When someone refers to a person as a gentleman, what qualities are they referring to? It's getting harder to discern these days right? Everyone offers the facade, with the advent of affordable made to measure clothes, a man can look the part of a gentleman for under £200 these days.
"You could almost pass as a gentleman," Billy Zane remarks as he fleetingly witnesses the transformation of Di Caprio from his vintage plaid jacket into his peak lapel black tie tuxedo. To which Di Caprio's character Jack replies, "almost".
It's an interesting juxtaposition. Zane's character effuses all the charm and verisimilitude of a gentleman when amongst his peers and contemporaries, but as an audience we are see his guard slip as he takes malicious pleasure in belittling the lower classes.
Not the sign of a gentleman right?
The uneducated Di Caprio successfully upstages Zane in the Gentleman department by way of virtue, displaying courage and honesty, treating all classes equally with either the same respect or disdain.
OK Carl we get it, you've seen Titanic, we get it.
So what makes a gentleman these days.
I've got some thoughts. A gentleman should really abide by these rules.
With your woman
You need to ask about the ladies health. How she is feeling. What part of her body aches. She might be stressed at work, you need to ask how her day was and what's on her mind. You need to be the confident, the carer, her counsel and everything between.
With your friends
You need to respect their boundaries. You need to ask permission for things. Remember birthday's. Remember their daughters and girlfriends names. A gentleman will pick up the conversation where you left off, remembering what it was that you had going on in your life.
I remember at a recent party being incredibly seduced by an acquaintance who asked about Charlie, my blog, he remembered the name of my brand and the troubles I was having with distributors at the time.
I was utterly seduced that this guy, quite high up in the social pecking order, could actually remember all that. Store it all away somewhere. It meant a lot to me and it was the sign of a gentleman.
Remember. Remember. Remember!!
Before turning up to any party I will always take a quick askance at someone’s social feed and see what they've been up to. Enquire about their latest holiday. You probably blindly liked every picture on Instagram but now it's time to investigate and ask would they recommend the city, what were the locals like etc.
A gentleman will be worldly, or opinionated.
I don't mean well read. But a gentleman will never be found speechless when it comes to current affairs. For example did you know that at one point the wildfires in America were spreading at the rate of 80 football field a minute?
Be prepared to have something to say on anything topical. Read the news and don't be found out if someone turns to you and asks, what do you think?
A gentleman will know. Or at least, convince everyone else he knows before making an excuse to leave before anyone finds out he's a charlatan.
What does it mean these days? To be a gentleman, sure we can all look like one. But it's in the way we conduct ourselves. Be in control of ones faculties (I.E not hammered on the dance floor at 3am asking anyone with a pulse for a shag), be on time, be professional, respect the dress code.
Appreciate the flaws in others. The flaws, in yourself. Be willing to admit your sorry. Pick your battles. Don't send spam. Have you ever received a mail out from a gentleman? Doesn't exist.
A gentleman will send a personalised email, thanking you for your time. Your hospitality. He will remark on something personal he took away from the time he spent in your company.
That's it for now. I don't pretend to be the moniker for what constitutes being a gentleman. This is really a stream of consciousness, a cerebral expunging of my thoughts as I get asked a lot, what is a gentleman?