I think it is important for every girl to have friends of the opposite gender. I love the guys in my life just as much , though very differently, as my Bad Gurls and Besties. At a core level everyone gets the same Lola as a friend. Part of the reason I embrace the “fearlessly be yourself” mantra is because I’ve never been very good at being anything different. All my life I’ve always felt comfortable in the company of guy friends. I also prefer male bosses ( even ones that let the drunken customer call me), but that is another story. In my school system they started a Gifted and Talented class, with my 4th Grade year. There was a whole class of us that met and stayed together from 4th grade on through High School. We spent 4-6th grades together with precious few new kids coming or people leaving. By the time the insults of 7th grade rolled around we SOLIDLY had each others back, boys and girls alike. My very first best guy friend was also my very first kiss, and went on to marry one of my very best friends from that same class.
Always having at least one best guy friend was easy to do in college and early adulthood before I got married. Then in similar fashion to the way little boys and girls can be best friends until about the age of oh 6-8 before their gender gets in the way; life circumstances get in the way of keeping those relationships close. Significant others, jobs, kids etc… Guys just don’t put as much stock in the whole keeping in touch thing. With a dude you can pick up and put down a friendship without “I’m no longer feeding and watering that friendship if she’s isn’t going to”. Close girl bonding takes time because girls can be vicious, best guy friend bonding can be started quickly and put down no hard feelings. With a dude you can talk to someone that actually has a penis about whatever penis you’re in need of discussing. And they can give you the penis POV, which you can in kind return with your womanly wisdom of vaginas and what his date/girlfriend/wife really means when she says he can do what he wants. With a dude you can play Tonk and talk shit and make them play Rummy 500 until you win just so you can say you did. With my dude friends it’s a treat to just be Lola at my core. I can leave the heavy badass armor at the door with the guys and not feel vulnerable. It’s hard to explain really so I’ll take it out of the dude vs. girl label and just tell you about two of my besties that just happen to be dudes, Sunshine and Vin D.
I genuinely love both of these guys in a very platonic way. Sunshine and I met in college and shared a Business major. Mr. Smartypants apparently exited with 2 majors. I was one class away from a double major in not only Business, but also Finance. The one remaining finance class I needed to make that happen was the next Spring semester and I didn’t want to do 5 years. So I exited with a B+ average toting a Business/ Marketing degree. We graduated, went on with life, hooked up on FB and in the middle of my AD I noticed him posting something about being 1 year post Divorce and starting to be happy again. So Sunshine (my real nickname for him) and I start talking. I’m all about being me but you don’t just tell some dude you made out with in college but also have mutual respect for that you’re getting your boobs out on the internet and having an emotional/you’d like to make it physical internet affair with a 25 year old Greek God of sociopaths. Sunshine had no idea what the hell was going on in my 2nd life. He knew I was going through a divorce and what he saw on FB. Sunshine and I were old college acquaintances who happened to swap spit once in the bricked basement of the fraternity house. By all accounts he should of been working the hell out of the can I fuck you angle, but he wasn’t. Oh and Sunshine lives far away in another part of the country with a football team we don’t like here. (Stifling urge to break out my Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal’s version of “Piggers are going all the way this year”) We started with emails and then moved to texts and phone. We spent the summer catching up on our lives since college and settling into the friendship we have today. I have given the why I love Sunshine speech to multiple people, including The Husband and Sunshine himself.
It goes something like this. I love Sunshine because he, as a man, was treating me better and with more care and respect than any other man in my life. I was talking to him and getting to know him again during the time that The Husband had moved out; I was still hoping to be with PJ; I was talking to, meeting, and dating new guys. Sunshine wasn’t trying to get in my pants, and he was the man who was treating me best. He is a very overworked, over achieving business man with a team of direct reports. He travels all the time and is rarely home. When he is home he has a gigantic social life, as you can imagine Sunshine does not struggle with the ladies fawning over him. Sunshine, in spite of his busy schedule, would plan ahead to call me based on our scheduled that week, call when he said he would and actually spend time listening and talking with me when he did. Sunshine treats all women in his life this way, I am not special. But Sunshine reminded me what it’s like to have a real man in your life, and how that should make you feel.
Sunshine had post traumatic my ex wife was an evil shrew (my words) who had to be texted back immediately syndrome. I had most of the texts coming in are all about how someone wants me to smurf on his smurf for a smurfy long time. Or smurf my smurfy smurfiness until smurfdome comes. Or hi can I take you to dinner and then maybe smurf with you after. ( oh the Match.com stories are so funny) Why yes I DID see The Smurfs last weekend and I must say it was a fabulous trip down memory lane. Texting proved to be therapy for both of us. I don’t know how you text with your friends but with my friends texting works as sort of a pick up and put down running conversation. The next response could come in seconds or weeks after the last one. But it didn’t become that all encompassing I’m doing it all day long BS like it was prone to with the new guys in rotation. Cuff link and food porn was about as racy as it got. Sunshine now knows all of my secrets from that time, is one of my loudest “I’m proud of you” supporters and is going to be my yearly date for Carb Day. Some day I hope to watch him get married again to a girl I can stand and who will understand that he is a gift to his friends and let him keep us around.
Vin D I’ve known for over ten years. We met at a job through a mutual friend, spent a while carpooling and eating lunch together every day, then drifted apart as life took us in different directions. Vin D was my safety call when I was interviewing the Craig’s List guys. I sure the heck couldn’t call any of my girl friends and say “Hey, I’m going to meet this random dude and I just need you to know where I am so if I end up in a pit you can find my body” ” Oh yeah, everything is fine I just thought it was a good idea if I start fucking guys from Craig’s list” . Vin D has the fortitude to handle that and enough intimate knowledge of my inner brain working to know we’ll talk about why the fuck I’m doing something that crazy and stupid when I’m ready to talk about. I was ready to talk about roughly 5 months later standing outside some random abandoned gas station. Wait, that sounds bad, Vin D and I used to work for the same place. We couldn’t exactly have these conversations at work so we would take drives, smoke and vent about work or life or whatever. On that particular day I decided it was time to share and seek his advice, so I dumped it all on him. Reddit, PJ, The Husband, all of it. From that day on Vin D became my sounding board on the subject of my sanity and life. Vin D and I are not literally exactly alike. We have many personality and character differences. Buy our minds works almost exactly the same. And through hundreds of hours of having intellectual adult conversations about all manner of topics and our often divergent opinions of them, we have the uncanny ability to provide quality self awareness therapy/BGP/know when to shut up and just listen to each other. He is like a male version of me and vice versa. We do not always agree, but we always respect the others POV. It was Vin D who kept telling me that is was absolutely inexcusable for PJ to not be standing present physically in my life. It was Vin D who listened every Tuesday after I had my counseling session to my revelations of new insight and my next steps are far as taking my life and myself back. It was Vin D who was holding fast to his line in the sand of this is NOT OK to be happening to you. It was Vin D who came over, plugged his laptop in and worked from my Kitchen to help me stay the hell off the internet. It was Vin D who listened to many many tear filled rants of frustration. And it was Vin D who never treated me as weak, or crazy or unsettled or anything else but me. I love that man like a brother.
I have a new potential best guy friend. We are in the friend stage where we have just enough inside jokes ( we work at the same place) to make us close but don’t know each other moods well enough to shut the hell up when we should yet.