Tag Archives: homies

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… HOMIES 

“Bleek can be one hit away his whole career, long as I’m alive he’s a millionaire”. – Jay Z, 2005

“Rapper Memphis Bleek files for bankruptcy ” – real life,  2016

Of course Jay is very much alive…he’s just been married and has had a child since that homeboy hall of fame bar in 2005. That’s life…we get older, find our paths, grow apart, the homies still the homies of course, but your priorities change.  Seems doubly true amongst men, where we are taught to hold your own, have your own, blaze your own. Bleek’s financial woes doesn’t reflect poorly on Jay at all; go get yours.  I’m sure Jay probably tried to put him on so many times and for whatever reason he ain’t listen.  Eventually you just gotta let the anchor sink. 

 This crossed my mind reading a column the other day about friendship.  A woman fearing losing her best friend and how strong such an union can be. I thought of my mother and how she didn’t have any sisters, my aunts were her closest friends.  I thought of my father, and how his army buddies were just that, they swing by say hi to us and go on about their business.  My aunts would stay over, they had our portraits in their house, my mother took in their kids like they were her own.  I have no idea what Mike’s last name is…he’s been my fathers best friend for like 40 years.  

Male friendships are just…different. There’s this acceptance, or rather indifference where you for the most part let them be who they are.  There are friends I stopped rocking with over the years but it usually was due to something happening more than I can’t afford to be associated with you right now. Male friendships are usually surface level; running ball, turning up, video games, fantasy sports…interest in work starts and ends at “they hiring”, interest in dating starts and ends at “she got friends?”.  Talk beyond that is met with “yo, shits crazy” and “yeah man” platitudes.  Sometimes I look at some friends and just think, “damn, HE’S a parent” (and I’m not) or read ignorant Facebook statuses and wanna comment “you’re 33”. Most male friends I don’t judge, because judgment requires an investment I just don’t have with them.

With others I like to think I care more than most, I’m the friend who will mock you and hope you do better. If I make fun of you because you can’t finish a sentence without cursing or I call someone a “Will’s Dad ass muhfucka”, its because I care.  Yet I cared but sat idly by and watched friends drop out of school, wife the wrong woman, blow it with a good woman, catch cases on cases and get lost in the sauce.  They surely watched me fall on my face a couple of times. Of course I cared and they cared, but the way of the land, let that man be him, look out for self.  No one wants that meddlesome friend, let alone to be him.  It still sounds inherently wrong,  sit around and wait for a woman to come along and then he’ll start dressing better and his house is cleaner.  There’s clear boundaries set amongst the homies.  No man fears losing a friend because who he is the same way he might for a woman…I wonder if that is a good or bad thing sometimes. 

Personally,  I’m not tryna get a lecture, you ready to get this L in 2K or nah?  Just as I need a space to be vulnerable, I also need a space where I’m unjudged, unfiltered because where else can I be so?  From that perspective I can get if others share that sentiment so it’s like, “oh you still ain’t break up with her” “iight bet…so what the move tonight”. If you need help, I got you (unless you’re moving…stop asking me to help you move, just cuz I’m big don’t mean I enjoy carrying couches).  As far as meddling, unless you really fucking up, I’m inclined to stay out of it. Because #inwards don’t be listening anyway and I really hate repeating myself.  So does that make me a good homie or a bad friend?

-Stan-

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