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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

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.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Longevity

Robert Manni - Friday, October 06, 2017


I met up with an old friend last night for a couple of beers. We spent half the time watching the Yankees game and the other half discussing our surgeries. This is what happens when boomers age.

We’re all aging and in the toxic environment we live in, shit can happen to us at any time. That’s why we need to be mindful of our choices while we’re aging. Sometimes random bad things happen, like getting hit by a bus, but uncontrollable events aside, we can get a firm grip on how we live and our destiny. Think about the folks you know who are approaching, or are already over fifty. Some look amazing and some look like your parents. Part of this is due to genes, but a lot of it has to do with their lifestyle choices and how they relate to their mind, body and spirit.

I married at fifty and become a father a few years later. As a result I quickly became increasingly mindful about how I was taking care of myself. I want to enjoy as many years as possible with my wife, who is sixteen years younger than me, and my son. And, I have no doubt that I can accomplish this if I do my research and adjust my lifestyle choices going forward. But it’s never that simple. Shit happens. Since I married and became a dad, I’ve had two robotic surgeries on my kidneys and contracted pneumonia. The good news is I have been deemed all clear on the kidney front, and through a deep Ayurvedic medical protocol I also reduced my body’s toxicity by one hundred percent. That means the chances of a recurrence are now even more miniscule than what my western doctors told me. Because of my research and introduction to eastern Ayurvedic medicine I made some changes. Among other things, I take lots of supplements, and overall I’ve gotten into better alignment with my mind, body, spirit, and my truth. Of course I’ll need to stay consistent and remain on this positive lifestyle path, but the benefits so far have been substantial and I feel great. Regardless of my chronological age, I’m a happy, healthy guy.

So what have I learned about aging better that can I share with the world of Guy’s Guys to help them live their very best life? I’ve done my homework, experienced a lot, and even stared into the abyss, so I’m confident I can add value to you if you consider some of the tips in what I’m calling The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Longevity. Here they are in no particular order. Drum roll please…

1. Manage your anger – This is a tough one, especially for me. I’m not the kind of Guy’s Guy who suffers fools lightly. The advertising industry where I worked for decades is filled with very intelligent and creative people, but it can also be a snake pit filled unnecessarily selfish, ego-driven behavior. Many people who work in advertising spend way too much of their time plotting to get ahead at any expense. On the creative side, you’ve got lots of brilliant people who come up with some incredible ideas, and most of them are fun to work with. But as in any business, you’ve also got to work with some major asswipes who, due to their fear-based behavior, act like they are far more talented than they really are. And because the entire industry is predicated on the production and sale of actual products, it’s all too easy for people to fly off the handle when they get frustrated or angry. There’s a lot of stress, and over time it takes its toll. All of the uncertainty about losing an account, which always happens, makes it a highly stressful industry that can chew people up and spit them out quickly. That’s one of the reasons that advertising remains a young-skewing business.

I’ve always believed in focusing on helping clients position and sell their products. That’s it. I become president of one agency and my motto was that as long as the work gets done, there was no reason to sweat. If it sells it sells. If not, we all get canned. So fortunately I didn’t let the business age me too quickly. As my mother says, “this too shall pass” and no truer words were ever stated about the ad business. People come and go all the time so there is no reason to get too pissed off. When someone you work with or a client becomes impossible to deal with, remember that the worm can turn very quickly in this industry.

Taking the issue of anger beyond just work and the ad business, there are still constant challenges that quickly fill our daily anger quotient. In a city like New York, we experience the very best and worst of people almost every day. Since it’s such a fast-paced city, it’s easy to let our emotions get away from us. So when we’re stuck in a crowded subway car filled with manspreading, loud music, dancing kids doing Showtime, or simply rude behavior. It’s important not to let it get to you. If we snap, we may find ourselves in a conflict with a stranger that can turn out badly.

All of the stress from work and simply living in a big city accelerates our aging. So when the going gets shitty and people behave badly, we need to do our best to shake it off and keep moving. But, we can’t keep all our negative emotions bottled up inside. That’s just one more thing that shortens our lifespan. So we have to find ways of letting off steam.

I don’t like carrying around bitterness and anger. I am authentic, honest, and possess keen bullshit radar detection abilities. So people who know me usually pause before bullshitting or lying to me—they know I will call them on it. Is this the right technique for you? You have to find your own way of dealing with the nonsense so you don’t burn up inside. I know I have a temper, so I remain mindful of it at all times. Although I call bullshit, I fly off the hook less and less these days because I know that stress kills.

2. Get your rest – As we get older, we need more rest. Duh. But that’s cool because rest is a good thing, amigos. Over the past decade when possible, I’ve added naps to my daily routine and I’ve found them to be tremendously refreshing. I also try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. It’s not that hard to do. If you hit the sack at midnight and get up at seven you’ve got your seven hours. Who needs to watch James Corden anyway? Yoga, tai chi, meditation, hypnosis, and reiki are also good practices that allow us to go inside and slow down our thinking, internal monkey chatter, and breathing. All these practices help to support longevity.

3. Hydrate - Ever wonder why many old people look so wrinkly? Studies have shown that eighty percent of Americans are dehydrated. Then compound that with an aging process that also dries us out when our internal liquids evaporate without proper replenishment. I keep a sixty-four ounce container of water on my table every day and make it my goal to finish it. When I do that, I feel great. I also filter the water with a Zero Water jug, take two to four Dr. Patrick Flanagan’s Mega Hydrate capsules, and add Crystal Energy drops for longevity. The capsules hydrate the cells and release hydrogen ions that chase down the millions of free radicals roaming in our bodies. The drops add to the PH level of the water, making it wetter, healthier, and more hydrating. Google Dr. Patrick Flanagan and you’ll get a real eye-opener of information on his under-the-radar anti-aging technology. The bottom line is hydration grows in importance as we age. Stay lubricated, amigos.

4. Reconfigure your diet – I know it’s not easy to become a vegan or go totally organic, but you will surely reap the benefits if you can align your diet to these tenants as much as possible. I’m a long-term pescatarian, but I consume less and less fish as the years go by and my body craves it less and less as a result. I also no longer eat sushi due to a concern about parasites. I’ve eliminated meat and as much dairy, fried foods, caffeine, and sugar as possible and have a lot more energy now. Dropping meat was the big one. I cut out beef, lamb, and pork while weaning myself off of poultry over two years. My body thanks me and I’ve never looked back. After years of eating fake bacon, sausage, etc., I’ve totally dismissed the possibility of consuming meat ever again. I know that does not work for everyone, but if you can eliminate meat and as much sugar and dairy as possible, you’ll feel a major difference within a few short weeks and will probably add a few years to a healthy life.

5. Don’t smoke, cut back on alcohol – I don’t think it’s necessary for me to go into why smoking is not conducive to aging in general. If you still feel a need to smoke weed for recreational purposes, source the cleanest product available if it’s legal in your state, and use a vape or a bong. And, imbibe in moderation. I still enjoy the occasional glass of wine, a craft beer, or a few sips of high-end tequila, but I know drinking alcohol is not a great habit and it certainly does nothing for your longevity. Yeah, yeah, we’ve all read the claims about some study claiming that a glass of red wine every day is great for you or about that crusty one hundred year old guy who claims drinking whiskey has been his key to longevity. But do you believe it? Your best path is to arm yourself with scientific facts and make your choices base on what feels right for you. Cheers.

6. Keep moving – Over the years, life takes its toll on our bodies and many of us break down from overuse or abuse. How many people do you know who are over fifty years old that are still pounding the pavement on long runs, or take classes at Barry’s Boot Camp? I’ve found that being consistent with my fitness, which means never really falling out of shape, has allowed me to continue enjoying some rigorous workouts and long runs into my fifties and beyond. Am I lucky? Yes. But I’ve also made some of my own luck by taking care of my body, mind and spirit over all these decades. I began doing push-ups every morning during my teens and I still pound out between fifty and seventy-five almost day. Am I bragging? Maybe a little bit, but so what? The point is that with a little luck we can keep rolling with the same fitness routines if we take care of our bodies during our twenties, thirties and forties.

7. Keep on the sunny side of life – You’ve got your anger under control, you’re eating well, getting your rest, meditating, hydrating, exercising, and not smoking, drinking or eating meat. Congratulations! I’m sure you’re feeling pretty darn good. But, the true catalyst to enhance and maximize the wellness factor in the aging process is maintaining a positive attitude. Of course this isn’t always easy in our highly dysfunctional culture. But it’s possible. And you can do it if you put in the effort. Start by adding meditation to your daily routine and periodically unplug from the Internet, the media, and the waves of toxic negativity that permeate our collective consciousness. Remember this. The only thing that truly matters is right now. You are alive. You are reading this post. You are doing a lot better than you give yourself credit for. Relax, amigo. It’s going to be okay. Play your cards right and you can live a long healthy life. Salud!

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is yogi Kazim Gurbuz who is 95 years old now and looks like a fifty-year old. He claims through proper nutrition and yoga practices we can live to 130. Maybe he’s right.  Would you settle for 100? I’ll see you there. 

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Being

Robert Manni - Saturday, September 30, 2017


Modern life is so stressful that it often feels like there are not enough hours in the day to deal with all our responsibilities. But is that how you want to live your life?

When you remain busy, busy, busy multitasking and toiling away without finding time to simply be, you’ll wake up one day and realize that half of your life is over. And you’ll ask yourself what you have to show for it beyond the completion of a lot of tasks, duties and busy work. I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe that’s what our Creator had in mind when mankind was conceived. But, so many people in our western society have a real need to always be doing something. Being busy is necessary, to a point. But when it transcends your ability to slow things down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, it can be a rigid state of mind that precludes you from enjoying anything except when you are doing something. By being, and not always doing, I mean taking a break from tasks, work, planning ahead, social media, texting, and incessantly checking email. Modern man is programmed for doing, and the sad truth is that for most Americans, it’s hard to do nothing and simply be.

If you take the time to learn how to shut down all the noise, I assure you that you can live a much saner and fulfilling existence. But, it’s up to you, because so many of us just have to be doing something or multitasking to feel they are alive, empowered, and important. Make no mistake about it; doing things is good. It’s part of taking on our challenging lives. But learning to simply be every so is a very healthy practice also. In the spirit of learning how to live quietly and peacefully, even in a crazy metropolis like New York, I offer you my GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO BEING. And guess what? You don’t have to do anything but sit back and read.

If you are asking yourself how can I simply be when I have so much going on? Amigo, being is a learned skill, but anyone can do it if they take the time to step back and relax. It’s that easy, yet that difficult for many of us type A personalities. So let’s explore my insights and tips for slowing down and simply being, no matter where we are and what the circumstances we’re dealing with.

1. Unplug – If you are serious about wanting to decompress and live a less stressful lifestyle, the first step may turn out to be the most difficult. Putting down your iPhone, iPad, turning off the television, and taking a break from your desktop are real challenges for a society programmed to react to life by continually check emails and social media feeds and working on their computers for their jobs. Unless you take charge and shut it down now it then, you will be caught up in this vicious cycle and most likely become another victim of the grind who gets old before their time.

2. Rest and recharge – Last month I contracted a random case of walking pneumonia. I had to shut down. I had no choice. So I put everything in my life that was not mission critical on hold for a month so I could heal. I was so sick that nothing else mattered, and it turned out to be a blessing because I learned how to shut down and I am now fully recharged. During my illness I did the work that was necessary to live, I paid my bills and I tended to my family as best I could. But that was it. I was too sick to enjoy reading, listening to music, writing, or tackling the projects I lined up for this fall. I was too sick to do anything but rest and recuperate. I slept a lot, suspended my workouts, and made sure not to make any major decisions while I was taking antibiotics.

Since I had not been aware of my prognosis, I attended my annual fantasy football draft. I made crazy decisions that went against my intuition. My team is sketchy at best now because I now realize that I was mentally wonky during the draft. I was diagnosed two days later and decided to take a month to focus on rest, recuperation and healing. And, I’m glad I did. I used the down time to heal physically and mentally, look for the spiritual lesson from my ailment, communicate with my higher self, and align with my truth. I recognized and thanked my ailment and asked it to leave my body, and it did. The experience forced me to slow down and take the time I needed to re-evaluate my life and some major decisions I need to make. But, for a month, I did my best to simply be.

3. Stop your internal monkey chatter – Our third-dimensional lives are predominantly driven by ego. Add technology, smart phones and the relentless media presence in our lives and it becomes difficult to shut down our internal mental dialogue. It’s not impossible, but it’s a tough challenge because we are inundated with new stimuli virtually all day that places us in a reactive mode.  It’s important to our health to learn how to discipline our minds and no think for fifteen to thirty minutes every day. I’ve made positive strides through meditation, deep breathing, visualization and going for long runs where the endorphins kick in and help me zone out. It doesn’t matter what method you prefer for managing your internal dialogue as long as it works for you. The time to get started is now.

4. Consider the bigger picture – Another way to transcend your ego and the details in our conscious lives is to step back and look at our lives from a broader perspective. And by broader perspective, I mean a detached view of your life. My mother always says, “this too shall pass”, and she’s right. Most of the crap you are dealing with right now will not matter very much next year, in five years or when you get sick. Seeing the big picture depends on the expansiveness of your thinking and if you believe in differentiating timelines, past lives and various incarnations. Can you step way, way back and see this life as but a blink in the eye in an endless journey? What’s happening right now in your small self is only a blip on a seemingly endless path to ascension. If you believe that right now is all there is, then enjoy the stress and fear propagated on us by the media. You can live a reactive life if you choose, but regardless of how busy you are, I doubt it will make you happy. 

5. Let go and trust – Letting go is no easy task, but it’s paramount if you want to enjoy a more fulfilling life. Letting go, and even surrendering, does not mean you are giving up or losing anything. In fact letting go is an expression of trusting in your power and the universe. In fact this is very empowering. Holding on to attachments that have exhausted their usefulness holds us back from living the life we signed up for prior to our physical birth. Many times I’ve held myself back by keeping a bad relationship going, holding on to a job that had served its purpose, and becoming too emotionally attached to things like to where I lived. In every case, the moment I let go felt so much better and I was immediately free explore new chapters of my life.

All these actions (or non-actions) discussed can help you slow down, chill out, and simply “be”. If you can master this skill you’ll no longer feel as frazzled, stressed, or manic about dealing with all the day-to-day aspects of your life. You will be free to more fully enjoy your time in this human form and experience the beauty of our world. Just be, amigos.

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Dr. Amit Goswami, quantum physicist and author. Dr Goswami co-opted the term “do-be-do-be-do” from the Sinatra song as a signpost for how we can live more fulfilling lives through blending, balancing, and knowing when we need to do or simply be.    

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Love and Money

Robert Manni - Thursday, September 21, 2017


Once upon a time, guys paid for everything. And women were not your bosses. And jobs were not downsized and replaced by robots.

Life was so simple. Or was it? All the changes that have occurred over the past thirty years have reconfigured our lives and how men and women relate to one another. But throughout it all one thing has not changed. Money can still have a major effect on a relationship. So you better get on the same page with your partner when it comes to managing the cash. I’ve lived, loved, and learned a lot about money and relationships throughout these past three decades. Now I’m taking this opportunity to share a few secrets about how to make your relationship thrive when it comes to dealing with financial issues.

Surprisingly, the key to success isn’t necessarily tied to how much money the man or a woman earns. It’s more about the ways a couple share certain values about money. If they do, they can turn their love into a true partnership where everyone wins. But there’s no one size fits all solution. The world is a different place now, so if you are a guy, your partner may now earn more than you. And that’s one reason that couples need to be flexible about how they view cash. So, here are my insights in what I’m calling The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Love and Money. To help clarify some of the issues and nuances I’ll segment my tips into three categories:

1. Dating – The best time to set the tone for dealing with money in a relationship is at the beginning. Although for the most part men still earn more than women and unfairly still get paid more to do the same work, many things have changed over the past thirty years. Back in the day, a guy would ask a woman out and pay for the date. It was accepted and expected. Nowadays, people meet online or through apps for a meet up, a coffee, or even a quickie. So things are more fluid.

And there’s more. Today’s young women are entering the workplace more educated than the guys, and are making more money than ever before. They don’t need a guy to take care of them financially like their parents’ generation rolled. But, that still does not mean women want to pay their equal share.  I’m not judging, but because of this perceptual selectivity, things can get off on the wrong foot and pretty sticky if a few ground rules are not put in place.

To make things work right from the start, I suggest that when a guy asks a woman out for drinks, coffee, or dinner that he pays for it. It makes sense, and who wants to end a first date on an awkward moment when the check arrives? Guys, suck it up and pay for that first date. After that, if you want to get together again, set up another date and when the bill arrives, don’t flinch. Reach for the check again. One of three things will happen—she’ll either let you pay, she’ll offer to split the tab, or she’ll pay for it herself. At this stage of the game, it still doesn’t matter. You can easily pay for a second date, so pick up the check and don’t sweat it. After that, you hope she comes up with a plan to treat you right, by maybe offering to take you out or inviting you over to her place for dinner. Any of those options is a good thing because what you want is a natural, comfortable flow where mature adults deal with money like champs and money is not an issue. Based on who earns more money and other factors, a pattern usually surfaces that suits both of you. However, if she never picks up a tab or makes you dinner or comes up with something to contribute on her own, it’s a potential red flag. The truth is that some women, regardless of how much money they earn, still feel that the guy is responsible for all of the cash outlays in a relationship. If that turns out to be the case, then you have to decide if that works for you. If you run a hedge fund and she’s a teacher, it should not be an issue. But if you are both earning about the same amount and she expects you to pay for everything, you’ve got to determine if it’s a workable situation. In my experience, all the cool women I’ve dated were chill when it came to doling out the cash. I’ve dated a few women who never reached for the check or never even baked me a cupcake. Over time, it didn’t feel right so I moved on. But, that’s just me. You have to find a happy place based on your income and what feels right for you, and for her also. If you like her, but she never, ever picks up the tab, there is nothing wrong with bringing up the subject, although it can be a touchy area that could become a deal breaker. But that’s better than avoiding a potential sore point.

2. Committed or co-habituating - In all likelihood, if you’ve gotten to the point in a relationship where you are committed or living together, you probably have a grip on the financial aspects of your relationship. Most likely, you have fallen into a groove where and you pay for different things. Maybe you pay the rent and she pays for groceries and cable. Or you pay for dinners out and she buys the groceries. Or, she moved into your pad so you handle the rent and she pays for utilities and meals. Whatever. The point is, by this time if you are in a real partnership you most likely have sorted out the money issues.

But, maybe not. There are many variables to consider. What if you bought a condo and she moves in? You pay the mortgage, what does she pay for? Does she expect to share the equity built into your place because she is living with you? Do you charge her rent? Will she be resentful if she pays you? Every situation is different, but one thing is for sure. You need to work out what feels right and consider any and all potential scenarios if you are living together or preparing to take that big step in a relationship. Like most things in life, it’s all about anticipation and expectations, so put on your thinking cap and make sure you have a fair-minded system that works for both of you. The last thing you want is for your partner to latch on to feelings of unspoken bitterness. That is often a silent but deadly relationship killer. Trust me. I’ve been there. Get your perspectives out in the open and be willing to discuss what you feel. Whatever you do, come to terms with a mutually agreeable solution before shacking up.

3. Married – Marriage comes with a whole new set of financial considerations. Many couples these days have at least one partner who has been previously married. They may have kids, or have a very specific set of financial issues they are dealing with. So when you marry, it’s good business to get full disclosure about their fiscal obligations, especially if you’re planning on pooling your assets.

There are a number of ways to make things work. Because life gets so complicated many older couples sign pre-nuptials before marrying a second or even a first time. You’ll need to determine if pooling your assets or maintaining separate bank accounts is the way to go. There are benefits to both paths. Couples usually save money when they jointly file their taxes, but that does not preclude their maintaining their personal investments, bank accounts, and credit cards.

And it’s only fair to consider these options, especially if one person has been very diligent about his or her credit score and savings while the other may play things a bit more fast and loose when it comes to managing debt and doling out cash and managing their lifestyle. There are huge discrepancies in how we spend money for what some consider everyday purchases where others consider those same things as unnecessary. Take coffee as an example. If you buy a good brand of coffee, brew it at home, and fill up your thermos each day you can save at least twenty bucks a week. That may be a drop in the bucket for some, but now add in the savings from making your lunch at home versus paying twelve bucks for a chopped up salad in a plastic container every day. You’ll probably save close to another fifty bucks a week just by schlepping your lunch to work.

The point is, the little things add up so make sure you and your partner are singing off of the same song sheet when it comes to how you two spend your cash. You don’t want to quibble about take out food, but if you are not paying attention, you may see your pile of dough sink a lot faster than you anticipated, mainly because you are no longer solely in control of it. The older I get, the more sense it makes for couples to maintain separate checking, savings accounts, and credit cards. This way you don’t have to totally freak out by having to see your partner’s purchases, although in reality you are probably sharing the costs of everything. You just don’t have to have the your partner’s purchases rubbed in your face all the time.

I’m a good saver so keeping some things separate has proven to be protective of the partnership. I do my best to maintain a cushion of savings for when things go haywire, which they often do. These days, people lose their jobs and change careers in a flash. That means couples need to be in synch when it comes to managing their money, and even more so when kids come into the picture. So think things through and talk about financial issues with your partner. You don’t want surprises. I promise you if you keep the lines of communication open it will eliminate most of the stress when things get random.

When it comes to money, whether dating, living together or married, couples need to find out what works best for them. We live in a capitalistic society driven by consumerism. There is no escaping our needing to face down various financial situations almost every day, including those inevitable rainy days, too. Think about money, talk about it with your partner, and get on the same page. When it comes to love and money, communication is the only way to make things work. Good luck.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK are all the couples who have found a system, a formula, and a way to co-exist in a financial partnership built on their love. It’s never easy, but it can be done. 

What I've Learned Walking with Pneumonia

Robert Manni - Thursday, September 14, 2017


I was working on post about losing ten pounds in ten days naturally when I realized there was a problem.

I was finishing up my weekly eight-mile run when I tripped and fell headfirst on the boardwalk in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. This was unlike me. I rarely lose my balance, but it was the second time in a month that I fell down at the end of my run. I thought about it as I walked along the beach towards my cooling off dip in the ocean. For some reason today the water and breeze was cold. After my swim I did a little energy work while standing on the shoreline. I breathed slowly as I ran energy into my left hand, throughout my body and finally out my right hand into my crown. I felt chilled as I walked to my beach house, now recalling how my runs had been shorter than usual over the past month and how rare it was for me to trip and fall twice during that time. Something was wrong.

That afternoon the cough I had been experiencing over the past week became more persistent. And that night I felt cold as I hacked while propped up in bed like Doc Holliday. I woke up in the middle of the night cold, yet drenched in sweat and feeling awful. Yep, something was wrong. We stayed at the beach for one more day, but I felt like crap, experiencing more coughs, a hot forehead and loss of appetite. Over the past few weeks I’d begun cleaning up my diet and stopped drinking alcohol. I was steadily losing weight and assumed my body was going through machinations of a detoxification program. But, this was something more. I paid close attention to my body. It told me to get back to New York. So I did, but I was still not well. No matter how much I took it easy I maintained a fever, a now brutal and persistent cough that gave a vicious headache. It was so severe I felt like I was in the NFL concussion protocol. Whatever was happening to me was far more than a few side effects from a detox. I was sick and now I unsure if I could work my way through whatever it was that had taken hold of me.

When we returned to the city I spent the next few days climbing in and out of bed with the same, now escalating, symptoms. I foolishly maintained hope that I could regain my health this way, but my symptoms continued getting worse. Finally I contacted my doctor, but had to wait two endless days for an appointment. The afternoon I headed off to the doctor’s office I was a mess. I stumbled along the streets of Manhattan, couching and wheezing uncontrollably. After discussing the situation with my doctor, he checked me out, took my temperature (I had a fever) and ordered a chest x-ray. A few hours later to my surprise I found out that I had a case of walking pneumonia. WTF!

Thankfully, now I knew what I was facing. Armed with prescriptions for two antibiotics, I began taking the meds immediately. Pneumonia is a bacterial infection of the lungs. It’s not something that your body can easily seek and destroy. In this case meds were necessary. It’s been close to a week now since I was diagnosed and started the meds and each day I have experienced a major improvement. I did not stay in bed all day. I cut back on my schedule and did a modified version of my usual routine and activities at a slower pace. Nothing matters when you are really sick except getting well. It really puts your priorities in order. So, I had no booze, no exercise, no big meals, etc. I began sleeping better and after five days stopped waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat on cool damp sheets. I dialed things down and kept it simple and as a result am slowly, but steadily getting better. I’ll finish the meds in another few days and go for a follow up x-ray next month. Things are looking good so I thought I would share what I have learned from the experience, Guy’s Guy style.

1. Don’t be a hero - If you are like me and live a holistic lifestyle, you make good choices in your diet, and for your mental and spiritual well being. That keeps me healthy naturally and aids life extension. But, random things happen and you can get sick at any time. My surprise bout with walking pneumonia is a prime example of how no matter how well we take care of ourselves, shit can still happen. I live in a big dirty city and I take the filthy subway almost every day. Maybe some random person coughed in my direction or sneezed on the subway car handle I was holding. Airborne bacteria is everywhere in this dirty town. I was very healthy yet I contracted pneumonia.

While I was feeling like death that week I asked my guides for help and I got it. I realized I needed to see a doctor and get some good old western medicine and drugs. I waited too long, but eventually I came around and got checked out before thing got worse. Now I am on the mend. Regardless of my steadfast belief in prevention as the best defense against illness, I made the right decision to see the doctor and take the meds. There’s a reason that people died at thirty-five a hundred years ago.

 

2. Take time to heal – After I fell on the boardwalk for the second time I knew something was wrong. Upon circumspection it registered in my mind that my daily ritual of 75 push-ups, my runs and my cardio workouts had been tougher than usual during August. I chalked it up to age, but now I know it was something else. Once that reality kicked in, I shut down all physical activities until I get back to my usual robust health. I have been working out consistently for decades so the break will do me good. When I return to them hard work I will be recharged and I’ll take it slow until I reach my usual peak level of boomer fitness. One step at a time. amigo.

 

3. Consider the spiritual meaning of your illness - Believe it or not, there is a strong connection between your spiritual and emotional states and your health. The root of sickness transcends the physical body. Each time I’ve contracted a serious illness I’ve checked out a few websites and books that explain the connection between specific issues and their manifestations in the physical body.  Apparently pneumonia is a result of unresolved emotional issues and some underlying feelings of desperation. I have been working diligently to raise my frequency, and it is no easy task in our crazy world, especially since I’ve taken the leap and pointed my career in an entirely new direction after decades on the corporate track with well-paying jobs. I have a wife and a kid now too, so at times the pressure feels stifling. Nevertheless, I will persevere and create the life of service that I have chosen to experience.

 

4. Use your down time to make changes – I don’t know about you, but when I’m sick, I’m not that hungry. My usual daily intake consists of homemade soups and lots of water and organic tea. After a week of this diet, I hopped on the scale and had lost five pounds. Yay! I cut out junk, booze, pizza and ice cream and am sticking with fresh fruits, organic smoothies and maybe some fish or a light snack for dinner. Pretty soon I had lost twelve unwanted pounds. So, instead sitting back and taking it on the chin all day and night, I found a way to be creative and get something out of being sick. It’s not always easy when you fell like shit, but it can be done.

 

5. Ask for help. Show gratitude – The day after my diagnosis, I knew I had to acknowledge, thank and love my pneumonia before asking it to leave me. It might sound crazy, but love works better than engaging in battling an illness. Illnesses are signals from your body and spirit that something is wrong and it needs to be addressed.  I’m not suggesting that you allow an autoimmune illness eat away your body. What I am suggesting is to recognize that something is wrong, showing love for the illness (yes, I now it sounds crazy but it works), and then thank it and ask it to leave.

This is one of the most important lessons I have ever learned about health and it has always worked for me. And it’s a practice that ninety-nine percent of people ignore. We are trained to “fight” our enemies instead of loving and learning from them before releasing them. If you consider yourself spiritual or a follower of a major religion, love is a core component of their foundation, and that includes love for your enemy. It does not mean that you don’t defend yourself. No, it means you recognize the divinity in every person and everything your encounter in this life. Only then you can release it from your realm and send it back to God or the Universe or whatever you believe is out there. Love your sickness, look for the teaching, and ask it to leave.

Am I one hundred percent better now? Not yet, but I’m on a steady path back to health. I no longer have a fever, night sweats, chills, and that ceaseless hacking cough. And I am breathing a lot better. Who gets the opportunity to appreciate something as easy to overlook as breathing? I did, and now I’m more thankful than ever for each and every breath I take.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is yours truly. Looking beyond the fevers, chills, unbearable bouts of coughing, intense headaches, and shortness of breath, I’ve learned so much from my bout with walking pneumonia. I learned about my body, my faith and spiritual developmental needs, and how to blend an eastern-based preventive lifestyle with the technology of western medicine as necessary. I am on the fast track to recovery and thankfully my family has been supportive and thankfully they have remained healthy. Who would have thought I could learn so much from a random bout of pneumonia?

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Shifting Into Fall

Robert Manni - Monday, September 04, 2017


Who doesn’t love summer? If you live in the Northeast, you get three or four months of killer weather before the nights grow longer and the rain starts pouring down.

That can be downright depressing if you’re not on top of your game and ready to slide into your autumn mode. The good news is that it’s easy. Just invest a bit of psychic energy into your current purview of life while we turn the seasonal corner and make a beeline towards Thanksgiving. It comes quickly.

Here are a few ways to get your ducks in a row for the cold weather months even while you’re still tan, fat, and parading around in flip-flops.

I call this one THE GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO SHIFTING INTO FALL. Drum roll, please…

1. Make the most of the beach during September – I visit my beach house on the Jersey Shore almost every week throughout the summer. The beach and the boardwalk are teeming with sunbathers, surfers and tourists, who we refer to as “bennies” at the shore. Over the years my little town has become a destination, and as a result it’s gotten more and more crowded. By late Friday afternoon, if you haven’t scored a parking space yet, you may be in for a lengthy treasure hunt. After securing a spot, my family and I travel on foot, bicycle, or scooter for the bulk of the weekend. After awhile that kind of sucks. Once we pass Labor Day though, the beaches and streets become relatively empty. Kids are back in school and college and those weeklong family vacations are over. And this is exactly what makes it the perfect time to visit the shore. September weather features clear blue skies, a less intense sun, and warmer ocean temperatures. And, there are no annoying tourists getting in the way and forcing you to stand in a long line for ice cream or drinks. It’s flat-out great.

2. Freshen up your wardrobe – When it comes to clothing, you know the old 80/20 rule. With all those clothes, hats, and sneakers clogging up your closet, if you are like me you end up wearing the same stuff over and over again. Why? It doesn’t matter why. It’s what you do. So what do you do when you have a closet overflowing with clothes you don’t wear? I make it habit to scour through my stuff before and after summer. It opens up much needed space and also releases dense energy. I fill a couple of big bags with my duds and lug them to a church where I donate my gear to needy folks. I toss the undies, socks and real beat up stuff, but I make sure I include a few goodies that I don’t wear into the pile. Play it forward, amigo.

3. Join a fantasy football league – No longer is fantasy football a protected bastion of manliness. Today’s leagues are stocked with lots of cool ladies who love to play this game.  Fantasy leagues are omnipresent and are great for office bonding. I’ve played in the same league for 26 years and it’s been a great way to make a few bucks (because I play to win) and stay in touch with former colleagues, a handful that are now long-time friends. Fantasy leagues are also good for networking. And let’s face it. The NFL rules the airwaves and social media during the fall and early winter months. You can’t escape it, so might as well join in for the fun. Don’t draft any New York Jets though.

4. Set realistic goals for the remainder of the year – In my mind I’ve identified half a dozen accomplishments I’m going to pursue over the final four months of 2017.  That may be a tad ambitious, but I let to set the bar high. The deeper we move into the fall though, the tougher it is to stay the course, with all the holidays and more intense work schedules that become necessary as we charge to the end of the year. That’s why I identify and prioritize my goals by the end of August. This way I can hit the ground running come September 1st. The idea behind this is not to set yourself up for failure, so do you best to write down achievable goals. Did I say write them down? I did.

5. Go on a diet – If you are like me, you get tan, fat, and happy over the course of the summer. No matter how much I work out or how many miles I run, I always seem to put on about ten unwanted pounds during May, June, July, and August. Why? Because I don’t give a shit during the summer. The sun is shining, the days are long, and skirts are short. What’s not to like? So every time I find myself tipping the scales well past my fighting weight I tell myself that I can easily peel those pounds off with a few long runs. So I run a lot. But then I get hungry. And then I make excuses and eat pizza and tacos. And pretty soon I’m gaining too much weight. This vicious cycle continues until late August when I finally get serious again. Like right now. Today I took the bottle of vodka out of my freezer and placed it high up in a cabinet that’s almost out of my reach. Out of sight, out of mind. The battle of the bulge has begun.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. We’re still in summer so make the most out of this final month of summer. After all, it’s summer until September 23rd and the weather will support this. Keep playing golf, swimming, surfing, and taking long walks on the beach and runs along the boards. But while you are at it, think and them lock down your game plan for the remainder of 2017.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Laird Hamilton, considered by many to be the greatest big wave surfer of all time. He surfs all over the world and truly lives in an endless summer.


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