Men Emotionally Mature 11 Years After Women. 30 Maturity Checks for Turning 30

I turn 30 this Monday. Does that make me a man? Rhetorical question. I’d like to believe I’ve been a man for a while, but it turns out that men’s brains don’t stop emotionally maturing until an average age of 43. Women are emotionally mature at an average age of 32, and then they just go on enduring us until we catch up. So here’s an emotional check in on how I’m doing with the top 30 maturity failings at the age of 30. Now, this list was done by the British, so it’s not perfect, but bear with me. We’ll keep a tally with a (+) for what I’m still doing or a (-) what I’m now too mature for. Yes, I’m putting emotional maturity in the (-) column. Call it a prediction. But first, let’s experience 29 one last time:


1.Finding their own farts and burps hilarious – I’ve never been world class at either of these things, but I do like doing things like saying with utter sincerity, “I know exactly how I feel about that.” Then standing up, and farting. (+)

2.Eating fast food at 2:00am – It was a bag of Dorito’s a week ago. Probably still counts. (+)

3.Playing videogames – Sent an email out with NBA2K16 and the Uncharted Collection on my wish list just two days ago. (+)

4.Driving too fast or ‘racing’ another car at the lights or on the motorway – I never do this. Partially because I have a horrible driving record that I’m trying to balance out, and partially because I’m a huge wuss. (-)

5.Sniggering a bit at rude words – Only when no one is getting their feelings hurt. I hate hurt feelings. (-)

6.Driving with loud music – I’m a podcast guy now. (-)

7.Playing practical jokes – I love practical jokes. I’m also too lazy to play them. I win this one by accident. (-)

8.Trying to beat children at games and sport – What am I supposed to do? Give them a participation trophy too? (+)

9.Staying silent during an argument – I’m only staying silent so that it doesn’t become an argument. (+)

10.Not being able to cook simple meals – Please. I’ve self-glossed myself “The Kitchen Renegade” because simple meals are too simple. But I can definitely do them. (+)

11.Re-telling the same silly jokes and stories when with the lads – It’s called friendship. If I’m not retelling a story with you, it’s because we have no stories memorable enough to revisit. (+)

12.Don’t like talking about themselves/ having proper conversations – Did I ever tell you about the time I learned a valuable life lesson? (-)

13.Hating books/reading because of short attention span/they’re boring – Do audio and comic books count? (-)

14.Doing crazy dance moves – A lack of grace doesn’t make them crazy. (-)

15.Mum still doing their washing – Only when I’m home for the holidays. She’s doing dad’s anyways. (-)

16.Having their Mum still make them breakfast/any meal – Maybe this isn’t clear. She’s 1,070 miles away. (-)

17.Wearing trainers to night clubs – I don’t know what trainers are. And I don’t go to nightclubs. I go to bars. (-)

18.Owning a skateboard or BMX – Skills I don’t have. (-)

19.Not eating vegetables – Ever heard of lettuce on a hamburger? (-)

20.Changing jobs regularly – If I get fired in the next year, I’ll change this to a plus. (-)

21.Getting too excited over stag do’s – I have no idea what this means. (-)

22.Sometimes trying to do wheelies/stunts on their bike – I assume this is what movies Death Wish through Death Wish V: The Face of Death were about. (-)

23.Driving a modified car or one with a loud exhaust/boy racer – Car costs too much as it is. (-)

24.Showing off about how girls are attracted to them – There’s a very important qualifier to being able to do that. (-)

25.Wearing pyjamas, specifically cartoon pyjamas – Superfluous clothing is not my bag. (-)

26.Using dodgy chat-up lines – I may be misinterpreting, but I think I love this. (+)

27.Showing off about protein shakes/weight-lifting/how much they ‘lift’ – Duh, and hello! I’m a man aren’t I? Could a non-man bench all this weight!? (+)

28.Littering – I won’t even joke about littering. Not cool. (-)

29.Wearing saggy-crotched jeans – “Uh, cause I need the clearance, bro.” (-)

30.Having a cartoon bedspread – Girlfriend picked the spread. (-)

Stunning performance here. Prior to going through the list, I’d have expected to be above .500. Only 9 out of 30. But if I’m being honest, I don’t see those 9 going anywhere soon.

Tally up your own and let me know where you’re at in the comments or on Facebook.

Tommy Gets Married; Thoughts About Love, Commitment and Proactively Washing Dishes

My co-blogger Thomas Cooksey got married this past Friday. The wedding had the usual wedding stuff like vows, speeches, prayers, food, wine, friends, kisses, and at the core of it all, a husband and a wife. But it was all done at a very high level here, which is really all you can ask from a wedding. The rituals are nice, but any five year old can draw a picture. It takes care and execution to make art. And that’s the unusual wedding stuff like sincerity, some risky jokes, poignancy, chicken and waffle appetizers, generous pours, friends, passion, and at the core of it all, honest-to-God true love.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about commitment. Two weddings in 24 hours will do that. I mean, if half of marriages are ending in divorce, then it’s reasonable to say that commitment, while maybe not more valuable, is certainly more rare than love, possibly more precious. It’s odd that commitment requires something like death to be proven. They put that “death do us part” right there in the middle of vows, and that grim certainty is really the best case scenario. It’s probably the weirdest thing about commitment, that you pray you never have to prove the “for worse” part even as you vow it. Love is easy by comparison. Love is warm meals, comforting hugs, and good sex. Commitment is something else. It’s like an airbag. You hope that you always get to just assume it works. And maybe it’s ultimately like a fighter saying they’ve given all they had. That last punch had better of knocked you out, or how do you know? Any other loss means you could have done things differently.

I don’t think people like thinking about that side of marriage. And I don’t blame them. But most of life exists as a string of contingency preparations. I make a lunch in the morning for a hunger I’ll feel at noon. I place a portion of my paycheck into a retirement account for when I’m too old to want/need to earn more. I change my car’s oil, make insurance payments, wash my clothes, go to the gym, and do a million other mundane activities so that my life can move along smoothly and I don’t have to think thoughts like, “Am I going to die with a heart full of regret?” That’s what real commitment has to be, maintenance to prevent breakdown. That’s real passion, staving off the rust. Ambition often looks like fear, because success isn’t that different from non-failure.

Five years ago, I know I didn’t like those ideas very much. But that’s just the procrastinator in me, the same kid who would eat cereal out of a Tupperware container instead of proactively washing his dishes. Nowadays, the idea of process actually seems more sensible, and in some ways, romantic. Save $1,000 a month or win the lottery. They can both make you a millionaire, but only one of them is your creation. Pushing chocolates, fixing dinners, walking the dog. A hundred actions repeated over thousands of days to keep the machine running. Walks to prevent heart failure. Long walks with conversation to prevent failures of the heart.

A couple years ago, Thomas Cooksey had this picture as the banner of his Facebook page:

I’ve known Tommy a while now, and I think it’s safe to say that he gets it. He’s probably always understood this thing that took me running out of Tupperware several times to understand. For that, buddy, I’m proud of you, and I wish you and Annie both the best.

The Best thing to come from True Detective Season 2

Let me start by saying that I’ve legitimately enjoyed True Detective‘s second season. It’s kind of a moot point because I’ll watch anything with Rachel McAdams. I think we always knew this second season wasn’t going to be as good as the first, but it’s the usual flat-circle bullcrap when our human inability to perceive the fourth dimension of time has us sticking with a bad show because it might get better, and saying things like, “Season 1 started slow too.”

It hasn’t gotten better. It’s been slow, and mostly boring. Watching Vince Vaughn on Jimmy Fallon after 6 episodes of True D reminds you how neutered his personality is here.  Season 2 makes you miss Rust and Marty. One was smart, and the other was steady. Rust relapsed into drugs like it was the second coming of Christ, and Marty had an inexplicable knack for philandering in areas that should have been well beyond his service coverage. It’s sad that they’re not around anymore, but aren’t they always around, because now is happening at the same time as then? Rust always knew. He was smart. Marty’s just finding out, and it rocks him to his steady core.

Style is Cyclical – The Golden Era is Back

I follow Nat Geo on Instagram. A little nerdy, but some of the pictures are really awesome, especially when they’re of whales because the ocean is neat. Yesterday I came across the picture below and thought, ‘Man, style hasn’t really changed much since 1957.’


I mean, it has gone through the hippie style of the 60’s and 70’s. The cross-dressing 80’s and the outlandishly baggy 90’s. But alas, we’ve landed back on the timeless, well-fitted proper style that was present from the early 1900’s through the Golden Era.

You ever see your dad’s and wonder what inspired him to tuck his t-shirt into his jeans and rock his white New Balance yard work shoes all together? There is a valid reason why “Dad Jeans” is a thing.

Well your dad likely grew up in the style-confused times from 1960-1980 (and some in the 90’s depending on how young the WBB demographic readers run).  He never found a style that worked and just stuck to it. So they go for comfort over all.

To contrast, your handsome ass grandpa has always looked sharp. Whether you’re going to church or a ball game with him, his style is timeless and it works. Hell, that might be your stylishly clothed grandpa in the picture from Nat Geo above. See, gramps grew up in a time when well fitted style was the thing. You had a few key pieces that worked and no matter what, the damn thing better fit you well because you didn’t have the money to replace it.

Hence, that style locked in on your papa, and as he became a dad to your dad (or mom) he stuck with that style because he knew it worked. He didn’t suffer through the years of baggy Lee Jeans where the back pockets nearly touch the front pockets. And 60, 70, 80+ years later? He still looks good as hell when he heads out into public.

So what’s the point? The Golden Era of style has been revived. Men are dressing like men again. Don’t let this opportunity to clean up your style pass you by. You’re damn near 30 years old, the way you dress now may just be the way you’re dressing 50 years from now.

Stay classy,


What Magic Johnson Can Teach You About Relationships and Success

Audiobooks are hot fire. Even better than podcasts. They’re, like, every flame emoji a tweet can hold.

I just finished When The Game Was Ours by Magic and Larry. There will never be a better personification of humanity—the thin and nuanced line of contrast and commonality we all straddle with our individualism in a shared experience called life—in sports than those two ballers. I love calling them ballers. Especially Bird. Such a magnificent goofball. Dude is just a testament to single-minded ruggedness, like if plowing a field for 12 hours a day for a decade could put a triple double in your box score. And Magic, sheeeeeeat. Pretty sure he just smiled at HIV and it was like, “ok, maybe I won’t become full-blown AIDS.” That’s a joke, obviously, but there was one particular story Magic told in that book that’s worth sharing. We’ll get to it.

The book I listened to before When The Game Was Ours was called Take The Stairs by Rory Vaden. The gist of the book is that you have to work to be successful, which is just a golden nugget of an idea. Rory whittles it down to discipline and grind. “You don’t own success, you rent it. And the rent is due every day.” Taking this principle, Rory establishes the focus areas as five categories: Family, Finance, Faculty (work), Fitness, and Fun. I found this interesting because I’d always broken my life down to the less alliteratively pleasing categories of relational, financial, physical, professional and spiritual. I was close enough. When you drill into each area, you realize that they’re all conjoined. The qualities to be physically fit—discipline and routine—are the same qualities that make you financially fit. And just like those who give the most relationally have the most friends, people who give their money tend to find more financial opportunities. Maybe’s it karma. Maybe it’s fairy dust. Maybe you can see anything through rose colored glasses. I don’t know why it happens. But I do know that you should choose to put those glasses on and start seeing the world that way.

Here’s the Magic story as I remember listening to it.

Magic was in his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, just a kid. He’d just wrapped up practice, and he sees his more reclusive, hall-of-fame teammate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar get approached by a man and a boy.

“Kareem,” the man said. “My son and I are big fans. Would you mind taking a picture with us?”

Kareem dismissed them and walked on. Magic could tell that the boy was crushed and the father was embarrassed. So Magic put on a big grin and approached the father.

“If you don’t mind, you can take a picture with me,” Magic said. “Who knows, maybe I’ll be in the Hall of Fame one day.”

The father thanked Magic and posed for the picture with his son and the 21-year-old Laker.

Over 20 years later, Magic was indeed in the Hall of Fame. But he’d also become a businessman owning chains of coffee shops, movie theaters and other entrepreneurial efforts. To support one such endeavor, Magic had set up meetings with several businesses to secure investments. He was in the middle of his pitch with the CEO of one of these businesses, and the CEO interrupted him.

“You know, you and I have met before,” the CEO said.

“Really?” Magic replied.

“Yes we have. I don’t expect you to remember, but you took a picture with me and my son when you were a rookie, after Kareem turned us down. I always appreciated that you did that.

“Of course I remember,” Magic said. “How is your son?”

He’s doing very well. He has a great job with a good law firm. In fact, my son still has that picture. It hangs on his office wall.”

Magic left that office with a multi-million dollar deal.

Putting on the glasses,
Dusty “rose-colored” Riedesel

You were definitely an Emo Kid in 2005


Wait, I didn’t know you in 2005? You’re probably right. But I do know you were an Emo Kid, or at least had more emo tendencies than you thought at the time. Sure you didn’t paint  your finger nails black, wear guy-shadow or have this weird hair over your eyes phase, but musically, oh yes, you were indeed emo.

In the early 2000’s being Emo was like being branded with a scarlet letter. No one wanted to claim they listen to “emo” music or would defend the genre saying “all music evokes some sort of emotion, so isn’t all music emo?” Now, that we’ve all grown up and we’ve stopped wearing skin tight t-shirts with our girl jeans (for guys) when a fellow adult friend has a shared love for a band from my past like Something Corporate or The Early November, we wear our former emo-ness like a badge of honor.

To help you come to grips with the fact that you too had a little emo in you (that’s what she said) here are some tell-tale signs:

Your AIM screen name had the letter “x” in it. I opted for the xRockxArgylex, it was badass at the time. But anything incorporating an “x” as a place holder. However, if it was an “x” as abbreviation for “lacrosse” i.e. LaxKid127, then you most definitely WERE NOT emo.

Speaking of AIM you ironically used 1 of the following 2 lyrics as an away message:

If you were sick “So sick so sick of being tired and oh so tired of being sick.”

If you were mad at someone “You’re as subtle as a brick in the small of my back.”

And of those lyrics you knew that the latter was used by both Taking Back Sunday AND Brand New. Bonus emo points if you also knew ALL ABOUT the fued between the two bands and their lead singers Jesse and Adam (who you affectionately called by their first names).

When asked about a band you’ve used the line “I’ve heard of them but haven’t heard any of their stuff” in order to avoid the embarrassment of NOT KNOWING a new band.

You KNOW Fall Out Boy’s best song is Grand Theft Autumn and NOT Sugar We’re Going Down like the mainstreamers do.

You definitely know what Drive-Thru Records is. If not, you are 100% aware of at least 1 of the following bands: The Starting Line, The Early November, New Found Glory, Senses Fail, Hellogoodbye, Something Corporate

Konstantine is spelled with a “K” and NOT a “C” and the time 11:11 means a lot to you.

Chris Carraba told you exactly where your hair is.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 1.02.24 PM

You’ve been taking selfies years before they were called selfies. From above, at just the right angle. And you took them on a digital camera, then uploaded it to MySpace since flip phones were so incapable.

You never lost your keys because they were hooked to your belt loop on a carabiner like you were a damn janitor.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 1.03.26 PM

You still have a playlist or seek out one on Spotify to bask in the glory of your former emo days.

Throw up your rock fist, or don’t, you know, if you don’t think its cool, or whatever,

Tommy “I wore girl jeans 3 times in my life” Cooksey

Breaking Down the 80s – “Africa” Music Video by Toto

This is a bit of a narrative journey, but stay with me. It pays off IN SPADES! A couple days ago, I heard the song Africa while driving with my girlfriend. After I bored her with stories about the song’s greatness, I happenchanced upon this interview with the song’s writer. In that article, I watched music video, and I don’t mind telling you, it’s a masterpiece. So much goodness here:

0:01 – We fade in, spinning globe and a slow, percussive build. You know you’re in for something special. Wikipedia tells me that this video was directed by someone named Steve Barron (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!!), but don’t be confused, this is some Terrance Malick imagery shit right here. Hope you’re paying attention.

Your Hero

0:21 – You’re hero is an obvious lover of knowledge. And is that a kerchief fashionably slung around his neck like a blue-collar ascot? You’re in. To recap, this is going to be a mind-bending safari thrill ride, and this guy’s got the keys to the jalopy. We’re all in.

Bespectacled Beauty

0:58 – Beautiful and bespectacled, our lady of the video aims a sultry gaze. At what, we can’t be certain. Is it the bearded peruser of books that’s captured her interest? Perhaps it’s dreams of the dark continent that is the song’s title? And maybe she’s just a lusty librarian—maybe a student, but her eyes betray more confidence than curiosity—feeling the emotions we feel as fans after getting our first look at Toto’s drummer, bell-shaker and pianist. She has to be a librarian, right? Turned on by that kind of musical acumen and range? Save the simple acoustic guitar on the quad for the students.

Shrunk Band

1:10 – An exhilarating drum bridge launches us into the chorus where, what in sweet 80’s heaven is going on? It appears that Toto is using the magic of film to shrink themselves down on some books about The Birthplace of Humanity. Hopefully this gets explained.

All The Books

1:21 – Are these all the books you have about Africa!? I’m questing with a torn piece of parchment that I have somehow fantastically tracked back to this very library! Give me more books about Africa! I’m questing!

Stranger Lurks

1:50 – A stranger lurks. Tension builds.

2:00 – “Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti” is some all-time lyrical genius.

Mustache Singer

2:20 – Not in a million years would I have imagined that mustache was the thing singing this chorus. Just, wow.

Goofy Uncle

2:32 – Is there any way that guy could be more dressed like your goofy uncle? Or how about that underachieving cousin of yours in the background? Those are rockstars, people.

Wristbands Piano

2:34 – Wristbands on a pianist. It’s practical. I get it. When Big Data finally brings advanced metrics to ivory tickling, you’ll see a correlation between wristbands worn and the lower numbers of keys missed. Also, that pianist wrote this song. Don’t judge an innovator.

Book Search

2:39 – These can’t be ALL the books you have about Africa, can it? Anything more obviously titled? Maybe hiding under a mystically miniaturized rock band?

Africa Book

3:10 – Yahtzee!!! And then, well, I won’t lie to you guys, things move quickly and get a little confusing…


….A spear crashes into the wall…

Glasses Ground

…the sexy librarian drops her glasses and is never seen again, and you’d feel pretty lost about what it all means except that our hero shows us the exact emotion to feel  about all this.

Emotion Face

A thousand words in that thousand-yard stare right there. Fear and excitement, he thrills at the unfolding of events, and thanks to him,  you feel all these things too.

Missing Page

3:32 – Ant then the book falls open. That’s it. The end of the rainbow. What’s it all mean? I’d like to think that our hero is putting together the very story of the legendary hunter who threw an opportune spear into an apparently arid and thus super-flammable library. But he wasn’t ready to reveal himself. Like the Africa of 1982 itself, there’s a romance to the unsolved mystery here. It’s best that way. Even when the promise of closure goes up in flames…

Burning Missing Piece

…Isn’t it best this way? You tell me, does this look like a guy who is unsatisfied with the way his adventure ended?

Lounge Book

Not at all. He had his great African walkabout, and while he’ll bask in this deep, life-altering moment a little while longer, he needs to get back to the states to raise his 13-year-old son, Zach Galifianakis, who’s in talks right now about fleshing this out in a movie called Kingdom of Desire: The Toto Story.

“Hurry, boy. It’s waiting there for you.”

Crying out in the night,
Dusty “Wild Dog” Riedesel