They say men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Well actually, we're both from the same planet ... we're just wired differently. We dissect the difference between man and woman in He Said She Said with Brittney Cason of Creative Loafing and Brotha Fred from 96.1 The Beat. Sometimes we agree ... sometimes we agree to disagree.
This week's debate: funerals ...er, weddings
|By Brotha Fred
Curt Pierceman was born in Marlton, NJ, on March 1, 1974. He was a fine scholar, thinker, and accomplished aviator. He aided the poor, fed hungry stray dogs, and helped little old women cross the street. He lived his life with vigor. He was the verve of the party: drank more than he should, made blissfully poor (*debatable) decisions thereafter, and was encouragingly reminded of his efforts the next day — and the day after. OK, even years later. He was a connoisseur of self-selectively eyebrow-less women who chose makeup over au natural.
He was married on Aug. 8, 2009.
(She has real eyebrows)
He is survived by his single friends who loved him dearly. He will be missed.
(I mean, he’s still alive, this isn’t a real obituary)
Perhaps the above, somewhat painfully fanciful passage, using a “fictional” identity to protect the “innocent,” is a bit morbid. It is certainly excessively dramatic. However, to those of us single men who are left behind by our formerly unmated brethren time and time again, the melodrama is justified.
As a solitary (and I mean in a relationship sense) 28-year-old man, I have watched countless peers disappear into the abyss of married life. Once faithful comrades, my counterparts are now sequestered to their dwellings, banned from the activities that at one time brought us together. And while I recognize that many of those activities involved women (clubs … occasionally of the “strip” variation), alcohol (in excess, perhaps) and sports (lots and lots of football) — three things that most wives would not highly prioritize, and certainly not without their supervision — the days of true comaraderie are gone, replaced by weekend barbeques, “couples only” outings, baptisms, Bar Mitzvas, and so on. And while it shouldn’t be the way it used to be, it still should be.
But does marital union have to equate to the demise of same-sex male friendships? I believe that a happy medium can be met. And while the “single guy” can pose a threat and be intimidating to the sweeter smelling other-half, not all of us are out to convince our former partners in, well, whatever we used to do, to do things that HE, her husband, now shouldn’t. After all, that would get us cut from the potluck e-vite.
It is also important to note that I don’t blame this dynamic entirely on the wives, either. Marriage might result in a ceremonial emasculation in some cases and the end of consistent irrumatio, BUT, it is not a physical removal of the testes, and thus, some form of compromise can and must be met. In the cases of most of my friends who I am thinking of while authoring this, they have forgotten what it means to have a backbone, and fear loss of a relatively consistent sex life more than seeking approval for devoting time to a friend who was there long before said partner ever existed (and even before some partners that said partner doesn’t even know about!). While priorities do and should change, and selfishness is largely replaced by mutual concessions, the forgotten single guy needs love, too.
I have no question that someday I will find true relationship success, and perhaps then I will have a better understanding of why this phenomenon takes place. Hell, I might be the world's largest hypocrite and become one of these men whom I am enunciating. But, remember — and allow this to serve as a subtle reminder to my friends, and to guys I don’t know who are now reaching for their iPhones to call their long lost fraternity bros, teammates, and the like — over half of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Yes, lonely, asset-splitting, pet custody determining, bitter, ugly, “how much does this lawyer cost?” divorce. I am referring to the life-altering event that far too many of us have experienced or witnessed, that leaves one with a new identity and seeking something to do and someone other than Mom to talk to.
And, yes, I’ll still be here to take your call if you need me.
Unless I’m married.
|By Brittney Cason
Is it just me or do weddings feel like funerals? My married friends tell me that I’m terminally single … meaning I am going to die single. But to me it feels like they are the ones who keep dying off, one by one as they walk down the aisle. They also sent the wedding dance video in a mass e-mail (watch it here) with the subject line: if Britt ever gets married …
It’s almost like wedding are funerals for friendships. “ME” becomes “WE” and as a side effect parts of YOU meet its demise — such as bad habits and time spent with friends. Because while a wedding celebrates the new beginning between spouses, whether anyone wants to admit it or not, it’s also death to friendships … especially when it comes to single girlfriends. Because first comes love, then comes marriage, then baby in the baby carriage. And I average about five weddings and three bachelorette parties a summer … so that’s a lot of mourning. I even got invited to a bachelor party this summer, but I couldn’t go as I was at a funeral, er, wedding elsewhere.
I am not trying to sound like the cynical chick from 27 Dresses or anything, but do you not notice a pattern? When a friend gets married all of a sudden the only time you see her is over a lunch, shopping venture, or baby shower … and girls' night out turns into “couples night” for which single people don’t even get invited to. I was pretty much truncated from a crew because I am now the only single one in it. I actually had a friend tell me she doesn’t invite me places anymore because it always ends up being “just couples” … and to add insult to injury, says she “doesn’t know any single guys to bring along for me because all of (her husband's) friends are married.” Not that I need the validation of being with someone and can’t contently just interact with the group of couples — I can hold my own, alone.
Wedding planning can not only be the death of some bride’s sanity, but typical wedding traditions are actually starting to resemble those of funerals … girls are wearing black to weddings now. When did that become fashionably accepted? And the tossing of the bouquet is like throwing flowers on a grave. Or at least a dance floor for which I’m pretty much the only left standing adult because all the single ladies are the flower girls, and five years old.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still happy for my friend despite the fact I am going to miss her. At least most of my friends have managed to find good husbands — and I adopt them as friends, and ultimately see it as though I’ve gained a new friend rather than lost an old one. A good husband is one who embraces their wife's friends, and almost all of them have done that. One even washed my car for me while I was staying at their house, another helped me move, and another took all my electronics out of the box I’d kept them in for months and installed them for me. Who needs a boyfriend when your friends have great husbands? And let’s just say I feel bad for the next guy I do date because he’s got an offensive line to break through in order to get to me — as in all my friend's husbands, and there are a lot of them.
Cason – Point: Regardless of how much freedom one spouse gives another in a marriage, the dynamics of the friendships change along with their priorities. Or is it just that all my friends are just growing up ... and I’m not?