There’s a phrase I use semi-regularly: “I’ve done too much crap in my life to judge anybody for anything.” And while it makes for a great motto, I’m only human, and nowhere near perfect. Unfortunately, I still judge people more often than I should. Sometimes it’s deserved, and sometimes it’s based on the most idiotic, hypocritical, insecure biases I possess.
I give you the dumbest things I regularly catch myself judging other guys for.
1. Having long hair
I used to be one of you! I used to have long hair, so this is pretty solid hypocrisy from the guy with Kenny G’s flowing locks in his past. I thought I looked like Robert Plant at the time, but my driver’s license does a better job of imitating Weird Al. So unless you’re actually a famous musician, chances are I will think you look like a pathetic wannabe who hasn’t realized he’s never going to make it. If it’s thinning, or you’re over 30, it’s even worse. I want to cut your ponytail off with scissors. But maybe I’m just jealous that long-haired guys haven’t conformed to the societal pressure of an office job like I did. I certainly miss the “top down, wind in your hair” feeling, and the laziness of a loose ponytail when you roll out of bed. Confession: I have dreams every few months that my hair is this length again. Waking up the morning after one of these dreams is always a disappointment.
2. The type of alcohol they drink
looking back at my drinking history, I am no great bastion of masculinity. I get it: the drinks that aren’t as purist are delicious. I went through a Black Russian (50:50 vodka and Kahlua) phase. At one point, I regularly mixed rum with orange juice or lemonade. My current trend of heavy stouts, whiskey, and scotch will likely change again within the next couple years. Besides, someone else’s drink has absolutely zero effect on my life. You like light beer? You put Coke in your bourbon? YOU PUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN ICE IN YOUR SCOTCH?! Someone clearly dropped you on your head as a child. How dare you bastardize perfection, sir. How very dare you. But if you like a solid Vodka Cranberry or a fruity umbrella drink? If it makes you happy, drink up.
3. Spending hours — nay, DAYS at a time playing video games
I’m not a big gamer. I have an N-64 in my apartment, and my roommate has an X-Box 360 that almost never gets used. Combined, the two systems might get 2 hours of use every 6 months… This is, until I go home and visit my parents. My little brother loves video games, and knows my tastes well enough to manipulate me into playing. When he got the newest Assassin’s Creed game, all he had to do was say “Kev, it’s about pirates.” Boom. I’m hooked. It’s genuinely embarrassing to think about how many hours I played that game over Thanksgiving and Christmas, and all my jumbled “No, this doesn’t usually happen” type excuses to extended family members. Lifelong obsession with pirates and naval history: 1. Dignity: 0. But I do this to make him happy. It happens sporadically. If you’re out of college, you need to stop this. You’re wasting hundred of dollars and hours of your life on something that’s not real, and was originally designed for children. (But I mean, if you’re comfortable with these facts, then by all means.)
4. Getting married young
It’s completely unfounded, but my knee-jerk reaction is to think that these guys are genuinely idiotic. You’re only 20, and want to commit the rest of your life to someone? But… you haven’t experienced anything! You’re hardly a person yet! YOU ARE THE REASON THAT THE DIVORCE RATE IN THIS COUNTRY IS OVER FIFTY PERCENT, YOU RAGING JACKASS. Think! And yet, some of the greatest marriages I’ve ever witnessed are between people who committed in their early 20s. If I’m being honest, all the rage probably stems from knowing my grandfather and my dad had both experienced several anniversaries by the time they were my age. I am jealous. The fact that I’m judging these guys says more about my own insecurities than their life choices. I apologize.
5. Drinking coffee with creamer
Ha! You need cream and sugar to make your coffee drinkable? You’re a damned wuss, that’s what you are. Real men like it black and bitter! But I have no defense for this one. There is no scientific proof that drinking your coffee black ups your testosterone. It’s something I picked up at a young age watching my parents. My dad took his coffee black, my mom liked hers with cream and sugar. Keep in mind, they never said anything to enforce this idea, and neither of my siblings think like this. I made a simple observation as a child, and decided that since my parents did it that way, it must mean all men drink their coffee black. Since I didn’t like black coffee, I decided I wouldn’t drink it at all, and I didn’t revisit this for over a decade. I was in my 20s by the time I realized that this was my moronic logic for not drinking coffee. In a roundabout way, I suppose it’s the reason I got through college without getting addicted, so I should be thankful. But seriously: This. Is. So. Stupid. And I can’t help myself from thinking it almost every day.
Silver lining: Nothing keeps you humble like regularly realizing exactly how much of a dumbass you are.
6. Bragging about all the things they own
Congratulations, you’ve got a nice car and some expensive things. I don’t need to hear about it. People are more than their possessions. For someone who finds the concepts of minimalism fascinating, your bragging about all the stuff you have to your name sounds like a dangerous, disgusting level of hoarding. But by that same token, it makes sense — you worked hard for your stuff and you’re proud of it. (And just because I love the idea of minimalism does not mean I’m actually doing it well. I may not have the bankroll for a new Bugatti, but my record collection and overflowing bookcases are a testament to the fact that I will never actually be a full blown minimalist.)
7. Texting girls instead of calling
Ok, ok, I get it. It’s the nature of the age we live in. Hell, I can’t make any claims to my “do it all in person” approach being particularly superior when it comes to results. If anything, the guys who are willing to play the texting game seem to be coming out ahead of us old-fashioned types. For that, I offer you my sincere congratulations. But I still don’t understand why this is a thing. I recognize that I’m insanely, self-destructively old fashioned, but is there something wrong with calling a girl and asking her on a date instead of this stupid game we play where we text back and forth for days? It just feels so worthless. Every guy needs to quit this immediately.
At the very least, stop sending unsolicited dick pics. Now.
8. Having stupid tattoos
Hi, the 90s called. They wanted you to know how awesome your tribal tat is, and that the barbed wire one makes you look like a badass. Between the Chinese symbols that don’t actually mean what you think they mean, not using spell check, cultural references that will be horribly outdated within two years, few people actually getting art inked on your body. Please, never say “I got this for me” then post pictures of it on social media. If you really did it for yourself, and not to impress other people, you wouldn’t be showing it off to all of us. But it is your body; I shouldn’t have any say in how you choose to decorate it. Hell, my tattoo quotes a movie that was made in 1961, so I can’t judge you for your outdated cultural references. I’m considering two more right now that are both in Latin, which is arguably one of the most pretentious things a person can do. And the fact that I’m even talking about my tattoo online to a bunch of strangers right now has turned me into the showoff guy I just ranted against. Damn it.
9. Being proud of the fact that they “aren’t a reader”
As a man whose dream house includes an airplane hangar-sized, Beauty and the Beast-esque library, you make no sense to me. You’re proud that you don’t open yourself to a major source of beauty and ideas and brilliance? I’m not saying you need to dive into Tolstoy (I’m halfway through Anna Karenina for the first time right now, the man was a master), but come on. There’s so much out there. Here, I’ll even help you get started: Pick up Errol Flynn’s autobiography, My Wicked, Wicked Ways. The man was far from being a saint, but damn if he wasn’t entertaining. If you can read through that book without enjoying yourself, we have a 0% chance of ever getting along as human beings. I’m firm in my stance on this one. To quote John Waters, “We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.”
10. Sharing too many details of their life on the internet
You are what’s wrong with this country, this generation, and this world. To think you’re so important that the rest of us actually care about the pictures of your kid and the brain farts of “wisdom” that spew from your fingertips? Please. Social media is the simplest form of thinly veiled, self-serving narcissism. Learn how to play things close to the chest, because privacy is invaluable in today’s world.
.. but I just typed this entire article, which gave out a decent number of personal details. I’ve written before on this site about my chest hair and my experience meeting a pretty girl. Both of those articles contain more information about me than any of you actually care about. If this article gets published, I’ll probably post it to Facebook and tell all my friends to read my clever, intelligent writing. Meaning everything I just wrote bashing the over-sharer applies to me.
My name is Kevin Wright, and I’m part of the problem.