Things a man should stop doing after 20? After 30? After 40?

We talk a lot on the site about how men today are having a hard time moving from boyhood to manhood. Many grown men still dress and act like teenagers.

I'm sure we all have our personal list of things that we think a grown man should stop doing at a certain age-  :Putting away childish things," so to speak.

So what's on your list? What should a man stop doing after 20? After 30? After 40?

Here's a few of mine I thought of off the top of my head.

After 20

- No backwards ball caps unless you're wearing a catchers mask at a softball game
- Asking professional athletes for autographs

After 30
- Watching MTV
- Living with your parents
- Saying "dude"

After 40
- Fantasy baseball

Yeah, it's arbitrary. But it's fun. Have at it.

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All age groups: Pull up your damn pants!
Well, I'm 47, and I still say "dude"...maybe it's a by-product of teaching high school.
Anyways, here's my list:

After 20: Getting into fist fights;
not registering to vote;
voting for someone because you like the sound of his or her name, or just think it would be chic to have a _______________ person in office (fill in the blank with a particular gender, race, ethnic background, etc.);
staying up half the night, then sleeping till noon (okay, rare indulgences forgiven);
loud mufflers;
comic book obsessions
action figures

After 30: mismatched clothes;
habitually dirty cars;
long over-due oil changes;
getting all butt-hurt just because someone treated you "like a kid" or "dissed" you

After 40: not having plans and goals;
out-of-control spending, eating, or wasting time;
not having hobbies;
not being wise enough to hold your peace that the moment and look at the big picture

(BTW---how do you play "fantasy baseball"? I honestly have no clue about that.)
After 20: no more letting people tell you what you can't do because you're the wrong age.
So is it okay for a grown man to go to a water park by himself, I can get discount tickets at work, but I don't want to take my kids and my wife doesn't want to go with me. I would have fun by myself, but think it would make me look creepy to everyone else.
You could go by yourself, but why? I love waterparks, but part of the fun is going with and having friends/family to go with you.
Besides, if you really wanted to go, and did go by yourself, why would you give a rat's ass about what anyone else there thought?
Mark I couldn't have said it better myself.

getting all butt-hurt just because someone treated you "like a kid" or "dissed" you
Possibly, BUT on the flipside you should never accept being treated like a child at that age. My mom and I are (temporarily hopefully) not on speaking terms because she refuses to stop talking to me and treating me like a kid.

I'm 37 and I:
-still say dude (in fact I've called my mom dude before)
-have several t-shirts (including Transformers, Kermit the frog and Marvin the Martian)
-still build scale model cars
-go mountain biking regularly

Fellas, you cannot grow up too fast, lose your youthful exuberance and expect to live a low-stress life.
You can't take life too seriously.
Can't remember what book it was (I wanna say it was Combat Swimmer: Memoirs of a Navy SEAL), that one of the former SEALS said, 'You can lose just about everything in life but your sense of humor, and still survive'.
I'm positive that the generations that grew up saying "dude" will continue to say it for most for most of their life. It is the same thing with old men and the old fashion terms they use, they still say them because they grew up using them. Dude has just become common with the last two generations, that is why people think of it has a youthful expression.
The idea that you should do whatever you damn like at whatever age you are is a distinctly modern one.
To a certain point, there is not a damn thing wrong with being selfish. Honestly, a person does have to look out for number one (albeit not while affecting others negatively, of course).

I don't agree with the idea that "you should do whatever you damned well like at whatever age," Brett. I believe that idea smacks too much of arrogance,
Exactly, BUT....

Obviously, as I said once before to Michael, I believe, that doesn't encompass things like being rude, cruel or obnoxious "just because you can." There are rules of civility and decency, whether written or unwritten, which govern dealing with others.
As long as you are not infringing on/affecting the rights of others or shirking your responsibilities, then you should do whatever you damned well like at whatever age is ok.
Well, the generation thing has been there forever. The Greek epics and tragedies have young gods v. old gods motifs. Tocqueville argues American democracy encouraged greater trans-generation harmony than European aristocracy in Democracy in America.

As for the second idea, seems it too was there with the Epicureans and other hedonists forever. That it would be a prevailing view, yeah, that's new.
Disagree. The demarcation between boys and men is ancient and I'm surprised you would argue against it. Although the line was simply between boy/men/elders. In tribes across the world when a boy was a boy he wore certain things and was allowed to do certain things. When he went through a rite-of-passage, he stopped associating with the boys and only socialized and lived with the men. And when he was an old man he lived with different expectations as well. This was true in varying degrees up until about the 50s. There were boy things and man things, and when a boy became a man, he put away the childish things-dressed differently, talked differently, engaged in different activities, and had different goals.

Note that I'm not arguing that there were ever lines marking things appropriate for 20/30/40. (As a side note, a generation is about 20 years, so we're obviously not talking about generation gaps here). That was just for the sake of having a fun discussion-that has, of course, as most things do around here-had all the fun sucked right out of it. But then those who objected weren't objecting to where the lines were drawn, but to the idea that there should be any difference in how a man acts when he is young and when he is older. And so I simply come back to what I said before-that the idea that there shouldn't be different expectations for youth and for men is a distinctly modern one.


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