A Woman Will Be…

Every once in a while I run into some piece of poetry that I just have to share. This is one of them. The original is in Spanish, but I took the liberty of translating it for my English reading audience. I have been trying to trace the original author, yet have not found him/her yet. If you know who it is, please let me know to provide proper credit.

A woman will be as girly as you pamper her,

as lady-like as you treat her,

as intelligent as you challenge her,

and as sensual as you entice her…


Una mujer será tan niña como la consientas,

tan dama como la tratas,

tan inteligente como la retes,

tan sensual como la provoques…



Stand Out Without Sticking Out

Elegance is not about being noticed, it’s about being remembered.
Giorgio Armani
It’s easier to be remembered if you’re at least noticed.
Being Caballero
I have to admit that I am an avid people watcher. No, that’s not a nice way to say creepy stalker. It means that I love the crowded cityscape, as it allows me the benefit of watching the social interactions of people, their urban behavior, and watching the city as a vibrant ecosystem worthy of any wilderness setting. As the costs of parking and the never ending traffic jams have turned me into a diehard Metro user, here’s where I get my daily fill of this fascinating environment.

As soon as the metro reaches on of the business center nodes along its route, you become witness to one of the most amusing spectacles of the modern city, the migration of the navy/dark grey sea. As the subway cart comes to a stop, an army of almost identical men all stand in unison and hurriedly move towards the stations exit, all dressed in either a Navy Blue jacket and khaki pants or a dark grey suit with a white shirt. Sure, you see that minor splash of color within a tie or a pocket square, the reality is that it gets lost within the unison of monotone patterns of the semi-sentient mass. These same men are left wondering why they feel so insignificant within the expansiveness of the urban crowd.

Well, maybe it’s because they CHOSE to get lost in a crowd.

Have you noticed when the main protagonist within a movie walks within a crowd, yet you can still single him out? How is this done? It’s a simple artistic trick that has been done across history. When you have a repetitive pattern, insert something different, something that breaks the monotony. By its own, that singular element might not be much. It might even be absolutely boring. Yet when you drop it within a repetitive pattern, it becomes the exception.
Suddenly, that simple change stands out!

Am I saying that standing out is important? Only when you want to stand out. You are sitting in a room with 4 other gentlemen, competing for the same position. Do you really want to be seen like just another contender? You might have the best pitch, but if the person see’s you as just another candidate, it might be lost before you even start.

Does that mean you should pull out your loudest Hawaiian shirt and those pants that look like you were assaulted by a cartoon unicorn? No. You want to stand out, not scare them away or become their source of comedic material for the next week. It’s all about being different enough to be you. Work within what works, but within your own flair.

Instead of wearing a navy blue suit, try light gray, or tan, or basically any other color as a base tone. Instead of using the tie as your color accent, use your shirt and go for a toned down tie. Instead of khaki’s, get something in another color…Any color. In a society that has lost its use of hats, get a flip cap or a fedora. Would Indiana Jones be as memorable without his hat?

It’s not about standing out simply to stand out. It’s about standing out to show the world you are more than another faceless drone plodding along in a faceless existence. Stop hiding your existence behind the comfort of the crowd. When you stop hiding behind the wall of anonymity, life can find you.


Guesting 101

What is there more kindly than the feeling between host and guest?
Some time ago, I spoke about the importance of being a proper host. And this is a topic you can find endless articles online if you take the time to google for them. Yet, one topic that does seem to be overlooked is the other side of the coin in the social engagement, the guest or rather, how to be a proper guest. Just consider that without the guest, you can’t be a host.

So what does it mean to be a guest? Basically if you are invited into someone’s habitat or environment, and will be looked over by them, you are a guest. Simple enough. But if you are being looked over for, why would you need to care about your behavior? The answer to that question is quite simple, because the line between guest and pest is rather thin and easily missed. Just consider that when you act disrespectful as a guest, you are directly insulting and disrespecting your host. With that in mind, let’s look at the proper etiquette as a guest.

The host will probably mention what kind of event this is. If they don’t, you can easily figure this one out without too much of a mental exercise. Just keep in mind that you can never be over dressed, so in doubt, dress it up. The advantage is that as men’s clothing works in layers, you can easily tone down your outfit by removing elements as required.

Even if the event isn’t an RSVP (Répondez s'il vous plaît, literally "Reply if you please"), let the host know if you will be attending or not. Also, either earlier during the day or the day before, call to confirm if the event is still on, as something might have come up and the host might not have had the opportunity to cancel with everyone. This also gives the opportunity for the host to uninvited you in case you presence might be unwelcome and the original invite was just a cordiality.

You might think that I am going to start hammering the point about punctuality, but in this case, I will recommend the opposite. This isn’t a job interview or a business meeting. Most hosts will be fixing the place up till the last minute or, because they were fixing up the place, will be fixing themselves up as they might be running late. In this case, I recommend the opposite that I would for an interview. Arrive up to 15 minutes late. This gives the host a moment to relax before you get there.

Do avoid being latter than 15 minutes as the host will start to wonder if you are getting there at all. If you are running late, DO NOT TEXT. CALL THEM beforehand to let them know.

Never arrive empty handed:
The host is going through all the trouble of setting everything up, the least you can do is contribute something more than just your presence. The simplest thing would be to bring a bottle of wine, as it can be later shared with the rest of the guests. If this is a non-alcohol environment, or if you are stumped as to what wine, then simply bring some flowers. Basically, bring anything that might lighten the host’s load.

NEVER outshine the host:
Sure, the host wants you to feel like you are the center of attention, to make you enjoy yourself as much as possible. But the reality is that the star of the show is the host. It is their event. They are taking actions to make it a success. You are the recipient of their performance. You are the audience. So taking the spotlight off of them is actually very disrespectful.

In cases where you are the “Guest of Honor,” give proper credit and appreciation to the host. In truth, you become an extension of the host’s efforts, so the spotlight should still be placed on them, even if shared by you.

Avoid overstaying your welcome, unless you can:
This last piece of advice depends on the event and your relationship with the host. There are few things that will ruin hosting as guests who don’t know when to leave. Avoid placing your host in a situation where they feel forced to invite you out on your way. Learn to read the room enough to know when you need to make your exit. Thank the host accordingly before leaving though.

In some cases, stay to help the host clean up. They went through all the effort and work to make this a memorable event, the least you can do is help clean up. Sometimes cleaning up after an memorable occasion is just as daunting as having it. Maybe the host might just want everyone out. Other times they might be praying that someone stays behind to help out. Learn to read the room.

Be the kind of guest that people want to have over, to share their events with. Consider that if your presence isn’t memorable, your absence is inconsequential.


The Brotherhood Of Fatherhood

Being a father is a choice. Staying true to fatherhood is a duty.
Joan Ambu
Brothers, and I am honored to call you brothers, to you I raise my glass.

You have faced the most terrifying and exhilarating instant in your life, and stood firm in your position from the day you found out you would be a Dad. You might have stumbled from time to time, questioned yourself in every instant of solitude you have, questioned every action you have taken since that day. We all do, and will continue doing. This is the ultimate life path as it’s a journey that never has a final destination.

It will teach you respect as you teach respect.
It will teach you patience as you teach patience.
It will teach you perseverance as you teach perseverance.
It will teach you to be a better man as you teach someone to be a good person.

To you I raise my glass and call you my brother.

The Dad who can’t wait for his 8 hour shift to be over, just to see his kid.
The Dad who has taken on the challenges of a stay home parent.
The Dad who embraced being a father to someone else’s child.
The Dad who set aside any issues with his ex-spouse because… fatherhood.
The Man who chose to be a foster parent because someone needed a Dad.
The Dad who might no longer be with us, yet his memory still teaches us what a Father is.

I also raise my glass and call my brother,

The Mother who has taken it upon herself to be a father as well.
The Grandfather who came out of retirement when his grandkids needed a Dad.
The Older Brother who became a man the day he understood the importance of being there for his younger siblings.

And lastly I raise my glass and call my brother,

The Uncle, the coach, the teacher, the mentor, and every other man who has served as a father figure and male role model to every kid out there who needed a father at one time or another.

I am proud to call you all my brothers.