Monday, November 27, 2006

Water, Water, Everywhere...


I spent Thanksgiving with the men in my life...all seven of them. Some travelled in from out of state and some took the subway. They arrived on Wednesday night and stayed through Sunday. I hadn't planned on hosting a five day dude fest, it just sort of happened. Even my brother drove up for the festivities. I had plans already to eat Thanksgiving with friends in Brooklyn, but as the big day came closer to arriving, I started to get the not so casual, "Hey what are you doing for Thanksgiving?" phone calls. Finally I caved and put the word out that my house was open but I was not cooking. I'm not their girlfriend or their mother. I had my own plans, and while I would bring leftovers I couldn't promise a feast. I would be in Brooklyn for the dinner and if I came back into the city and the apartment was trashed, there would be hell to pay. As they began to arrive Wednesday night everyone came bearing their own version of Thanksgiving. There were card games, board games, cigarettes, albums "we just had to hear", and 12 varieties of beer. There were tales of wonder, work, survival, and quests of love won and lost. There were tears, laughter, and pleading with people to "just take a fucking shower, already." There were some brutal rounds of the card game "Bullshit" and marathons of "Balderdash". There was also one guy who took off his pants within an hour of arriving and spent the weekend in his boxers unless it was his turn to get snacks. He didn't put on pants until it was time to take the train back to Yale ( I hear that place is really selective about who they let in)... It was like a holiday home for wayward boys. In line with the Thanksgiving holiday, I was thankful for every moment.


See, I have a lot of guy friends. In fact, it's always been that way since elementary school. I grew up on ARMY bases and all that seemed to be around were guys. It wasn't until 8th grade that I realized the possibility of being found attractive by the opposite sex existed when I was asked to a dance at the teen center on the Army base where we lived. I never had a school girl crush and boy bands seemed as lame to me as the girls who would scream with glee at the mere mention of New Kids On the Block or sight of a band sticker on a trapper keeper. There was something about mob mentality that I never identified with anyway. It was so prevalent in the military that my family did everything to resist it. We would smile at functions and come home wondering what was wrong with everyone around us... As a result, we were a miserable ARMY family.


Most women in my life comment on the amount of guy friends I have. But I am always quick to point out that I have just as many friends that are girls and I am more than happy to share. There are women who embrace the fact that they can only be friends with guys...ummm, that's a problem. You have to have both and you can. I've heard some guys say that it is impossible to be friends with girls - that somebody inevitably has feelings and its not being addressed. Perhaps at some point the thought comes into play...its only natural and who doesn't want companionship. But something greater is missed when you try to fit your friendships into neat little compartments of what is the norm or what is expected.
Sometimes I go to work functions or parties with my guy friends if their girlfriends can't make it or they just want to hang out. I'm a safe bet. Let me clarify, I am friends with the girlfriends of these guys...and not in the fake "let's be cordial because we have to be" kind of way. I hang out with these girls when the guys aren't around. We have our own friendships independently. But, inevitably at these parties somebody will always ask if "said" guy friend and I are dating. I always say, "No we're friends". I hate it when people say , "We're JUST friends" because that implies that being a friend is not enough. Most of my friends have been friends of mine for over 10 years, so I try to explain that this is someone I've grown up with. I always feel that it's not a good enough answer for some people. So while I smile and answer their questions politely, I look over at my buddy and think, " When can we get to a bar and just hang out. What is wrong with everyone around us?"

4 Comments:

Blogger Sister Mary Lisa said...

I had mostly guy friends growing up as well. I think they are great.

2:09 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

I'm the same way, and I am glad you put the part in about women who claim not to be able to befriend other women- is that a red flag or what? Translation: Bitch will put a claw in your eye and not even think twice. Your Thanksgiving sounded great.

12:43 AM  
Blogger "said" Woman said...

You two both seem like pretty amazing ladies, so I can see the reason for your male fan base...I'm also a fan of people who use the term "red flag" in casual conversation...

11:49 AM  
Blogger ko said...

i have 3 older brothers, so i relate. Alot. I have many guy friends...but i too love the ladies. I'm not in competition. ever. one of my philosophies (adopted at age 13 when reading Story Of My Life) for more than half my life, is "if she can get him out the door she can have him." On top of that, I share- I recommend my guy friends to my girl friends and vice versa. Additionally, my longest-term friend (since we were 3yrs old) just married my oldest brother 2 months ago! People kept wanting it to be wierd- but i felt- and still feel- like it's the best thing ever...
There are things I haven't "figured out" but the opposite sex is not one of those things...i'm glad i found your site.-KO
katyoliver.com

2:30 AM  

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