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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guy's Guy's Guide to the 4 Types of Daters You'll Meet Online

Robert Manni - Friday, May 25, 2018


Once upon a time, a guy entered a restaurant. He noticed a pretty lady sitting at the bar. Wanting to meet her, he sauntered over, smiled and introduced himself. “Hi, my name is Lou. Can I buy you a drink?”

She looked him over and smiled back. It doesn’t matter what happened at this point, because the possibilities were endless and many of us lived that scene back in the day. And every now and then something like this still happens. But not so much anymore.

Dating, like everything else, has gotten complicated. Real complicated. Dating used to be a fun sport. Now, too often it’s a combat sport.  And it’s really a jungle out there. So most singles have retreated to the comfy confines of their bedrooms to engage digitally. The first step is downloading the usual dating apps and signing up on dating websites in the hope of finding a compatible, but probably equally confused partner.

When you approach dating online, you’ll need to be sharp and have a strategy to avoid the emotional landmines that lay ahead. And if you pay attention and learn the game, you’ll soon know how to save lots of time and heartache by qualifying your prospects. But if you’re dating online and haven’t figured this out by now, you’ve come to the right place. Your Guy’s Guy is here to help you separate the wheat from the chafe and make the most of your time and efforts while swiping left or right. I went on so many online dates that I learned the hard way how to qualify prospects before investing my time, money, and psychic energy in someone I had up to that first face-to-face encounter only met online. So, here is my GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO DATERS YOU’LL MEET ONLINE.

Drum roll please…

1. The new kids on the block – At one time or another we’ve all been the new kid in the game. We’ve all wasted a few online prospects’ time before they figured out we had not yet figured out how the online game is played. This happens when you begin the process by plinking on your keyboard in your tightey-whiteys in the dark of your bedroom to meeting that straight up stone cold fox in person. She expects your A-game. But it takes a time and finesse to sharpen our online skill set, so let’s not be too hard on the newbies we encounter online. Qualify and if necessary, move on. We’re all rookies in the beginning and that means we probably have been more focused on the shiny object dangling on our phone or computer screen instead of determining who you are, what you want, and what you have to offer a partner. It seems that most online daters miss this first step.

Meeting someone who has never dated online is often a waste of time. In my experience, I met a number of very attractive, intelligent, and pretty cool ladies who had never been on an online date. Rookies tend to have a lot of questions, but few answers. They are often very recently single, separated or divorced. They are dabbling, curious and attentive as they inquire about you. They nod their head as they listen attentively and subconsciously compare you to their last boyfriend or ex-husband.  After a while, they may bring up their two daughters or the fact that their ex–whatever still lives with them or is in constant contact even though he is a douche. So you glance at your watch and realize that this was a waste of your time. She is a newbie who does not know what to expect or what she wants from online dating. It’s an eye-opening experience for her. And that’s perfectly understandable. But, shame on you. Her pretty photos sucked you in without your taking the time to qualify her situation before agreeing to meet. So, you lose and she now knows a little bit more about online dating. Wasn’t that fun? Maybe you thought since she’d been married she was generous in the sack and ready for some sheet rumbling with a new guy. You were being selfish and lazy. I know. I’ve been there, amigo.

But that’s not it. She simply was curious about online dating and you were a vessel to fill in some of the blanks before she moves on and dates another half dozen guys before she has a handle on the online dating game, what she wants out of it, and what she expects in a partner.

My advice is in most situations, try not to be the first dude a newbie dates online. Qualify this prior to meeting up unless there is something special there that really sparks your curiosity. Otherwise pass.

Notice I said, in most situations. When it comes to online dating you might craft your rules to live by, but rules are ultimately meant to be broken. There are always exceptions. Case in point—my wife had been recently separated when she winked at me online. I liked what I saw and read about her. Her personality was refreshing so I took a chance and met her without even a phone call. This was my way of breaking my own rules, two of them. I always wanted a phone call first and I did not want to date recently-separated women. But, like I said; rules are made to be broken. So we met and really enjoyed our date. In fact, we have been together ever since. So, there are exceptions, but before dating an online newbie, use your head. That means the one on top of your shoulders.

2. The jugglers – Also known as players, these attractive men and women treat dating like the game it is. And they know how to play to win. Theses cool cats double- and triple-book their life in the big city and always have a backup plan. They’re usually good-looking (worth mentioning again), well-dressed and coiffed, and usually have a good job. When you meet up, they will eyeball you quickly before judging and labeling you. You might become dinner date material for you business connections, bedroom worthy, a rich guy, or creative type who stimulates their curiosity. It doesn’t matter what category you fall into or how you are labeled because most of all you are a disposable social connection that may or may not fit into the complicated puzzle of their unnecessarily over-complicated lives.

Don’t take it personally. These players move like sharks through the dating pool, devouring those who find their way in their path before they move on. You may think you’re making it with them at first, but the slightest infraction will get you voted off the island.

Now don’t get me wrong. Players are fun and they can be sexy, but remember who you are dealing with and don’t take yourself too seriously. These swingles move very fast and unless you can keep up with their demands and lifestyle, you’ll be jettisoned. And that’s okay as long as you can live with the reality of dating a player who may temporarily position you on top of their love totem pole after you’ve done whatever they expect you to do to get there. And that will probably be expensive, so buyer beware.

3. The lonely – Whether online or offline, there are a lot of lonely people in this world, especially in big cities where the tenderhearted can get overlooked by the more flashy players. You know the type.

She moved to New York from Missouri because she is smart and feisty and wanted that Mary Tyler Moore moment when she throws her hat up in the air. And despite the crime and the grime and the expenses, she is in love with the city. And that makes her vulnerable. She’s a great gal with decent job and a nice, clean apartment with big fluffy towels in her bathroom. But she’s never really gotten accustomed to the often-heartless behavior of urban males who have ghosted, bird-seeded or orbited her. She’s online because she wants to meet a guy and that’s what everyone is doing. She crafts a sincere profile and dutifully checks her emails every night hoping that cute guy she wrote to online will be the real deal. She expects men to behave like gentlemen online. But often, they don’t.

She deserves a man who will step up and date her like her dad wooed her mom. That might not happen. But, welcome to New York, anyway!

My advice. Treat this lady with care. If you meet her and don’t feel the vibe, pick up the tab and move on. Don’t seduce her and disappear because she is vulnerable. If the attraction wanes after a date or two, consider the possibilities of a friendship, unless she thinks you’re an asshole. Regardless, be kind and don’t waste her time or your time just to get laid. Okay?

4. The realists – These are the men and women who put up with all that shit in their mid-level jobs as an expected step in their life’s journey. They want some fun and excitement and hope to meet someone normal online they can date for a while and maybe build a relationship with. Is that so unreasonable? Of course not. This group represents the pig in the python for online daters—savvy millennial, GenY, and X’ers who are doing their best to make their mark in this dysfunctional world the older generation left them with. Thanks a lot, boomers!

These hard-working people are the backbone of society. They deserve a little fun and a good partner. The good news is that most people dating online now, whether make up this group. So if you are a decent person with a sense of humor and a job, you can probably have a great time meeting people online. Online dating is no longer the exception. It’s the norm and you can meet a lot of cool men and women there if you keep your antenna extended and learn how to protect your time, money, and your feelings before falling to one of the many online dating sinkholes. I hope this helps.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is my wife. She spent one weekend during a free trial for an online dating site and dated only one guy who became her husband. That’s impressive. But, so is she. After all, she married a Guy’s Guy.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Supplementation

Robert Manni - Thursday, April 05, 2018


Are you taking more meds than supplements? If the answer is yes, you might consider flipping the script.

I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one of TV. I’m a Guy’s Guy and although I have had real health scares, I’ve learned how to take very good care of myself. Over the past two decades and particularly following two robotic surgeries on my kidneys, I’ve made it my business to research the hell out of taking charge of my health. One of the major learnings is the importance and power of a healthy diet and supplementation. Although it is best to meet our nutritional needs through eating the right foodsorganic whenever possibleit also important to augment specific needs and fill in our nutritional gaps with all-natural organic, raw supplements.

I won’t brag about how much energy I have or how healthy I feel, because I know anything can happen at any time. I thought I was healthy four years ago before my surgeries. Those surgeries sucked, but they were a wake up call. I got through them with flying colors and never looked back. My surgeon told me that my healthy lifestyle and fitness levels were positive factors in my quick recovery.

When I go for my annual check and MRI, I’m asked what meds I take. I tell the nurses I don’t take anything. They usually arch an eyebrow and ask me again because they don’t believe me. So, I tell them I take turmeric so they’ll have something to write down. Turmeric is an all-natural dietary supplement. That’s the kind of meds I take.

In the opinion of your Guy’s Guy, it’s important to consider mixing supplements into your dietary planif you even have one. Again, this is what I do. I’m not suggesting that my choices are necessarily right for you. Do your own research and make your choices. Some studies say supplements are a waste of money. But before taking that to the bank, consider the study and the source of funding for any studies concerning your health and diet. I’ll share what I’ve learned and what works for me. Then it’s up to you, amigo, to do what works best for you.

So let’s get to it. Here is my GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO SUPPLEMENTS

1. Raw One for Men – If I were limited to one supplement, this multivitamin would be my choice. These capsules are filled with organic fruit and vegetable blend featuring beets, broccoli, carrot, spinach, tomato, ginger root, red cabbage, tart cherry, Brussels sprouts, celery, probiotics and enzymes, and on and one. They also offer a women’s version. It’s a raw, whole food based dietary supplement that is easy to absorb and chock full of all the vitamins our bodies need including A, C, D, E, K, etc. There are other good brands out there, but I like this one. It covers it all for me and it’s raw. I take one a day.

2. Pure Turmeric (Curcumin with Black Pepper Extract) – Turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant supplement made from a root. The one I take is “standardized” for high potency and includes all-important black pepper to facilitate the body’s absorption. Studies suggest it is good for liver health, skin care, anti-oxidants, and depression. Do your research before making your choice of a brand and dosage. I take one 750mg capsule a day.

3. Vitamin C 1000mg – Ascorbic acid consumption is not to be overdone, and it is best when ingested through foods, but if you do not eat enough fruits and veggies, one 1000mg’s of organic vitamin C tablet is a solid choice. If I am on the go and do not have a morning shake with Camu Camu powder (raw powder with a mega-dose of natural vitamin C), then I take one of these.

4. Bromelain - Inflammation has been proven to be a primary cause of autoimmune diseases and general sickness. Wellness and nutritional experts recommend we eat foods and supplements that offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Bromelain is also considered helpful for joint health and arthritis. I take one tab a day.

5. Raw Vitamin D- Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin, and we all need a little sunshine. Nowadays, many people either stay out of the sun or cover themselves with sun block do to the Sun’s power ultraviolet rays. Many studies have shown that taking an all-natural vitamin D supplement helps insure we get enough of this mission critical vitamin. The Garden of Life raw version I like is made from a raw fruit and vegetable blend with high omega cracked-wall chlorella and probiotics. I take one 2,000 IU tablet per day.

6. Saw Palmetto Extract – This is for guys. It’s an all-natural herbal supplement that helps with male prostrate health by shrinking the prostate lining. That keeps the prostate in check because it grows slowly and over time can push against a man’s urinary track, forcing us dudes to pee during the night. I take one 320mg gel cap a day.

7. Cold Pressed Organic Flaxseed Oil – We all need omega 3. The most popular forms for supplementation consist of fish oil or flaxseed. I choose flaxseed because to me choosing the right fish oil can feel random. Flaxseed promotes heart health, healthy skin, hair and nails, while supporting the immune system. I take one gel cap a day.

8. Double Strength L-Arginine and Pine Bark Extract – The combination of these two supplements is good for guys. The combination of one pine bark and two L-arginine tablets helps increase blood flow, which is good for men’s sexual health and athletic performance. Better blood flowing, more oxygen, and better boing.

9. Probiotics – Probiotics aid the production of healthy gut bacteria. Studies show that 80% of Americans suffer from a Candida overgrowth of gut flora. Probiotics pour billions of healthy bacteria into our digestive tract that gobble up the Candida that can lead to autoimmune diseases. The gut has been proven to be our second brain so anything we do to keep it in top shape helps us stay healthy.

I take two types: Saccharomyces Boulardii + MOS – a high potency probiotic that supports intestinal tract and survives passage through the stomach and its acids. It features one strain.  Jarro- Dophilus is another brand that includes eight strains.  Do your research to find the right mix for you. I take one of each a day.

10. Mega Hydrate- These tablets or powder are designed to unlock the potential of water as the medium for nutrient replenishment and waste removal at the cellular level. This helps capture antioxidants that can die quickly. It comes in a compressed powder for hydration and antioxidants.

Although there are myriad of supplements to choose from, this is my take and selections. After years of research with my wife, I created this go-to list of supplements. I believe it suits my needs, you may find other options that work for you. Whatever you decide to do, choose organic, raw, natural supplements. They are the purest and contain raw fruit and vegetables as their foundation.

Things have changed, amigo. It is foolhardy to buy and consume only what they sell in boxes and cans down the aisles in supermarkets or at chain restaurants. These goods are marketed to maximize corporate profit at the lowest cost. There is nothing wrong with companies making money, but from my experience working for major food corporations, these companies only change what they offer when consumers demand it.

That’s why we are seeing more and more non-GMO, organic, and healthy versions of old standby products we’ve consumed since we were kids. But nutritionally speaking, we have a long, long way to go. So for now, I take supplements to ensure I get all the nutrients my body needs to keep it healthy and strong.

I’m here to help by sharing my experiences, but ultimately, it’s up to you to take care of yourself.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Jalen Brunson, AP Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year. Why? I listened to him being interviewed the morning after Villanova won its second NCAA championship in three years. The reporter asked him if he would feast on Philly cheese steaks now the season was over. Brunson hesitated before saying, “I don’t know about that. I need to keep eating healthy.” Yeah, mon!

The Guys' Guy's Guide to the Perfect Breakfast Smoothie

Robert Manni - Saturday, March 24, 2018

Does your breakfast usually consist of bacon, eggs, buttered toast and coffee? Or, if you are on the go, how does an Egg McMuffin, a blueberry muffin, or a venti latte sound? If you're nodding your head, you are not alone. Too many of us are in too much of a hurry to get to work in the morning to eat a proper breakfast.

With that in mind I’ve laid down the pillars of a terrific-tasting and ultra nutritious morning shake that you can set up the night before. This way when you climb out of bed the next day all you’ll have to do is turn on your blender for thirty second to start your day the right way with a supercharged great tasting shake. This is an aggregation of my many years of mixing and matching ingredients in search of building a highly nutritious, yummy-tasting perfect morning smoothie.

All you hardware you’ll need to get started is a good blender. I use the Vita Mix 5200 and it’s never failed me. Then you want to add the best ingredients for a Guy’s Guy health and taste buds. Initially you’ll want to invest in the highest quality organic ingredients, but if you buy these ingredients in bulk, making these shakes are affordable, and definitely less expensive than daily splurges at a high-end coffee boutique. After downing one of my shakes my hunger is satiated for the next four to five hours so it works for me. And I hope it tastes great and works for you. I’ll spell out a long list of the ingredients I like and their benefits, but you can mix and match as you choose. There are no hard and fast rules here.

It’s shake time so let’s get started, amigo. And whether you are a guy or a gal, I think you will enjoy my Guys’ Guy’s Guide to the Perfect Breakfast Smoothie.

1. Organic Coconut water – The perfect ingredient for enhanced hydration. I pour in about a half cup.

2. Almond or coconut milk – Too much dairy is not great for you because dairy creates mucus and has limited health benefits compared to organic almond and coconut milk. A half-cup is recommended.

3. Pasteurized organic yogurt – Not mission critical, but a tablespoon adds a nice creaminess to the mix. Yes, I realize this is dairy, but it’s only a spoonful and the yogurt is high in protein.

4. Maca root powder – Considered a superfood, this powder helps fights stress while it bolsters energy and vitality. It helps build muscle and also helps women with PMS symptoms. Add one teaspoon.

5. Fresh organic fruit (banana, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries) – No one can argue with the massive taste difference between organic and non-organic fruits and berries. Besides, when you choose organic you are not ingesting all the pesticides sprayed onto our fruits. It may cost you a bit more, but it’s your health we’re talking about here, amigo. I break off a chunk of banana, and grab a few small handfuls of berries--preferably blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.

Berries are a great source of fiber and digestive help. They also are great sources of ellagic acid, a cancer-fighting antioxidant. Bananas add calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B6. This fresh fruit makes up the core of the shake. I know, fruits have sugar, but they’re also packed with vitamins and have a helluva lot less sugar than those amped up coffees everyone drinks.

6. Organic Camu Camu – This powder has more vitamin C than any fruit, by far. In fact, one teaspoon of this is equivalent to eating fifty oranges. And you get all the vitamins without the absorbic acid from a tablet. It is also anti-viral and aids with stress reduction, brain functioning, and inflammation. Good stuff. Use a small teaspoon.

7. Raw Organic Cacao powder – Where do I begin? This chocolaty brown powder provides forty times the antioxidants of blueberries, more calcium than cow’s milk, lots of iron and magnesium for heart and brain health, and it’s a natural anti-depressant. A teaspoon is fine.

8. Chia seeds – Another super food. These gritty little seeds are loaded with protein, fiber, omega 3s, manganese, magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, niacin, and potassium. I let a teaspoon of seeds soak in the liquid in the blender to softened them up and ease with their digestion.

9. Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi powder) – A medicinal Ayurvedic plant is considered a nerve tonic and protector of memory, the brain, and our intellect while promoting youth and vitality. I suggest starting with less than a teaspoon because it is not easy to digest. It took me a few tries to get used to how it worked with my digestive system. And it has a slightly bitter taste. If your system can handle it, it is purported to work wonders.

10. Goji berries – These tasty red berries are considered cancer-fighters that also help the immune functions with loads of anti-oxidants. They also help the skin, eyes, liver, blood sugar, fertility and energy. I throw a small handful into the blender.

11. Ashagandha powder – Another anti-cancer Ayurvedic powder that helps monitor blood sugar levels, reduces cortisol, helps reduce stress, depression, and anxiety while enhancing fertility in men. I suggest a level teaspoon.

12. Pinnicale of Wellness Ultimate Organic Green Super Food powder – To ensure that I get my daily intake of chlorella, spirulina and other raw organic ingredients including barley, probiotics, acai berry, flax seed, wheat grass, parsley, thistle seed, cilantro leaf, and alfalfa. It comes in a tasty berry flavored powder. I toss a level scoop of it into the shake.

14. Fresh lime - I enhance the tartness of the shake’s flavor with a squeeze of organic lime, which is good for urinary and respiratory issues, constipation, digestion, and weight loss.

15. Organic vanilla – Last, but not least, I add a few small drops if organic vanilla extract to my shake to enhance the flavor and help me with its antimicrobial and analgesic properties, and ability to inhibit cell mutation.

Now it’s time to throw in some ice and blend the concoction for thirty seconds. Boom. You’re done. I also swallow a handful of raw vitamins and supplements with the shake, but that’s a personal choice and fodder for another blog post.

I covered a lot of ingredients here, but I assure you that you’re making a tremendously tasty and satisfying breakfast shake that will power you through any morning activity that beckons. Of course you do not need to include all of these ingredients in every shake, but I do, and there is something to be said for consistency for building championships. Take it from your Guy’s Guy—this is the real deal. It’s a healthy liquid breakfast that you can drink on the go and quickly become a morning ritual. Cheers!

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Stephen Poplawski who invented the blender in 1922. A colleague of Poplawski approached Fred Waring in 1936 with the concept and the Waring blender was soon launched.    

Should You Message an Older Woman a Second Time if She Doesn't Respond?

Robert Manni - Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Note: This is a sponsored post for BeyondAges.com, written by Keenan Cruz

One of the drawbacks to dating apps is the mental aspect. Unless the conversation is rolling quickly, we spend so much time in our own heads. Agonizing over the details, wondering what she meant by that phrase or what she’s up to.

Perhaps the hardest one to figure out is what to do if she doesn’t reply. Do you just leave her be and move on? Should you send another message “just in case”? It’s a difficult one because emotions can get in the way, so let’s take an objective look at it.

To message or not to message, that is the question

Ultimately the answer here depends on the method of communication. There are different expectations and possibilities depending on how you’re chatting up an older woman looking for younger men. Let’s take a closer look at each of these below assuming you have already done the work in properly building your digital dating presence.

Dating apps

With apps like Tinder and Bumble, a big part of the attraction is relative anonymity. Sure, your name and photos are there but if you unmatch someone that’s the end of it.

This tends to bring with it the expectation of low commitment from both parties. If you’re busy and don’t have time to reply until tomorrow that’s absolutely fine. Likewise, if you don’t feel like talking to a match anymore, there’s no expectation you continue. Nobody should be offended by this, it’s just how the apps work.

Of course she has the right to do exactly the same without repercussion. If you don’t receive a response from her after a particular message, my advice would be to leave it alone. Move on to someone/something else and let her be. Even if you could wrangle a bit more conversation, is that really what you want? To draw out chatter from someone disinterested?

If it’s a match you were particularly interested in, the voice in your head may be trying to convince you otherwise. I’ve been there. The self-doubt makes you wonder “what if she’s just busy and forgot to reply?” “If I send her a quick message, maybe that’ll remind her.”

Maybe that voice is right but unfortunately, it’s unlikely. Perhaps spend a little time seeing where you could have improved, if anywhere. Sometimes people just don’t click and that’s okay.

All of this is especially true if you’re early in conversation. If there have only been a few messages back and forth and there’s been no reply, move on.

Dating websites

Most dating websites focus more on the pursuit of long-term relationships than a quick fling. This changes some of the rules and expectations but not when it comes to when a woman stops responding.

You may be able to get away with a brief follow-up message since users can be a little less blasé about the whole thing. With that said, my advice is no different here — leave it be and move on to something else.

First though, you have to make sure you are only spending time on the top rated dating sites for meeting cougars. Luckily we’ve done the homework for you on that front.

Text messages

It doesn’t matter if you’ve successfully escalated from Tinder to text message or exchanged numbers at the bar. Either way, once you’ve reached this stage you can consider it a sign of mild commitment.

This doesn’t mean you necessarily owe each other anything but expectations do change. By this point you already know a bit about each other and have decided there’s mutual interest.

From this point on I find conversation to be much easier. First impressions are already made, I have a clear sign of interest and I can relax a little more. It also means that if she decides she isn’t interested, she’s most likely going to tell me.

What that means is getting no response now is more likely to be because she’s busy than flat out disinterested. If it’s been a day or two without a reply, go ahead and follow up with another message. Be sure to keep it short and for everyone’s sake, if you get no response from the second message — move on.

Think about it this way. Maybe she’s just away on vacation or broke her phone. If she goes to reply a week later and sees 17 pleading messages, you’re making the “crazy clinger” category. No more than two messages!

Dating agency

If you’re the dating-agency type, the advice can vary a little depending on the setup. Since every agency runs slightly different, it’ll depend on how you communicate with your dates.

When it’s through their website, then the “Dating Apps” section above applies to you. When you’re given a number or exchange them after a date, the section above is going to be the most applicable.

As I mentioned in the beginning, how you handle these situations depends on the method of communication. Exactly how you came to make the connection is far less important.

After a date

I’ll be honest. If you had your first date a few days ago and she’s ignored you since then, it’s not a good sign and you may not have followed our advice for meeting an online connection for the first time. Unless you know she had exams or something going on and would be busy, I’d probably leave this one alone.

The reason she isn’t responding can be hard to determine sometimes. Whatever the reason, don’t beat yourself up about it. Maybe you did say or do something questionable but it’s just as likely she went back to her ex or something.

Trying to figure out what you did wrong isn’t particularly constructive since the answer may be “nothing.” Instead, take advantage of the world we live in. A few more swipes and you’ll have a fresh match, right?

Repeated slow responses

A slow reply here and there is nothing to even analyze. You’re busy, she’s busy and neither of you deserve to feel bad about it. With that said, if you’re texting each other and she takes days to reply every time (with no valid reason in sight), that’s a little different.

Think about the match you were most into. Now think about how excited and eager you were to reply to her. As your interest in someone wanes, so too will the urgency in your replies.

It’s no different for her. Once again, it’s not something to beat yourself up about. The cause may have absolutely nothing to do with you. That doesn’t change the fact very slow replies to every message is a sign she’s just not that keen.

Calling her on it really won’t achieve anything constructive. Instead, I tend to leave the ball in their court if this happens and move on.

For example, I might send her a message like:

“Hey Sarah, I’m away for the weekend but have a few nights free next week. Let me know if you want to go do something through the week”.

She may reply with a rather generic “okay, sounds good” and that’s fine but I’ll leave it there. Now, if I’m reading it wrong and she is keen, she’ll text me. If not, that’s fine too. It’s an easy, low-pressure out for her and it means I’m not trying to carry a reluctant conversation.

How to follow up with a second message

If you’re going to send her a second message, then it’s important you do it the right way. The impression you make is crucial and you don’t want to come across as needy.

First off, as I mentioned above, you want to limit it to one follow-up message and then leave it alone. A daily message for two weeks screams an epic degree of neediness.

Perhaps more importantly, don’t go making her feel bad. Although it might be frustrating to receive no reply, she hasn’t done anything wrong. Choosing not to continue a conversation is her right, as it is yours. You may want to hold her accountable in some way but all it’s going to achieve is making her feel bad. Instead, try to be a little more respectful and just let it go.

Think about it this way, what if she was likely to get in touch with you again in the future? If you made her feel bad about your last interaction do you think she’ll want to go there again? Probably not.


So much of this topic is about patience and mental discipline. In the excitement of meeting someone you really like, it can be hard to wait for a response. It can also be crushing if you don’t get a reply at all.

Whatever happens, remember you’re both complex individuals. You each have a lot going on and slow/no reply isn’t necessarily a reflection on you. Be respectful to both yourself and her and things will be that much easier. You might be surprised who comes back down the track with an explanation.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Staying Fit at Any Age

Robert Manni - Saturday, March 10, 2018


When the temps are in the twenties for the fourth month in a row, who wants to wake up, climb out of bed and hit the gym before 7am?

If your answer is, “Not me”, you are not alone. The more we age the more challenging it is to do the work necessary to maintain our fitness. I’m a boomer with too many friends taking multiple meds, having hip replacements, are overweight, diabetic, and flat out looking and feeling old. It’s understandable. Modern life is stressful. It takes something more than motivation to stay fit. It takes willpower. Motivation comes and goes. Our will is constant, but only if we call on it.

Assuming you have the will required to get into shape, you need a way to get started. That’s where your Guy’s Guy comes into play. And the word “play” is our first lesson. Working out to stay fit needs to be driven by both your will and a sense of “play”. You have to enjoy working out and its benefits to stick with any fitness program. I’m writing this post in mid-March and can honestly state that I know very few peeps that have stuck to their New Year’s fitness resolution. There are too many distractions, work deadlines, bad weather, and excuses available to stray from the course, unless you have that will power to succeed. Although you can call me a douche for crowing about it, I have stuck to my guns, am putting in the work, and it is paying off. And that’s why I’m writing about this. But let’s talk about you and what you can do when you are ready to get back into shape and stay there.

With that I present, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Staying Fit at Any Age.

1. Have a goal – Although you can simply begin working out whenever, it helps to put in some thought beforehand to what you are trying to accomplish. For many it’s weight loss, for others it could be toning up. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, but it helps when you keep that goal etched into your subconscious when you are kicking off your program and when you hit that first plateau. Without a goal it becomes far too easy to find excuses to skip a day or have that scoop of chocolate chip mocha gelato. Having a goal helps you abide.

2. Start slowly – If you have not learned this by now, let me remind you that life is a marathon, not a sprint. When instituting any new fitness program, especially in the dead of winter, the key is to start slowing and build up steadily but slowly. Think about your program as a lifestyle change, not temporary punishment. You also don’t want to hurt yourself by pulling a muscle from trying to do it all in a week or two. Take your time, amigo. It’s a marathon.

3. Be Consistent – If you keep your goal in mind and begin your routine slowly while re-introducing that mind-body connection, you’re off to a good start and ready for your next challenge. That means hitting your workouts consistently. As mentioned, I cannot emphasize enough how often you will be tempted to skip days when you’re getting started. If your body can handle the changes, keep your appointment with yourself and your goal. And, you don’t have to be a slave to the regime. That’s the wrong mindset. Get into a frame of mind where you look forward to your next workout. How can you do that when it’s six in the morning and you look in the mirror and still see blubber hanging over your waist? That’s actually the point. Instead of giving up, this is the time to hunker down and remind yourself this is how championships are won. Yeah! (fist pump). Keep going and think of the payoff. You’re getting trimmer and fit and your partner is going to love it.

4. Rest – Now that you’ve turned your workouts into a scheduled routine and you’ve begun to amp up the resistance, it’s time to listen to your body and reward it with the rest it needs. That does not mean taking a week off. It might mean sleeping in on your off day or switching out weights for cardio when your body and mind are asking for a break from the iron. Rest is always good if you deploy and not exploit it. When you listen to your body and know when to give it a break or a change you’ll run like a finely tuned machine.

5. Use your food for fuel – The best fitness advice I ever received was “abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.” If you don’t believe it, ask any bodybuilder or fitness competitor. You are what you eat and even if you work out like a dog, if you are filling up your body with bad fuel, you will have problems reaching and maintaining your goals. If you have committed yourself to a fitness regime, do yourself a favor and be careful with your intake of booze, simple carbs, and sugar. I also suggest avoiding processed and fried foods if you want to lose weight. Any boomer will tell you how hard it is to get back in shape and shed the pounds after you fall out of shape.

6. Shake up your routine – If you’re like me you probably create a routine and keep doing the same thing workout after workout. I’ve been fighting this tendency for years. It prevents me from maximizing the work I’m putting in at the gym. It’s critical to mix things up now and then. I recently discovered Dan Millman’s Peaceful Warrior Four Minute Workout and I love it. It’s a combination of 15 movements that you do in order to unlock energy and unleash your power. You can find it online. I recently begun to include it before my workouts, and if I have a rest day I put in the four minutes to run through this routine of stretches and twists. It really helps. Other ways you can break up the monotony are running outdoors instead of using the elliptical or taking a class or doing a high intensity workout now and then instead of pumping iron. The more variety of muscles you include on your workouts the fitter you become.

7. Win the mental game – It’s easy to give up when the results are not coming as fast as you’d like them to. But, don’t give up. Never give up. It’s too damn easy to quit and you’ll kick yourself when you pack it in and order that bacon cheeseburger and a couple of beers. If you want the results, you’ll need to maintain some discipline and keep up the fight even on the days you don’t feel like it. That’s how championships are won. You can do it if you want it bad enough. That’s’ up to you, amigo, but I have faith in you.

This week’s Guy’s Guy (Gal) of the Week is Harlem’s own Ida Keeling, who is 102 years old. She recently set a new world’s record fo0r the 60-yard dash event in the 100-104 age group at the Imperial Dade Track Classic in Manhattan.

How Learning to Navigate Change Will Help You Succeed in Dating

Robert Manni - Monday, February 26, 2018


What happened to men? Nobody knows what they are doing anymore—especially the men.

There's no denying that women are on the rise and finally getting the recognition they’ve long deserved. The future is about the ascension of women and they are not going to take crap from men, especially those in power any more. But, that is not bad news for guys. If you are a real man, a Guys Guy if you will, there has never been a better time for dating. Women want the world to be a place where both men and women stand side by side and win. And that’s a very good thing. But right now, there is a communication chasm between the sexes. With all the changes and the #MeToo movement, many men don’t know who they are or how to act with women. Our culture is changing and if guys don’t learn how to adapt, it will seriously impact their ability to attract women and build relationships. Today’s women are shaking up the world and making things happen so understandably, they want to date men who know who they are, what they want, and focused on becoming the best they can be.

Let’s first acknowledge that men have an identity problem.

With their overdue recognition and all the success women are experiencing today many men find themselves out of touch, falling behind or out of sight. Men are at a crossroads in how they see themselves and how they fit in. A lot of guys’ masculinity is caught somewhere between the MMA and manscaping, and that’s no place to be. We are facing a male crisis and it’s up to men to evolve so women will appreciate and respect them. The good news is women are on men’s side. They want men to succeed. So fellas, it’s up to us do whatever needs to be done to get back in the game. Here are a few suggestions to help men be their best and become more attractive to women as people and potential partners.

1. Celebrate women

Men need to realize that women are not the enemy. They should support women's achievements in the workplace and throughout our society. A real man wants his partner to succeed and shows pride in her success. This is a quality that today’s women seek out. Men need to learn how to celebrate women. Women’s ascension and recognition is not a threat. It’s actually very good for men. With women taking on more of the heavy lifting and financial responsibilities, men are free to grow in other areas, including their education, spirituality, emotional intelligence and things they can do for their partner beyond providing for them financially. Today’s women are offering men this gift. It’s up to men to accept it and work on themselves. That’s seems like a good deal to me.

2. Go inside

It's an old adage, but the answers do come from within. The media is constantly bombarding us with fear and worry. Media and its forms of messaging intrudes into our subconscious so it distracts and hypnotizes us. For today’s men to maintain a true sense of self they need to learn how to "tune into themselves and tune out the noise." Although some men are exploring spirituality, holistic practices for optimal health, ways of getting in touch with themselves, the vast majority of following this path are still women. It’s time for guys to take that trip inside to learn what makes them tick and what is most important in life and to the women they love. Energetic practices including Reiki, hypnosis, meditation, tai chi, yoga, and even calligraphy are a few of the disciplines that show positive effects on men's self-knowledge and wellbeing. Women are good at sensing and reading energy, and a man with balanced, positive energy sends the right message to potential partners. But it’s an inside job.

3. Eat to win.

The benefits of cleaning up one’s body shows up many ways. Cutting back or eliminating habits like smoking, alcohol, red meat, preservatives, GMO's, dairy, and sugar not only improve a man’s physical well being, it also increases his mental clarity and his appearance. Autoimmune diseases begin in the gut, which is proven to work as our second brain. That means making the right choices when it comes to food and drink. Diet is an issue that many men overlook.

Too many guys still eat and drink the way they did in college. Men in their thirties are for the first time being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s symptoms which arguably due to diet and stress. . Unfortunately, many men still eat what tastes good rather than what's good for them. As a result, many men are becoming obese and breaking down much earlier nowadays. This is not sexy. Back pain, hip replacements, etc. take their toll on how a guy feels and appears to the opposite sex. Men prefer fit women and so it’s fair that women want men fit and capable of dealing with modern life’s challenges. Guys, evolving your diet as you age is critical to your appearance and mental fitness. Even modest change in diet has benefits. If you take care of yourself in a responsible way, and that does not mean you have to be a bodybuilder, women will respect your effort and find you more attractive.

4. A man is more than his job.

Many men define themselves solely by their jobs title and weekly paycheck. Sure, the economy's tough and we need that cash to keep us rolling in the style we’re accustomed to, but in today there is no job security. Jobs and titles change and most eventually fade away, leaving many men alone, and depressed with an identity crisis. So yes, money counts, but for a man to be truly successful and as attractive as possible to women, it's important for a man to know and love the guy he’ll spending the rest of your days with—himself.

No matter how smart or successful a man is, it's game over when he thinks he knows everything. Education keeps men on point and there are infinite opportunities for men to feed their minds and nurture their souls. Take a class, read a book, study a language, learn an instrument, practice yoga. Life is short. Take the time to do what strokes your passion. Discover the things that bring you joy. The more a man learns the more curious he becomes and the more interesting he will be to his partner. Knowledge is sexy.

Our world is changing, but there has never been a better time to be a man. Women are watching us closely, and I assure you that they are seeking qualities in their men beyond the size of their wallet and biceps. Men and abs help, but ultimately, today’s women want to date guys who know themselves and maintain a curiosity and passion for life. When a man develops these qualities, it definitely shows. And if men recognize and respect women, they can become very desirable to the ladies.

It's up men to take advantage of the resources available to live as vibrantly as possible. If guys make the effort to accept change and work on themselves, lots of available, intelligent and attractive women will be there to welcome them with open arms.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Valentine's Day

Robert Manni - Monday, February 12, 2018


Valentine’s Day is a day most guys dread. It’s commercial, pressure packed, and commercially exploitative.

If you’re single, you’ll feel left out. If you’re in a relationship, you’re running around at last minute looking for a cool gift for your lover. That’s not very romantic. But it doesn't have to be that way. What can a Guy’s Guy do to make this annual task of love work for you? The answer is to get out of the equation. Check your ego and make February 14th day all about your partner. If you personalize the day for her, you’ll get more satisfaction than you could hope for. Here are three Guy’s Guy hacks for turning this challenging into a day you truly celebrate.

1. Tried and true ideas can work if they are not the expected. Dinners, flowers, chocolates, jewelry, champagne, and lingerie have been the standard bearers. If you customize them, there is nothing wrong with choosing any or all of the above. If that’s the case, what separates a champion from a chump comes down to one thing— paying attention, personalizing the gift, and choosing something that first pleases your partner.

On Valentine’s Day, and on any day, women love receiving flowers. But, contrary to popular thinking, not every woman considers a dozen red roses her first choice. As you know, women have particular tastes about everything, and preferences for flowers are no exception. To make your choice special, find out which flowers she prefers ahead of time, even if you need to ask her friends.

2. When love is new, fan the flames. If you want to get intimate with a woman for the first time you are probably considering buying lingerie in the hopes that she’ll wear it for you on Valentine’s Day. But pause before picking out something small and red and just for you. She’s more than aware that you want her to give you the show. But unless she’s given you a big hint about recreational activities for Valentine’s Day, your Guy’s Guy says DO NOT buy her lingerie for Valentine’s Day if you haven’t been to bed with her yet. Take your time and don’t make her feel like she’s under pressure about getting it on with you on Valentine’s Day. If you want to get her in bed, there are other less obvious ways than buying her lingerie. Start by being thoughtful and unpredictable. Keep her off balance, be romantic, and use the element of surprise. Pick up tickets for that show she wanted to see, cook her a special dinner, or take her to that place she mentioned in passing or to somewhere she’s always wanted to go. The little things will get you over the top, amigo.

And instead of buying a big, red printed card with a long rhyming message, pick put a classy, elegant card with very little text so you can scribble your own heartfelt message about how much fun it is getting to know her and how much she means to you. Point out the little things you’ve noticed about her that make her special and why you want to get to know her better. Believe me, she’ll notice that you’re paying attention, and most likely you won’t need that red lingerie to get where you want to go. She’ll have something picked out just for you. If you express your feelings in a heartfelt way, she’ll bring it on when the time is right. And when she does decide to rock your world, fasten your seat belt.

3. Keep the fires burning… Again, it’s about personalization. If you buy her jewelry pick something that you think she’ll like and then kick it up a notch by inscribing it with a personal message. A former paramour once bought me a silver necklace and an understated pendant. Nice. When I looked closer at it I noticed that she had inscribed on the underside, “Love Slave”. Talk about marking your territory. It worked. Of course once my next girlfriend took one look at it, it went to the scrap heap.

Whether you are in a long-term relationship or marriage the written word really goes a long way. If you buy a card, write in it the ten special things that she does that make you love her. Tell her why she all those reasons why she’s so important to you or what makes her sexy and fun and giving. Let her know her in no uncertain terms that she is the one for you. And it won’t hurt if you clean the house before cooking her a special dinner.

You’ve got the idea now amigo. The key to a successful Valentine’s Day is making the dreaded day all about the other person. Then it becomes a good day.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Paul McCartney. After all, isn’t he the Beatle who wrote all those silly love songs?

Valentines Day: The Holiday About Love that Everyone Hates

Robert Manni - Friday, February 09, 2018


No, I don’t hate Valentine’s Day. I dread it.

I’d like to have a chat with good old St. Valentine. He may be a saint, but he’s got some explaining to do. The myth behind the man is as confounding as the commercial celebration of romantic love that sprang from his legend. What happened to this guy? Was he beaten to death with clubs, beheaded after restoring sight and hearing to the daughter of his jailer, or was he just a romantic legend created by Chaucer? Until the twentieth century, the tales surrounding this man had been spun more times than a soggy gym towel in the dryer. Eventually people figured out ways to make money and the real myth was born that we know today. Corporations that produce syrupy greeting cards, milk chocolate hearts, and jewelry saw the dollar signs and lovingly embraced Saint’s “brand”.  And since it’s a holiday, we are subjected to price gouging at restaurants and florists. In my informal survey the majority of men and women I spoke to conjured up emotions far from loving when they saw February 14th and a big red heart on their calendars.

What’s the word that comes to mind when men and women think of Valentine’s Day? 

Pressure. If you're single, Valentine’s Day reminds you that you are currently not on the invitation list to life’s love-in, which only makes you feel lonely and less than saintly. If you’re in a relationship, you have to step up your game and deliver the goods—big time. Women still dig flowers and chocolates, and receiving them unexpectedly… on any other day. And women love jewelry, but on February 14th it has to sparkle and be made of diamonds or gold.

Guys love seeing their woman dolled up in red lingerie, but consider this before making the purchase. Is that outfit for her or for the dude who buys it on Valentine’s Day? Tiptoeing around Victoria’s Secret and sifting through teddies, garters and thongs can be uncomfortable. A lot of guys are unsure as to what size she wears and they do not want to make a mistake.  You’ve seen them wandering around Victoria’s Secret checking out other women’s boobs while trying to figure out if they’re the same size as his girlfriend. It’s nerve-racking. Trust me - a man gets no kicks from discussing his lady’s cup size with the sales girl.

So how do guys get through this annual ordeal?

I have no clear answer. And, dialing up my own personal pressure cooker, my wife’s birthday is February 12th. I’m totally screwed. But there’s hope for some, even those not in a relationship. Some experts say that February 14th is the best night for single ladies to get lucky. That is, if they can rally their squad and muster up the juice for a manhunt. So, if you are a single guy, get your butt to the bars. And when you get there, keep your eyes off the hoops game playing on the big screen and open for those ladies on the lookout for some fresh man-meat.

If you’re a guy in a relationship, you’ve still got time to come up with something cool. Consider buying her a well-deserved pampering session at a top shelf spa. Or, maybe offer to cook her a romantic dinner. If you’re a woman, bust out the deep red lipstick and push up bra ensemble and rock his world. Trust me. That’s all he wants. As for me, I might end up cleaning the bathroom before taking my wife to her favorite restaurant. Then I’ll wish for February 15th.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Saint Valentine. He was an interesting guy and a saint. It’s not his fault that his life’s work was high jacked by commerciality.

5 Reasons the Eagles Lose the Big Game

Robert Manni - Friday, February 02, 2018


Don’t believe the hype. I’ve watched every Super Bowl, and besides enjoying a few timeless games, I learned one thing. Immediately following the end of the NFC and AFC Championship games, trust your gut and pick the team you feel will win the Super Bowl.

If you are a betting Guy’s Guy, place your bets with friends or whoever as soon as Vegas posts the spread.  The tricky part is…don’t change your mind.

It’s amazing how many tales are spun in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. If you swallow all the hype served up during those fourteen days, you’ll be convinced that the Eagles are going to maul the Patriots. You might bet big on the Eagles—maybe even offer to give points. Don’t do that. The NFL and media-driven hype machine are powerful. Why? Follow the money. Over 110 million people watch the Super Bowl. That’s a lot of Pepsi and Doritos. The NFL’s marketing machine needs to create a narrative that generates interest and drama in the game to attract a monster audience for its biggest event of the year. If you’re a sports fan, you know that the NFL’s ratings are down. They need a really big viewer turnout this Sunday night to protect their image.

Putting the hype machine aside, your Guy’s Guy is setting things straight by sharing five reasons why the Eagles won’t win the big game. For context, I’d like nothing more than the New England dynasty to end dramatically this week. I attended Villanova University for my undergraduate studies, and after living four years on the Main Line, I came to respect the Eagles for their grit and heart. I hope they win their first Super Bowl. But they won’t. Here’s why:

1. The Eagles defense is strong, but… There has been so much written about the speed, strength, and surge of Philly’s interior defense. The pundits tell us the way to beat Tom Brady is pressure up the middle, and that’s exactly what Philly’s Fletcher Cox led D-line does so well. What they don’t tell us is that a few weeks ago Eli Manning, QB of this year’s woefully bad New York Giants, passed for 429 yards as he shredded the Eagles porous secondary. Malcolm Jenkins is Philly’s lone star in the secondary. He won’t be enough to hold down a scrappy group of Patriot receivers and the massive Rob Gronkowski at tight end.

2. New England’s underrated defense and offensive line – Like I said, we’re hearing all about the ferociousness of Philly’s pass rush and defensive front line, but nothing about a Patriot offensive line. Let’s not forget that in the AFC Championship game, the vaunted Jaguar defense was sealed off and remained on their heels throughout the second half.  The Pats have a stout offensive line that usually knows how to protect Tom Brady. The other thing we’re not hearing much about is New England’s underrated defense, led by coach Matt Patricia. This group improved as the season progressed and let up a total of just 80 points in their last five games. Patricia is a whiz at shutting down his opponent’s top two offensive weapons. His schemes take them right out of the game. The Eagles do have decent running backs and wide receivers. They are balanced, but they have no real superstars on offense. They will have trouble scoring points. That projects a Patriot win if they score over seventeen points against Philly. They will.

3. Nick Foles – I was one of the numbskulls who bought into the Nick Foles hype when he replaced Carson Wentz after his injury. As a result, I lost my fantasy football championship when Foles only scored nine fantasy points in a December night game after the Raiders had been eliminated. Wentz, the Eagles starter, is a young stud QB. He is not easily replaced. Nick Foles is a capable journeyman who had a handful of eye-opening performances and some major duds. I don’t see him outdueling arguably the greatest quarterback of all time on the biggest stage he’s ever been on. A lot of people are wondering which Nick Foles will show up on Sunday. Your Guy’s Guy says it will be the run of the mill journeyman who throws two interceptions after seeing his trusty tight end, Zach Ertz, covered like a blanket.

4. Tom Brady – GOAT? It’s hard to argue against it, but he’s had a few strokes of luck in past Super Bowls against Seattle, and most recently Atlanta. And, he’s forty years old. That’s not enough reason for me to bet against him. He might be this year’s Most Valuable Player and his passing is as accurate as ever. How can you bet against this guy? I’m not. I say he throws three touchdown passes on Sunday.

5. Belechick – GOAT? Arguably. Bill Belechick is not a guy I’d ever root for. He abandoned the Jets, has been caught cheating, and comes across as miserable and kind of a dick. But, he’s a winner and he’s proven he will do anything to win. The Eagles are not a complicated team. They have good balance, pride, and a burning desire to avenge their loss in the 2004 Super Bowl to this same Patriot team. It would be nice if they won. But they don’t have enough weapons. They run a predictable, conservative game plan, and have a second string QB. They cannot afford to make mistakes this week. That does not add up to the Lombardi Trophy.

So there you have it, the cold hard truth about Sunday’s big game. It’s going to be another painful-to-watch victory for the Patriots, unless you are a Patriot fan. Most fans will be pulling for an upset. Sorry, it isn’t happening. Not with Nick Foles at the helm. Maybe next year though…

Final score New England 30 Philadelphia 20, and only due to a let game surge by the Eagles.

This week’s Guys’ Guys of the Week are the New England Patriots. Yikes, it was painful to type that, but a Guy’s Guy means being a good sport, having integrity and recognizing greatness. This is a great team that knows how to adjust during the game and almost always find a way to win.

5 Signs We're Lowering the Bar (And What We Can do to Raise It)

Robert Manni - Friday, January 26, 2018


Each time I scroll through the news online or even a good, old-fashion newspaper, I’m amazed at how crazy and dysfunctional our culture has become. The online news feed is a parade of real news, fake news, and oddities.

It seems like everyone is in debt, too busy trying to keep their job before being replaced by robots or AI, or too damn tired to realize they are being fed garbage and being told to like it. As a result, we are wallowing in a vast cultural slush. The bar has been lowered, amigos. People can’t afford to travel so they take boring “staycations”. They work more for less money, brown bag their lunch, and eat at their desks. They binge-drink in cramped apartments because they can’t afford to go out and drink at bars. These are desperate times.

Since technology shrank the world, entertainment is global. There’s less fresh thinking because the creative concepts need to travel. So we get K Pop, shitty sequels to bad movies, reboots or movies based on bad television shows, and generic music pumped up and pushed out by producers instead of talented new artists who can actually read music. When was the last time you heard some really fresh music? Cardi B? Timberlake, the new, urban woodsman? Really.

While we are being distracted by pop culture, regulations like net neutrality that protect people are being decimated. The rich keep getting richer while the rest of us are left fighting over the crumbs. Our culture reflects the discrepancies in income through the garbage sold to us as entertainment, often the same pile of refuse served up a different way.

Do we need another go at the XFL? Do we need to pay $100 to see an MMA fighter in boxing gloves get schooled by a boxer? They keep selling us crap. Why?  Because we buy it. Everyone was warned about the folly of the Mayweather vs. McGregor “fight”, but people still shelled out a Franklin because consumers are suckers who exposed to a month of media overselling can be brainwashed. Yes, a sucker is born every minute. Our culture is a mess. People are so fearful, worried, and in debt that they will consume almost anything corporate America feeds them just to escape their lives for a few hours.

So what’s a Guy’s Guy to do? Start by educating yourself and making your own decisions about how you want to invest your valuable time and hard-earned dollars.  Know that we the people collectively have the power to create change. People ultimately control what they buy. If they don’t open their wallets, products will be changed to suit their demands. Take organic food, for example. The only reason we’re not completely drowning in GMO’s and processed foods is that people realized that processed foods could be killers. Smart consumers don’t buy as much of the products sold down the aisle in cans or boxes. The change happened because consumers demanded better foods that foster good health.

So, we have choice. We may pay more for organic foods, but we forced Big Agra to listen. But change only occurs when our collective consciousness demands it. So the next time you reach for your wallet ask yourself if you are settling for garbage because you are flat-out tired and just need an escape, or if you can save that cash or put that money to use somewhere else until you get what you want.

Here are five examples of the dumbing down of our culture. I’m not discounting the fun quotient in some of them, but we can do better.

1. Eating Tide pods – This is not a joke. Young people are actually consuming those bright, swirly little plastic pouches that look like candy. They are not candy. This is DETERGANT and it is a very disturbing trend. Young folks, you can do a lot better things to entertain yourself besides eating soap. I have nothing else to add except, hey, P&G, how about changing those pods so they don’t look so tasty?

2. Bars featuring axe throwing- For me, the combination of alcohol, hatchets, and axes is not optimal. Is drinking and throwing axes fun? (editor’s note: surprisingly, yes) It must be, because there are more and more bars getting tricked out with an axe throwing area. What happened to bar shuffleboard and pool? I shudder thinking about what’s next after chasing Jack Daniels with axe throwing? Fight clubs for women? Hmmm, I think they already have that. If we need to get drunk and throw axes to blow off steam as a culture we are too angry and we drink too much.

3. Lipstick on pigs – If you haven’t noticed, those fast food and QSRs (quick service restaurants) are promoting the hell out of cheap menu items at $1, $2, $3 and whole meals for $5. We live in a fast-paced, fear-driven society where people eat suspect food quickly and on the go. There’s nothing wrong with a quick fast food fix in the rare times it’s absolutely necessary. But, many consumers live on fast food and the brands know it.

Lately, it’s gotten crazy. One affordable hamburger chain is now taking reservations for couples on Valentine’s Day so they can come to the store and celebrate their love with burgers served by table service. Be prepared ladies. Some broke dudes will give this a shot.

To keep their peeps coming back for more, chains also offer all you can eat delights like $3.99 for all the pancakes you can swallow. Here’s where we need to ask ourselves a few questions. How many pancakes should we be eating in one sitting? Three? Maybe four? What kind of flour is used in those pancakes? What’s in that syrup? Is it grade B organic maple syrup or high fructose corn syrup and food coloring? Ask questions and use your power. If it quacks like a duck…

4. Uninspired Hollywood – There are three trends in Hollywood just won’t slow down: superheroes, dysfunctional people, and violence. Every time I walk along the subway platform I’m inundated with posters for the latest movies and television shows. Besides posters for “Big Bang Theory” re-runs and “Young Sheldon”, the most frequent images are actors pointing their gun my way, people with blood spattered on hands and faces, or grim, angry, people dressed in black staring at me. And enough with the comic book superhero movies. Are we all still eleven years old?

There is another trend to blow out any movie that makes a few bucks into a franchise. Most of them are violent. Take the “John Wick” movies. The second one was actually better than the original, but the violence… Hundreds of brutal kills filmed beautifully. People love Keanu and this character, but when you think about it, aren’t we a bit insane to consume so much violence and murder as entertainment? Bad television shows like “Baywatch” somehow ran for years. Did we need a “Baywatch” movie? Did we need three “Hangover” movies? Nope, but here’s why they exist: The terrible sequels actually grossed more than the original because of sales in international markets. Hollywood is all about creating franchises that unfortunately have to get dumbed down in order to travel.

5. People don’t read – Every time I’m riding the subway and I see some reading a book I say to myself, “Hooray for New Yorkers”. Unfortunately, this is the exception, not the rule. Studies show that the vast majority of both college and high school educated Americans never enter a bookstore or read a book after graduating from their highest level of education. This truly is the dumbing down of society.

I’ll give you this. When we surf the Internet, we are technically reading. But reading a book is a commitment. I prefer fiction and the power of story, but the simple act of reading and finishing a book is critical to our individual and collective future. It’s bad enough that we’re confused about what is news or fake news. Read books and grow.

That’s my rant. Why was it necessary? Because as a Guy’s Guy, I want the best for me, for you and for us collectively. If we accept all the garbage shoved our way, we’ll only get more.  We have power in our pocketbooks and wallets to foster change. Use this power wisely and will help change our collective consciousness.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is you, the reader. Yes, I mean all the people reading this post. The simple fact you’ve invested the time to explore one man’s, or in this case, one Guys’ Guy’s perspective on the precious state of our culture is important. I thank you and hope you’ll be back for more next week. 


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