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6 Things Every Man Should Know by 30

by Judy Zhou Feb 18, 2016

How to do your own damn laundry

It’s insane how many guys throw everything into one big pile and turn the dial, hoping it comes out the same size it went in. In my college days, I definitely taught a few of my guy friends and exes how to do laundry – and I mean REALLY do laundry. As in, separating your whites from your colors, and knowing never to attempt to wash your wool or cashmere sweaters (yeah, like they could tell the difference) yourself unless you want to come out with a pile of doll clothes.

If you’re edging 30 and still wearing shirts and socks that are in a suspiciously matching shade of light pink, you don’t have your shit together. And keep in mind: washing my sexy red lingerie with our white sheets may have been cute in a RomCom, but when you hit 30, it means you’re paying to replace them. If I know which of your suit jackets to dry clean, you can learn which of my panties need to be washed on delicate. I mean, at the very least, hire a laundry service on the sly. Fake it. God knows I have to sometimes.

How to parallel park

I once asked the guy I was with to help me park in a really tight spot – he refused (I think in retrospect, he didn’t even think he could), and our friend from NYC volunteered to do it. The friend from NYC doesn’t even have a car. Parallel parking is mandatory and comes with getting a driver’s license. Are all these guys just randomly getting lucky the one time their future depends on it? There’s about a 50% chance that any guy who makes a crack about women drivers wouldn’t know what to do with their own parking break if it was located on their crotch. Figure it out, guys. Your dates will thank you.

How to flip a burger without setting the wall behind the grill on fire

Not everyone can grill the perfect piece of meat à la Bobby Flay, and that’s okay. We’re all good at different things. But don’t invite me on an intimate summer night date and talk about how your dad taught you the art of Texas Barbecue, only to fail at lighting the grill. You’re not fooling anybody by blaming the propane tank. It’s heavy. It’s full. And don’t organize a massive barbecue party, where everybody brings all sorts of steaks and burgers and sausages, only to expect everybody to cook their own food. Being the grillmaster should be a point of pride. Same guy, by the way. I don’t know why he thought he could get away with it twice. He wasn’t cute enough for that.

How to clean different stains

One of the most frightening experiences of my life was probably living at a frat house (and yet, I had the audacity to do it twice). Old food, animals (only some of which were pets), body fluids and a slew of equally scary unidentifiable stains haunts my memories of living with slobs, and you can bet that I will NEVER do that again. Just like drinking alcohol from plastic jugs, that’s something you can only tolerate in college. It was barely acceptable back then and definitely NOT acceptable for a 30-year-old man.

Cleaning supplies, gentlemen. Windex, Scrubbing Bubbles, a sponge. Steel wool wouldn’t hurt anybody (Except that thing growing behind the sink, seriously, you see that, right? Why do you let it stay?). Get some ammonia and bleach, and for fuck’s sake, don’t put them next to each other because you don’t know what they’re for.

How to cook a meal that doesn’t involve a microwave or boiling water

Cooking for someone is a nice gesture – whether it’s for Friendsgiving, your parents or your significant other, it brings everyone closer. If you don’t know how to cook (and refuse to learn the basics), it’s basically like saying you’ve hit a plateau in putting effort into your relationships, and at that point, what’s the point in dating you? Something as simple as a roast chicken that you can whip up on the fly will make a girl’s heart flutter. And if you’ve got a signature dish that you’ll feed me by candlelight, it’ll make all the other guys I know–who eat Chipotle every meal because they can’t cook–just pale in comparison. And if you’ve got a full kitchen, with cookbooks on the wall and knives with specialized uses (that paring knife isn’t for peeling potatoes), and, heaven help me, copper pots, then I may just put a ring on it myself.

How to tie a bow tie

Every year, we get dressed up and go to the polo. It’s one of the few opportunities we get to wear our big hats and bow ties and get totally drunk but still look classy while doing so. And every year, there’s always the issue of figuring out how to tie the bow-tie. We’ve watched the YouTube tutorials and read the instructions, yet no one seems to have mastered it. I’m sure there will be plenty more bow-tie opportunities as we get older, so I’m going to say 30 is a good time to finally master the technique (and put an end to the cycle of trying and failing for good).

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