not a crack pipe. A GG doesn’t even know what crack is.
Who are some of the most noted GGs of all-time?
Ford Madox Ford
J.D. Salinger (Old School)
Hugh Grant (except for the part about being threatening in a fight)
Papa Hemingway (on-again, off-again)