There is a legendary story of a potentially volatile visit to the shop. As Aidan tells it, Hunter S. Thompson strolls in the door at the Magazine Street location. He is full of attitude – has a cigarette holder hanging out of his mouth and a glass of white wine in his hand. Aidan and crew are expecting his arrival. Aidan greets Hunter and hands him a drink.
Hunter grumbles, "What’s this?”
To which Aidan responds, "A glass of a very fine Irish Whiskey. You’ll enjoy it.” Mr. Thompson, without missing a beat, then pours his cheap wine into the whiskey glass. However, his hope for immediate shock value produces no more than a raised eyebrow from Aidan.
The day goes on. Hunter gets a shave and the AGFM–VIP treatment.
He then queries, “Can I smoke in here?”
Aidan deadpans, “I don’t care if you catch fire.”
From that point forward, Mr. Thompson appeared to lose his guard – the conversation between the two gentlemen became more reasonable and civil. The writer’s famous, yet bizarre personality had been switched to that of a normal “Joe.” Funny what a glass of whiskey and some Irish wit can produce.
There is no reason, whatsoever to tip-toe around the idea of being a man. To get soft. To lose your edge. To miss out on those things that make it all so interesting, exciting and rewarding. To side-step the experience, the journey – complete with all of its richness, history and access any red-blooded man could want. No sir, do not go there.
Whether it be the pursuit of adventure, giving the perfect toast or traveling, as friendships are forged and fortified – there should be no apologies. Perhaps your satisfaction comes from being an impressively strong and loving father – responsible for guiding independent beings with ideas all their own. Or for some, it’s the almost spiritual opportunity to lean back and enjoy the spoils of a 7-towel shave – knowing that what awaits is a chance to take relaxation to an even deeper level…sipping the finest Irish Whiskey. You should have it all – and there should be no apologies.
This isn’t about arrogance or losing your manners. It isn’t about defining kindness as weakness. Quite the opposite of all of this actually. It’s about digging deep to realize your full potential. Because, you know, there is a spirit of the true man. One that yearns for the best that tradition can bring. But in the same breath, expects to enjoy the advantages of today’s technology and tools.
So we say enough gentlemen. Do not apologize for wanting something better as you embrace and tackle this thing called life.
Aidan Gill for Men – UNAPOLOGETICALLY MALE.