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1 Buying a Speedo (for sporting reasons). You require a banana hammock to help you move like a seal as you take part in the Robben Island swim or Midmar Mile. Just leave it behind when the pool party invites start rolling in.
2 Changing your own tyre. Changing a tyre does not require the AA or even Louis Gossett Junior. Suck it up and learn.
3 Paying it forward. You remember how your dad would bowl at you in the nets or teach you how to hit top-spin? Keep that in mind when a kid asks you to play sport with them.
4 Hosting a dinner party. There comes a time when you have to expand your skills from making toast and braaing to hosting people around a dinner table with a decent meal prepared in your own kitchen. Can’t cook? If you can read you can follow a recipe.
5 Saying no to sex. Yes, it happens. And it can be quite satisfying. Maybe you’re drunk. Maybe there’s no condom. Hell, maybe she’s your ex’s hot sister. Somewhere deep down you know that waking up next to this girl is going to be more pain than it’s worth. In this case,
waking up alone with a clear conscience is better than a notch on your belt.
6 Saying yes to sex, the first time. Your first time wasn’t that good, we know. Deal with it – it got a whole lot better, right?
7 Helping a mate through a break-up. Offer a shoulder and distractions (weekends away with the dudes, sport viewing and playing, and other girls) and if he still hasn’t shut up after a month, call him on it. It ain’t easy, but he’ll thank you later.
8 Your first real salaried pay cheque. Getting paid on the sly to demolish a house or pose nude for art classes doesn’t count. When you get a pay slip from some faceless accounts department of a huge corporation that chews up and spits out thousands like you, there’s something incredibly satisfying about having earned it.
9 Driving in a large city. Driving in Moscow, Lagos, Mumbai or downtown Jozi is an experience. The first time is scary, but you’ll cope. Just drive confidently and make sure you have a large fender and loud hooter.
10 Treating your parents. They spawned you, raised you and put up with your crap. Now that you’re earning a salary give something back… like the Thursday night pizza special round the corner. It’s the thought that counts.
11 Learning from your first work hangover. Breath like carrion, eyes as bloody as a casualty ward and your head pounding like a porn star. A greasy breakfast, water, coffee, chewing gum, more water and a sneeky snooze in the bathrooms will get you through it.
12 Having a brush with the law. Whether it’s taking someone to the small claims court or spending a night in jail for being drunk and disorderly, seeing the wheels of justice in action is a sobering and galvanising experience. But you don’t need to go through it to confirm that rules are there for a reason.
13 Recovering from the post-school fat gain. In the revelry of your twenties you drank and ate until your lithe teenage body was replaced by this lardy dough-boy with double chins who struggles to climb stairs without feeling out of breath. Losing the flab equals a more confident, happier you.
14 Standing up for something. Whether it’s a woman’s honour, global warming or confronting that racist git that everyone else turns a blind eye to; having courage in your convictions, and acting on them, carries huge rewards.