The older you get, the more discerning your tastes, the harder it is for friends and relatives to buy for you. It’s not their fault. There’s a good chance they don’t like your gift either. Circle of life. But still, we’re running a civilization here, and as part of the social contract, we’re bound to make a convincing case that we’re psyched about anything we’re given. During the holiday season, all polite society is based on it.
Hunting season is under way. And if the very phrase “hunting season” instantly fills your head with visions of Duck Dynasty extras running amok in a sporting goods store, we need to sit down and talk. There’s a better way.
Art is increasingly being treated like a commodity, like pork bellies or wheat futures.
Which means that buying art can get, well, downright tacky.
So, forget all the vulgar zeros on the record-shattering price Picasso’s Women of Algiers brought in at the latest Christie’s auction. And forget words like “investor” and “art fund.”
Under ideal circumstances, there are sets of unwritten rules that govern how a gentleman should conduct himself in the public arena. These rules are immutable and have been pondered over centuries by great men. We here at Kempt, however, have an unwaveringly strict “never say never” policy—because circumstances aren’t always ideal.
Like when you’re a month into your fantasy baseball league and your squad “Machado About Nothing” is pulling up the rear. While your commish has yet to collect league dues, the uninitiated may opt to capitalize on the opportunity: simply go dark on that email thread and pretend the whole thing never happened. But it did. And those shamed evaders will be left wishing they’d referred to this.
Check all that apply to your current relationship:
o Your first date was three months ago, or longer. o They’ve given you a key to their place. o You’ve given them a drawer at yours. o You’ve lost track of how many times you’ve seen them naked.
Two or more? Well, soon enough you’re going to have to meet the people who made it all possible: their parents.
And when it comes to the monumentally all-important first impression, there are no second chances. It’s like a job interview, but instead of negotiating salary, it’s the right to sleep within an inch of their precious child for the foreseeable future. With a few key points, the position will be yours.
It’s a fair bet that you’ll be doing some traveling in the near future (’tis the season). And since time is precious, we’re here to help you navigate the perils of holiday travel—stylishly, of course—in this weeklong series...
As happenstance would have it, one day you might run into that girl you dated sophomore year. Or post-college for a month or two. Or whenever. And after a quick catch-up over coffee, she’ll invite you to dinner. But you’ll just know she doesn’t mean dinner in the traditional sense.
Though food might still be involved, if you remember correctly.
Wait, why did you break up again? Doesn’t matter. You’re both single, and over each other, and she’s got legs till Saturday. This is your moment. Do something crazy. Hell, maybe even call it “closure.” But before you go ahead and bury the hatchet, so to speak, we’d like to set up a few guidelines to help you survive such a risky endeavor unscathed. Besides, we wouldn’t want this to end like last time, now would we?
If there’s one day of the year you should really feel obligated to clean up your act, it’s Mother’s Day.*
Which means a clean shave, tucking in your shirt and, by all means, absolutely no foul language. (A card wouldn’t be a bad idea either.) Yes, even if you’re just planning on spending a few heartfelt moments over the phone with your salty seafaring sailor of an old lady.
But chances are, you’re going to be seeing dear old mum, face-to-face, over brunch—possibly with an impressionable child or two within earshot of your every syllable. We understand it can sound like a tall order to keep it clean (especially when you’ve been waiting all spring to tell the family your Dennis Rodman story), but we’ve got you covered with this handy list of euphemisms and campy alternatives to your favorite four-letter words.
It’s the harshest reality of competition: sometimes your best efforts just won’t cut it, if only by a hair.
We’ve seen it all before: sweat. Slow-motion. And a final step, swing or buzzer-press that secures the glory of victory, with nothing to thank but a bit of luck. It’s the stuff that mediocre inspirational movies are made of.
But sometimes you’re the other guy.
And we’re talking big losses here, like being the wrong horse in a photo finish at the upcoming Kentucky Derby or the second guy on the moon. These moments we don’t plan for. But sometimes they happen, and just knock the wind right out of us.
And now for some wise words of advice from Kempt’s resident phone etiquette expert and certified lady-person, Michelle Ong.
Let’s get one thing straight: nothing ruins romance faster than a bad sext.
Even a perfect date can be spoiled if your best-intentioned goodnight message turns into a slightly vulgar description of your “peepee”—or worse, a deluge of winking emoticons and a picture. Ugh. Sure, the standards of courting a lady online aren’t much different from doing it in real life these days, but sexting comes with its own nuanced set of rules.
There are fears with a logical evolutionary basis—the fear of heights, for example, was embedded pretty deep in our psyche so that our idiot ancestors wouldn’t go jumping off cliffs. Google would have you convinced that the only thing men fear is commitment (which, we’ll admit, is an objectively terrifying sentiment). Then there are ones you’re hesitant to bring up on a date in fear of coming off... soft.
Carnies. Insects. Stand-up comedians. We’ve all experienced those minor terrors of irrational fear. And that’s what we’re here to discuss. With a brief, uncontrolled and wholly unscientific polling of the Kempt staff, we’ve taken the time to learn about what makes men break out in a cold sweat and duck for cover. And we’ve uncovered quite a bit.
Tapas with friends. Family-style Italian feasts. Surf-and-turf date nights. Late-night tacos. Bottomless mimosa power brunches. All of which have one thing in common: other people.
Which, one could argue, is the entire point of eating. Hell, entire books have been written on this subject. But those who fear the company of no one are missing out on a truly noble and gratifying experience.
Which is why every once in a blue supermoon, it’s a good idea to dine alone. Not because you have to, but because you can. And just because you’ve chosen to spend the night in your own good company doesn’t mean microwavable burritos on your couch—in fact, we believe it should prompt the opposite.