Men Friends

Sometimes It is Important to Get Together and Do Something Inconsequential When I talk about this feeling, people tell me I should see the Paul Rudd movie, "I Love You, Man."

I wish I had more men friends. Somehow I have constructed a life with just a few. That is okay, but more would be good. That does not take away from being blessed with those I have, such as Dennis, Jim, Rick, Claude and Charles and others in the Firm. But I miss the experience of more.

The thought of a room full of buddies arguing over the outcome of a football game or something even less consequential sounds like it might not be the total waste of time.

My longest-term best friend from middle school, Watson L. Williams, died a few years ago and I continue to miss him deeply. The actuarial tables say that African American men have a shorter life expectancy, and it seems like there are fewer and fewer of us for a variety of life experience reasons. Another best friend is my college roommate, Selwyn L. Joseph - another African American man. But he lives far away, and I only see him once every few years.

Too few men friends, too far away, and missed in my life.

I don't think I am the only man who feels this way. I often hear men talking about it in our educational sessions. I think for a lot of reasons many men are living lives with a deficit of men "best" friends. I admire our clients in Newcastle U.K., (yes, the "carrying coals to Newcastle" place) with their weekly visits to the pub with their men friends.

For many men, watching, going to, or participating in sporting events or hunting with the "guys" is a way of having that experience/interaction/closeness with other men. Whatever creates the opportunity to hang out with the "guys," it is becoming clearer to me that this experience is critical to men, just as it is critical for women to hang out with other women.