Re: She Likes Me? She Really Likes Me?

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I totally enjoyed this movie, for the record. I laughed a lot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:53 AM
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Obligatory link to Sady's review of the Apatow canon.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:53 AM
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Cf. Kotsko.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:06 AM
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I'll be really surprised if anyone can convince me that the piece linked in 2 is wrong in a significant way.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:07 AM
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… though neither 2 nor 3 seem to have much to do with the post, except insofar as an Apatow movie was its occasion.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:09 AM
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("bromosocial" is a pretty good term.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:09 AM
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On the actual topic of the post, it is true that all of my friends are either parts of couples that AB & I have befriended, old (college-era) friends, or work-related. But I've never had many friends, so it's hard to see this as a change.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:10 AM
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Specter got stripped of his seniority. I wonder which was the biggest factor in it: rooting for Coleman to win in court even though it looks like he lost in votes, still saying he's going to oppose UHC, EFCA and cap and trade, coming right out and saying "I am not a loyal Democrat," or something else?

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Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:10 AM
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I liked the movie too. I thought the friendship in the movie was unrealistic in the same manner as the romances can be unrealistic in other romantic comedies.

Jason Segal's character acts as the "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" of the movie. There is no real reason that Jason Segal's character would be friends with Paul Rudd's character. It is a friendship wish fulfillment movie like most comedies are romantic wish fulfillment movies.

Oddly, the movie that most affected my view of friendship is the movie "meatballs" with the quote "If you make one good friend a summer then you are doing pretty well."


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:12 AM
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8: Maybe Dems just observing his lack of spine as a Repub decided to try their hand at knocking him around abit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:13 AM
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These shirts really are the modern Athanaeum-Fragmente.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:13 AM
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I'll be really surprised if anyone can convince me that the piece linked in 2 is wrong in a significant way.

Two things come to mind: it completely misses the fact that the main characters in Superbad are still in high school (which is ironic, given that in the comments thread people defend Freaks and Geeks by pointing out that its characters are still in high school), and I think Leslie Mann's character in Knocked Up was far more sympathetic, and the movie supported her POV more, than the piece does.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:15 AM
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Specter got stripped of his seniority.

This cannot be true. There must something we don't know.

Ezra seems to have decided to take my misanthropy to a deeper level.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:18 AM
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If there isn't some awful catch, it's great, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:20 AM
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I consider picking up one friend a year to be a great accomplishment.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:22 AM
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Obligatory link to Sady's review of the Apatow canon.

This isn't really what is going on in "I Love You Man". Paul Rudd's character and his fiance start out and end the movie as responsible adults.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:23 AM
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12: Her review of Superbad - linked from the post on Shakesville - is also really good. The characters may be in high school, but the Jonah Hill character/Seth Rogan stand-in is kind of psycho in his reaction to the Vagina People in a way that's really pretty creepy.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:24 AM
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12: Yeah, I've noticed before how weird it is that Superbad is lumped in with the rest.

Of course, if the movies you make about 20somethings are indistinguishable from the movie you made about teenagers....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:28 AM
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17: Yeah, no argument the Jonah Hill character is creepy. I think he's *supposed* to be creepy.

That doesn't change the fact that she indicts as being a Man-Child characters who are still in high school.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:29 AM
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The douchebag characters in "40 Year Old Virgin" are not protagonists. Catherine Keener's character is not "endlessly permissive, tolerant, and compassionate", and doesn't re-arrange her life in any way in order to "care for" Steve Carell's character. I haven't seen any of the other movies except "Superbad", so who knows.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:34 AM
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I'm too busy drinking beer and hanging with my bros to have ever watched an Aptow movie.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:41 AM
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I consider it a good year if I haven't lost more friends (due to drama, distance, busy-ness etc.) than I made, so that there's a net gain.

I am in general too open about my friendship making. This may or may not be a good thing. First friend date is dinner out, which depending on the level of chemistry, can last for hours and be great conversation with lots of laughing. Second friend date is me inviting them over for dinner, because that's how I show someone I care--"look, I baked you a cake!" And then they sort of get added to the roster of brunch/lunch/dinner party list. Bonus points if they get along with my boyfriend, so that the dinner parties are actually more than two people and so we can play a board game. I've made a couple of friends this year this way, so it seems to be working, but I've been told that this may be "coming on too strong." The greatest fear is, as with romance, being rejected.


Posted by: belle lettre | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:47 AM
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I'm too busy drinking beer and hanging with my bros to have ever watched an Aptow movie.

I can't even comment on this thread because at this very moment I'm in a pub at midday with hordes of other men-children getting ready to watch a soccer match.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:00 PM
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Making new friends has definitely gotten harder for me as I've gotten older. Now I appreciate it when I can share anything with anyone-- expecting friends with whom one can share everything, a feeling I remember in college and before, seems completely nuts. My mom still has this expectation, but she grew up in a much more homogenous environment.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:02 PM
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I have never been good at making friends, but I definitely treasure the friends I have.

As I've said before, I haven't moved around much in my life, and so I've tended to keep up with a stable set of friends,

I think I would be in big trouble if I had to try to make friends from scratch in a new city.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:05 PM
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I think I would be in big trouble if I had to try to make friends from scratch in a new city.

So would I. I don't know that I have made a new Friend since college. I have made some acquaintances, but I only see them in proscribed circumstances such as at work or the gym. I don't hang out with them socially.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:10 PM
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OK, we need to split into three groups:
US east of the Mississippi start, then US west of the Mississippi and finally non-US:

Make new friends ...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:11 PM
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You were a Girl Scout?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:12 PM
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The absence of sex renders the process more uncertain

I was just discussing this with a friend last night who said that sex is what stabilizes adult relationships, makes them more real and validating. Perhaps I'm just a man-child or something, but I have not found this to be true. Making adult friendships is pretty easy for me; I know how to go to a bar and watch a game on TV or call someone to hang out without being too weird. And I trust my friends that they want to spend time with me if they're spending time with me. Sex, IME, destabilizes relationships, makes it harder to read what the other person wants. Suddenly "come over and we'll watch a movie" might not actually mean "come over and we'll watch a movie."

On occasion, I have been friends with someone for a while before we have sex, and sometimes sex has been what allows that person to suddenly treat me in ways they never would have as my friend---making definitive claims on my time, acting jealous if I spend time with other people, disappearing suddenly instead of talking to me about what's going on.

It's not like I treasure the platonic nature of my friendships so much that I don't act on desire, but no, sex doesn't produce clarity and consistency in communication. It creates a sort of narrative that then produces anxiety about the future. If we were just hanging out, it would be like, oh hey, that's my buddy with whom I go to the bar to watch baseball. The instant sex comes into it it's like, oh wow, I wonder what he wants, where this is going, how he feels, if I am accidentally being hurtful, if he'll disappear, what we're not saying. With friends, you can say or not say anything you want and it's not part of some big dramatic anxious narrative.

I am sort of jealous of people for whom sexual relationships are stabilizing, but, OTOH, I like having such easy and stabilizing friendships.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:15 PM
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You were a Girl Scout?

No, but that doesn't mean I can't wear the uniform.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:16 PM
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I do not understand how AWB negotiates the world or the people she knows. I don't know anyone like her friends.

I can't actually imagine talking to someone in Boston in a bar or a public place that would lead to anything like exchanging numbers without my thinking that there was something romantic going on.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:19 PM
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I can't actually imagine talking to someone in Boston in a bar or a public place that would lead to anything like exchanging numbers without my thinking that there was something romantic going on.

Yeah, I never assume there's anything romantic going on. Sometimes this feeling lasts even beyond the point of making out and stuff. I've had long-term relationships in which I was pretty sure there was nothing romantic going on.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:22 PM
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When I was little, my parents had big annual parties, the highlight of which was the Halloween party. Every year they'd start making a homemade movie in about August, which my Dad would edit to show at the Halloween party. The one I remember best featured him and all his friends dressed in Brownie dresses, encountering each of the seven sins. Naturally, the whole troop wore their Brownie dresses to the party.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:23 PM
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I'm exactly like 25, except I actually moved to a new city seven years ago. Still no friends. (I think this would have been less true if I hadn't moved with a spouse. I'm sure I'd have done a lot more social recreational stuff with other people, and some of that would have crossed the imaginary 'friendship' line. But even so, it's disheartening.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:24 PM
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And I trust my friends that they want to spend time with me if they're spending time with me. Sex, IME, destabilizes relationships, makes it harder to read what the other person wants. Suddenly "come over and we'll watch a movie" might not actually mean "come over and we'll watch a movie."

This is the first time AWB has ever said anything about her experiences of human social interaction that I completely agree with.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:25 PM
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I am sort of jealous of people for whom sexual relationships are stabilizing, but, OTOH, I like having such easy and stabilizing friendships.

I have, on occasion, been envious of your descriptions of your friendships.

I second BG in thinking that the sentiment "Making adult friendships is pretty easy for me; I know how to go to a bar and watch a game on TV or call someone to hang out without being too weird." is utterly foreign to me.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:25 PM
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The links in two and three pretty much say what I was going to say, but I'll say it anyway: the "truth" in Apatow films about friends is pretty specific to white/male/20-something friendships.

While making friends once one is out of school is, indeed, more difficult than it used to be when one was in school, that's got nothing to do with a lack of signposts. There are plenty of signposts on the path to friendship: meeting in an environment other than the one you know the person from; having someone to your house or going to theirs, rather than meeting in a public place; calling or otherwise contacting them just to chat, rather than with a specific question; etc. The difference between school-age friendships and "adult" friendships (i.e., friendships formed with people one met other than at school) is simply that school is (1) a venue where one can see people every day in a variety of circumstances; (2) one feels less anxiety about seeming "weird" in front of fellow students than one does in front of co-workers, because the norms of "work" behavior are more constrained than the norms of "school" behavior.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:29 PM
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27: You were a Girl Scout?

Well I was a Scout. Gender identity is a fluid thing as we all know. But more importantly, I DON'T HEAR YOU SINGING! HOW CAN YOU GET ANY PUDDING IF YOU DONT SING THE ROUND*!!

*I always heard the original as "if you don't kick your feet" rather than "don't eat your meat". I like my version better as it brings to mind a pool full of terrified little kids desperately kicking their feet (swimming flashback).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:30 PM
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The link in 2 seems incredibly unkind to the Apatow movies, but I'm pretty sure we've had the argument here before.

Adult friendships don't seem that hard, but they become much much harder if you ever get into a relationship. Part of what blows my mind about the idea of marriage is realizing how much of the outside social support network disappears, especially if you've moved after marriage. I'm particularly worried about this now, as my parents are starting to approach the age when they'll wind down their working years, and they're already finding themselves less able to travel than they used to. Where are their adult friends? Who will they hang out with? What about divorcees?

The guys in I Love You, Man have it easy. When you're young and relatively unattached, you just sort of call up that person who seemed interesting, go to a few parties or hang out for movies, and see if it goes anywhere. That seems like it would be a lot harder as you get older and there are fewer of your peers just hanging out everywhere.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:33 PM
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I am, of course, saying all this as someone who, when a buddy of mine reached across to cup my face and stroke my cheek last weekend, responded with, "Do I have crap on my face?"

I was telling this story to a girlfriend of mine last night, who responded, "What exactly would constitute an initiative gesture to you?" Hm, not sure! Maybe I can maintain denial FOREVER.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:34 PM
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calling or otherwise contacting them just to chat, rather than with a specific question

Ooh, I don't do that. I'll hang out for no reason, but I don't call anyone for no reason.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:35 PM
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2 seems dangerously close to the "There's too much violence in this Vietnam movie!" sentiment.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:38 PM
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they become much much harder if you ever get into a relationship.

Wow, yeah. I disapprove of dyadic withdrawal, but I just don't seem to have any time in the week for anything but work, parenting, and spending some time with my husband before we fall asleep. There are a bunch of people I've met through Unfogged that I'm sure I would have made the transition to offline friends much more than I have if I felt as if I had time to get out of the house more.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:38 PM
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42: Sometimes one gets tired of Vietnam Movies being held up as the Voice of The New Generation. The more so if one happens to be, oh, Vietnamese.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:41 PM
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43: Honestly, I think that's more a parenting thing than a relationship thing. Making friends is definitely more difficult when you're in a relationship, but it's still relatively straightforward. Finding the time when you have kids is an order of magnitude more complicated.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:45 PM
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Friends? Isn't that what the internet is for?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:47 PM
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43: And I wasn't even talking about marriage. I noticed the substantial difference just in myself going from being in a pleasant relationship where we nearly lived together by the end, versus post-breakup when I realized how little time I'd spent with my friends during the past year. There were a fair number of sheepish phonecalls, but people understood.

New friends have been a lot easier too, since I seem much more willing to think "what the hell" and start talking to someone or exchange numbers when I don't have most of my time already taken up by work, school, and a significant other (though this admittedly depends heavily on the particular type of relationship).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:47 PM
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Mmm, yeah. In a relationship, you can negotiate needing more time to make and hang out with friends. You can't really haggle with your kids like that. And of course the parenting is an additional time demand on top of the time demands of the relationship.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:47 PM
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Honestly, I think that's more a parenting thing than a relationship thing.

There's also the issue that having close friends of any sort in your life lowers the stakes when making a new friend. You don't need to know how much you trust the new person, since you already have people you trust.

I would think that would make it less likely for new acquaintances to become new friends.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:49 PM
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44: In other news, I have reviewed the Ryan/Hanks oeuvre and found it sappy and implausible.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:49 PM
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48: Plus, while in a relationship there's the "do my friends like my partner" thing, adding in a bunch of *other* personalities, especially really demanding ones, basically means that the only new friends you can possibly make are people who truly understand. I.e., other parents.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:50 PM
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50: Dear god, yes. Also, sexist.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:51 PM
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The guys in I Love You, Man have it easy. When you're young and relatively unattached, you just sort of call up that person who seemed interesting, go to a few parties or hang out for movies, and see if it goes anywhere. That seems like it would be a lot harder as you get older and there are fewer of your peers just hanging out everywhere.

Yeah, I'm a fairly gregarious person, I think. Not the life and soul of the party, but not Johnny-shy either, and while I never struggled to find or make new friends in high school or at university, I find/found it much harder through graduate school and as a married guy. Particularly, if, as I do, you work somewhere were people are very nice but don't really socialize outside of work.



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:52 PM
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I am always intensely nervous about introducing my friends to my girlfriend. Is this because I'm ashamed of them, or I'm ashamed of her? It depends on what kind of movie I'm the protagonist of.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:52 PM
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44: I think you're missing why the Vietnam movie analogy is so apt, though. Moral ambiguity. I agree that women are certainly not treated with full characterization in the Apatow movies, but neither are they the villainesses or doormats implied by the review in 2.

Women and relationships are just the foil chosen by Apatow for his movies which are really focused (from a male perspective) on hedonism versus responsibility, the necessary imperfections of any sort of rewarding societal or social engagement, and many of the social and moral shortcomings of men on the whole (like how the guy friends in 40 Year Old Virgin were actually treated as the fairly dumb, clueless people that they were, and not as protagonists like that review seemed to imply).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:54 PM
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Parents can become acquaintances, if not friends, with the parents of other children.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:59 PM
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55: Sorry, just to clarify: The Apatow oeuvre certainly excludes a huge amount of the population from its purview. Can't argue with that, and it's a definite shortcoming. One I feel is part of nearly all art, but it doesn't help when the one group really thoroughly treated by the art happens to be the most visible and privileged group already.

But on the other hand, I don't think it really shows women in a bad light or an overly-simplistic "selfless martyr civilizes the savage male" light. Female characters are sideshows in the films, but they seem to be portrayed relatively fairly during the screentime given to them.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:02 PM
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55, 57: Sort of how the Bechdel Test is badly named. It's not intended to be a test of any particular movie. Rather, it's a test of society or Hollywood as a whole, or just a commentary on them, by pointing out how few movies meet its criteria and inviting commentary on that fact.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:05 PM
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55, 57: Meh. Girlfriend roles are, by definition, overly simplistic. Also, you try going to movies in a world where The Bechdel Rule applies, and see how willing you are to excuse or accept girlfriend roles for being slightly less two-dimensional than usual.

And for the record, I like action movies and guy-focused movies just fine, and don't actually apply the Bechdel rule. But even so I get really tired of probing the nuances of the male psyche all the goddamn time.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:08 PM
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It seems like in fact, in these movies, the male characters mostly talk talk talk to each other about women. Is this not an advance for gender equality? Historically we have always had women's movies, which contain women who talk to each other in a seemingly realistic way, but are stereotyped as always talking about men, and thus depending on men for their self-worth. While in men's movies, men are not portrayed as depending on women for their self-worth; they talk about all kinds of other things.

So now we have a genre of movies in which men, as well, are timid and uncertain creatures who depend on the opposite sex to make them whole. I think it's likely that the women in these movies are no more stereotypical than the men in the "women's movies" that Allison Bechdel became known for criticizing, as well.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:09 PM
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Is this not an advance for gender equality?

No.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:10 PM
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My problem these days is finding people with whom I want to be friends. In D.C. it was easy. My overlapping work, activist, and social circles were always bringing in new people and I was making new friends into my mid 30's, when I left. It did start to get a little harder in D.C. because everyone started having babies or moving away. (Guilty as charged.)

You'd think it wouldn't be hard to find friends in a friendly DFH city, but it has been. Of course I met M/tch here, but that's not quite the same thing. And now heebie & Jammies have gone and traitorously had a baby.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:13 PM
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I just had to type "obliterating endarteritis" as part of a report I'm working on, and that is one awesomely named medical condition.
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Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:15 PM
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How about Bronchiolitis obliterans?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:18 PM
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Varroa destructor.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:23 PM
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I'm exactly like 25, except I actually moved to a new city seven years ago. Still no friends.

Not even couple friends? Couple friends in which you get along pretty well with the male half?

That's hard for me to conceive, and both AB & I are bad friend-makers (me probably worse, thinking about it).

My personal problem is that, although I can be a very guy guy (I like playing and watching sports, I'm handy and like to help out with things like moves or plumbing or whatever, I grill meat), there's a certain kind of male interaction that really squees me out. It's not even troglodyte, misogynistic stuff; it's more the sort of competitive, towel-snapping stuff (indeed, something that used to be a lot more common around here, as has been noted). It's not just that I don't get it - I really dislike it, and I can generally tell within a couple interactions with a guy whether or not it will be a dealbreaker. Anyway, it definitely cuts down the field by a lot.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:25 PM
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62: You'll just have to come visit h-town more often. The midtown market is growing...


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:25 PM
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I have reviewed the Ryan Hanks oeuvre and found that after initial contact he will bend at the waist and get overextended and when he does that he will struggle to maintain position and stay with his block. He needs to get his hips under him, get into the defender more, and stay off of his toes.

I saw the first 30 minutes of "Joe vs the Volcano" last night. It was pretty depressing for a comedy.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:27 PM
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n a relationship, you can negotiate needing more time to make and hang out with friends. You can't really haggle with your kids like that.

DAMMIT Iris, I just need some me time!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:27 PM
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I think this would have been less true if I hadn't moved with a spouse. I'm sure I'd have done a lot more social recreational stuff with other people, and some of that would have crossed the imaginary 'friendship' line. But even so, it's disheartening.

Interesting. Three times in the last 10 years I've picked up and moved thousands (or at least one) of miles to a city where I knew precisely 0 people. Even though I'm not particularly good at initiating friendships I've never had trouble falling into groups of people. I tend to get adopted by social groups. I must look like a damn lost puppy in the rain or something.

I've never done this with a spouse though, and I wonder how and if it will change things. I've certainly tended to just wander around a do stuff a lot more when I've been alone, which often ends up with meeting people even if that were not the intent.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:31 PM
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I meet friends through other friends. If I have no friends in a place, I won't make any new friends. Friend-making has been a series of chain reactions that began in college and has continued post-college with friends of friends of people I knew in college.

Facebook will probably help if and when I move to, say, Chicago, because I now know some people there that I would have fallen out of touch with otherwise.

How do you make friends, JRoth? Neighbors? Talking to random people at concerts? Fellow parents? Internet?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:32 PM
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66.last - There are few things more irritating than trying to have a good time together when the other person is trying to compete. I'm similar to your description except that I don't give a damn about sports, which narrows the field even further.

The only sport I've ever been even half serious about is sailing, and that's an oddball case because you are usually quite far from the other competitors (relatively speaking), and the real objective is to get the damn race over with so you can start drinking.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:42 PM
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During my brief single time between Bad Old GF and AB, I made a conscious effort* to go out to live shows, gallery openings, and talks (indeed, my first quasi-date with AB was seeing the architect of the convention center). And - partly because I had an empty apartment to go back to - I was pretty good about striking up conversations. As it happened, 2 of the people I conversed with during that time ended up being in my current social circle, but not really as a result of that time. To some extent, my model for this was my dad, who, after my mom's accident, started going into NYC all the time for music, movies, etc. (still does), and he's gotten really good at striking up conversation, to the point where he's made fairly good friends with a pretty broad cross-section of people.

Since I've been with AB, we've met people through walking the dog, talking to neighbors from our porch, work, G/st Street Readings, and, now, Iris. I'd say about 1/2 of our friends are in one extended social circle, and the rest came in through (relatively) random events. We're only friend-friends with one family we've met due to Iris; when the link is the random chemistry of pre-schoolers, the odds are simply too low that we will all be compatible (an odd feature of Waldorf School is that we generally like the mothers far more than the husbands; we can't explain this).

We have no IRL friends from the internet. I keep thinking that I see Cosma around town, but it's never him.

* that sounds too arduous; "I was finally released to..."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:44 PM
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With friends, you can say or not say anything you want and it's not part of some big dramatic anxious narrative.

Would that this were true.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:46 PM
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We've done surprisingly well, for couple friends, off parents of Sally and Newt's buddies. I don't know if that means that we're easy, or that Sally and Newt's buddies are an extraordinary bunch.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:46 PM
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72: Yeah, I feel as if I can effortlessly perform masculinity (when AB's out town, I really will drink bourbon and throw darts with a ballgame on the radio), yet there's a flavor of it, just subtly different, that is completely off-putting to me. I've mentioned the economist that I pissed off and basically ended our couple-friendship with, and, economics aside, there was definitely that disconnect. Which was a shame because AB & the wife had a deep, fast connection.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:48 PM
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75: For awhile we were doing well - Iris had instant rapport with the daughter in a family with which we're now very close - but it's been a couple years.

Some of it is definitely us. When we have people over (which is the form our friendships almost exclusively take), we want it to be pretty effortless, so that raises the bar. Our list of people we try to see at least once a month is maybe 6 families/couples. Maybe 4. There's another half dozen that we see a bit less often, but it's really not a large number.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:53 PM
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When we have people over (which is the form our friendships almost exclusively take)

This makes me think I just have an unusually high bar for what I'd call "friendship". We have people over to dinner, and go to dinner at their places, or meet out at various places to do things. But I wouldn't consider any of them personal friends.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:55 PM
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n a relationship, you can negotiate needing more time to make and hang out with friends. You can't really haggle with your kids like that.

As they get older you can, at least if you're negotiating for time to deal with something that the kid recognizes as important. Or not negotiate, really, but just explain that sorry, I know we're neglecting you, hang in there and this will pass.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:00 PM
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I tend to make friends with co-workers. I know people who mostly make friends through church, but that requires going to church which in turn requires being fully dressed before lunch on Sunday, so fuck that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:06 PM
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Your church disapproves of porky piggin' it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:07 PM
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which in turn requires being fully dressed before lunch on Sunday, so fuck that.

I'll be your friend, Apo.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:12 PM
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We have people over to dinner, and go to dinner at their places, or meet out at various places to do things. But I wouldn't consider any of them personal friends.

If the bar is much higher than that I am not sure I've ever had friends.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:13 PM
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Your church disapproves of porky piggin' it?

Do they ever. Apparently, my rod and my staff discomfort them.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:14 PM
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Of course I met M/tch here, but that's not quite the same thing. And now heebie & Jammies have gone and traitorously had a baby.

Yeah, well, when do you want to come meet the little turncoat?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:14 PM
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You have a rod and a staff? Damn.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:15 PM
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I have generally made friends easily, but it's an interesting quirk that my current social circles tend to have no overlap. E.g., there are department friends, and other university friends, and the two groups almost never intersect if I am hosting something like a dinner party. It's not conscious. I didn't even notice until one occasion where that wasn't the case when a friend pointed it out.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:15 PM
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Tags--be closed!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:17 PM
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I can't believe M/tch and Kraab haven't come over yet. Don't they know that making you leave the house with the baby is just cruel at this point??


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:17 PM
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Well, I use the word word "staff" but "rod maintenance crew" is probably a better description.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:18 PM
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Jammies and I each had large circles of friends when we met, because we each had several different venues: each of us on 3 sports teams, plus his work/my school, plus stragglers, which we pooled for a very large extended network. Then we moved outside of Austin, and it took us 3 years to make any friends here. Partially because Austin is close enough to maintain all the old friendships, (although almost all of my grad school friends have moved away), so we never joined a team down here or anything.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:19 PM
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Don't they know that making you leave the house with the baby is just cruel at this point??

really? hasn't cabin fever kicking in by now?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:19 PM
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89: I'm starting to think they don't love us.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:20 PM
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Partially because Austin is close enough to maintain all the old friendships

This sort of thing has been a real problem for some people I've known. If you move a thousand miles away from all your friends, you probably have to make new ones or have none. If you move an hour's drive away, you (and less so, they) can make the effort to meet up still. But you won't, nearly as much. The worst zone is probably when you see the old crew enough to sort of maintain friendships, but not enough to avoid being lonely most of the time.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:22 PM
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83: I think I separate "friends" from "acquaintances" with the line of "spend time together for no special occasion/purpose/event" vs. "only spend to together for a special occasion/purpose/event". People you'd spend time with when you have nothing to do (at least nothing planned in advance) vs. people you'd only spend time with when you have something planned to do.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:22 PM
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93: Clearly they suck. You should move here.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:25 PM
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This makes me think I just have an unusually high bar for what I'd call "friendship". We have people over to dinner, and go to dinner at their places, or meet out at various places to do things. But I wouldn't consider any of them personal friends.

Or a low bar for having people over for dinner.

In a given year, we probably have 10 different couples over for dinner (plus a few singles). I would not consider all of them personal friends. The list of close, personal friends is closer to the 4 I mentioned before, the ones we try to see pretty often. Really close friends - the kind we'd drop in on unannounced - is pretty much just one couple. The couple we met through Iris is a close second, but they live across town, and we've only known them a couple years, so they're not quite there yet.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:26 PM
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93: Clearly they suck. You should move here.

I should! What kind of house can we get for $150K?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:29 PM
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Do you have cash? Because I'm sure you can get a decent refi for that amount at this point. Possibly a lot less.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:30 PM
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"really close friends" is a pretty high bar, in the sense JRoth means it.

I suspect most people don't have many, or sometimes any, nearby for much of their lives. It takes either very easily accepting people (all concerned) or a lot of time to get to that point. That sort of time is a lot easier to come by as eleven year olds with all summer to goof of, or as college students for that matter, than it does typically later on.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:30 PM
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Or rather, not refi. Foreclosure. My real estate money slang is getting all confused in my head.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:31 PM
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I am dying to make some really close friends in the JRoth sense here. Which reminds me that I need to call PK's teacher's wife, who is laid up at home with a cracked rib and who I kind of like.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:32 PM
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I'll sell you my house for $150K.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:32 PM
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It's probably worth noting that pretty much the only time in my life where I had a friend I could just drop in on at any time was age 5 & 6, when my best friend lived next door. In Miami and NJ no one lived within non-significant travel time (there were kids in my neighb in NJ, but not ones I was friends with), so we had to plan, even if the plan was "hang out." In college I would hang out with people in the dorm, but it was mostly girls*, and only one or two of them really good friends. I could always swing by studio to see people, but if they were socializing elsewhere, I wouldn't generally know about it. Living with BOGF was its own dynamic, of course.

BTW, this isn't "woe is me" or "I was a teenage loser;" it's mostly a statement about geography as it intersects personality.

* not that they weren't real friends, and it was all platonic, but it's a different dynamic


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:35 PM
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We have agreed with the really close friends that we don't have to clean house when we get together (they also have 2 kids and a dog); I'm always scolding AB to stop picking up, it's just R & M.

I mention this for you especially, B.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:37 PM
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Heh. FWIW, I have made rather a point of bravely inviting people I like to just come on in, and telling them that yes, it's a disgusting mess and I hope they're not offended, but I have decided that it is just stupid to never invite anyone over unless I go crazy cleaning first.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:46 PM
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I can't believe M/tch and Kraab haven't come over yet.

In our defense, it's not like they live down the street. It's a 40-minute drive. And my dad was visiting and blah blah blah. But we will soon!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:46 PM
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Come to think of it, maybe that's why I'm finding it hard to make good friends here. Crap.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:48 PM
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We're only a little hurt.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:48 PM
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I thought Austin was small enough to stay in touch with people! Didn't someone say that upthread? (Not a pointed question; I saw it being quoted and am too lazy to scroll and double-check for nonsense like "context" and "speaker.")


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:49 PM
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We're only a little hurt.

M/tch and Kraab will spray y'all with Perrier when they get there.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:51 PM
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108: Just peek in the neighbors' windows. Whichever ones have houses as messy as yours, invite over.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:51 PM
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My school is about an hour south of Austin; we live in a small town about halfway in between.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:52 PM
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112: Well, the next-door neighbor has let us know that she is not a fan of PK, so that lets her out. Sigh.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:52 PM
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Is it because of the hair?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:53 PM
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Also Austin itself is super long and skinny, and has terrible traffic going along the long-skinny axis. It's much easier - almost always - to get from South Austin back and forth to San Marcos, where we live, than it is to get from South Austin to North Austin.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:54 PM
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Or the uncircumcision?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:54 PM
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It's b/c he throws the small rocks in her landscaping into the street sometimes, and has played on her property, and she doesn't like that (there's no fence between us, and we share a driveway). Also, while we're at it, she doesn't want us using *her* half of the driveway to turn around in.

She's basically a perfectly fine neighbor, but clearly has stricter ideas about private property than we do. In her defense, the former owner of this house was also a quiet little old lady.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:55 PM
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(I did not tell her about the time I caught him spraying the driveway with her hose.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:56 PM
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I moved from America to the UK for grad school in 2003, knew not a single soul. Immediately made a wide but shallow circle of acquaintances, then got into a relationship that got serious very quickly, and both our sets of germinating friendships quickly atrophied.

That relationship just ended a month ago, so I'm back at square one, still in the UK - away from my solid, childhood and college friends, and in my late 20s rather than early 20s now. The walls have come up during that time, and making new friends seems so damn painstaking and uncertain.


Posted by: JH | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:58 PM
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We've done surprisingly well, for couple friends, off parents of Sally and Newt's buddies. I don't know if that means that we're easy, or that Sally and Newt's buddies are an extraordinary bunch

Yeah, UNG got most of those in the divorce.

This has been one of the harder parts of singledom for me, actually. My own social schedule is pretty limited given the need to get home to Rory on weeknights and every other weekend, and when I do wind up with spare time, the married friends aren't usually in a position to just drop everything to go out -- generally, it takes us six weeks of negotiating to come up with one lousy dinner/movie combo. I tried making single friends among the recently divorced set, but they BOTH up and went on drunken, off-the-wagon alcoholic binges on me. I'd love to meet some new people, but figuring out when and where... Not easy.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:59 PM
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Heh. FWIW, I have made rather a point of bravely inviting people I like to just come on in, and telling them that yes, it's a disgusting mess and I hope they're not offended, but I have decided that it is just stupid to never invite anyone over unless I go crazy cleaning first.

Have you considered moving to Chicago? I'd kill for some friends I could have over without having to clean my disgusting mess!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:00 PM
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121: UNG got most of those in the divorce.

Heh. Not planning a divorce anytime, but Buck would walk off with all the friends; he's charming and outgoing while I'm, um, less so.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:08 PM
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(I did not tell her about the time I caught him spraying the driveway with herhis hose.)


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:09 PM
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he's charming and outgoing while I'm, um, less so.

But you're a famous blogger, that isn't enough?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:13 PM
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121: This was actually at least 25% of my reluctance to leave Bad Old GF*. And, indeed, the only people from that period of my life that I'm still friends with I went from seeing every couple of days to seeing a couple times a year.

Turned out that it didn't matter, but when you're looking at all the people you socialize with disappearing from your life, it adds another hurdle to extracting yourself from an already complicated situation.

* 40% fear of her vindictiveness**, 35% wishy-washiness.

** and the post-breakup period did include one thrown knife, albeit half-heartedly.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:13 PM
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I'm not really out about the blog to anyone except a couple of friends who both busted me and got mad (with some excuse) about something I said; while they've let it go, they've done so in a 'we don't mention the blog' kind of way. So, not so much of a social asset.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:15 PM
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125 was a joke, of course.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:18 PM
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Really, it was the ogged sighting yesterday that got me thinking about the peculiar nature of blog-celebrity.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:19 PM
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I just took a nap, and for some reason had a dream that Heebie came over to my apartment and was all, "Hey! I'm going to make myself a snack!" And I tried to get past her to say, "Oh, let me!" but she sort of bustled on in and started drinking some of the past-its-date grapefruit juice in there as I said, "No, uh, that's not... sigh." Then she went and told my mom, who for some reason was living downstairs.

I woke up thinking:
(a) I need to clean out my refrigerator, and
(b) I have intimacy issues.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:40 PM
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You might think a guy in his mid-20s would find an inviting social scene in a college town, but I didn't. Maybe I wasn't looking hard enough or in the wrong places, and college town or not it was a small town. I got along with people fine, but that's not the same thing as spending free time together, talking to about more than small talk, etc. With the exception of one co-worker - and she is kind of like the exception that proves the rule, because there was more than just Platonic interest to that - I would drive an hour north or an hour south to get together with friends. Most, although not all, of the people I drove to see were people I knew through hobbies or common interests.

Now that I've moved, I'm basically completely out of touch with all of them. (I've been tickled to see one of them in the news, though. He works in politics.)

Ironically, traveling from the middle of Arlington to the north side of DC takes about as long as it took me to get to my friends back in Vermont, maybe even longer. Somehow it feels different, though.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:47 PM
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126: ...and the post-breakup period did include one thrown knife, albeit half-heartedly.

Follow-through is important in many things.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 4:49 PM
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I find making female friends pretty effortless, but: a) I tend to have a very small circle of friends, so any new person is like a fun bonus, rather than something I'm actively trying to recruit or create, and b) my CLOSE friends can be counted on a couple of fingers and I haven't made a new one of those in a decade.

One of the things that really frustrates me is how hard it is to make new male friends. Somehow I seem to be able to do the banter and mock-insults just fine, or the political talks, but when moving from chitchat to actual friend-like activities, I fail miserably at communicating "I Am Inviting You to Participate in a Friendship." Among close friends I trust women to know I am not trying to date their husbands, but beyond that small circle it's a real problem.

Which is a bummer, because while I have no end of women friends who will go to the theater or a lecture with me, I have zero who will go to a baseball game. It would be nice to widen the pool.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 5:18 PM
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All of my very closest friends have lived far away from me since after college, and now they are married. That they are married hasn't increased the emotional distance, but it has reduced the time we have for one another--before, we would talk every week, but now that we are all a part of relationship dyads, it has reduced to every two weeks to a month for those "catch up" phone calls.

Locally, I have only a few friends, of "good, but not best" closeness that I met through school or through other friends Fortunately, no one ever accused me of social poaching, perhaps because they are not insane drama queens. They get along fine with my boyfriend, and I get along fine with the partners of his friends, so maybe twice a month or so we'll actually hang out with friends. But mostly it's us two. It has become a little co-dependent, but it's so easy to just spend time with your significant other, and when you're working so much it's still not that much free time anyway--so who do you spend it with?

133: I also have that problem. I suppose it's easier because I have a boyfriend, and lately I've been meeting friend-material men while in his company and so there are fewer mixed signals than when I was in college and unable to express (perhaps because I wished it to be ambiguous) a clear intent to be "just friends." But then I never figured out how to navigate the sticky wicket of "can men and women ever be just friends," especially if it's suspected that there are feelings on one side. Most of my male friends are the partners of my best friends. Who live far away. Sigh.

I'd go to a baseball game with you! I wish we lived near each other. I love baseball. I saw the A's against the Angels on Monday. The A's lost (sigh). They're my adopted team, because I have no fealty to Orange County, apparently. Never want to move back, don't support the baseball team, prodigal daughter, etc.


Posted by: belle lettre | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 5:51 PM
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Oh wait, did I come across weird? I have no idea what dating situation you're in Witt, except that you expressed trepidation about coming across as a husband stealer. Which is of course ridiculous.

I meant to say that it may be easier for partnered people to make friends of the opposite sex because couples can make friends with couples, although that may be my own naivete speaking. Someone once told me that "um, you may think it's kosher, but that may not always be the intent of the other person. Even if he's married."

That said, I do feel weird about the "encroachment" aspect of making friends with my boyfriend's male friends' partners. Not the friends themselves, but their partners. Because of course what you say to one half of the couple you say to the other half, and that half was friends with my boyfriend first and has the most loyalty to him. So it really stifles intimacy. There is no way I'll ever become as close to these women as any other people I met independently ("my" friends, so to speak). And I don't really want to be that close, anyway. I deflect questions about my relationship, and refuse to get into the details, even if asked. That I'm asked by relative strangers (to me, at least) is really annoying, especially if they're personal questions like "why haven't you moved in together" or "when are you going to get married." I don't even like being asked "did you just get that ring", because I know the intent behind the question. Skeeves me out, especially since I like that everything I own I got myself (or okay, my sister gave it to me as a present for graduating from law school).


Posted by: belle lettre | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 6:02 PM
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Ha, no, you didn't come across weird, but that itself is a marker of how awkward our society often makese these types of conversastions, yes?

(Be that as it may, if we're ever on the same coast, I decree that we should absolutely go to a b-ball game together. With whatever other Unfoggetarians we can scrounge up!)

And yes, socializing when you're part of a couple (which I am not right now) removes some of the barriers to friendships (and creates* others). The zero-sum free time issue is a huge one, even aside from the interpersonal dynamics.

I do think it's easier for women to be friends with men on a superficial level, becaues the deeper emotional level is something that our society codes very strongly as a Love relationship. Straight men can't have emotionally close female friends without running into a whole lot of powerful social messaging -- from themselves, their wives, and everyone else -- that this is not normal and it's a sign that things are bad in your relationship.

And heck, I've seen (been part of) situations where that was totally true. But I refuse to believe that it's inevitably so. One of the eight million reasons that The Patriarchy Hurts Men Too.

*If this were not the Mineshaft I would have used my first choice for terminology there.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 6:21 PM
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Because of course what you say to one half of the couple you say to the other half, and that half was friends with my boyfriend first and has the most loyalty to him.

While true, let it be noted that said loyalties are not immutable.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 6:35 PM
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One of the things that really frustrates me is how hard it is to make new male friends.

Clearly you should either try or stop sleeping with them.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 6:39 PM
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*If this were not the Mineshaft I would have used my first choice for terminology there.

For "creates"? What is it, "causes"? "leads to"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 6:40 PM
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my bet is "raises". like a penis.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 6:45 PM
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139: "fucks up"

Duh.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 6:47 PM
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136: You're probably right about superficial friendships between men and women. But it's hard when you're not a superficial hangout type of person. My favorite type of conversation is learning a lot about the other person, so there's a good deal of intimacy in "tell me everything about yourself." Also, my interactions with people are likewise intimate--I hate groups, I hate loud places, and so I prefer lunches, dinners, movies, musuems--kind of "datey" activities. My boyfriend trusts me. I have no intent to cheat. But it does feel "weird."

Maybe it's because I've only ever had two serious relationships in my life (this is my second), and have not really dated in between, and all of my male friendships heretofore were incredibly intimate and thus fraught with drama and ambiguity (which probably explains why I don't have many male friends that have survived college), and acquaintences easily dissolve when you move away. I just don't know how to hang out with guys. I probably have the opposite problem of AWB: everything is potentially meaningful, and so I can't relax and just hang out.


Posted by: belle lettre | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 6:55 PM
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139, 140: Either you guys have no imagination, or you're playing dumb. On the Internet it's hard to tell.

"removes some of the barriers to friendship (and erects others)."


142: Yes, right, I was saying that the superficial part goes fine, but then very quickly I get bored with that and want to have more substantive interaction with the person I'm talking to, and that's what creates problems.

It's OK to say to an acquaintance, What do you do? Do you have kids? What are their ages? How 'bout dem Phils?

It's progressively less OK (in mainstream society; subgroups differ) to ask deeper, potentially more interesting questions.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:08 PM
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I blame all my typos on this fiendishly slow hotel connection, which is clearly a sign that I should go work.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:08 PM
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erects

ATM.

Wa-ha!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:11 PM
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Which is a bummer, because while I have no end of women friends who will go to the theater or a lecture with me, I have zero who will go to a baseball game. It would be nice to widen the pool.

You left out "gentlemenz . . . ."

Actually, I'm not sure what the male equivalent of "laydeez" should be. Maybe "boyz . . . . ."?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:17 PM
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I figured it was "erects", but had to suggest "fucks up" for obvious (hi standpipe!) reasons.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:20 PM
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You left out "gentlemenz . . . ."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:27 PM
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You left out "gentlemenz . . . ."

What? No I didn't. I was complaining that none of my women friends like baseball. I was implying that if my pool of friends were bigger (and had more MEN in it), I would have a better chance of finding someone to go to a game* with.

*Notwithstanding that I have never actually dated a man who liked baseball. But I know they exist, from other contexts.

Update: Oooh, that's weird. Did you know that when you close the italics tags wrongly, such that you use a ? instead of a /, your whole comment after the tag disappears?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:28 PM
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148: Touché.

Laydeeeee.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:29 PM
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149: Sorry, I knew what you meant, I was just kidding around.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:30 PM
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Straight men can't have emotionally close female friends without running into a whole lot of powerful social messaging -- from themselves, their wives, and everyone else -- that this is not normal and it's a sign that things are bad in your relationship.

This hasn't been my experience. Most of the friends I'm emotionally closest to are female.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:31 PM
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And then I thought in 148 you were deftly, reciprocally accusing me of flirting with ben et. al.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:32 PM
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A little number-crunching on the new friends thing. I figure wedding invitations are a good measuring stick.

I sent out 35 invitations to my friends -- not family friends, not my bride's friends. More than 34 people, but I'm not counting spouses, partners.

Of those, 24 were people I'd met between birth and graduating college. Some were reconnects, but those aren't very difficult.

Of the remaining eleven, 4 were from my government job, and 1 was from my union career. 2 were from my band. 1 was to a friend of my sister's husband.

Only 3 more were people whom I'd consciously decided to make friends with, and had kept up the relationship. One invitation was to a couple who we're semi-successfully trying to adopt as friends from a mutual friend. The other two were to single women friends I'd made, one relatively recently, the other more than ten years ago.

There were also 2 women who had been in a similar relationship at my first wedding, neither of whom made the final list for this one because the relationships had drifted.

I conclude: meeting people and hanging onto them through structural connections is easy. Making new friends because "I like you! and we should hang out!" is very rare.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:32 PM
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The comment thread linked in 147 is truly laugh-out-loud funny, but I suspect that is partly because I have met Ben in person.

152: Yeah, I should have repeated my caveat from upthread along the lines of mainstream society and subgroups. I do think your experience is a minority one (although becoming less so in the past 40 years).


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:34 PM
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Sadly, I can never be guilty of deftness, M/tch.

At least I can flirt with you, secure in the knowledge that Sir K will not come after me with a carving knife.*

*This has never actually happened to me.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:37 PM
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At least I can flirt with you, secure in the knowledge that Sir K will not come after me with a carving knife.*

You're right. Sir Kraab is more of an arsenic in your coffee kind of gal.

*This has never actually happened to me.

Don't despair, Witt. You're still young!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:47 PM
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155.2: Probably true, but it shouldn't be.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:48 PM
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The comment thread linked in 147 is truly laugh-out-loud funny, but I suspect that is partly because I have met Ben in person.

Yep. That ben, and the comments he engenders, are damn funny.

Goddammit.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:49 PM
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Re: I Love You Man (John Hamburg, 2009)
I didn't really read this one as a meditation on friendship at all. The whole thing seemed to be about gender performance. And it had some interesting things to say about it too. Pretty much everything that happens to Paul Rudd's character is a stock item from that gross-out, cringe-inducing column in YM "Say Anything" (the uncontrolled body, hearing your friends badmouth you, missing obvious social cues). Jason Segel's character is there to teach him how to perform masculinity.

Anyhow, on friendship. When I moved back here in the late nineties, after a relatively short absence, I had no friends at all. My work situation was not conducive to making friends (everybody else was at least 5 years older than me), I was persona non grata in most of the activist scene (where I usually meet people), and all of my high school friends were in college, mostly far away. Also, I still had a lot of annoying character traits left over from dysfunctional family dynamics. It was really fucking lonely. Nowadays it seems like I have too many friends a lot of the time. Never enough time to maintain all my friendships at the level I'd like, that's for sure.

I sympathize completely with JRoth, although I don't swill too much bourbon and don't like sports. There's just something about the way most men in the US are socialized that rubs me the wrong way. It's not just the misogyny (although that plays a part, I suppose), the weird emotional closed-off-edness is what really freaks me out. Like, why not cry about things that make you really angry or upset? Why not be elated and giddy about things that make you really happy? It's fucking weird. It makes it hard to trust people when you know there's this big chunk of their emotional lives that you're never, ever going to get to see. It's vastly easier for me to make friends with women, even though the sex thing is always threatening to rear its head. As it were. And not to put too fine a point on it, but most guys are just dicks.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:14 PM
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Did mrh ever post this video? The best summary of the friendmaking problem I've seen.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:39 PM
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Did he ever link it here, I mean. I first saw it on his blog.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:39 PM
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There was an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia about the problem for single guys in their late '20s. The gang ended up getting a couple of college kids to come by under false pretenses, then tying them up.

One of several issues I have with making new friends is that I've gotten pickier as I've gotten older. I used to be more or less okay with spending time with just about anybody who crossed my path socially, which sometimes led to wasting a lot of time with real drips. Now that I'm aware that a lot of people just aren't that enjoyable for me to hang out with, I think I might actually be overcompensating and failing to contact the possibly-interesting-possibly-not people I meet.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:50 PM
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What the movie gets right, I think, is the way in which making friends as an adult is not merely similar to dating, but actually worse... Unlike with dating, there are few discrete waypoints available to help you judge the relationship's progression.

"Worse"?? What he needs is some treatment for his anxieties. This is bitching about gravity.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:56 PM
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Like, why not cry about things that make you really angry or upset? Why not be elated and giddy about things that make you really happy? It's fucking weird.

This is interesting, because part of the reason my biggest regret is my biggest regret is that she found me, at the time, too "boisterous." IOW, I wasn't "cool" enough about things that were happifying and exciting. The funny thing is that she was (or ended up) pretty feminist, but she was coming from a very blue collar, rust belt background, and I wasn't masculine enough for her (years later, when we had another chance, she had changed, and I'd maybe settled down a bit, but I was still going from how she'd felt earlier; I always assumed she wasn't taking me seriously).

On top of all this, the vast majority of my close friends have been women; I don't have ready access to data like Wrongshore's, but I'm sure that my lifetime list would be about 5 guys (other than current, coupled friends, where it can be hard to distinguish) and a dozen women. Even when I was 8, I wanted to play with the girls at least as much as with the boys (I wasn't interested in girly play, like dolls, but I wanted to spend time with them). At the end of it all, I figure it makes me a good husband and, I hope, a good father for Iris.*

* We've just started Book 2 of the Odyssey for bedtime reading. I couldn't be happier, obvs.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:59 PM
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Oh, as another data point: AB's best friend from college, the last time she visited, asked me why married guys are suddenly inaccessible as platonic friends. I gather that she's the mirror of me, with lots of male friends*, but as she gets older and they get married, it's hard.

* unlike me, she's super-attractive, so that's part of her equation, but she's notoriously picky, so it's only part


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:01 PM
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165: My lifetime breakdown would be a bit closer to even, but that includes lots and lots of male childhood friends that I don't even know anymore. I've only made one close male friend as an adult. Interestingly, because of his propensity for befriending people, I'm now connected with a whole network of men my age who are not completely disagreeable. But I rarely if ever see them outside of hanging out with my close friend. Most of their wives/girlfriends are much more pleasant to be around, although I haven't really become close with any of those women. Stupid patriarchy, always ruining everything!

(Also, watched most of the Arsenal/Manchester United game yesterday, at the request of perhaps the only other candidate for Male Friend I Have Befriended As An Adult, who stood me up. You want to see some ridiculous gender performativity? Watch an Association Football match in an English-themed pub on a workday in the Midwest. 20 Arsenal supporters, 1 Man United dork and waaaaay too much self-consciously hyper-masculine vocalizing. [Yes I realize it was a semi-final or whatever, but still.])


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:12 PM
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I've pretty much entirely lost contact with all of my friends from high school and college, and I don't really care at all. There are maybe one or two people from each that I make any effort to see when the opportunity arises. There have been times in my life when I've been very lonely and eager for social contact, but right now I'm in a very different situation where I grab any opportunity I can get to be alone.

Part of this is the rather odd nature of my life right now; my coworkers are also my neighbors and the only people I see regularly, and they're mostly pretty outgoing, friendly people, so at the moment I have all the social contact I could possibly want and then some. It gets pretty overwhelming for someone as introverted as I am, especially since the nature of the job involves seeing and interacting with dozens or hundreds of people a day, so I try to take advantage of my time off as much as possible to get some peace and quiet.

I've been pretty successful at that lately, but when I first started working here it was more difficult. The fact that I was in a semi-long-distance relationship at the time didn't help; my girlfriend, of course, wanted to spend as much time with me as possible, since that time was limited, but unfortunately it tended to overlap almost completely with my similarly limited opportunities to have time to myself. This was definitely a factor in the breakup.

Ultimately I think I really just don't value friendship very highly. The only times I've had significant numbers of friends have been in high school and college, when the nature of my life lent itself to easy friendships. At other times seeking out friends has been much more difficult, and I generally haven't been willing to put in the effort. This was all complicated by my efforts at dating, which was a higher priority throughout the time I had plenty of friends and remained so when I no longer had any. In some ways I think the search for a girlfriend was the only thing that kept me interested in maintaining friendships or social interaction at all. Now that that's all behind me I just have no interest in making any new friends.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:17 PM
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I've started to have more trouble having male friends as an adult; through college, I had as many or more close male friends as female, and now I can only think of one (non-virtual). There's plenty of men I get along with fine who I know as half of couples, but getting past a certain level of intimacy feels inappropriate.

I have no idea what's going on in my head -- I never used to have trouble with having platonic male friends -- but it feels weird now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:19 PM
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Most of the few close friends I've had have been women. Like JRoth, I can't stand the posturing and competition that are so widespread among male-male interactions, and I've also found that it's a lot easier to connect on a serious and profound level with women. This is possibly because our society does have established mechanisms for male-female emotional connections which generally operate in a romantic context but can be adapted fairly easily to a platonic one. There's nothing comparable for male-male relationships, where the integrative mechanisms available tend to all be competitive and obnoxious.

In any case, I'm generally just a lot more comfortable around women than around men, so it's hardly surprising that when I do have close friendships they're almost always with women.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:27 PM
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Why not be elated and giddy about things that make you really happy?

waaaaay too much self-consciously hyper-masculine vocalizing

I totatlly hear what you're saying about the latter, but at the same time, I often wonder what relation there is between "men aren't allowed to express themselves in this patriarchy" versus "men express themselves about the wrong things".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:31 PM
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There's nothing comparable for male-male relationships, where the integrative mechanisms available tend to all be competitive and obnoxious.

I think this is broadly, but not completely, true. I have and have had good femlae friends, but my best friends are and have been male, and the connections are serious, profound, and emotional (while still having to account for and deal with competitive posturing).


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:35 PM
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I often wonder what relation there is between "men aren't allowed to express themselves in this patriarchy" versus "men express themselves about the wrong things".

I see it as "people have a certain level of emotional response, and if they are not generally socially permitted to express it in the time and place it naturally occurs, it will become the equivalent of a dammed-up river." I.e., it will overflow its banks, eat away at itself from the inside, or crash into the dam and shoot up like an out of control geyser.

And on that over-vivid note, I'm headed for sleep.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:36 PM
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170: FWIW, teo, I think I've found male friendship in some ways easier as I get older/more staid. Something about the Family Man (not the TV show) dynamic provides a lot of non-competitive ground for connecting. It's still hard to find suitable guys, of course, but when you find a candidate, it's easier to negotiate the approach to friendship/connection.

Put it this way: in my younger days, I met/hung with tons of guys, but hardly ever connected with any. Now, I don't meet/hang with nearly as many guys, but I've made 1 or 2 deep connections. And the structure of the family is a big aid - it's a given that we love our wives and care emotionally for our children, etc. No posturing about bros before hos, or competing about anything.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:36 PM
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171: I was specifically thinking about all the "look at him, he's wearin' pink shoes" and "hit him with your handbag" type stuff, and the rote chanting. I'm totally fine with screaming when your team scores a goal, it's the programmed "you like Man United? Well, FUCK YOU!" type of thing that seems problematic.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:42 PM
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There's plenty of men I get along with fine who I know as half of couples, but getting past a certain level of intimacy feels inappropriate.

I have no idea what's going on in my head -- I never used to have trouble with having platonic male friends -- but it feels weird now.

I think I get this. In both of the couples we're closest to, I get along at least as well with the wife as with the husband, but there's some sense that I should be respecting the separation. Not a strong one, mind you, but present. Some part of it is that I know AB is hungry for female friendship in Pgh (her very best friends are all elsewhere), so I don't want to "take" her time with MH or MM. Thinking about it, I think another big part is that there simply isn't time for the languorous friendship-building of younger times. With the husbands, we can fall back a bit on masculinity for a framework, but with a cross-gender friendship there's more foundation-building to be done.

Which touches on the other thing: the implicit presence, even in platonic cross-gender friendships, of sexual attraction. I'm not sure I've ever been good friends with a woman without feeling at least some frisson of sexual attraction*, so part of the friendship-building is contextualizing that. With some friends, it's immediately buried; in others, it's an ongoing subtext, however subtle. But in a friendship with a wife, that can't be acknowledged, much less dealt with.

* I suspect that there's some of this underlying male friendships as well, but who knows?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:47 PM
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I haven't found it harder to have male friends since marriage, but there is a distance that wouldn't have been there were I an undergrad. Though that might be age, not just coupleDOOM.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:49 PM
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Nah, probably coupleDOOM. Evidence: it's much more fun to say.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:51 PM
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it's the programmed "you like Man United? Well, FUCK YOU!" type of thing that seems problematic

"[P]roblematic"? Seems like the only appropriate response to me.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:51 PM
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I think this is a huge factor.

Relatedly, it's also one of the reasons music isn't nearly as important to me as it used to be. I just don't have time to listen to something new on repeat for days to weeks on end. The stuff I did that with back when I had time still remains intensely meaningful and/or embarrasing for me, but newer stuff just kind of falls into the pleasant vs. unpleasant spectrum, I can't devote more time and brainspace to it than that.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:53 PM
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CoupleDOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:53 PM
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Oops, 180 should have started with this quote:

Thinking about it, I think another big part is that there simply isn't time for the languorous friendship-building of younger times.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:54 PM
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But in a friendship with a wife, that can't be acknowledged, much less dealt with.

pshaw, I say.

and contrariwise:
I haven't found it harder to have male friends since marriage, but there is a distance that wouldn't have been there were I an undergrad.

It's cause they're not less trying to get in your pants now, Cala.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:54 PM
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I just don't have time to listen to something new on repeat for days to weeks on end.

People do this? Huh.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:54 PM
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dooooooooom!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:55 PM
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183: or at least they've switched to the long game.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:55 PM
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184: I and lots of my friends did this, anyway, throughout highschool and undergrad and up to something shy of 30 y.o.

Alien.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:56 PM
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People do this? Huh.

Some people could only afford one album, teo. Don't be insensitive.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:58 PM
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183.1 is joking, I know, but it's funny how I simply don't see the wife of a couple that we're friends with as a sexual being at all. And it's not a mommy thing - it predates any of us having kids. Both of the wives I initialed above are objectively attractive, but I've rarely noticed it. Probably subconscious self-preservation, but regardless it's a change.

OK, bed.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:09 PM
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It's cause they're not less trying to get in your pants now, Cala.

Sort of. Most of my guy friends in college had me definitely in the "uh, no" friend category. And it's not like we're living in dorms or cheap off-campus housing (well, them, at least.) And many are married or coupled up, so there's plenty of explanations about time, life circumstances, etc., that aren't about changes due to being "off the market", so to speak.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:11 PM
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Some people could only afford one album, teo. Don't be insensitive.

Is that why I see my neighbors passing around one (handrolled) cigarette?

Those poor dears.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:17 PM
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Subconscious self-preservation is the new gay.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:25 PM
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Having not read the thread, I can offer a foolproof plan for keeping a large group of friends well into marriage and child-rearing. I have seen this plan in action, and can vouch for it's efficacy:

1. go to a ton of raves
2. as you age out of raves, start throwing your own parties with the DJs in the group and a smaller, select group of people you like to party with
3. as you age out of all-night parties, just do, like, group weekends at a hotel or whatever
4. start thinking about having kids when you're in your mid-to-late thirties
NOW THIS IS THE KEY
5. make sure everybody in the group has kids at the same time (10 kids born in 10 months, at last count)
6. seamlessly transition from dancing-and-drugs centered parties to babies-and-snacks-in-the-afternoon centered parties.

Piece of cake!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:27 PM
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193: Is there gluten in that cake?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:31 PM
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194: you can worry about that after the chicken pox wears off.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:33 PM
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Also: are you trying to announce something to us, Sifu?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:34 PM
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196: no, I missed the wave. And won't be living on the same coast in any case. But I have some terrific pictures of screaming children running in fear from the easter bunny!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:35 PM
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I identify greatly with Ezra about "waypoints," but it should be clear that this concern (in me and others) is a proxy for shyness / introversion. In high school and college, though I had clubs, activities, etc., I made hardly any friends (none, depending on your definition) or even interacted with people outside of these structured events, where I knew why people were there, what they were doing, and how I could be involved (and even there it was often a minimum). When you're shy, you want the certainty of social waypoints so that you know you aren't messing up, and not having them can be a self-perpetuating excuse to freeze or withdraw.

Only over the past few years, since college, have I been working on outgrowing these tendencies, and it's slow going.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:41 PM
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I'm still trying to get into Cala's pants.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:43 PM
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I'm deprecated, aren't I?


Posted by: Kobe | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:00 PM
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200: and friendless.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:02 PM
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170: I can't stand the posturing and competition that are so widespread among male-male interactions, and I've also found that it's a lot easier to connect on a serious and profound level with women. This is possibly because our society does have established mechanisms for male-female emotional connections which generally operate in a romantic context but can be adapted fairly easily to a platonic one. There's nothing comparable for male-male relationships, where the integrative mechanisms available tend to all be competitive and obnoxious.

I'm speaking out of turn, having skimmed the thread in reverse so far, but:

Everybody knows teo is completely charming, right? He chose to explain it there, but we knew.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:03 PM
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202: Or so the Rabbis would have you believe.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:05 PM
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201: and friendless.

But just played a fucking great game of basketball.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:11 PM
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Everybody knows teo is completely charming, right?

Well, the laydeez know. The men tend to be too competitive and obnoxious to figure it out...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:11 PM
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204: he's no Eddie House.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:15 PM
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One of the best, in terms of just being entertaining, games I've ever watched was the game where House scored something like 63 and Arizona St. beat Cal in 2 or 3 overtimes. Almost made up for Cal losing.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:28 PM
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Making friends sounds tiring. I think I'll go to sleep.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:29 PM
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206: You're right, he has to produce every game.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 12:03 AM
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209: Eddie's a connoisseur.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 12:05 AM
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My personal problem is that, although I can be a very guy guy (I like playing and watching sports, I'm handy and like to help out with things like moves or plumbing or whatever, I grill meat), there's a certain kind of male interaction that really squees me out. It's not even troglodyte, misogynistic stuff; it's more the sort of competitive, towel-snapping stuff (indeed, something that used to be a lot more common around here, as has been noted).

Yeah, I get what you mean here -- it's part of why I've never really been much of a 'homosocial' type. Interestingly, the one group of male friends I have who all live together and still live an 'Appatow' sort of lifestyle aren't remotely like that. There's a lot of insults and bullshit thrown around but they are mellow slacker types not given to competitive towel-snapping type behaviour and their social circle is pretty 'female friendly'.

This, also, paradoxically, is why I like martial arts as a participation sport. There's much less of the macho towel-snapping behaviour than in, say, football [i.e. soccer].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 12:32 AM
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179: Well, yeah of course. Worse than Boston fans, obviously. But a lot of the Arsenal supporters were jerks too.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 7:42 AM
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211.last: 'coz your likely to get your arm broken if the other guy is having a bad day?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 7:45 AM
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I suspect it depends on the martial art or the group. Probably less than some other sports, but there can be quite a lot of way-of-the-warrior posturing. I think it helps that martial arts practice tends to be co-ed.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 8:10 AM
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If they say "No pain, no gain," warning sign, but many don't. In my youth I had an extremely tough, strong instructor who preemptively attacked that phrase ("some pain, no gain").


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 8:42 AM
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I have a good guy friend who's half Nigerian/ half Louisianan, but he's probably pretty "white" too. He's got a salesman quality to him. I mean, he invites people to church occasionally in the North, and they come! It's totally not preachy or anything. He's got family from DC, so when the new priest came from there he invited the guy out to lunch.

He's getting married this summer, but we've been friends for a lot longer than that. When he took some time off from working to go to school and do some consulting, and I was working shitty hours, he was someone I could call and say, "I haven't been out in a long time, and I'm always working Saturdays and Sundays, I have this Thursday off, can we do something? So we went for lunch and ice cream and plotted a 4th of July party.

But you go anywhere in town, and you're likely to run into someone he knows.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 11:47 AM
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my best friends are and have been male, and the connections are serious, profound, and emotional (while still having to account for and deal with competitive posturing).

there's a lot of supportive hugging and even weeping among Mitch and his male friends, but a rap battle can still break out at any time.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-09 10:15 PM
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