Six Keys to Being a Gentleman
I've written before about my Uncle Wolfgang and his life advice. Six more (loosely paraphrased) diamonds from him:
1. "If you're having a discussion and someone proves you wrong, admit it immediately and do so without sulking. If possible, laugh at yourself good-naturedly. Very few men can do this, but it is an important tool. Nothing defines a true gentleman as much as the ability to concede he’s mistaken.”
2. "Some men will say women are impossible to understand. Those men are lazy. The secret is to make friends with women, whether or not they are your paramours. You can never have too many female friends; they will teach you everything."
3. "You may begin to smoke cigars at university but I would not recommend a pipe until you're a father with children."
4. "Never be afraid to admit ignorance. If your friends take you to the museum and there's a Picasso exhibit, say 'I know so little about Picasso but I'm dying to know more.' People are so hungry to teach. Even if you do know a lot about Picasso, pretend you know less than you do — it will work out better for everyone."
5. "It's better to have a drab suit with magnificent shoes than the opposite. Invest in a good blazer, but don’t dry clean it too often.”
6. "You may not be able to avoid hurting a woman’s feelings, but you can always avoid humiliating her. I will understand if you break someone's heart (as yours will surely be broken) but I will be deeply disappointed in you if you cause her public embarrassment."