Tag Archives: friends

Today’s Word is… MENSHIPS 

You know what’s awkward? When you essentially spend an entire day with someone well into 2 am, you take their number, never call and then run into them again in public.  You know what’s even more awkward? When it’s a guy. So yeah…context.  You go out to a happy hour with someone, they get a text from someone and they split.  It’s still kinda early so you just finish your drink.  You meet a girl, y’all vibing and all that and she’s there with her homegirl who is talking up some other dude.  You don’t know him from a hole in a wall, but the black man synergy takes over and suddenly y’all setting each other up for plays like Kyrie and LeBron. 

Fast forward to now,  out of the 3 of them, it was me and him actually stayed in touch.  (damn I don’t even remember her name)  We’ll go out kick it and I’m the friend who is probably bailing early. Issa circle. A circle of life.  Even so, it’s more of a “shoulder to shoulder” type of deal, in that it’s more of an escort than a friend.  It’s more “where the wave at”, “niggas finna go hoop”, “you tryna match?” (I don’t partake in cannabis consumption, is that what the cool kids still say?),  “you fucking with this party?”.   It’s very loose and non committal,  I might see you there, I might not and there isn’t much expectation to do so.   Even childhood friends I can’t remember the last time I just went to, see them, and enjoy their company.  It’s like in this one episode of Family Guy, Peter calls Quagmire just to talk and he’s like…um…wtf is this about?  That’s most male friendships in a nutshell

With the exception of your family and your day ones, I would say male friendships are either accessible, advisory or ancillary (yes I only used ancillary for the alliteration).  Accessible is the convenient friend.  It’s your neighbor, your coworker, your classmate.  You see them every day so you #minuswhale talk to them.  Especially when you worked in retail, you needed those people to vent to, (cover shifts) and get you through this minimum wage hell.   Then, you graduate get a full time job and never speak to them again.  I’ve been out of school for 5 years, and outside of special occasions we just don’t kick it like that.  It’s all love when I see them but there’s just not much effort to see them.  I’m sure it’s different for Greeks (but I ain’t buy friends…. kidding, kidding). 

Then there’s the healthiest of male friend ships, Advisory.  Mentors, father figures, OGs…want to make an old black man light up, ask to pick his brain.  As a mentee, you can be vulnerable, unsure, even a bit thirsty in a way that doesn’t appear weak, but rather hungry.  Old heads lived it already, learned from their mistakes and can pass it on as a reliable source whereas your man’s from college even if he’s right it’s like…*piano notes*…. OK.  Mentors are kind of the cheat code to what a healthy male friendship should be.  A “face to face” friendship, except it’s not considered a friendship, maybe that’s why it works.  

Then to bring it full circle there’s ancillary; the friend who exists because you can’t do everything alone.  The workout buddy, the drinking buddy, not much unlike the coworker or the neighbor, they’re conditional friendships.  Like “Kyrie” is cool, but I’m probably never going to his house nor he mine unless there’s a cookout.  I might buy a round but don’t ask me for bread for real for real.  You need ancillary friends because there’s no tinder for a straight man to find another straight man to grab beers with.  (adds that to list of billion dollar ideas I should put into motion one day) 

Saying that out loud, sounds cruel tho.  Like why even bother? Men don’t have close friends while being fully cognizant of the fact that they might be shitty friends. Friends are empathetic, affectionate, needy…all traits men apply to women.  It’s as if to be a good friend you have to be feminine and you know men don’t play that.  That includes myself, I’ve written before how I’m “wow, that’s crazy” guy not necessarily invested in their growth because that’s “her job” .  I saw a tweet the other day that said men going to brunch together is gay, of course alcoholic orange juice and omelets won’t make me desire a man; but me and my niggas aren’t bout to grab brunch without women present.   (Unless it’s Vegas. That’s the exception.)  

Studies show men with friends are healthier live longer so maybe we all need to make new friends and keep the old.  Check in on folks, go out more, learn how to golf and all that good stuff. Or maybe I should get to work on that app.  

-Stan-

 
 

 

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Today’s Word is… WORKWIFE

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“Do I know you”

I turned around at the query. 

It was a woman I work with, not directly but we’re in the same building. 

“Um, yeah we work together.” (I mean I thought I was pretty well known there -3 for the ego). 

Anyway we chat for a bit on the train, she goes her way I go mine.  Now she knows who I be, we see eachother more often and talk regularly.  I’ve told you about CoWorker before, she’s the homie.  We’ve had our back and forths (partially convinced no woman can like me longer than 4 months at a time) but overall we’ve developed a pleasant friendship. Nothing more, nothing less. Sure, there’s a rumor or two floating, double takes when we accidentally matched or you saw one without the other, but we ain’t listen to what people say; they ain’t know about her and me. And so we put it out our minds cause it’s jealousy, they don’t know about this here.

She was just a workwife, contrary to popular belief. This arrangement wasn’t necessarily new to me, all through college I had at least one woman to serve as incentive to go there on time (also study buddies are cheaper than buying textbooks #protip). Workwives help the time go faster, moral support, they understand the struggle because they in it with you, especially helpful when you don’t give much fux about your job. A Vault.com survey says about 60% of professionals in my field have copped to having some sort of work spouse (the other 40% Ima need to see gChat/Outlook receipts). It makes sense, even the most anti social person cant show up somewhere nearly every day for 8 hours a day and not make a single interpersonal relationship.

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When boundaries arent set...

I’m a firm believer that men and women can be platonic friends, maturity breeds discretion; every woman who smiles at you does not need to get that work. Of course, I can beat that drum all I like, I still have to sell that to a Mrs. (Yeah yeah I hear you woman who doesn’t get jealous, is sooo cool with her man having friends, you’re an amazing unicorn). For the non unicorns its a matter of being open and setting boundaries and sticking to them. You never want to “find out” anything about someone you’re seeing that isn’t from the source. I’ve always been iffy on this notion of “emotional cheating”, there’s a difference between telling her something I should be telling my actual s/o and my s/o just wanting to be Walmart and be the go to for any and everything. I don’t even like to discuss work outside of work, sometimes I don’t want to explain an inside joke to an outsider, sometimes an objective opinion is necessary. I think that makes sense, but you know logic and love is oil and water sometimes.

Boundaries should be straight forward, don’t do couple-y shit. There’s a difference between grabbing lunch and going on a date, IMing at work and texting all night, telling a story about a date gone wrong and venting to workwife about your real one. Just like I don’t take work home, I don’t bring home to work. She’ll always be “fine” whether that is or isn’t true. Don’t start none won’t be none.

With those parameters in place, workwives are a welcome escape from the work grind. As a work husband, I try to be the same, and keep savagery to minimum. Of course thats just how I am. (Now who’s playing unicorn?). Somewhat of a double standard, but workhusbands are not to be trusted. Why? I’ll tell you why…….next post.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… DISCRETION

I’m a picky eater.  I eat cereal and salad dry, 9/10 will go to any restaurant and order a burger, because it’s almost impossible to mess up a burger (although I’m eating better these days so I’ve learned to expand my options).  My sister brought this up when expressing her frustration that my nephew like me, is extremely picky.  She doesn’t know how our mother dealt with me, even though it was simple, what I didn’t know didn’t hurt me, “what’s this” “Dinner. Eat.” So upon entering college with a hefty meal plan at my disposal, I was free to eat whatever I wished.  Omelettes, waffles, burgers, pizza, turn down for what. The result,  60 lb weight gain.  The moral of the story what’s convenient isn’t always what’s best. 

So I was talking to a friend, topic ventured to sex and relationships.  I had asked was she open to something casual or was she shut down like Derrick Rose until she was in a relationship.  She said the latter and when asked the same question I realized that by default I too was shut down.  I thought about all the golden tickets I returned to sender lately, wasn’t intentional but I just knew it was best not to go that route with some of them.  “You’re a man of integrity so I can see that” she said. “Yeah Yeah” “Awww your integrity ain’t keeping you warm at night” It really ain’t. Neither are those degrees.  However, as a pseudo attractive, eligible bachelor, I’m like 18 year old me at the dining commons again.  Exes, crushes, coworkers, e-boos, turn down for what….because the aftermath  is not worth it for xxx minutes of pleasure.  Sure I can be the guy that can cash in the ticket, we grown, she’ll be iight, I’m in pursuit of my own happiness.  But that’s just not me and Me knows that’s not her (yes I said Me knows, just roll with it).  Maybe there is something to that INFJ personality type I keep contesting. 

As we get older we learn the value of discretion; leaping at every possible opportunity isn’t necessary especially when I consider what exactly I’m looking for long term.   Men are raised to be hunters, to slam home every lob tossed up their way, if not something is wrong with you.  Sure if you’re not attracted then it’s easy. If you are, then it’s much harder to have mind control over Deebo. The flesh is weak.  The best you can do is focus on the consequences, losing a friend, job, or making up some narrative that she will go “Snapped” on you if you smash then pass.  Also, it comes from understanding she isn’t about to be your last hurrah, know that there’s always a better opportunity out there.  Of course easier said than done when it’s cold outside (and it is the month of May this some ol bullish) she’s texting “when you’re going to come see me”.  

Perhaps she could use better discretion, double standards suggest that I’m just a blaaaack man coming to you from the Southland and I can’t control my urges. Furthermore, she should’ve knew what my interests are and who I be with before hooking up and it’s her fault.  She can be naive, I can be a man.  Or I can just act like I didn’t see it (because outright rejection never works, women will rationalize every reason you have not to but that’s a different post), she can just find someone who doesn’t have her best interest at heart and I…well I have my integrity.  -__-

-Stan-      

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Today’s Word is… BOOMERANG

*Pretends I can sing for a second*

There’s always that one person who will always have your heart…you never see it coming cuz you’re blinded from the start…know that you’re the one for me…it’s clear for everyone to see….

I’ve dated some amazing women. Some horrible misses, but mainly amazing.  I date sporadically but I rarely settle down unless I actually see some kind of long term future. Otherwise you’re prolonging the inevitable.  Perhaps a cynical way to look at things but whatever.  I’m a pretty decent guy.  I needed to mature like Cheez-It cheese but the end result is pretty goldod.  I’m so overly attractive it’s intimidating, but not ugly enough you have to justify me to your homegirls.  In essence, I’m safe.  Perhaps that’s why I constantly find myself in situations where exes/friends/homies exes (sad but true #theseheauxsbeactinup) seem to keep coming back into my life. Boomerang.  And I keep catching it when it comes my way, and I throw it away knowing eventually it will orbit back around.

I’m guilty of it as well.  Sometimes I really want to remain friends with an ex, typically because out of the women I’ve dated I can only say 2-3 were just bad people I wouldn’t want to associate with.  My girlfriend usually becomes my best friend, it’s hard to just go back to being strangers.  At least that’s how I see it, they see it as I know this negro ain’t dump me and trying to be bffs like my heart aint broke.  Even when I’m the dumped one, often I’ll still take the L and try and be civil.  Also I hate people being mad at me.  So I volunteer myself to the friend zone knowing good and well I can get her heart or body anytime I felt like.  Yet I played oblivious. Over time I learned my boomeranging was doing more harm than good, I wasn’t letting them cope.    Yeah I never cheated or did anything worthy of them hating me so with that I always have an open invitation back in their lives.  But sometimes you have to be the villain, best thing they never had, perhaps it shows a lack of accountability, but c’est la vie.  Other guys aren’t as considerate, they worked long and hard for that golden ticket they gonna get as many rides as they can, feelings be damned.  Women aren’t exempt either, they will surely remind you that your ticket isn’t expired yet.

#boomerang

Then there’s the other types of boomerangs, flat out sabotagers.  The Marvin’s Room dudes, the trifling BM/BDs, the game players.  I was this as well.  When my first girlfriend dumped me, I flat out reinvented myself and did everything imaginable to get her back.  When I had her I didn’t want her anymore.  I probably should’ve left her alone but pride, curiosity  and jealousy took over.  Me and “Her” boomeranged into each others lives for years.  Some girls legit had no shot once she came back in the picture, same with her suitors. Toast to them.  We aint sh**.  On TV we root for love and neglect the fact that the other person typically does nothing wrong like Tyra in “Love & Basketball” nurse him through his injury for him to turn around and become a Basketball Wife.  In real life, it’s a pretty messed up thing to do.

Yet, we always go back, or at least look.  We hit up exes with the “hey stranger”, or we’re the ones responding to it.  Part of it is we don’t want to appear bitter or we actually miss them.  Or maybe we just don’t know any better.

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Today’s Word is… FRIENDS

Breauxs.

I was a very gifted child in school,  perhaps the most gifted in the entire school except this one girl who was just as smart as I.  An unspoken rivalry formed, where one would try to one up the other and our teacher recommended us both for this Saturday program at Milton Academy, a prestigious local private school.  My parents jumped at the opportunity (although they were way too broke for me to transfer full time) and my Saturdays went from cartoons and Sega Genesis to algebra, chemistry and art history courses.  I felt out of place there instantly, while I was just as smart as the other students I was still a 10 year old kid from the hood, it was a culture shock.  I made plenty friends there but it was still awkward, I was talking about the Bulls game, they couldn’t relate, they was talking about clubs, vacations and organizations, I couldn’t relate.  However, it was just as awkward spending the early part of my Saturday with kids who were prospective CEOs and then coming home and playing Manhunt with prospective dropouts (well out of the 7 of us, 4 graduated HS so perhaps I was too hard on them).

Word.

Fast forward to now, my circle is considerably smaller and I still feel that awkward lack of balance.  I’m a nerd, but I’m not a sit at home play video games, hack every electronic device I own, draw out budgets of the month type of nerd all the time.  I love my team, but I’m not a post on the block, drink, smoke, go through our respective phones hitting up any and all females like “Honey check it, tell your friends, to get with my friends, and we could be friends”, type of guy neither.  In either event, I get bored and usually the one that takes off early, or I’m simply a one man wolf pack.  Perhaps I need to hang in new circles, I should network more.

I have plenty of female friends and the issue there is I’m a overly flirtatious, curious man.  Most of my female friends I slept with, want to sleep with or I could if I gave the word.  I’m trying to establish more platonic female relationships even if the last one didn’t work out as planned and if I evvv ever fall in love again I will be sure to run in the other direction but thats another post entirely.  I appreciate the women in my circle, even the bit of drama they provide.  But you can’t be with women all the time, it’s just different.  Where my dawgs at? (Note: Gold star for whoever read the respective Puffy, Shai and DMX voices)

Male friends: For when exes come to steal your bride

Essentially, I have a bunch of associates but not friends.  If I were to get engaged tomorrow, would any of them be a best man, ready to throw together a bachelor party and gut check another man if he tried to Dwayne Wayne my wedding? If one of them called me from jail would I run out to get them?  Would our kids be pretend cousins?  Actually, two people come to mind.  And of course there’s always family.  I’ll be iight, it’s 2012 people barely log out of the Matrix these days.

-Stan-

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