old (2007), Uncategorized

finding my inner guy

I started out at The Hideout last night (excellent soul dance party, but WAY too hot!), but around 11:30 I got a text from P. telling me I should come to The Globe, where he was hanging out with E. and L. And so I bid a fond adieu to the mamas and headed up to Irving. As usual, L. was an enthusiastic dance partner (though I’m still giving him crap about throwing my back out at Estelle’s…) and it was good fun hanging with everyone. We headed to Christina’s after The Globe closed, where I let some guy take my picture (“cool hair!”) in exchange for guarding the door while I used the men’s room and we watched multiple drunken fools butcher lyrics during karaoke. After a friend dropped by to get my keys (she, uh, was “borrowing” my apartment for the night…), the four of us headed back to P.’s house.

We all slept well past noon, woke up for a breakfast of coffee and Fruit Loops, and settled in to watch the British Grand Prix. Around 4pm, L. and I walked up to El Cid to get some flautas and also picked up some mojitos from the liquor store, both of which really hit the spot. And then we hunkered down some more, watching the Argentina-Peru futbol game, Family Guy, and a few episodes of Boondocks. Around 11pm it seemed about time to go home…. I grabbed some fries from White Castle on the way, and now I find myself thinking a bit about the past couple of weeks…

When I was younger, most all of my friends were male, and I found it difficult to form friendships with girls/women. As I’ve gotten older, especially since I’ve had children, I’ve reversed that pattern. I’ve been able to foster friendships with several women, a select few with whom I’ve become very close. But as much as I love my mama friends, there always seems to be something missing. And, no, that’s not really even the best way to put it. There isn’t anything really missing from my friendships with the mamas; rather, I feel as though there is something I’m missing in my life that I can’t get from the friendships I have with women. Since I met P. I’ve had a chance to hang out with groups of guys for the first time in a very long while, and I’m beginning to realize exactly what that is: disconnected sarcastic banter with a sadistic edge.

(Note: what follows are generalizations based on my own experiences. I am not a sociologist or psychologist and I have no idea whether these gender differences exist in an objective, empirical sense. So don’t get all offended if you think I’m wrong. Just sayin’.)

The thing about women is that they don’t generally engage in that buddy-movie kind of dialogue that guys have spent their lives perfecting. Women focus on relationships, talking about things, interacting with people, paying attention to the details, learning about each other’s lives. Guys, on the other hand, are perfectly happy sitting in front of a television yelling at the screen, cracking jokes, and bantering with each other. And getting to know someone doesn’t happen through sharing stories or talking about feelings; it’s done kamikaze fashion, a free-for-all of snippy comments at a pace that would make David Mamet stop in his tracks. If you can’t keep up, you’re not one of the gang. If you can, you’re in for life.

I’m glad I met P. and his friends. Snarky banter is fun, especially the kind I’m figuring out that men do but (most) women don’t. I have a feeling Pitchfork is going to be a blast with these guys…