I remember when it was easy as walking up to another kid and saying:
“Do you want to be my friend?”
I know a lot of people and have many friends. But the small group that I once hung out with have been scattered, some of them lost, others gone forever. I miss having that one special person that I can call up in the middle of the night and talk to, or ignore for a week and then act like nothing ever happened.
So in my reconstruction I have decided to search out a new best friend. And I’ve decided it should be a straight guy. Here’s why.
Engines. I know nothing about them. I didn’t even own a car until I turned forty and moved out of the French Quarter. I break into cold sweats whenever I have to get the oil changed. Did I say that right?
How often should I change my windshield wipers? Is the engine making a funny noise? What’s a catalytic converter and do I need a new one?
My friend would know these answers and would happily answer them when I call him at work to help in the translation with the mechanics on duty. He wouldn’t even mind writing down a list of instructions that I could just hand to the grease jockeys, allowing me get on with my day. And he'd never laugh when I said I was going to get my engine lubed up.
Hair. The lack of it in some places, the abundance in others. Every gay guy and woman I know spends an inordinate amount of time being shaved, waxed, plucked and bleached.
Not my straight guy best friend.
We’ll sit around having drinks, him a beer, me a nice cabernet franc, and share horror stories about finding strange patches of wooliness in all the wrong places. He will never say anything about my receding hair line, and I’ll always make sure he doesn’t stand directly under any fluorescent lights.
Self Defense. I’ve been in a few fights in my life. I have the missing teeth to prove it.
The first time I ever hit another boy was while standing in line waiting for the school bus. He was a real bully and teased me incessantly. One day he decided to show me how to defend myself. I put up my fists and stared him in the eye. A nervous tick took over my left arm and I struck him square in the jaw. We became best friends for the rest of the summer until his mother went to jail and he was put in a foster home.
I know I could take a kick boxing class, but how cool would it be to learn a few ju jitsu moves from my buddy. Maybe we could take a fencing class together, which would come in handy if I were ever challenged to a duel.
Camping. Okay, I’m stretching on this one because my idea of roughing it starts with no room service and ends with having to use the same bath towel for consecutive days.
I do enjoy nature, though. I have a bird feeder and a rabbit that runs wild in my back yard. Somewhere in between the two I’m sure the ability to ascertain bear tracks in the mud would be a nice skill to brag about at dinner parties.
Plus, if we ever do decide to spend a weekend in the woods, he shouldn't be surprised if I start throwing out old Joan Crawford movie quotes when he asks if I want to go 'camping'.
Poker. I’ll be completely honest here. I hate playing cards but I do love sitting at round tables talking about offensive topics while having drinks and eating little nibbly things. It’s the sense of camaraderie and acceptance that entices me into this situation.
I also believe that these get togethers are when guys speak openly to each other about things that only your friends will understand, so I'll need to be backed up when I start discussing Descartes and the relationship of the mind and body.
There are some conditions surrounding our friendship that I should be up front about.
Don’t ask what you don’t want to know about but if you do be prepared to get an earful. I love talking about myself and the adventures of my life so an occasional question should be well thought out and if necessary I’ll provide you with a list of suitable subjects.
If I ever ask you what your favorite Madonna video is, be prepared with a stronger answer than:
“The really hot one.”
I don’t enjoy sports and find watching other people play them to be a real bore. But if you come with me to an occasional opera or symphony, I’ll be sure to brighten up your Super Bowl party with a glittery outfit and an appetizer platter that will make you the envy of your other friends.
I know it sounds like a one way street, but there’s nothing that impresses women more than a man who is so confident in himself that he is threatened by nothing, including his best friend’s sexuality.
Plus I’ll teach you how to use aluminum foil and aromatherapy candles to light things up when the batteries die in your flashlight.
Applications accepted immediately.