Leave the bag behind
This is not White Dade. I know the Alf pic might lead you to believe otherwise, but take my word for it; it’s not him. The gentleman we have all grown to love, hate, respect, or question had other, more important things to do (STD screening). So I’m stepping in for today. I probably won’t respond to your comments as WD has been so good to do in the past – mainly because I don’t care what you have to say. Sorry.
When I was given the opportunity to get my thoughts read by hundreds, maybe thousands, I first thought – wow, this is a big deal. What could I possibly have to say that would be of interest to anyone besides a select few who have become my close friends? I’ll tell you this – it might not be as interesting as the play-by-play of a kickball playoff game, but its good advice. So read it, if you don’t understand then grab a dictionary and look up all the big words. (this special direction is for the Anonymous commenter – you know who you are)
My advice is simple. Leave the bag behind; and by “bag” I mean girlfriend, boyfriend, wife or husband. And by behind, I mean at home – not in the car, not on the other side of the bar… I mean at home. I have had too many friends who become joined at the hip the moment they become romantically involved. You call your old bud on the phone and say, “hey want to go grab some lunch?” to which they agree, only to find out that when you get to Arby’s, it’s not you and your friend talking over your delicious 5 for 5. It’s now you, your bud and his new girlfriend Brittany. We became friends because I liked hanging out with you, not because I liked hanging out with you AND the unapologetically annoying girl you brought along. How will well talk about the girls from high school we wanted to have slept with, or how much you drank the other night… it just won’t be the same.
I understand how it is when you first start to see someone. You want to spend time with them, they make you feel good – blah blah blah. That’s all fine and good, but take it from me, when you want to hang out with your friend, you want to do just that. I had girlfriends from 8th grade up until a few years after college for the most part, and this was the best advice my friends gave me during this time.
I had a friend who dated the same girl from high school through a few years after college. I have nothing against this mind you, but long story short – they brake up, and the kid goes Willy-Wanka-nuts. He starts trying to date anyone that smiles in his general direction. Now I’ve known this guy since 4th grade, and I’m thinking, Great! I get my friend back for a little while. Time to hit up a few baseball games, hit the bars… but this was not in the cards. Being that he didn’t know how to be himself by himself he spent most of his time trying to meet girls. - He wasn’t a bad looking guy, and with in 2 months he has another serious girlfriend, and another 6 after that, he’s married to her. I’m not kidding. I have seen him about 4 times since that fateful day.
It’s not because him nor I have been all that particularly busy. But rather because the times that we have hung out, she’s right there. This is only impacted by the fact that I can stand the woman for all of about 8 seconds. I like to think of her as I would of a rodeo. If you can be in the same room with her for longer than 8 seconds, then you should get some sort of prize. For me – the prize has been getting to go home and know that I’m not married to her.
You might be asking, why not just flat out say let’s hang out without her this time. Make it a guys night. Well this might have worked in the days before cell phones. Today however it’s near impossible. I thought I was being extremely cunning one time and invited him to a movie I didn’t think his wife would want to see. The plan worked and we went out to grab a beer before a revival of ‘Cool As Ice.’ And it would have been fine, had she not called every 4 minutes to update him on the most mundane and unin-who-gives-a-crap-teresting bits of information. I’m sitting there drinking my beer and listening him talk to this chick. I kid you not – this is not an embellishment. She called to tell him she no longer liked black lickerish. About 4 minutes later, she called to ask what he had done with the pizza from last night. You get the picture. This went on and on until we made our way to the theater and he turned his phone on vibrate.
As I said at the beginning of this rant, my advice is simple – if you’re seeing someone and your friend asks you to hang out, it’s ok to leave the bag behind. Go out with your bud – you might even remember why you both where friends in the first place.