Top 5: Lost “Manly Arts”
My dad used to do this all the time, and I used to do it as a kid. I don't think my kids have had to do it at all ever. What's that?
How long has it been? Remember Sunday mornings? Early. Just before Church. The smell of Kiwi shoe polish? Grab the tin, and pop the lid off and the room would just be filled with the scent. Like potpourri. Like putting on a pot of coffee. The sponge applicator. Grab that and smush it into the tin and then rub the polish on my dress shoes and then grab the brush and shine up my shoes until I could see my own reflection.
My dad used to polish his shoes. I don't think I ever saw him wearing tennis shoes until later in his life. He wore work shoes every day. Then, once a week we'd go through the routine of shining our shoes for Church.
Life is a little more relaxed now. I still have a nice pair of shoes, but it's been a long while since I've worn a pair of shoes I needed to polish. My son, Justin, got a pair of nice shoes that he wore once to Homecoming. They're still in great shape. I don't think he's even had a chance to break them in yet. He and Ethan have taken their gym shoes in under the bathroom faucet to "shine" up.
There's a new survey that came out that asked guys in their 20's and 60's about different "manly" skills. Here are the ones that are becoming extinct like the dinosaur:
5. Filleting a fish. Only 15% say they know how to do that.
4. Changing a diaper; 18%. As an adoptive dad, I've never had to change a diaper.
3. Changing the oil in the car; 19%. It's become a convenience to pay someone to do that, along with adding air and rotating the tires and other basic car maintenance.
2. Fixing a leaky faucet; 35%.
1. Shining your shoes. Older men are 38% more likely to know how to do that than younger ones.
I think one of the reasons we're losing the ability to shine shoes is special occasions are much more rare. Plus, it's been a long time since I've had a pair of shoes I needed to shine. That's just me. Do you shine your own shoes, or, is there a place you stop for a shoe shine?