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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Aging Part 3: Longevity

Robert Manni - Friday, January 12, 2018


For the first time, the average lifespan of Americans has gone down.

Can you believe it? Who doesn’t want to live a long, healthy, purposeful, life? Who doesn’t want to look and feel like they did five, ten, or even twenty years ago? It can be done, but you can’t trust Big Pharma, Big Agra or the government to do the work for you. WE need to do it ourselves and that takes education, and making the right choices every day. Time waits for no one and there is no better time to begin than right now. The good news is that you can build the foundation for rich, ripe and rewarding golden years if you make the right choices. Randomness aside, if you live right, you can play a major role in determining when “old age” begins.

Ever get those reminders from Facebook that looks like a recent, familiar photo with a friend? You look at the image thinking, wow, that was last year. You look closer and realize that the post was from five years ago.

Time is relentless. It never lets up and as we age it seems to go faster. If we want to stay on point as the years flash by, we need to treat our mind, body, and spirit with respect. With that in mind, I offer you my latest tips for living a long fruitful life, Guy’s Guy style.

1. Hydration – The leading cause of death for old people is lack of hydration. Simply put, two thirds of the human body is made up of water. Leave a glass of water on the windowsill for a week and what happens? It evaporates. That’s precisely what happens to our bodies as we age and fail to replenish the liquids. Take a look at senior citizens—some look great, but too many are hunched over and shriveled up with faces and bodies fraught with wrinkles. A big cause for that is a lack of water. Sure, aging plays a role, but the lack of hydration drives the process. Studies show that 80% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Drink, amigo. Drink lots and lots of filtered water. I use the ZERO brand water filters, but there are many to choose from. It’s worth it. Water is life.

2. Claim your health – This morning someone asked me what year I was born. I almost never think about my chronological age because I don’t believe it is the main factor in how old our bodies and minds really are. If you focus on the number, you’ll compare yourself to folks the same age, which can be misleading and downright depressing. I still have friends from high school, many of whom are overweight. Some have hip replacements or back problems, and more and more are no longer with us.

Of course anyone can fall victim to disease or an accident, but we can all participate in prevention and recovery. Three years ago, I experienced back-to-back robotic surgeries on my kidneys. I was stunned, but decided to take the necessary steps to reclaim my health. I researched the cause of the disease, not the effects, with the goal of reconfiguring my internal system so it would no longer accommodate the disease.  Robotic surgery probably saved my life, but Western medicine is primarily focused on reacting to problems rather than preventing them. That’s just the way it is, so it’s up to us to learn everything we can about caring for our bodies. This takes time, and the choices required are not always easy, but it can be done. My check ups have been great. I feel better and better. And my workouts are the same as prior to my surgeries. I never look back on what happened or what could have happened. It’s about the now, and my ability to keep learning and making the best decisions about how I live. I am confident I will continue improving, and I know a positive attitude makes a difference. We are what we think. We create our lives through how we manage our thoughts. Claim your health.

3. Feed your mind – Here are some fun facts—according to the Jenkins Group, eighty percent of families did not buy or read a book last year. Forty-two percent of college grads have never read a book after college. Seventy percent of American adults have not been in a bookstore in the past five years. People are hooked on TV, their computers, and devices, and as a result they don’t find time to read. You can argue that a lot of the time spent on our devices and computer is actually reading, but a good portion of what we consume is TV shows, music, and mind-numbing ads, little of which nourish our minds. Make an effort to read books. It will keep your mind sharp and nimble.

4. Feed your body - I could devote multiple posts to the importance of diet to longevity. With respect to your time, let’s simply explore the view from thirty thousand feet. By now we’re all aware of the crisis in our food supply. GMO’s, pesticides, nutrient-lacking processed foods, sugar, and factory meats are factors to consider when managing your diet for longevity. Are organic foods better for us? Yes. Is supplementation important? Because so much of our food lacks nutrition, yes. Is sugar hidden in our foods under other names? Yes. Are GMOs good for us? Nope. Do your research. Read the labels. If the label does not say non-GMO, it has GMOs. If it doesn’t say organic, it’s not organic. Choose wisely at every meal, and bon appetite.

5. Get outside- Stomping around the big city with rubber soled shoes on concrete while being pulverized by wifi, radiation, and noise pollution is not a healthy way to live. But, like pounding too many beers, we do it anyway. It’s a means to an end, but unfortunately we blind ourselves to the fact that these toxins can contribute to the end of us. Fortunately, nature has some antidotes. We live in an electric universe. The sky is positively charged while the ground carries a negative charge. When we walk barefoot on the grass or even lie down in a meadow (you can do both in Central or Prospect Park) your body is grounded, and grounding is good for you. Studies have shown that earthing or “grounding” improves blood viscosity, heart rate variability, reduces inflammation, helps us sleep, and reduces the effects of stress. We spend a disproportionate amount of time sitting indoors at work and home, and we need nature to help us rebalance. Get one with nature whenever possible.

6. Exercise – While you’re outside, consider the benefits of sunshine and cardiovascular activities. Whether you’re walking, running, golfing, playing tennis, sailing or swimming, exercise is a key building block of your foundation for longevity. Of course you can enjoy working out indoors, but wouldn’t you prefer a yoga class on the beach rather than a cramped, sweaty room in Midtown? Over the years, many of us develop issues with our joints and skeletal system, which curtails our ability to run distances, play tennis, or golf. If we are determined enough, we can always find alternative avenues for getting in a workout.

One thing I’ve picked up over the years is learning to listen to my body and adjust my workouts based on what it is telling me. I stay in good condition and listen, so I avoid pushing myself into a “no pain, no gain” mentality. That’s for your twenties and thirties. Like the greats who have enjoyed long careers, (think: Nolan Ryan, Tom Brady, Derek Jeter), we can still maintain our fitness and competitive edge if we listen to what our bodies are telling us.

I’ve ran three marathons. I could probably squeeze out another, but during my most recent race I distinctly recall my body advising me very strongly not to run another twenty-six miler in this lifetime. I was in my best condition ever for a marathon, but I ran my worst race. I bonked way too early and had a rough time rebalancing my blood sugar afterwards. So, I listened. I still log in eight, nine, and ten-mile runs without any issues, but I doubt I will ever want to run another marathon.

Listen to your body and then find alternative avenues for working out. Yoga, stretching, Pilates, stationary bike, elliptical, whatever. Find your way and just do it, amigo.

I think you get the picture. If you want to live a long, healthy life hydrate, eat well, read, maintain a positive attitude, get outside, and keep moving.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Mick Jagger. At seventy-four he still sings, dances and gyrates with the same élan he and the Stones have entertained us with for the past fifty-five years. Jagger is a great grandfather yet is constantly creating, while maintaining his fitness and a positive attitude.

Two Cool Practices to Reset and Ignite Your New Year

Robert Manni - Sunday, January 07, 2018


We’re a week into January and it’s been cold as hell, so no worries if you already fell off the wagon or never got around to setting your New Year’s resolution. There’s still time to lock and load, and I’ve got two top-notch Guy’s Guy’s tips to help you get a firm grip on the wheel for the long year ahead.

We’ll help you purge all the toxic garbage from last year, set your plans and start a kick ass, easy-to-manage additive diet plan to help you shed pounds and feel great all year long. We’re already a week into the New Year so we’ll keep it short and get right to it.

1. Purging and manifesting – Let me begin but clearly stating that this first suggestion is not my creation, but I’ve done it and it’s fantastic. Bill Phillips is a well-known psychic medium. You may have read about him or his contributions on Huff Po. That’s where I found his most recent post focused on manifesting what you want in the coming year, or really in any time frame, although it fits nicely into an annual practice. I will summarize momentarily, but you can read the whole article here.

All you need is a bowl, some paper, an envelope, and something to write with. First, write down all the things you want to release on a piece of paper.  This should be a list of stuff you believe no longer serves you. Then either burn the paper or tear it into little pieces and drop it in the bowl. Take a deep breath and visualize a pink light surrounding you and filling you up. Think of all those nasty things you want to jettison and exhale while visualizing a gray mist coming from your mouth filled with all that bad stuff. Do it a few more times or until you feel a release in the heart area. Now, take another piece of paper and jot down all the things you want to manifest this year. Start with something like “In 2018 I create….” Then seal your list in the envelope, and then hold it between you hands. Say a silent prayer asking for help in manifesting. Put the envelope away or give it someone close for safe keeping for the year. At this time next year, open it up and see how you did. My wife and I shared this exercise on New Year’s Day and it felt very fresh and cleansing. Again, all credit to Bill Phillips. At the end of 2018, we’ll find out how much we made happen. 

2. The Guys’ Guy’s Additive Diet –Most people are interested in losing weight in the New Year and starting on January 1st, gym memberships skyrocket, treadmills are jammed, and lots of people commit to “Dryuary”, a new term for giving up booze in January, after those alcohol-fueled past two months.

Over the years, I, like others, have tried and experimented with lots of diets and in many cases lost a lot of weight. But, like so many others, slowly packed all those pounds back on after returning to my former eating pattern and consumption. I asked myself how could I set a program that would assure me of losing weight and keeping it off for an entire year, without too much pain and sacrifice.

In fact, I recently finished my second attempt at intermittent fasting, a practice where you only eat during an eight-hour window each day followed by sixteen hours of “fasting”. During my two-month stint, I didn’t lose any weight. I’m not pointing a finger at the practice because I’m sure it works for others, but not for me. Maybe I ate and drank too much to compensate for the fasting hours, but whatever I did wrong, it resulted in my gaining weight. So I decided to come up with my own program that I’m doing right now and will be following for the next twelve months. Here’s what I came up with:

First, to make this a real program, I wanted to eliminate something that adds empty calories and saps energy.  The obvious answer was giving up all alcohol for the year. I’ve stopped drinking twice for five months, so I know I can do it. The practice usually turns into an “out of sight, out of mind” scenario where I don’t pay attention to booze, even if I am at a bar with the fellas. It’s a similar situation to what I experienced when I became a non-smoker almost thirty years ago. I underwent hypnosis and to this day, I still never really “see” or “say” the word or name of that product that comes in packs that people light up. I made the decision not to drink this coming year a few months ago, so I had time to get it out of my system. I didn’t want to pine for that one last a glass of buttery Chardonnay that I could have enjoyed over the holidays, so I drank to my delight from Thanksgiving through the end of the year. This made the first few days of the New Year easier to get through because I was mentally prepared. Because I always pack on the pounds when I drink, the key to the success and the bedrock of my yearlong diet is keeping booze out of my belly.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. Since there are so types of food, I have a pretty good notion about what triggers my weight gains. My main culprits were booze, pizza, ice cream, bread and pasta, and eating late in the day or in the evening. Of course, lots of other foods that made the list, like candy, chocolate, desserts, dairy, and that demon, sugar, which is hidden in almost everything we consume. So I decided I would write a list with fifty-two slots, each representing a week of the year. Each Sunday I will add a specific food item to the list that I’ll eliminate for the remainder of the year. Sound crazy? Maybe, but I like the approach because it provides me with a week to get a sense of what else I am ready to give up. I filled in alcohol for week one. As the week unfolds, I’m contemplating what item should be next. I’ve narrowed it down to ice cream or pizza. On Sunday, I’ll make my choice and see how I feel next week. Since I already know that alcohol is in my no-fly zone, all I have to give up is one item each week. I’ll attack a few big ones in January to get me off to a strong start.

By the end of 52 weeks I will have eliminated fifty-two items from my diet. Hopefully, by then I will be lean and feeling studly and strong, physically and mentally.  Along the way I’ll glean results with each thing I give up, so hopefully that will spur me on week after week. This may sound nuts and it might not be the type of program that works for you, but I have a strong sense that this is going to be one killer program that provides fast lasting results. The biggest challenge might be figuring out what to give up next by week forty or so. But that’s a fun task and when I get there it means I’m winning, winning, winning.

So that’s it. Give up something you crave for the entire year and add one thing to your list each week. Can I do it? We’ll see. You’ve got to admit that it’s a clever approach. I think that a key to success is visualizing my new weight, my increased energy, and a healthier appearance, instead of focusing on the negative and what I am giving up. Maybe it can work for you, too. Your call, amigo.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is psychic medium Bill Phillips for sharing his practice for manifestation. It’s worth doing any time you’re seeking a reset.

10 Cheap Dates In and Around New York City (Part 2)

Robert Manni - Saturday, December 16, 2017

New York City is a wonderful place to go on a first date, but it can cost you a bundle. If you’re creative, it’s not necessary to empty your wallet.

Last time we covered Harlem, the High Line, Central Park, Koreatown, and Battery Park City. I’ve lined up five more options for you, so buckle up and prepare to save money while having a great time. I hope you had time to check out one of last post’s recommendations. The most important thing to glean from these posts about affordable first dates is the importance of tapping your imagination to look at first dates with fresh new eyes. You don’t have to break the bank to impress a new connection. If you’re authentic, creative, and have a spirit of fun, you can find a solution to “where am I going to take her tonight?”

You might have noticed that all of my recommendations have been located in Manhattan. There’s a reason. If you live in one of the outer boroughs or fabulous New Jersey, you can usually find something to do on a first date that’s within budget. It’s not nearly as challenging to go on a cheap date in the outer boroughs. Although you can still buy a banana for a quarter, Manhattan is damn expensive. So, our focus remains in Manhattan. I will, however, include one idea that can take you away from the core of the Big Apple.

So in no particular order, here are five more cheap dates ideas in or around New York City.

6. Open Center, Meta Center, Cayce Center - What better way of getting to know what’s inside your new connection than a yoga class, metaphysical workshop, or an exploration into accessing your Akashic Records? Not everyone is in touch with their spirituality in the same way and some prefer keeping this area of their lives private, but a Guy’s Guy can meet lots of intelligent, attractive women who would welcome activities of this sort for an out-of-the-box and affordable first date. The venues mentioned above are but a few of the many spiritual outposts sprinkled throughout the city.

7. Chelsea Piers – If you like a hot workout followed by cooling off with a few brews, you’ve come to the right place. And you might order a Michelob Ultra while you are at it. Chelsea Piers offers indoor and outdoor activities for everyone. You can shoot hoops, rent kayaks, drive golf balls, bowl, skate, push iron, or take a fitness class. The list of activities goes on and on, and there’s a nice brewpub here also. And if your new date is not athletically inclined, you can take a long walk along the picturesque walking path along the Hudson River. You’ve got lots of options and it’s not expensive. Check their website for more info.

8. Any Museum – Where do I begin and end? New York City has the Met, the Guggenheim, the Frick Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New Museum, Cloisters, Intrepid Sea and Space Museum, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, Transit Museum and many more. I can’t think of any other city on the planet that offers the diverse options of museums than the Big Apple. Some of these venues are free, but most ask for a donation of your choice. In most cases you set the price. You can’t go wrong when going to a museum in the city.

9. West 79th St Boat Basin – Take the subway to 79th Street on the West Side and walk west towards Riverside Park and the Hudson River. You’ll stumble upon a cozy marina and café in front of a marina. It’s a great place when the weather is nice and you want to enjoy a mellow outdoor space away from the din and bustle of Midtown. I took my future wife here on our first date and we’ve been together ever since so I am proof of the sparkles possible at this picturesque venue.

10. Local Beaches – You probably don’t think of New York City as a beach town, but Coney Island, City Island, Long Beach, and even Asbury Park, New Jersey are within striking distance. So, if you have a day or long afternoon and early evening set aside to make inroads with a special lady you want to spend quality time with on a first or second date, the beach is a solid choice. I cannot think of a more fun way to spend a nice long day than at the beach or chilling at a café near the water. All of these quirky locales are accessible by mass transit. Coney Island is how Brooklyn rocks the beach. City Island is an oasis in the Bronx lined with seafood cafes. Long Beach is about an hour’s train ride from Penn Station that offers a nice slice of beach along the south shore of Long Island without having to schlep to the Hamptons. And if you are adventurous, consider formerly tragic and newly hip Asbury Park, NJ to experience a hipster Brooklyn vibe at the Jersey Shore.

Okay, amigos, I’ve only scratched the surface with these ten ideas out of the myriad of affordable first dates options in and around New York City. It’s up to you now to use your imagination and come up with a few fresh concepts of your own. Then, get in touch with that special new lady and set it up. Yeah, it’s that simple. Good luck!

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is your Guy’s Guy. Why? I’m here to help. That’s all. Having lived and thrived in this crazy city for many years, I know how New York is constantly changing and often overwhelming. I know they’re a lot of very cool places to go on a date in this city, but nowadays dating can be really expensive and some places are not as great as the hype. So, it’s important to keep your game on and find simple, creative ways to have fun when you’re on your way up, but still on a budget. Until next time…    

10 Cheap Dates In and Around New York City (Part 1)

Robert Manni - Friday, December 08, 2017

No matter where you live, being single and in the market for love in New York City can be expensive. And if you live in Manhattan, the stakes are raised. There are thousands of single people and cocktail and coffee bars in New York, and you can run up some serious debt once you get a taste for the amazing women and all the cool places to go in this town. So you’ve got to use your noodle if you want to be able to save some actual cash for that real relationship you may be gunning for. Dating and relationships cost money, and if you’re in the stage of life where dating is a sport, it can become a very expensive hobby or pastime. A night out with dinner and drinks can easily run up a bill over a few hundred, not even factoring in your Uber, taxi, or the dreaded mass transit ride home. And even if you are only out for drinks, at $20 a pop, two rounds of hipster cocktails and some apps, plus tax and tip can cost a C-note. With wages still stuck at 90’s levels, dating is very costly indeed. Dating should not cost an arm or a leg, and you work hard for the right to meet a few potential new partners a week while in your prime single years. This is when you want to have fun without having to think about what you are ordering and every penny you are spending. That’s a drag.

So what’s a Guy’s Guy to do? It’s easy to meet women in this city and even easier to score dates online or through all those apps. But how can you enjoy the company of a pretty lady or two without breaking the bank? Well, amigo, every romance has to start with the proverbial first date, so you need alternatives to drinks at the latest mixologist lounge. Like free bar finger food, you Guy’s Guy will offer up timeless starters for first dates that will help you get to know and make a good first impression without the stress of emptying your wallet or crypto-currency account. So, I have picked out ideas to help you get to know someone new without busting your budget. I’m also assuming that the Guy’s Guys reading this will at man up and offer to pay for a first date with a young lady who has caught their eye. I’m going to start with five options this week, hoping you give at least one of them a try before I toss out another five your way next time.

Drum roll please… 

1. The High Line – Way, way back, what is now known as the High Line used to be a railroad that shipped goods between the Meatpacking District and the rail yards near the docks adjacent to West 34th Street. The rails stayed put after the trading and shipping along the lines stopped years ago. During the late nineties, a group of smart New Yorkers, including David Bowie, decided it was time to clear away the overgrowth and turn the High Line into an above ground pedestrian walkway. It was a brilliant vision, and soon the money flowed in so that the work could begin. The transformation was handled in chunks as sections beginning around West Street and worked north until the project reached completion this year. And what a job they did. The High Line is a gorgeous path that winds its way a level above the far west side of the city through various condo projects and the Hudson Yards. It takes about thirty minutes to walk and at a cost of zero it’s hard to beat. If you want to break for refreshments there’s a brewery and a number of coffee houses and cafes along the way. The High Line is a fantastic first date location that won’t cost you a dime if you don’t feel like stopping for a brew or a cup of Joe.  

2. Central Park – Okay, so this isn’t new like the High Line, but having traveled the world, I can’t think of a better place to run, walk, enjoy gardens, fountains or flowers, play tennis or softball, throw a Frisbee, walk a dog, take a boat ride, go bird watching, hike a trail, see a puppet show, or take in a zoo than glorious Central Park. And, almost everything you do in the park is free. The park spans from Fifth Avenue on the East Side to Eighth Avenue on the West Side and from 59th Street to 110th. It’s a big, vast, and it gets better and better every year. If you are looking for a solid pick for a first date or meet up, consider all the options the park provides. 

3. Koreatown – The 32nd Street strip predominately between Fifth and Avenue of the Americas in Midtown is home to what’s often referred to as K-Town. The restaurants on the street level serve delicious, savory, healthy hot meals at great prices. On the higher levels you’ll find bars and karaoke clubs where you can drink and sing with people from all over the world. And the women are very pretty. There are lots and lots of places to choose for great food and drink and K-town is relatively inexpensive. 

4. Battery Park City – Although New Yorkers usually think of this downtown West Side strip of land as a boring, residential oasis, it’s actually a very nice area to walk along the water and take in the sights, or grab a bite or a brew. You can to learn how to sail, sit at one of the many outdoor cafes, or stroll further downtown through the sparkling new Oculus transportation hub and Brookfield Place with its many shops and restaurants. For a cheap first date it’s hard to beat a walk along the ever-improving waterfront or taking a Water Taxi to another stop along the coastline. And when there is a lot of gorgeous nature to take in with your eyes, it becomes easier to manage how much green is coming out of your wallet. 

5. Harlem – After spending a year looking for a place to live, seven years ago I moved from Midtown to Southwest Harlem. And I have never looked back. It’s a wonderful place to live. Don’t call it SoHa, though. Eighth Avenue turns into Frederick Douglass Boulevard after the circle on 110th Street. FDB, as it is known, functions as an entry point to Harlem for a surprising number of New Yorkers who have no idea what to expect or where to go when they head uptown for the first time. One of the great things about Harlem is that most of the buildings, even the newer condos, top off at around twelve floors. This creates a significantly more open purview than Midtown and the streets and avenues below in Manhattan. Although Harlem is filled with lots of history and art, if you are coming here for a first date, I suggest you begin with a walk along FDB north between 110th and 125th or up one of the blocks nearby. This gives you easy access to more options while you’re on a first date and probably learning your way around the hood. There are a number of bars and restaurants along FDB on this strip that won’t empty your budget. Harlem is not cheap, but it is not nearly as expensive as Midtown. You can also take a walk along the Harlem Meer near 110th Street in Central Park or check out the Lasker Rink for a swim or a skate depending on the time of year.

You have five very different options to consider for a cheap first date, and we’re only halfway done. Next time I’ll offer up five more hot and cool locales for you. After that, amigo, you’re on your own. I’ll hold off on naming our Guy’s Guy of the Week until part two of this post. So, now you’ve got a week until I reveal the next five options, so get out there give one or two places a try, and let me know what you think.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Dealing with Difficult People

Robert Manni - Saturday, December 02, 2017


There are a lot of truly wonderful people in the world. But why does it seem like we’re constantly confronted by difficult and annoying people who push our buttons?

I see you nodding your head right now. It could be those subway dancers swinging their limbs around the pole right in front of your face on the A train, that person in your building who never responds to your friendly greeting, those passive aggressive colleagues who are too weak to state their opinion to your face, but somehow grow muscles while sitting behind their keyboards so they can snipe at you from the safety of a group email thread, or that sibling who from some reason only communicates with you via text. Yep, dealing with these types can be a challenge for a Guy’s Guy. So how can we begin to see these people differently and not lose our cool when dealing with their tired acts?

I’m not exactly sure why it feels like these folks show up way so often, but I do have some ideas to share with you about who and what they are, and how to deal with them. Let’s call this one, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Dealing with Difficult People.  I’m tempted to call them assholes, but for the most part these are decent people whose choices all-too-often fall into the anal category. Again, let’s not be too harsh. Who hasn’t said or done something they later regretted? I have. Let’s dive in and explore why these people show up in the first place.

Every person is on a path of raising his or her conscious. We’re all coming from the same place, and are headed in the same direction. But this is a long, long journey and our ascensions are on different timetables. Eventually we’ll all reach “oneness” and become fully realized beings after we’ve learned our lessons, but due to a number of factors, each person’s journey varies greatly. There is little one can do to hasten the pace of someone else’s journey, besides simply leading by example. People have to learn on their own. If you do believe in reincarnation or a recycling of the soul, you’d agree it might take another person lifetimes before they reach your level of awareness. And the same could be said of you, compared to other more evolved souls. No one is better than anyone else, but every person’s journey has a different trajectory.

So, Guy’s Guy, what does all this esoteric babble have to do with those annoying people busting our chops? Actually, it’s all very relevant. Part of the soul’s journey within its the human form is to overcome the things holding back its ascension. For many of us, it feels like we’re always confronted by the same teeth-grinding circumstances and people who push our buttons. But unless we learn to overcome challenging circumstances and people’s behavior, we’ll continue to experience them over and over again.

If this sounds similar to movie Groundhog Day, you’re right. Bill Murray’s character kept reliving Nate Ryerson, the same day, and all the same experiences over and over again until he learned how to interact with them from a place of love. And that’s our collective challenge: How do we learn to address every issue and choice we make in life from a perspective of love, as opposed to fear? Fear turns to anger. Fear lashes out. Fear backstabs. Fear is dishonest. Fear is an asshole. And fear suckers us in through our ego. Ego is fear’s best friend. Our ego is constantly telling us that it wants to protect us, but in reality, ego only wants to protect itself. Fear keeps man enslaved in a recurring dream where we are continually confronted by the things and others that annoy us until we learn how to rise above the bad behavior of others without judgment. And that’s no easy task.

So how do I deal with those passive aggressive colleagues or that sibling who only communicates with me via passive aggressive texts? Tell me how to transcend the nonsense? Relax, amigo, you’re already getting upset. There are a few things you can do to make your way past those situations and people who continually upset you. Consider the following…

1. Become a witness – Last week I had my buttons pushed by some owners in my fantasy football league. Our commissioner sent out an email extending our trading deadline by a day because he’d neglected to remind us of the deadline, as he does every year. Within that short window four major trades were made. Our commish approved the deals and players switched teams. Yipee! That is, until one of our owners, who happened to be in first place by a wide margin complained. He said the rules are the rules and they could not be changed without an amendment to our league constitution. Yikes. He added that he had been too busy working to make a deal. Of course, his team was facing my team that weekend (and I am the reigning league champ). I had just traded for the number two running back in fantasy football and was primed to make playoff run as I did last year. I was steamed about his protest, but even more so when the other owners, who I think saw the powerhouse I had created, sided with him. I pushed back a few times, which only strengthened the group’s resolve. I soon found myself on the defensive, as if I had done something wrong. I eventually backed off and ironically; my team beat this willy-nilly owner’s ass by almost fifty points last weekend.

After I had an opportunity to review the situation, I came to the conclusion that I was right. These guys were not going to let me strengthen my team in such dramatic fashion. I stepped back though. It was time to learn a lesson about handling these types of situations and people. The word “witness” kept popping into my head. I needed to step back and separate myself from the situation, state my case, and then watch the others do whatever they decided. I would let it go and forgive them for the bullshit, but not necessarily trust them in the future. That’s my take. I’m sure they would disagree. But, I am the one who has to live with myself. I’m not really concerned about them or what they think about me. So although my trade was rescinded, I won the game and the day because I had been given a great gift from them by my learning how important it is to be a witness to my humanity.

2. Don’t take things too personally – As in the case above and the others that I cited earlier, when trying situations arise, it is usually about the other people, not about you. You can always win if you stay in your truth while being detached from the behavior of others.

 

3. State your case, and make it about choices – When things start getting personal, shift the playing field. Make the discussion about the issue. State your case clearly. If you think someone is being an asshole, it’s okay to disapprove of their decisions and their choices. Pull up, though, if you see they are making assumptions about your take on their character and taking things personally. In the case of the fantasy football trade, the owner I was challenging claimed I was questioning his integrity when I was only challenging his actions. He’s a decent guy, but I called bullshit on his actions, not on him as a person.

 

4. Don’t get sucked in too far that you blow your cool – I get upset when my sibling insists on only communicating with me via text messages. It’s become more of a means of relaying of information than a dialogue. It’s incredibly annoying, and on occasion I’ve been pissed off. I finally realized this relative has a personal issue he has to deal with. So when I get a text from him, I take a breath and wait before responding. It sucks that I have to do this, but if this is what I need to do to keep the peace, so be it. I look at it as an opportunity to learn patience.

 

5. Know when to let go – I held my ground on the football trade until the passive aggressive email sniping got personal. At that point, I knew it was a no-win situation so I let it go. That weekend my team beat this ass. The following Tuesday a flurry of emails responses went out when our commish sent out possible playoff scenarios as we headed into the final week of the season. My name came up repeatedly in that thread and I’m sure the other owners were expecting some crowing on my part after my big win. But, I didn’t respond—they knew who won. No gloating necessary.

This has been long post, amigos, and hopefully you picked up a trick or two from a Guy’s Guy who has often learned about life, love and the pursuit of happiness the hard way. That’s okay though. We are here to learn.

 

This week’s GUY’S GUYS of the WEEK are the owners in my fantasy football league. Their questionable choices and behavior, some good, some bad, helped me get a grip on my own reality and the lessons I need to learn. Will I get into it again with them in the future? Probably, but hopefully I’ll take a different approach. 

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Thanksgiving

Robert Manni - Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Why am I thankful that my ex broke up with me?

Life is a trickster. It always seems like it’s running two steps ahead. By the time we catch up and process what’s happened, it’s already off making more mischief that we don’t understand. That’s why along with the great food and family sharing, Thanksgiving is a great time to take a half step back to review our lives and be thankful for all of our experiences. The trick is finding the lesson to be learned from what is happening in our lives.

Getting back to the headline, no one likes being dumped. And like most guys, I’ve been dumped a number of times. At the time it seemed like my world was crashing down. But now, although I wish nothing but the best for all of my ex-girlfriends, I’m glad that they are my ex’s. Over time I realized that there was a missing component in each and every one of these relationships. Should either of us have known about this missing link and moved on sooner? Probably, but we didn’t.  We shared some good times and hopefully learned something about ourselves from our time together. I’m sure you have been there and I know it can be daunting for the heart to look into the endless abyss. But there is a reason for hope. That reason is you. 

Okay, it took me an extra decade or two, but I stayed focused and optimistic and continued to work on myself to be a better partner and a better man. I remain a work in progress, but things are coming together and I’ve never been happier. I’m very appreciative this Thanksgiving and accountable for my choices. And, I’m alive and have a new opportunity each and every day. That’s all I can ask for.

Here are a few reasons live in a state of constant appreciation.

No one else can make you happy.
Happiness comes from within. I think you’d agree that it is difficult to love another if you do not first love who and what you are. At times this is easier said than done, but it’s sagely advice that we’ve all heard a thousand times. And, it’s true. Loving yourself does not mean being selfish, but knowing who you are and what you are makes a difference in how you celebrate each day. We are all one consciousness.

Letting go can give you a better handle on your life.
Sometimes a setback can be a step forward. Living in New York is a trip. There are so many super-intelligent, talented, and successful individuals here, yet many of them walk around looking quite displeased. You can see it in their faces. People invest a lot of their energy trying to control every aspect of their experience. Although we are responsible for our actions, we cannot control everything that happens to us. We all know that shit happens. If you loosen up that death grip on your day-to-day world, you’ll probably be in a better position to shake off and move on from the setbacks that inevitably occur. Maybe you didn’t get that guy you thought was right for you, but you ended up with another dude that suits you far better. Or you are blessed with the time to get to know yourself better. When we can relax and have faith in ourselves things work out for us in a way that allows us to grow. If you’re not feeling it, try digging down deep to find what you need to learn. It’s there for you if you can let go, quiet your mind, and ask for it. And when you get that insight, be thankful and keep moving.

Make every day Thanksgiving.
Everyone has to do what works for them. I’m no Dr. Phil, but I’ve found that when I begin each day in a state of appreciation and end each night the same way, I feel blessed and sleep like a baby. We all have to find our own methods and path, but being thankful works for me.

I thank you all for being in my life and for the lessons our connection is bringing forward.  Have a great, restful weekend. I’ll be back at you with more Guy’s Guy musings next week.   

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Things that Bug Guy's Guys

Robert Manni - Friday, November 17, 2017


Every so often, even us Guy’s Guys need to let off some steam about the state of affairs in our highly dysfunctional world.

We kill animals for their taste while polluting the planet at the same time. We give unbridled power to corporations that are only beholden to shareholder earnings. We pay men more than women for the same work. We invade countries we think might do something to us in the future. On and on it goes, and although Guy’s Guys maintain a steady grip on the wheel of life, once in awhile it’s good to let go with a rant. So consider this post as just that. But, know that some of the little annoyances I’m pointing out are symptoms of bigger issues that plague our culture and its way of thinking.

The bottom line is that unfortunately our society has been programmed to choose fear instead of love and greed over generosity. And as a result, people are approaching life from a position of lack rather than abundance. So even though I’ll be bitching, in true Guy’s Guy style I’ll always seek solutions to our problems and love over fear. So, in no particular order here are a few things that bug the shit out of your Guy’s Guy.

1. Our false sense of choice – If you walk down the aisle of any supermarket or mall you would be fooled into believing that we have an amazing array of choices in our lives. However, that is the furthest thing from the truth. Once old Ronald Reagan loosened up the merger laws and regulations in the eighties, corporations have taken over the world. The rich have gotten richer while the rest of us have been duped into thinking we have so much to choose from, while the choices we have are mostly cosmetic.

Here are a few examples—You can pick almost any flavor of potato chips, soda, or hot sauce, or sneakers but when it comes to your money your choices are limited to the blue banks, the green banks, or the red one. The rates are the same. The service is universally unfriendly because frankly, most banks don’t want to service the small fry accounts. What’s worse is that they won’t have your money if there is ever a run on the banks. It’s a similar situation with the cable companies, although at least they are not holding your investments. Take a look at the monthly rates offered by the two mega companies we choose telecom and cable from and you will see that beyond their advertising noise they’re offering virtually identical plans across the board. But take heart. You can buy bubbleberry vodka or one that tastes like fruity cereal. Face it, amigos. When it comes to the more important issues, unless you have a ton of money, you’ll get the same few, shitty choices as everyone else. The one choice that you can control though is how you feel about what is happening around us and how you can raise consciousness by maintaining a positive vibe in the face of all the doom and gloom.

2. Banking, insurance company, and health care nonsense – Sticking with the same theme, and acknowledging that most of the plans offered are too expensive and very similar, it’s no surprise how lousy the service is from the behemoth companies we are stuck with for our banking, insurance and health care.

You don’t believe me? Try calling your cable carrier and you’ll experience the long, painfully frustrating process of their dealing with even the most insignificant issues. For example, after seven years we needed a new cable remote, so we called our carrier. After spending a half hour on hold and dealing with someone in Southeast Asia about our minor issue, we were promised a new remote, free of charge. When our next bill arrived, we were charged for the remote, but we had never received it. We called back. Same routine. Charged again, but no remote. The third time, after explaining this to the usual unfriendly service reps, we ascertained that the cable company geniuses had sent our remotes to the exact same address as ours, but on the east side on NYC instead of the west side. We finally received a new remote free of charge, but the process took over two months and two hours on the phone.

Here’s another dose of pain. One of the banks I use abruptly deactivated two of my debit cards. No warning, no heads up, just deactivated. The letter they sent me directed me to reactivate my cards and account through their website, but the website would not allow it. It provided a phone number that I promptly called. Unfortunately, when I finally spoke to a rep I was informed that because I lived in NYC I needed to visit a bank branch to reactivate the accounts.  I reminded the rep that my address, where they sent the correspondence in the first place was also in NYC, so why didn’t they tell me to go to a branch then? No answer. And why, as a long-term customer, was I not given notice that my card and account could be deactivated if they were not used by a certain date? Again, no answer. So I stopped by a branch and asked the same question. This time I was told that the deactivation of my accounts was my notice and the next step would be my being forced going to go to the government to get my money back out of what would become a dormant account. How nice! This is what’s happening now, people. Our corporations are too big and they don’t give a shit about individual consumers. And to make matters worse, the genius in the White House is doing everything in his power to give more power to these oversized companies that already have their foot on our throats.

3. The demise of advertising – Since Dos Equis retired the “World’s Most Interesting Man” and before they were then forced to bring back the campaign with a younger version of the guy who looks eerily like Michael Phelps, have there been any ad campaigns worth discussing in recent years? Super Bowl ads used to be delightful, but over the past few years they have been the same boring car and tire ads or promos for shitty Fox shows and super hero movies. And how many times is Pepsi going to deploy the latest cutesy model or singer in the same lame scenarios? And haven’t we seen enough of those Clydesdales plowing through the snow and kicking field goals? Or a hot model teasing us for GoDaddy? The truth is, no creative person working in advertising wants to be working in advertising. There was a time when advertising was cool and was different. That was a short window and has been closed. Nowadays, ad campaigns are short-term fixes purchased by clients who consider their agencies to be vendors that can be stiffed if they don’t like the work. Ads are measured strictly quantitatively, which is unfair because not all advertising immediately results in a direct increase in sales. A good campaign is likeable and builds a relationship and emotional connection between a brand and the consumer. But client marketers no longer have the luxury of time to prove themselves. They need to see results on the scoreboard right now, so most of the ads we see now are ultra “salesy” and promotionally driven. It’s as if those crappy local TV ads have taken over the ad templates for big brands. Have you seen the new KFC campaign with the revolving Colonel Sanders character? In one ad he’s crowing “$5 dollars, 5 dollars, 5 dollars” as he hops along while pointing at platters filled up three variations of the latest KFC “meals”? This ad is far from finger licking’ good, and I’ll bet the agency wants to jump out of the window when the client calls with their latest direction for new work.

Here’s one more sign of the end. Think about how many ads we see built around the premise of people dancing around when they receive or use the brand they are shilling for. From banks to clothing to candy bars, it’s everywhere and it’s lame. Really, now, are happy people the best idea the agencies can come up with?

4. Everybody’s always selling – In the beginning, people thought the Internet was all about everyone searching for information, being entertained, or communicating with each other. It’s still the case, but things changed when someone made that first dollar on the Internet. Then it became a gold rush. I get it. And it’s been great for people named Zuckerberg, etc. You can still find info on anything and meet interesting people from everywhere while you’re streaming a cool podcast. But for the most part, the almighty dollar rules, and so, at times, the selling goes too far. Zero targeting is a media term that we all experience every time we’re online. Oh, you looked at that Wrangler Sherpa jacket at Macys.com? Well I hope you liked it amigo, because you’ll probably be seeing that same wooly denim frock for the next month while you’re clicking from site to site. It’s like a bad penny that you can’t get rid of. It’s annoying, but that’s sales. And how about that random businesswoman who hit you up for a LinkedIn connection? The moment you accepted her connection she messages you to sell you on her SEO business? Aaargh!

5. People who don’t pay attention – Let’s take things down a notch and dig into the insidious behavior of people so wrapped up in their little worlds that they can’t be bothered to show any consideration for anyone but themselves. For example, you are standing on a very long line at a retail store. You have your singular purchase in hand and your credit card ready. The lady in front of you has a pile of stuff to buy. She’s messing with her phone when the next register opens. She shuffles over and slowly unravels all her items. The cashier takes it all and folds each item up after she scans them. You would think this might be the perfect time to TAKE OUT YOUR WALLET. But no. Only after everything has been tallied does she realize that her eyes are bigger than her budget. So now she has to decide what she now doesn’t want. After this delay she is informed of her new total. Only now, does she begin digging through her bag to find her wallet, which is of course at the very bottom. And you are still waiting with credit card in hand. After another few minutes she finally pulls out a credit card, only to be rejected by the store. A discussion ensues before additional items are eliminated from her purchase. Finally she hands over an operable credit card. You get my drift? You see this type of nonsense every darn day. Don’t be that person. PAY ATTENTION.

6. Unaccountability – Since we live a fear-based culture, everyone is petrified of being wrong. People are incredibly defensive, like never before, and even among good friends, it’s rare that any of us hears the words, “Hey, I screwed up. Sorry.” No, we don’t hear that very much because people think that if they have been caught making a mistake they will be fired, executed and fed to the dogs. Relax, amigos. We all make mistakes every day. It’s best to fess up when you make a boo-boo. If people you hang out with are going to be pigheaded and never admit they are ever wrong, are they really your friends? In business, you have to be careful not to mess up, because with no ever admitting to a making a mistake, if someone is caught in an error, everyone piles on because they are relived it was not their fault. So, when it comes to work, be as impeccable as you can. But if you do make an error, fix it and don’t be a dick and blame your assistant if you get outed.

Deep breath. Exhale. Sigh. Shit, I feel better already. As a rule Guy’s Guys don’t bitch and moan, but like I said, every so often we all need to blow shit out and release any pent up tension. As long as we are not judging ourselves or other people too harshly, it’s cool. Everyone is fighting a battle that we probably don’t know about anyway, so be kind, do your best to stay cool and do your best to deal with all of the crazy stuff that’s being thrown at us. Until next time…

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is NOT Donald Trump. Like him or hate him, here is a man who, not only never admits to an error, but he also rubs people’s face in it at every chance he gets if and when they cross him. Politics aside, this is not the way a Guy’s Guy rolls. So since we are ranting this week, our choice for the anti-Guy’s Guy is DT.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Things Worth Investing In

Robert Manni - Thursday, November 02, 2017

They call it disposable income for a reason. We dispose of it every day—at lunch on $12 salads in plastic containers, ironic t-shirts, another pair of sneakers or shoes we don’t need to choke our closet space, or on numerous $9 glasses of so-called craft beers. But even though we live in a consumer society where over two-thirds of the money spent is on items we don’t really need, there are a few items worth paying those extra dollars for. Large or small, these are classic items worth the money, so your Guy’s Guy is going to lay them out for you to chew on and digest. Here in no particular order, is my GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO THINGS WORTH INVESTING IN.

1. Real estate – The rent really is too damn high. And besides getting a roof over your head for the next thirty days, there is not much to get excited about when renting your home. From my personal experience, I’ve done relatively well when investing in real estate and it began as soon as I found a way to scrape together the down payment to afford a mortgage for a modest, man-cave studio and the responsibilities that came with it. And I have never looked back. When you own that roof over your head, you get a tax break on the mortgage interest, you live in your investment, and in the vast majority of cases your home appreciates while you’re there. Wherever you may be, but particularly when you live in a ridiculously expensive city like New York, if you can find a way to buy your home, do it. If you can make those monthly payments, in the long run it will serve you well, amigo. Very well. Ask anyone who has done so and they will have a story to tell you about how much profit they made after buying that once-cheap co-op back in the eighties.

2. A great watch – Every Guy’s Guy needs at least one piece of top-notch jewelry. If he’s married he’s going to want a quality wedding band, but regardless of his marital status, this Guy’s Guy believes that owning a classic watch is a worthwhile investment. Let’s face it. There are clocks everywhere and you carry a phone so you don’t need a watch to know the time. A watch is a statement piece for a Guy’s Guy.  It’s something you can wear every day or if you choose, just to events that you hold in importance. I sat in the office next to the director of the Mont Blanc account at a big ad firm. I gave him a few bottles of rum since I ran the Bacardi account and he let me to pick from the Mont Blanc catalogue at half price. I was making good money so I bought very high-end “sport” watch, a silver dress watch, a pen, and a wicked cool pair of shades. I still have them all and I wear the two watches frequently to this day. On my fortieth, my folks bought me an engraved Rolex, so of course I also wear that too. But besides also owning a handful of very affordable watches, I’m done buying watches. The watches I own are statement pieces so I don’t need a special box or case filled a dozen good watches. I have three great watches, and that’s all I need. I still like admiring the classic timepieces I see, but I’m done.

3. A well-tailored suit and a tuxedo – A Guy’s Guy knows how to clean up, so every Guy’s Guy needs to own at least one finely tailored suit, regardless of his job or the type of work he does. There will always be an occasion where he needs to get decked out and show his stuff, so it’s a good idea to invest in a tropical wool designer suit in navy, charcoal or black. If you shop at an outlet you can pick a very nice suit for less than five hundred bucks. I recently purchased a classic, yet modern Theory suit that fits me like a glove for less than less four hundred that was originally priced at $1200. And, I will wear it when I need to for the next decade because it’s quality, a classic yet modern cut, and I work hard staying in fighting shape, like Guys’ Guys tend to do.

Another consideration is investing in a classic black tuxedo. I recent attended a wedding where the young guys in the wedding party wore maroon tuxedo jackets with black shirts and pants.  Not my style, but it was is their business. The point is; no one buys a maroon tuxedo jacket. I bought a well-made black tuxedo when I was in my twenties, and it still fits me and looks good. I also bought a formal white dress short shirt, cuff links, and a pair of shoes I only wear with the tux. Buying a tux is not as mission critical as owning a well-tailored suit, but it can be a good investment, especially if you compare it to the cost of renting.

4. A quality automobile – I’m still working on a personal issue that I have about letting go of things and people. This time it got me in trouble. I bought a silver Toyota Four-Runner in 2000 and due to my moving back into NYC, I rarely drove it. I kept it parked it on the street near the beach in New Jersey, and over the years the engine and the parts underneath the vehicle began rusting, and rusting, and rusting. I need car when I’m in Jersey and this vehicle was fully paid for, so I kept it but was making repairs and replacing rusting parts repeatedly. The decay continued and eventually, my prized vehicle became an albatross. I eventually dumped it, but not before I wasted a shitload of money on repairs.

I did buy a good vehicle, and that is part of the lesson because owning or leasing a good car can be a good investment, but only if you know when to cut bait and move on. Buying a car is so 1990 these days, so now I recommend leasing a top of the line vehicle and switching it out every few years. If you live in the burbs and show up for a date in an old rattlebox, it means negative points with the new lady.

5. Going to the dentist – A Guy’s Guy needs a first class ride for his teeth. A man’s oral health is a gateway to his overall health. And who doesn’t want a great smile? A Guy’s Guy looks for a dental practice with skilled hygienist and a dentist that can handle drillings and replacing old fillings to get that toxic metal out of your mouth, and doing what’s necessary to brighten your smile. Most healthcare plans these days scrimp on dental so having a great dentist might get expensive at times, but think about it as a sound investment in your overall health. Studies have found that built up plaque can find its way to your heart and other areas of your body and create havoc.

6. Wedding ring and band – Earlier I briefly mentioned this key, hopefully one-time purchase as another statement piece for a Guy’s Guy. When you marry, you want to show pride and your commitment. There is no better way to make your wife feel good about it than investing in a classy wedding rings and bands for both of you, but in particular for her. Make sure you exceed her expectations, and if you can swing it, go for at least two carats. No matter who pays for your band, pick a ring that looks masculine and makes you feel good about yourself. Trust me on this, amigos. It’s worth the investment to the marriage. And do you best to wear your wedding band. I’m not a big ring guy, but I keep mine in a little box on my bureau and at a bare minimum wear my platinum gold band when I am out in public with my wife. It’s the right thing to do.

7. Wine and spirits – Many Guys’ Guys like a cocktail or a glass of wine or beer now and then. Over time, most guys have had their fill of keggers and shots of lousy booze. When you finally grow out of that stuff, drink the best that you can afford, especially if you are drinking infrequently or drinking your booze straight. So out with the speed rack brands and on to the top shelf brands. As you age, if you still drink alcohol, drink less and drink better. Fear not, it’s not going to break the bank. There are many good vodkas available for $20 bucks and rums for between  $20 and $30. You’ have to pay more for good tequila, bourbon or scotch. When drinking wine, you can usually find something for every day drinking between $20- 35.  And if money is an object, with a little research you can find a decent bottle for less than $20. Beer is all about personal preference regardless of price. The point is that the clock keeps ticking and you're not going to live forever. Opt for the good stuff when you drink.

8. Organic food – It costs more, but you are protecting your health by eating organic food. The processed packaged crap down the aisles in the supermarket may taste good, but it isn’t good for you, and non-organic produce and fruit has been sprayed with pesticides. Over time, eating this stuff can cause chronic health issues. Think of yourself as a sleek Mercedes-Benz 450SEL. To keep it running smoothly you don’t fill it with the cheapest fuel. And despite all the cute memes you read about bacon, it’s basically processed pork, and that is not good fuel for a luxury vehicle like you.

9. Your wallet – This might seem like a minor thing, but think of how many times you pull out your wallet every day. A good wallet sends the right psychological signals to your brain about your financial self-worth and to others as to how you value yourself and your money. Spend a few extra bucks and buy a good wallet. It will help you feel your best about your financial standing even in tough times. Stay classy, amigo.

10. The right relationship – Investing the time in finding and securing the right life partner is probably the best investment you will ever make. I stayed single for so long that close friends and family stopped asking me when I was getting married. I knew I was not ready, so I waited until I had the epiphany of making room in my heart for someone else before taking the plunge. Maybe it took me longer than most. That’s my business, but I’m glad I waited, and I am glad I made the right investment in the right woman for me.

I hope these tips help you make sound decisions about the things in life that are worth investing in. I’m sure I missed a few along the way, but this is a good start for any Guy’s Guy who wants to send out signals that say, “Hey, I’m a Guy’s Guy and this is how I roll.”

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is the actor and classic Guy’s Guy, Cary Grant. Although he may have swung ways, no worries and no judgments. He still was a Guy’s Guy. Despite his living in a different time, this guy was all class. Although I’m not sure how he invested in real estate, he died a rich man and oozed timeless style when he was alive. If you are ever in doubt about spending those extra dollars on any of the items I mentioned, ask yourself what would Cary Grant do and you can’t go wrong.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Halloween

Robert Manni - Friday, October 27, 2017


For one day every year anyone can dress up and apply a bad spray-on tan like Donald Trump or wear a Kim Jong Un mask and knock on stranger’s doors carrying a little basket while asking for candy. And no one gets shot.

Sounds crazy when you think about it. That’s because Halloween is one kooky and crazy American holiday. On this day straight men can get dolled up like Katy Perry and a shy woman can dress like a dominatrix and no one bats an eye. Add copious amounts of alcohol and a big parade like in NYC, and you’ve got the making of a real party. On Halloween, America really cuts loose and goes for it.

All of this freedom to masquerade can be as intoxicating as the punch served at the parties taking place across the country on Halloween or the Saturday night before October 31st.  But, when you mix sexy devil costumes with alcohol, things can go very right or very wrong. With this in mind, whether you’re single, married, or a parent supervising your kids I offer you a few Guy’s Guy tricks and treats to get you through this special day in fine form while also staying out of jail. 

Here is my GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO HALLOWEEN.

1. Don’t wear your costume to work – You might think your Guy’s Guy recco is too boring and stiff, but there is a big difference between attending a party in monster costume and walking the halls of an insurance company dressed in Spiderman tights. Sure, you will get some laughs, but in the office, they will be directed at you rather than with you. So unless your boss throws down a directive that everyone on her team must dress up, don’t do it. And if you are pressured to play along, don’t do the spray-on tan and orange hair like you-know-who. That or other politically charged costumes can be polarizing. Who wants a Halloween costume to ruin their career?

2. Be original, but don’t dress like a tampon - Remember, when others zig, Guy’s Guys zag. That goes for the ladies, too. You want to avoid costume concepts that are too gross or too obvious, like DT. For example, if you want to get political outside the office, instead of dressing up like Trump, go as hybrid of Jeff Sessions and Granny Clampett. Now that’s original, and you’ll get some laughs. You might not get laid, but you will get laughs.

3. Don’t drink too much – There are few things more disgusting than watching someone dressed like a zombie barfing on the sidewalk at 2am. That’s too scary, amigo. And if you want to get cuffed by that hot blonde in the cop’s uniform, you don’t want her to slap them on you because you’re too smashed. Have fun, have a few drinks, but know when to day when. Having the spins while you’re dressed like the Mummy is not a lot of fun. And that reminds me—make sure you can slip out of that costume easily if the opportunity arises.

4. Stay aware of your surroundings – Right after college I attended a Halloween party in Palisades Park, NJ. I dressed up as samurai warrior, complete with a real sword given to me by one of my dad’s business associates and eye makeup that made this Caucasian look…Japanese. No, I was not politically correct, but this was before everyone got so sensitive. And I did not know the party was in a predominantly Asian neighborhood. I knocked on the door of what I thought was the party, but was the wrong apartment. An older Asian lady answered the door, took one look at me and started screaming and waving her arms as I backed down the hallway. The point is, know where you are. If you are a good-looking straight guy, don’t dress up like a hot woman and go to gay bar even if your gay friends think you’re cool. You might end up in the arms of a hairy guy wearing a leather vest and chaps that wants to break you in, if you get my drift. 

5. Consider giving something healthy to the neighborhood kids – Fortunately, nowadays you can buy organic versions of almost anything, including cookies and candies. I realize this is a more expensive and can be a pain in the butt, but it’s worth a thought, especially when you look into those kids’ bags and all you see are the mini bags of M&M’s and other sugar-laden “treats”. MILF’s will love you for it, also, even if you’re already taken.

6. If you’re dating, consider couple-themed costumes – Brainstorming a costume theme with your date can be a great creative bonding exercise, especially if you can rock a cool couple’s concept that brings out the best in both of you. I’m not going to get specific and suggest the old standby cowboy and cowgirl outfits or Mr. and Mrs. Howell from Gilligan’s Island, but you get the idea. Have fun with it and she’ll love you for being a good sport.

It’s Halloween and you want to cut loose and go nuts. By all means, do just that. But keep in mind a few of your Guys’ Guy’s tricks if you want to get some of those special treats from your lady.

This week’s GUYS’ GUYS of the WEEK are all the moms and dads who take the time to help make Halloween a really fun experience for their kids. That includes finding out what the kid wants to be on Halloween and also putting together an interesting costume no matter how crazy the kid’s idea may be. And hang on to your carrots because my son rejected the policeman’s outfit he received for his birthday. He’s decided that he wants to go as a bunny rabbit. Mom, help me!

When You Are NOT a Guy's Guy

Robert Manni - Thursday, October 19, 2017


People ask me all the time, “Hey, what is a Guy’s Guy anyway? Is that like a man’s man?” Nope. A Guy’s Guy is not a man’s man.

He is, however, an updated, more open and contemporary version of the old adage. A Guy’s Guy is comfortable in his own skin. He has a casual confidence about him as well as unassuming strength, seductive integrity, emotional intelligence, and a timeless style. He’s fun, too. But most of all, a Guy’s Guy celebrates women and the well-earned recognition they are finally receiving for their many achievements. So we have a pretty clear idea about Guy’s Guys and how they roll. But with the recent news about the bad behavior of so many men, now is a good time to explore what a Guy’s Guy is not. Let’s begin by stating that not all men are bad and creepy and only seek get laid at any cost. Yes, men, including Guy’s Guys like sex, but Guy’s Guys don’t abuse their power as leverage on women.

I’ve written about Anti-Guy’s Guys men previously, but unfortunately male behavior continues to disappoint, so here we are again. With this in mind I offer you, in no particular order, my list of men, and maybe a few women, who are not Guy’s Guys. Let’s call them The Not So Guy’s Guys. I hope this helps clarifies the Guy’s Guy movement, its importance to our culture, and our mantra- When men and women can be at their best, everyone wins. There are a lot of Guy’s Guys who will cross your path every day that deserve recognition, but for now let’s out a handful of bad eggs who need to clean up their act.

1. Harvey Weinstein – This is pretty obvious. With all the headlines about his alleged abuse of power and sexual predatory behavior, he does not fit our definition of a Guy’s Guy. After all, Guy’s Guys know that “No” means no and they never take advantage of their position to get sex. They don’t have to. Guy’s Guys are cool customers who engage women respectfully, are present, and actively listen to them.

2. Men Who Don’t Respect “Me too” – I’ve been reading way too much push back from males who have a problem with the millions of women coming out as one and letting the world know that they are not going to remain silent about the abuse they’ve received from men any longer. I say, good for them, and any guy who fails to understand the truth in what women are surfacing are in denial, guilty, or in need of a wake up call to women’s being treated horribly for centuries. Guys, please shut up if you have nothing positive to add the “me too’s” pouring out. Imagine how you’ll feel if you notice family members or your girlfriends posting these words. Maybe that will remind you that men still have a long way to go in respecting women in love, business, and treating them as our equals.

3. Donald Trump – Like him or loathe him, you’ve got to admit this guy has a problem in how he treats women. Besides his “locker room talk” with Billy Bush, how you noticed the dynamic between DT and his wife? She usually looks as miserable as half the country is right now and every time we are forced to witness his bewilderingly disrespectful statements and criticisms of virtually anyone who crosses his path. A true disruptor, but not a Guy’s Guy.

4. Trump’s sons – I give them a tiny pass because they grew up in a bubble and might not know how creepy and crass they are, but in particular, Jr. —or should we call him Beavis—needs help. First, he rants that women who can’t handle harassment in the workplace should not be working. Then, in his spare time he and brother, Butthead, get their jollies shooting and killing defenseless, majestic, and often endangered animals. Come on, fellas. Wake up. Not Guy’s Guys.

5. Floyd Mayweather – I mentioned him in my original post about anti-Guy’s Guys when he was running around the ring to avoid Manny Pacquaio. Now, after that travesty and rip off of the paying public, he felt the need to top himself for his final fight by taking on another brash big mouth from the MMA who had never stepped into a boxing ring. And, the suckers bought it. Afterwards Floyd thought he could ride off into the sunset with piles of money thinking he was boxing’s GOAT. But although he’s made more cash than any boxer in history, he will never be the GOAT of the sport. This is in part because he’s not a Guy’s Guy. He selected his opponents at their worst— either when they were too young, too old, and in the case of MMA star, Conor McGregor, a fighter not in the same sport. Floyd topped this off by setting a great example for all of the up and coming young men and fighters by investing in a massive strip club because, “Tits and ass and booze never go out of style.” I can’t argue with him on that point, but do you really have to go there?

6. Conor McGregor – Complicit in Mayweather’s “boxing match” was his MMA opponent, Conor McGregor, who after month’s of trash talk, borderline derogatory racial comments, and promises to walk right through Mayweather in one short round, came out pawing before being carried by Mayweather into the tenth round so the paying public would not feel cheated. He eventually got his ass knocked out the moment Floyd decided that enough was enough for the suckers who shelled out $100 for this glorified exhibition. As soon as the fight was over it was all hugs between these two. They had your money, McGregor launched a new whiskey, and so all was good. Not a Guy’s Guy.

7. Sarah Huckabee Sanders / Jeff Sessions – Ever wonder why Sarah Huckabee’s face always looks twisted and contorted? I think it’s from her inner turmoil and awareness that her job is to stand at a podium and lie for a living. Jeff Sessions is the old guy who looks like Granny Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies and who is also is our country’s leading attorney, the Attorney General. But if you’ve ever watched in squirm and spout nonsensically evasive answers to very direct questions from the Congress investigating him and his misleading statements about his possible involvement in “Russiagate”, you’d be hard pressed to think that this guy represents honesty, integrity, and the American way. Not a Guy’s Guy.

8. Rick Pitino – I attended Villanova University. We always had great basketball teams.  Our coaches drew up plays on a wipe board with a felt tip pen, concocted game strategies, and made players run sprints when they missed lay ups. Unlike the notorious Rick Pitino, they were never accused of raping women in bars after hours or paying families through third parties for recruiting. To be fair, although the university has fired him, Pitino denies the latter charges. But it doesn’t matter. Ex-Louisville coach Pitino; you ain’t no Guy’s Guy.

9. Anthony Weiner - What was his Twitter handle? Carlos Danger? Too bad, but this really smart guy had a real political future until Little Tony started running the show from down below with some very young ladies. Of course Weiner was married while sending naked torso selfies to his squad of online lady friends.

10. Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) – I give him points for all the beautiful women he’s dated, but I wince whenever I watch him on Fox Sports talking about baseball. He has no insights into the game he played his whole life and he does not understand human nature. I also have a problem with Fox for hiring and making a star out of a PED user and cheater busted not once, but twice while also lying about it repeatedly. As a studio expert, he is a master of stating the obvious through a pasted on smile and his perfect veneers. You can feel the other studio guys, who unlike A-Rod are Hall of Famers, cringe at his banal statements and when he takes his World Series championship ring off and thrusts it in front of the camera. It’s says something about his shame when he needs to take his ring off to display it rather than simply holding up a fist and brandishing the ring he won before being suspended for PED’s. He’s not getting into the Hall of Fame and he’s no Guy’s Guy.

11. Christopher Columbus – I’m an Italian–American, but I’m not big fan of Columbus. Columbus showed a lot of balls sailing across an uncharted sea in search of a short cut to Asia. But after landing in the Caribbean, he returned to Europe before returning and being responsible for the systematic mass murdering of thousands of indigenous peoples. Hey, people whose name ends with a vowel, like Manni, let’s not celebrate this guy. Change the name of the holiday to Italian American Heritage Day and let’s push for a federal holiday dedicated to the real Native Americans who were here before the Europeans conquered, corrupted and infected their land.

I can keep going and going, but I think it’s best we hit pause here for now. There is too much bad male behavior taking place these days. But thankfully, on the flip side there are also lots of Guy’s Guys doing great things. But unfortunately, the jerks keep getting too much money, power, and respect from the sheep that lap up the mush our media feeds us each and every day. Don’t fall for the hype, amigos, and always be a Guys Guy.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week are all the real Guy’s Guys in the world that celebrate women. Remember, there has never been a better time to be a guy than right now. Be present. Be respectful. Be Guy’s Guy and the world will be yours.


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