Country Life’s gentleman’s guide couldn’t have got it more wrong
One must ‘sing lustily in church’
Country Life magazine have produced what they’re calling the “definitive list” of what makes a modern gentleman.
While the guide is occasionally obvious, advising the aspiring gentleman to “never slam a door in someone’s face” and “always break up with someone face-to-face”, it also has some strange tips in there.
Describing a man who fits somewhere between James Bond and a Tory politician, the modern gentleman should apparently never wear lilac socks and he could never, ever own a small dog like a chihuahua.
And here’s what they think we should be like:
1. Negotiate airports with ease
Turning up late for a mates’ holiday and trying to navigate the way through duty-free while your flight number is being called over the speak doesn’t exactly count as navigating with ease. Miles away.
2. Never let a door slam in someone’s face
This one is glaringly obvious and is more “decent human being” than perfect gentleman. Unless you’re in a rush and then all rules go out the window.
3. Can train a dog and a rose
Teaching a pug to shake hands and roll over is fun, but the only training it really needs is to stop every stranger who walks in and to learn not to piss on the stairs. As for training a rose or weeding a garden, your guess is as good as mine.
4. Is aware that facial hair is temporary, but a tattoo is permanent
Beards are still on trend and I’ll never get rid of mine, even though that’s exactly the same thing I said about my emo fringe and converse. Everyone knows tattoos are for life, even the weird local in halls with his favourite football team inked on his ankle.
5. Knows when not to say anything
Staying quiet during exams would be a good start.
6. Wears his learning lightly
I won’t be the first or the last person who mentioned their A* English A-level during freshers’ week.
7. Possesses at least one well-made dark suit, one tweed suit and a dinner jacket
Most of us have two suits at a push and a jacket purely for dinner seems a bit self-indulgent. Shouldn’t the perfect gentleman be spending the same money on buying flowers or something?
8. Avoids lilac socks and polishes his shoes
Polishing shoes before a formal is a no-brainer, but why lilac? Why not stretch to all coloured socks instead of just picking on the light shade of purple?
9. Turns his mobile to silent at dinner
This depends entirely on where you’re going for dinner. You might consider putting on vibrate while on a date, but why would you want to stop getting notifications when you’re eating alone in your room?
10. Carries house guests’ luggage to their rooms
When friends come to stay they’d be pretty shocked if you offered to haul their bags from the door to the hallway and all the way to wherever they’re sleeping. Most of the time they won’t even get their own room anyway.
11. Tips staff in a private house and a gamekeeper in the shooting field
Anyone who already has a gamekeeper is probably too posh even for Country Life. Nobody really tips unless they’re American or are going somewhere a bit more upmarket than Byron.
12. Says his name when being introduced
“Hi I’m [insert name] isn’t too hard to get wrong, unless you’re trying to hide your identity.
13. Breaks a relationship face to face
It would take a special type of monster to end things over WhatsApp.
14. Is unafraid to speak the truth
Surely everyone tells a little white lie every now and then? Even perfect gentlemen like Colin Firth and Heathcliff stretch the truth from time to time.
15. Knows when to clap
Just don’t clap at the end of a film or a lecture, it’s not hard.
16. Arrives at a meeting five minutes before the agreed time
I set my watch five minutes fast and I’m still always late. Nobody actually turns up on time anyway, it’s weird if you do.
17. Is good with waiters
Presumably this means don’t offend them and don’t ask too many weird questions about where the beef comes from. If your waiter happens to be the server at McDonald’s, just try to hold yourself back from diving over the counter in a drunken heap.
18. Has two tricks to entertain children
This is weird. Don’t do this.
19. Can undo a bra with one hand
You’re fumbling around and trying to be smooth, but eventually you tragically just end up asking the girl to help you out . This is one to brag about your mates about but not necessarily one to pull off.
20. Sings lustily in church
Lust and church don’t really go together like bread and wine. Avoid singing like this in church unless you want some disapproving looks from your nan.
21. Is not vegetarian
This is the 21st century, I can have my kale if I want to. Apparently a gentleman would go straight for a steak, which probably makes him a real man.
22. Can sail a boat and ride a horse
Hopefully this doesn’t mean sailing a boat while sitting on a horse at the same time. This isn’t Life Of Pi and there’s nothing gentlemanly about it.
23. Knows the difference between Glenfiddich and Glenda Jackson
It helps if you don’t have to Google Glenda Jackson to make a point. Vodka’s better anyway, right?
24. Never kisses and tells
What’s the point getting with someone in a club if you can’t brag about it.
25. Cooks an omelette to die for
Three eggs, dash of milk, no problem.
26. Can prepare a one match bonfire
The only time you’d ever need to light a fire is at a festival, and they’re banned anyway.
27. Seeks out his hostess at a party
The Great Gatsby wasn’t bad, but sometimes at a party you don’t even know who’s house it is.
28. Knows when to use an emoji
Don’t use a genital emoji and lay off the wink faces. It’s hard to imagine any gentleman using emojis in the first place?
29. Would never own a Chihuahua
This is just author bias leaking out. If a Chihuahua bit him once then he should just say so.
30. Has read Pride and Prejudice
Anyone with an English GCSE to their name should have read this.
31. Can tie his own bow tie
You could learn but a bow tie is much, much easier.
32. Would not go to Puerto Rico
What’s wrong with poor Puerto Rico? Beautiful white sand beaches, surfing, sailing. Is this because Puerto Rico doesn’t have enough horses and hounds for Country Life?
33. Knows the difference between a rook and a crow
If the modern gentleman has a passion for birdwatching he clearly has too much time on his hands.
34. Sandals? No. Never
On holiday they’re fine. In England, never.
35. Wears a rose, not a carnation
Apart from a poppy there’s no reason to ever wear a flower.
36. Swats flies and rescues spiders
This is one rule for spiders and another for flies, is the modern gentleman intent on wrecking the ecosystem too?
37. Demonstrates that making love is neither a race nor a competition
Country Life touched on this with bras, but now they’ve dragged sex into the equation too? If the modern gentleman is sleeping around on the daily, I wonder if he goes down on people too?
38. Never blow dries his hair
I blow dry my hair, I’m not afraid to admit it. Rule 14 states that a gentleman should never lie, and more “gentlemen” do this than they admit.
39. Knows that there is always an exception to a rule
Written by their deputy editor Rupert Uloth, this tip almost undoes their entire perfect gentleman guide. The exception here being that you should probably take anything from Country Life as lightly as a glass of port.