2-Ply Toilet Paper
This is one of the most basic items in a Grown Man™’s house, but it is one of the most important. If there is one place in life where skimping is unacceptable, it’s in the paper products that are going to be rubbing against your most sensitive bits and the most sensitive bits of your guests. Single-ply just denotes struggle, and a man who doesn’t know where his priorities should be.
A full-length mirror.
While a standard-issue bro may just be able to look at himself from the waist-up and feel ready to conquer the day, anyone who is ready to have overnight guests should provide them with the reflective surfaces needed to confirm their whole look. If you can’t check for head-to-toe freshness the next day, you are not staying with the right person.
Quality hand soap.
This one should be a no-brainer, and yet, many is the dude’s house where the “soap” option at the sink is a worn-to-the-nub bar of Dial with several questionable hairs strewn across it. Quality hand soap — that is clearly being used regularly — is the mark of a gentleman, and someone who values a clean handshake. You can only truly relax and be yourself with a guy if you know he’s sudsed for 30 seconds under hot water.
Not that you want his bedroom to be a carousel of sexual delights for whatever he manages to scoop up at the bar, but if it was, you’d at least want it to be safe. Condoms may not be the most G-rated item in the apartment, but it’s one that speaks highly of his maturity and planning.
Are you really husband material if you are still keeping a bottle of Popov in your freezer for unexpected guests? Are you rising and grinding if the top of your cupboard is a trophy shelf/elephant graveyard for twenty different empty bottles of bottom-shelf liquor? Can you be trusted with a future child if you don’t have at least one single-malt? Come on, now.
The universal sign of someone who is not #prosperous is posters unceremoniously tacked or scotch-taped to his wall (usually Scarface promotional material or basketball players). Framed items are the mark of a life upgrade, and also of someone who puts a little effort into beautifying their living space for the benefit of guests. Frames are for men, posters are for boys. (Framed posters, in a pinch, are a healthy compromise.)
You can generally tell the emotional maturity of a man by how coordinated his bed linens are. Bare mattress with stained pink top sheet and scratchy plaid blanket? He’s gonna kill you and steal your kidneys. Threadbare white fitted sheet with a different-color top sheet and a basic comforter? You’ll date for a few months and he may sleep with your friend if given the chance. Fully matching set of linens with working knowledge of the word duvet? You are going to get married on Martha’s Vineyard and die warm in each other’s arms.
It’s just science.
Ingredients, and not just prepared foods.
Shouldn’t we all be working towards a lifestyle where we just have quality ingredients, and no prepared foods? We all float home after a day of work and whip up something from hand-made pasta, fresh tomatoes, thin dashes of olive oil, and a range of herbs and spices? While this may not be possible all the time, it’s essential that a keeper has at least one or two non-fully-ready food items. Sometimes you open that cabinet and it’s nothing but cups of Easy Mac and boxes of chocolate-covered Oreos, and you’re left wondering how his teeth haven’t fallen out of his head yet.
A photo of his mother.
It’s simple, it’s easy, and it speaks volumes. While no one wants that Real Housewives of New Jersey-esque “the only woman who isn’t a whore is my perfect mother” vibe, it’s important to love the women in your life. And if a dude has a cute, simple photo of his mommy chillin somewhere in his house, it just radiates good things. One day, that could be a picture of you, slowly edging her photo off the bookshelf and shattering it on the floor. I’m kidding!
(No, I’m not.)