Wednesday, November 02, 2005

It's a Guy Thing pt.1: Male Pattern Bonding

On the whole, I have to say my life is good: I like my job, have a fairly active social life for a couch potato, and have been successful in establishing an underground resistance movement to thwart the conquest plans of Clan Flunky. One of the few things that I'm lacking (other than that pesky elusive independently wealthy thing) is a sufficient amount of time Hanging Out With The Guys.

No, you didn't miss a post somewhere; The Guys aren’t a new addition to the CoIM Cast; no, Hanging Out With The Guys is my label for standard male bonding in groups of three or more, with no member of the fairer sex around:

  • hanging out with Papa Lightbulb = two guys hanging out
  • hanging out with Papa Lightbulb and Mama Lightbulb = hanging out with some friends
  • hanging out with Papa Lightbulb and Cap'n Bumper = Hanging Out With The Guys

Growing up there was very little Hanging Out With The Guys time in my life, due to my misguided aversion to sports, cars, hunting, fishing, etc.; in addition, most of my activities in school (speech, band, Student Council) put me in a gender minority situation; I was all too often placed in the position of being the sole male having to listen to a gaggle of girls crucifying my gender, with any comment I might make eliciting a response of "Oh, we don’t mean you; you're different"; just the words every teenage boy wants to hear, right?

So, my formative years featured a dearth of honest-to-goodness male bonding; subsequently, over the years I've found myself drawn to any TV show, movie, or book featuring examples of what I was missing; I'm one of the few Buffy fans who hated to see Riley leave the show, not because I gave a flip about his relationship with Buffy, but because I enjoyed seeing geekish Xander finally having a guy to bond with. I think this early deficiency also explains why I latched on so hard when I did find a group of Guys To Hang Out With. Do I even need tot tell you at this point when this happened? That's right: all roads lead to Parker.

Even through all of my ups and downs (not to mention my way, way downs), I enjoyed a pretty consistent level of Hanging Out With The Guys time up until Clan G'ovich finally joined the Great Parkerite Exodus in Oct. of '99. Without the Doc there to coordinate things, I found my once thriving social circle contracting to just the Book Monkeys. Now, while I love working in libraries, there's one unfortunate side-effect: I was now once again placed in the gender minority. The big difference was that this time I didn't have to put up with male-bashing and "Oh, but you're different" comments; but at the same time, not having any guy friends around on a regular basis started to bum me out.

My move to Denton in Dec. of 2001 didn't change much for me at first; it wasn't until Jan. of '03 when Papa Lightbulb, Bizarro-Zinger (formerly known as The Firefighter), and The Trumpeteer all joined The Singles class that the Hanging Out With The Guys times would begin again. Unfortunately, The Trumpeteer would move back north within a year, and Bizarro-Zinger's commitments to work, the fire academy, and his girlfriend kept him pretty well occupied up until the time he started attending a different church. Papa L. has tried to get The Singles Guys motivated to Hang Out, but to no avail; outside of the Bumper Bowling excursion, most of his efforts have been a bust.

There was a brief period of Hanging Out With The Guys facilitated by The Eskimo last year revolving around poker nights and the NFL, but the difficulty of getting everyone's schedules to line up for poker finally killed that (which is too bad, because I've finally started to enjoy playing it), and the NFL viewing parties died off as soon as Clan Berzerkr moved back to Colorado. At this point, my Hanging Out With The Guys experiences are pretty much confined to the annual PFL Labor Day Gathering, and the occasional Parkerite Baby Shower, wherein the girls gush over baby stuff and the guys gamble away their hard earned earnings; I’ve tried telling Zinger that he and Pooh need to get busy with the baby-making so we can have another get-together soon, but Sir Stoneheart hasn't been that receptive to the idea.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the next installment in this series, where I’ll begin to dissect the pros and cons of particular aspects of Hanging Out With The Guys.


CAP'N Disaster said...

Well I guess Cap'n Cluck and Cap'n Disaster, though two very fun chicks (ha ha did you like the use of chicks there Cap'n Cluck?) certainly do not fill the void of male bonding time. I hope you are able to find more males to hang out with and do all that male bonding stuff with (butt slapping and running chest bangs and what not).

Cap'n Cluck said...

You forgot grunting, crude jokes, and fart noises! Bring on the male bonding, I say. That gives us girls time to watch movies like Elizabethtown and Ever After.

Have a Cluckity Cluck Cluck Day!