What "basic" skills are you surprised that men don't have?

OlderThanILook

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Let's set aside hunting, fishing, etc. -- not everyone grows up in that world. Let's talk more basic than that.

A while back I was having a discussion with a pair of guys who are almost exactly my age (early 50s). I made some comment about "basic life skills, like building a fence or changing a tire." I was surprised when both said they have never done either.

Heinlein has a classic quote: "A Man should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects". I can't do all of these (specifically, butcher a hog -- I outsourced that! -- and I suck at fighting), but can get by on most.

What would you add to the list, and what have you run into that you're surprised most guys your age cannot do or have never attempted?
 

Rob Lay

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ha, interesting topic! not only what you have experienced and haven't, but what each person thinks is really important and not.

my dad wasn't mechanical and didn't do home improvement stuff, so I missed out learning many basics like that. hasn't hurt me I learned a bunch of car mechanics when I was racing cars and supporting myself. now my time is valuable and I would rather pay someone to do tasks right than me take forever and mess it up. :D

for me a few "man" tasks I'm proud of change a tire, change the oil, drive a stick ;), back up a trailer :D, defend my home & property, have always done my own laundry, as a bachelor I've picked up many more home tasks although I have house cleaner every 2 weeks, can fly a plane, drive a tractor, I don't believe everything I hear on the internet ;), can write a poem if I want, gentleman with women, cook, ohh and guess I can program a computer too. ;)

hey, I'll teach you to butcher a hog, not too hard, it will be one of my future videos! :D
 

J3L2404

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Basic home fixing skills like carpentry, painting, electrical and plumbing (not including going near hot water heaters or junction boxes). I have a few friends whose houses are slowly disintegrating and they are doing nothing about it.

I used to know a guy that was so terrified of a tape measure that he bought a premade deck kit...and he still screwed it up.

Not knowing how to fix a car is understandable these days, but someone should know at least the basics of how things work, and have a grasp of maintenance schedules including keeping track of tire wear and tire life.

Cooking is one skill that escapes a lot of younger people, men and women alike. I know quite a few men my age and much older that don't know how to do anything beyond BBQ.

Owning guns, yet not knowing how to care for them is another thing that I occasionally see. My neighbor has an 1100 that sat in a corner for years because it quit running. Well, he never cleaned it. No small wonder. These things run like pigs to begin with, and his was the whole sty. I cleaned it and it was as good as new.

Speaking of cleaning, this is one that both genders miss: the annual top to bottom house cleaning. It's dusty as hell here, so I have to do it, and it makes the house 1,000,000 nicer. I keep a clean house to begin with, and it adds a bit of pride of ownership and helps to spot issues as they are happening.

This is a project that's best done DIY, because even the best house cleaners will skip the important steps. I do my house 2x a year because it is that dusty here, but for people not living in a dustbowl, 1x a year should be good. Basically, I have a collection of chenille dusters, from mop to handheld, and I knock the dust of the ceilings and walls first, then I dust all the surfaces with a feather duster and a chenille handheld duster. After that, I use wood cleaner and polish on the furniture, then I use my handheld vac to get under everything. Finally, I vacuum the carpet a few times and clean the wood floors.

For glass and mirrors, I use Invisible Glass aerosol cleaner. This stuff is PURE MAGIC. I clean with it and microfiber cloths and it gets glass as damned near invisible as can be, and without a lot of effort.

It can be a PITA and can take a full day, but it is worth it. Coming home to a spotless house is an instant mood reset to GLORIOUS.
 

Rob Lay

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Basic home fixing skills like carpentry, painting, electrical and plumbing (not including going near hot water heaters or junction boxes). I have a few friends whose houses are slowly disintegrating and they are doing nothing about it.

I used to know a guy that was so terrified of a tape measure that he bought a premade deck kit...and he still screwed it up.

Not knowing how to fix a car is understandable these days, but someone should know at least the basics of how things work, and have a grasp of maintenance schedules including keeping track of tire wear and tire life.

Cooking is one skill that escapes a lot of younger people, men and women alike. I know quite a few men my age and much older that don't know how to do anything beyond BBQ.

Owning guns, yet not knowing how to care for them is another thing that I occasionally see. My neighbor has an 1100 that sat in a corner for years because it quit running. Well, he never cleaned it. No small wonder. These things run like pigs to begin with, and his was the whole sty. I cleaned it and it was as good as new.

Speaking of cleaning, this is one that both genders miss: the annual top to bottom house cleaning. It's dusty as hell here, so I have to do it, and it makes the house 1,000,000 nicer. I keep a clean house to begin with, and it adds a bit of pride of ownership and helps to spot issues as they are happening.

This is a project that's best done DIY, because even the best house cleaners will skip the important steps. I do my house 2x a year because it is that dusty here, but for people not living in a dustbowl, 1x a year should be good. Basically, I have a collection of chenille dusters, from mop to handheld, and I knock the dust of the ceilings and walls first, then I dust all the surfaces with a feather duster and a chenille handheld duster. After that, I use wood cleaner and polish on the furniture, then I use my handheld vac to get under everything. Finally, I vacuum the carpet a few times and clean the wood floors.

For glass and mirrors, I use Invisible Glass aerosol cleaner. This stuff is PURE MAGIC. I clean with it and microfiber cloths and it gets glass as damned near invisible as can be, and without a lot of effort.

It can be a PITA and can take a full day, but it is worth it. Coming home to a spotless house is an instant mood reset to GLORIOUS.
you win! that's awesome. :) very well rounded know what is important and take care of it.
 
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