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“You know what, buddy? I’m sick of the way you’re talking to me. So FUCK YOU. Your customer service skills are below par at best.” tattooed_peach screamed, cutting me off, “I’m sure your mother is real impressed with how you treat people over the phone.”

The line went dead, and before I could point out the irony of this woman’s statement, I whispered to no one in particular, “I… I… I’m a gentleman.”

The word dissolved into the air before me, a fart lost in a hurricane, but its scent still lingering in my nose as coworkers continued answering and ending calls. A small, egotistical, part of me always wants the last word, regardless of whether or not it reaches its intended recipient, but this time, that last word came out more like a question, a challenge from a voice that seemed to raise nonexistent eyebrows and ask between puffs of his cigar,

Ya sure about that, kid?

Which leads me to the point of this blog. Over the course of who-knows-how-much days/weeks/months/years, I’m going to write (to the best of my ability) what it means to be a gentleman in this strange period of time, where most magazines and blogs will convince you that it’s all in the three-piece suits or hand-carved pine coasters in your spacious multi-floor apartment. Some will argue that every gentleman needs a white pressed shirt, a blue blazer, and a brown leather belt that matches his dress shoes. Maybe it has something to do with the choice in whiskey brand, the way a pocket square is folded, and whether the hotel room rented while on a business trip has a view of the pool.

At the refreshing age of twenty-four, I’d like to promise that a gentleman is made of more than his outward appearance and what his income can produce. As someone who was recently let go from his temporary job as human doormat to a deal-of-the-day company’s customers, I’ve seen (and am still suffering) just-barely-minimum-wage budget living.

From what I’ve come to experience, a true gentleman can get by with that.

I’d like to promise that a gentleman can make do with $5 aviators from Wal-Mart, and that whiskey from a plastic bottle is just as good as a rare $200 bottle obtained from a private tasting event, as long as it’s enjoyed with friends. While I can point out some of the best places in Chicago to go out for steak, I’ve realized that knowing how to cook a steak yourself to medium-rare perfection is as just, if not more, important to know. And even though I don’t have a thousand-dollar three-piece suit, I can safely pull off the $15 one I found at Salvation Army.

Yes, I understand that almost anyone with an opinion and access to the internet and fingers owns a blog, and yes, I understand that many of them hope to be professional writers, not unlike myself. Some will argue that it’s for practice, that any writing muscle unused will be lost, and is apparently the only to atrophy when left abstinent for more than a few hours. We all hope that our blogs will in some way get noticed, or that with enough commitment, we’ll actually be able to turn blogging into a full-fledged career, just long enough to get our novels published.

I’ll be honest: I blog for the aforementioned reasons. But that isn’t why I write.

I wanted to create this because I know that after twenty-four years of trying to get to know myself, I still become a rambling idiot when trying to articulate my beliefs. I wanted to create this because I was once apparently good with writing about my life and travel and music and food and personal revelations, and friends and previous readers suggest that I could milk my current events to do the same. Finally, but certainly not most importantly, I wanted to create this because an angry customer didn’t let me have my rebuttle.

So here’s to you, tattoed_peach, a partially-accurate name. I’m not exactly sure what I know, and I’m sure that you don’t know that I don’t know what I know.

This, however, I do: Yes, my mother would, and is proud of how I treat people.

Because I am a gentleman. You just didn’t get to hear me say it.

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