To build a great house, you need a strong foundation upon which to assemble all the other pretty things. To build a great man, you also need a solid foundation upon which to add all the other little things that set the real men apart from the stronzos -- let's not piss around, the stuff inside matters most.
Over the last few years of writing this little column, I've learned that too many men have no foundation, no basis on which to build the principles I teach. There are many ways to define a man, and different people have different definitions, so I'm going to skip all that crap and tell you the only thing you need to know: Myway is the correct way and that's it, that's all. Capisce?
A REAL MAN READS
If you don't agree, go read the column of some guy from Arkansas who thinks owning a pickup truck is what defines a man. You'll see how far you get with his advice.
Trait No. 1: A REAL MAN IS STRONG
A real man doesn't cry, doesn't moan, doesn't complain, doesn't get sick, and doesn't need to go to the doctor every time he sneezes. A real man makes decisions and lives with the consequences. A real man accepts responsibility for his actions and his words. A real man is firm. If life is a b*tch, a real man will slap it and move on.
A real man is macho; a real man is tough; a real man doesn't show emotions. A real man is the backbone of his family and doesn't have time to be weak. If spiders scare you, you'll never be a real man.
Trait No. 2: A REAL MAN IS FOCUSED
A real man knows the difference between what's important and what isn't. A real man doesn't waste time on stupidities that don't bring him any profit. Sure, there are things you can do as a hobby -- I like to shoot ducks -- but it must have a purpose. The purpose of my hobby is to improve my aim, and I don't have to tell you whether or not that's a useful thing in my line of work.
A real man focuses on power, money and family. He doesn't focus on sex. Sex comes as a result of having power, money and a wife (and if she doesn't satisfy you, there are plenty of other women who will, especially when you are powerful and rich).
Trait No. 3: A REAL MAN KNOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY
A real man will keep his family strong and pass on his ancestors' history and traditions. A real man knows that his children are God's gift and should be treated as such, even if he disciplines them from time to time.
A real man must also remember his other Family, his organization. In my world, both my family and my Family hold the same importance; I protect them both with all my might. If you have a Family, don't forget where your loyalties lie and who has your back when you need it.
Trait No. 4: A REAL MAN DOESN'T GOSSIP
A real man follows omerta; he keeps his mouth shut. He shelters information and rations his words. A real man does not reveal more than he has to and doesn't engage in girlie talk about others. A real man doesn't discuss things he doesn't know about or people he has never met.
Trait No. 5: A REAL MAN'S WORD IS HIS BOND
When a real man makes a promise, he keeps it. If he can't keep a promise, he doesn't give his word. A real man would rather die than break his word. A real man knows that his words are as powerful as his actions, and that they must be taken at face value. That is why he rations them (see above).
Trait No. 6: A REAL MAN STRIVES TO BE A ROLE MODEL
A real man respects himself and others at all times, unless, of course, he has been disrespected. A real man sets an example for his disciples, and especially for his children. I never bring my work home, so my children only know me as their father and not as a waste management executive. You should do the same; a real man sets the tone for his children and keeps them from discovering that he has weaknesses.
Trait No. 7: A REAL MAN MAKES HIS OWN FORTUNE
A real man doesn't settle for handouts or charity when it comes to his personal fortune. A real man isn't satisfied with papa's money. He spits on Lady Luck and decides his own destiny. A real man who inherits goods from his forefathers takes his inheritance and turns it into 10 times what it was.
Trait No. 8: A REAL MAN DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A WOMAN
A real man doesn't have piercings and long hair, and he doesn't shave his chest. Manicures, however, are acceptable. Massages from female attendants are also tolerated. A real man knows that, outside of his barber, all his personal hygiene needs must be taken care of by a woman.
A real man has at least three suits (with a mandatory pinstriped one) that cost more than a roomful of escorts. A real man wears a suit at least three times a week. Any man who doesn't know how to tie a tie should hand in his testicoli immediately.
Trait No. 9: A REAL MAN KEEPS HIS HOUSE IN ORDER
Have you ever been inside the boss’ house? There ain’t no pizza boxes sitting around, there ain’t no undershirts on the floor, and there sure as hell ain’t no unpaid bills being used as beer coasters. No ruler can rule over a territory if he isn’t already the master of his own home.
This means you lazy pinheads out there need to stop using machismo as an excuse to live like a bottom-feeder; keep your sty spotless, keep your documents in order and -- listen up on this one -- clean your freaking suits.
Trait No. 10: A REAL MAN CAN DEFEND HIMSELF
You know what’s missing in the world today? Leaders who have had to fight their way to the top. No joking, look at the head of any business that’s circling the toilet bowl, and I’ll show you a boss whose parents' power and money kept him from ever learning things the hard way.
Every successful capo has been on the wrong end of a beatdown -- be it with words or be it with a set of A. Testonis. But those future capos got up again and again, until they knew how to stand their ground -- and that, my students, is when you can start to climb the ladder.
So what have you learned here today, class? You learned that you have a lot of homework to do before you can call yourself a real man. A real man is the essence of manhood because, by definition, he has achieved the pinnacle of his role.
You see? That was me trying to be a smart-ass. Here's a bonus trait: A real man keeps it simple. If you know big words, use them rarely and appropriately, at least in front of morons who think they're smarter than you. Remember, the stuff inside matters most. Lesson over.
Watch your backs and keep your noses clean.