Apartment Therapy & The Duke

Apartment Therapy & The Duke

Maxwell Ryan
Apr 15, 2013

During the year I carried my home on my bike, I spent the Easter holidays in the Italian town of Todi with a large family, the father of which was a duke. The family lived on a really beautiful property with many buildings, including a small church. The meal itself was elaborate, cooked by the women of the family, and there were many guests at the midday meal. 

At the head of the table on one side was the Duke and at the other, the town priest. Everyone spoke Italian, and I barely understood a thing. The food was delicious. 

At the end of the meal, the Duke quietly rose from his chair so as not to disturb anyone and began clearing the plates to the kitchen. In a remarkable and modest fashion he cleared every plate and disappeared into the kitchen to wash them, while everyone else had coffee. 

Maybe I am alone in this, but his simple chivalrous gesture spoke volumes to me. This didn't happen in my house growing up in the USA, and I had never seen this division of labor, executed in a such a stylish fashion. The Duke carrying dishes in his Sunday best was cool. 

Later, I found myself thinking about how important it is to set an example at home, and how our little actions define us. Particularly men, for whom the home has traditionally been more of a distant domain, there is not only a need to reclaim the home, but to set an example within it. 

So, this one today is for the men out there. A man should remember that style and character start with his habits at home and depend on much more than the cut of your clothing. It is not odd or weak for a man to want to take care of his home, share in the chores of maintaining it and entertain with a flourish. 

After all, only a caveman would want to live in a cave, right? 

Here's your prescription for the week: host a nice dinner this week for someone, open up a good bottle of wine and be a man; clean up before anyone else does. 

(Image: Shuttterstock - Cosimo l de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Fountain of Neptune for the Piazza della Signnoria, Florence) 

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