Friday, June 18, 2010
Guy's Nights are severely underrated. You probably imagine unshaven creatures sprawled around a television engaging in shallow conversation. You might assume that food and sports are the focal points. That belching and other gastrointestinal emissions are required. And above all, that emotions are strictly forbidden.
You'd be exactly right. And it's amazing.
Perhaps the greatest way for a man to love another man is to avoid vulnerability. Many of us spend our married lives in the foreign land of feelings. We learn to communicate honestly. We're awakened to our fears, insecurities, and shortcomings. We become simultaneously responsible and inadequate. It's all very alarming.
Not only is it unfamiliar and emotionally taxing, it defies our default setting of irrational invincibility. We prefer to imagine ourselves impervious to pain, incapable of losing: Masters of the Universe. We're musclebound superheros, gravity defying athletes, intellectual giants. We cannot be defeated and we will not be domesticated.
It's important for us to preserve that prevailing understanding when we assemble. That's why Guy's Nights are in fact the cog that holds society together. Our refusal to acknowledge weakness reminds us that we have none and empowers us to continue slogging out the daily grind. Without evenings like these human progress would surely grind to a halt.
Somewhere between the ages of 18 and 30 a man's core reality withstands significant body-blows. For us to successfully carry on despite disillusionment we need other men to remind us that we ARE as tough as we think we are.
Last night was such a night. It included 4 men, 4 garbage plates, 1 ballpark, 46 gambling references, 127 good jokes, 213 bad jokes, 452 hearty laughs, 1 HD TV, 2 sporting events, and 0 tears. It was sublime.
Unequivocally the best therapy I've had in weeks. Twice I accidentally brought up the fact that I was a failure, and each time the other men simply pretended I wasn't speaking. Genius! The expert avoidance reminded me that I am in fact an invincible alpha male, capable of running with the big dogs.