15. Be slapped by a woman:
This may seem out of place on a list such as this but I actually had an argument with a friend of mine years ago about this. He had married his High School sweetheart when he was 18 and never dated anyone else. They are still married to this day. So when we talked about our “wild times” he’d tell me about the fight he got into on the jungle gym in 5th grade, and I’d tell him about the women who had slapped me. He had never in his life been slapped by a woman, and I maintained then as I do today, that you aren’t a man until a woman has slapped you. It’s a rite of passage much like circumcisions, or having your teeth blunted in other societies. I usually got slapped out of frustration and only once because of something I said something (I called a then girlfriend a bitch) but in my defense she was one. Anyways it’s hard to come back as a couple after one of you has physically assaulted the other. So go ahead and get it out of the way with someone there is no hope of spending the rest of your life with. Plus it’ll make you more appreciative of women that don’t slap you.
14. Record yourself drunk dialing an ex:
This is not only a must so you know how you sound after you’ve been drinking, and thus why all the girls at the bar stared at you blankly while you were chatting them up. It is also a good tool to use if you ever want to quit drinking. Ever been in a social situation where you are so beyond embarrassed for another person that you were actually mortified for them? Well imagine an out of body experience where it’s you that you are mortified for. Yep that’s you actually saying that crap and that’s your voice shaking, and that’s what you sound like on the verge of tears. Ain’t pretty is it? Not to mention the head ache the next morning and the fact that you are actually considering shaving your tongue instead of brushing your teeth. And be assured that she probably recorded it too. So not only is your wild emotional near psychotic break going to be played back in your mind over and over again, all of her friends will hear it to! Which negates any shot you ever had the one hot friend she had. The one who outwardly and passionately hated you, but you knew secretly wanted you. Because that was the only reasonable explanation of someone hating you so much.
13. Try the impossibility of “friends with benefits“:
This is such a classic fiasco that everyone knows about it, yet few of us undertake it. The legend of it is so well known that Seinfeld dedicated an episode to it. Elaine and Jerry decide to hook up with “rules” and it blew up when Elaine wanted more, and to my knowledge the subject was never readdressed in later episodes. Imagine something so entangling that Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld couldn’t write their way out of it! The only resolution to friends with benefits is marriage, death, or to be ostracized from a mutual social group whether voluntarily or by force if necessary. If you are indeed friends, then of course you have mutual friends, and any “break up” makes it necessary for people to choose side. But if you are good friends and attracted to one another you’d be stupid not to try it, but do it while you are young and can still recover from the social stigma that will be associated with you for at least a year. I once heard of a rumored case where a friends with benefits “couple” mutually decided to end the “benefits” part, and actually remained friends. But it supposedly happened on a nudist unicorn ranch in a galaxy far, far away. So don’t hold out any hope that it will work out that well for you.
12. At least one food challenge:
Ever watch Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel? Where Adam Richman eats insanely hot wings or an entire pizza in which one slice is the equivalent to the size of a baby? I have and I love it. Attempting to eat a 64 ounce steak is near the top of my bucket list. Which makes my bucket list incredibly pathetic but hey it’s my bucket list! Well what you rarely see is the carnage that takes place after you eat 12 wings coated in Jalapeños dust and Ghost pepper juice. Let’s just say it sounds like the funniest sound effect joke an 8 year old Michael Winslow with tourette syndrome would tell you if he was allowed. The trick is, a friend from El Salvador told me the day after a jalapeno eating contest, too eat ice cream before you go to bed. The ice cream supposedly has teflon like properties. Let’s just say what goes in hot comes out hotter somehow and with a force that would make a NASCAR mechanic jealous.
11. Mardi Gras:
This could go into the Spring break category or even road trip category but I think it deserves its own spot. Mardis Gras is basically an all you can eat buffet of over indulgence. There are trays of alcohol and sex lined up as far as the eye can see, under the proverbial sneeze guard. And the buffet is in a room where the legal capacity is 200 but there are 1000 people squeezed in it. So do it while you are young and, A.) You have the energy to get in a fight and win. B. Don’t care. You are constantly bumping into or squished up against other people and contrary to what you think you’ve learned from the girls gone wild commercials, they aren’t all attractive or for that matter, they aren’t necessarily girls despite what they look like. On the bright side they are wild. If you go after you’ve settled down you’ll be constantly defending your partners honor, only to be interrupted by the incessant need to Purell yourself.
10. Spring break before you are 28:
What ever part of the country you’re in they have a nearby spring break city. Go there after you graduate college and have a little money from working, but don’t wait to do it until after you are twenty eight years old. If you are over twenty eight then you are just the creepy old guy that will buy drinks. Under twenty eight and you are the cool guy who actually graduated and found a job, but is still young enough to have fun. Not to mention you’ll be in demand by the kind girls the likes of which you’ll never have a shot at again. At least not under normal circumstances. If you win the lottery or are the heir to the Seagram’s fortune you may have a shot at them but trust me it won’t be nearly as sincere.
9. Become obsessed with a video game:
I am aware that there are not as many Tiger Woods fans as there used to be. But when Tiger Woods video game first came out I became obsessed with it. Thankfully I was already divorced which was a two fold blessing. I got to play my video game for 24 hours straight, and she wasn’t around me anymore EVER! Unfortunately playing a video game for 24 hours straight takes time away from your real life and eventually becomes an issue of hygiene. So do it while there is no lawn to mow and no one there to care what you smell like.
8. Go see a movie alone:
Ever hear a couple sitting near you in a movie theater talking? To me this is one of the biggest most intrusive social sins you can commit without being behind the wheel of a car. Well here’s a little secret. If they are over forty he’s asking what was just said. If they are under forty and it’s an action adventure movie he’s explaining it to her because she’s asking questions. If it’s a romance then she’s explaining it to him because he’s asking questions like “Why did he buy her flowers? They’re already married!” And if it’s Sex and the City 2 and she’s explaining because he’s asking questions they have bigger problems because he’s gay. There is nothing like watching a movie alone and not having to worry about explaining it, having it explained, sharing your popcorn or the coke you spiked with the little bottle of airplane rum you snuck in. It is in a word bliss.
7. Have Fast Food for Dinner often:
A Big Mac for dinner in front of the TV watching Sports Center is akin to heaven in my book. I can no longer do it, now that I’m in my mid forties. Because in my early thirties my metabolism decided it hated me and quit working. Not slow down it just quit working altogether. Not to mention that every time I bite into a Big Mac now, which is about once a year, I just know I’m going to have a heart attack. Which trust me diminishes the joy of a Big Mac greatly. Also please drink a real coke with it, one that has real sugar. When your metabolism quits and you are gagging down those disgusting diet cokes that leave that filmy after taste in your mouth, you’ll long for the day when you could ingest calorie after glorious calorie and somehow still lose weight.
6. Become obsessed with a hobby:
Go ahead and choose one while you’re young, because you’ll regret you didn’t take up your obsession earlier when you get older. When you are young and in better shape your back doesn’t hurt for three days afterwards. There are 5 main categories to choose from. 1.) Golf 2.) Fitness (triathlons, marathons) 3.) Model Trains 4.) Woodworking. 5.) Fishing. I chose golf it was a personal preference. It allows me to drink, and the maximum number of people you have to be around is four, and they are usually people of your own choosing. You can also gamble while playing golf and smoke a cigar so you have three vices you can participate in while golfing. That and it allows me to act upon my natuaral dislike of large groups without throwing further suspicion on me regarding my anti-social laenings. Which is true, but on the golf course the foursome rule is in effect and it’s not my fault. That and you get to wear clothes like you did in the 1980’s and the fact it’s considered fashionable is a plus. If I still had a full head of hair I would feather it like I did in the 80’s. I have friends who fish which is ok. If you go out the boat in perfect weather, and you can drink a beer or two while doing it then it’s fine. However it’s impossible to drink while fly fishing. Woodworking breaks a personal rule I have regarding myself and power tools. Model trains are just too dorky in my book. If I didn’t play with them when I was a kid why would I now? Plus you find that most model train enthusiast are anal retentive. I tried the fitness route for a year in my early twenties but found holding a beer while jogging difficult at best. I now have 3 sets of perfectly good golf clubs and numerous putters and drivers, although I only ever use one set. I can’t even go to a garage sell where golf clubs are present because I’ll buy them. But choose wisely once you are in a committed relationship your time with your obsession will be greatly diminished. The bright spot is if you give up your hobby entirely you may be able to extort the occasional pity sex from your loved one for three months or so. So maybe consider taking up all five categories. Ask a married guy why.
5. Travel overseas:
I grew up overseas so this was a constant for me. I learned more with 100 Deutsche Marks and a Eurail pass over a long weekend than I did in four years at college, OK 5 ½ years at college. Meeting different cultures and interacting with their people makes you a more tolerant person when it comes to individuals. Which you will definitely need in the work place. And it allows you a frame of reference when discussing different cultures and how they interact. It also makes you more tolerant of others hygiene issues, which trust me again you, will definitely need in your work environment eventually. And don’t go to McDonalds, even though they sell beer there, go to where the locals hang out. The food and company is better and usually cheaper. The food not the company.
4. Sleep on the beach:
Who cares if there’s a perfectly good hotel room 500 yards away. Take a blanket, a pillow, and a woman if you can find a willing one, and head down to the beach. There’s nothing like waking up to the sound of seagulls and watching the sunrise over the water. Granted I’ve never woken up to that with out a hangover thanks to my ingrained puritanical DNA that is only suspended after a drink or ten but I’m glad I did it. I can no longer do this upon doctors orders. Don’t worry it’s not a going problem it’s a growing problem, I’ll be fine.
3. Grow a beard:
When you get involved in a serious relationship your appearance is no longer just a reflection upon you but upon your significant other. So if you want a beard/goatee/Magnum PI mustache, now’s the time to do it. Also many employers frown upon facial hair so you have the, no facial hair double whammy. Assuming you do grow a pair and decide to grow a beard despite what your better half says, your employer might not allow it.
2. Road trip:
Every guy should experience the feeling and anticipation of the open road at least once. The ability to just take off and go, with no real agenda or schedule is one of the most liberating things in life. So find a friend or two and just head out with a vague destination and no real plan. Go see the world’s largest ball of twine, or stop at that biker bar/BBQ joint that you won’t be able to when you have a wife and kids along. If you see a golf course along the highway stop and play. Trust me I’ve been on many business trips between appointments and have passed a golf course that looks great and no one is on it. How I wish I could just pull over and take 4 hours to play.
1. Get your ex-girlfriend out of your system:
Be it a High School or college sweetheart go ahead and call them up and meet them again. Trust me when I say if you don’t you’ll always wonder and it’ll come back to haunt you. In today’s world of Facebook and Myspace they can find you and vice versa and temptation to just take a gander at their profile will overcome your pathetic excuse of what you laughingly refer to as will power. It’s best to be reminded why you broke up with her in the first place, just in case the scars have healed, and the hair grew back. Or if you are more noble than I, to find out that she’s a Mom and happy in her new life without you…right like that’s possible!