Social Disorders. I used to think I was introverted, but now I’m certain that I’m antisocial. I’m comfortable in crowds, and I’m okay being openly antisocial. There is a quote in the new BBC “Sherlock Holmes” series where Sherlock says, “I’m not a psychopath. I’m a high functioning sociopath. Do your research.” I get that. As Lisa has tried to bring her friends’ husbands around, I have picked them off, one by one, as unworthy. I am willing to admit that if I had a problem with one man or two or even three, it could be them. But if my problem is with every man (or, let’s face it, every man, woman and child), it may be me. I remember when I was much younger, choosing not to ask a girl out because she had a bunch of friends, and I really didn’t like them. It seemed easier to just not try, than to start a relationship that would end with me telling her that everyone she knows is an asshole.
Offspring. We have a twelve year old son. If the other couple has a child of similar age, then they must also get along. If the other couple has a baby or toddler, then it’s just never going to work. I am past the point in my life where I want to make social arrangements around a little child. I don’t want to double date to a Pixar film or have to work around naps or listen to tantrums. Sometimes Lisa, who is a Labor and Delivery Nurse, will meet people at work who are having a baby and who seem like a perfect match to us socially. All I can think when I hear this is, “do I really want to spend a lot of time around a baby?”
Alcohol. We like to drink. I like it a lot. I drink in crowds. I drink alone. It’s one of the only ways I am able to function socially. That Lisa also likes to drink, and is okay with my constant drinking is one of the magic bonds that hold us together. Trying to be couple friends with people who don’t drink is a deal breaker. If their reason for not drinking is religious, all the more so.
Humor, politics, and religion. I have a very dry sense of humor, and a caustic wit that is fully engaged 95% of the time. If you look up caustic wit, you will probably find sarcasm as a synonym. If the other couple is not of a similar demeanor, this could be a problem. Lisa and I are both quite liberal in our social politics and in our religion. Of the two of us, she is the one you would describe as having a religion. Any one of these factors if discussed openly can make or break a friendship.
So if you’ve been friends with my wife for years, and your husband and I are on an equal socio-economic plane, and we have shared a trauma together, probably brought on by being drunk, funny and antisocial in a public place, then this could work. If it’s not a perfect fit, but you’d generally describe yourself as a secular humanist and you’re willing to let your husband narrowly avoid being arrested or beaten up in a bar fight then it may be worth a try. Provided you don’t have small children.
If I had a religion, Thanksgiving would be my high holy day. It’s got everything a holiday should have and nothing it shouldn’t.
Thanksgiving is the 4th of July with Turkey. It has history. Think Pilgrims and Indians sharing a feast after a bad harvest and fear of the Winter that was afoot. It’s the ultimate American holiday.
Thanksgiving is Christmas with all the joy and none of the stress. There’s no need to decorate, or spend months stressing about what gifts to buy. It’s a chance for friends and family to come together, enjoy a meal and enjoy each others company. It’s a chance to be thankful for whatever you’ve got, whether it’s a feast and fifty people to share it with or just a hot plate of food and shelter from the cold.
Thanksgiving is New Years Day without the lame-ass plans for the future. It’s a day off work. It’s got a parade, football, and booze if you plan it right.
Thanksgiving is Saint Patrick’s Day without the Irish. Again, parade (show tunes… you know what I’m talking about), football and booze. This might actually apply to few holidays, so you should assume any holiday that has parades, sports, food or alcohol is just a Thanksgiving knock-off.
So, happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the feast.
This year is the 20th anniversary of my high school graduation. Looking back twenty years, it seems my primary interest back then was trying to have sex with my female classmates. This obsession is in no way meant to convey any success in that endeavor. In fact, just to be perfectly clear, I was involuntarily sexless throughout high school. But the endless quest for sex is no doubt what makes every teenage boy wake up, go to school, get a job, drive a car and so on, and I was no different.
Twenty years later, I am older, wiser and more experienced, and I’m facing the prospect of a twenty year high school reunion. I am successful, happily married, well adjusted, and in the best physical condition of my life. And now, all these years later, I can honestly say that even if I weren’t happily married, I wouldn’t want to have sex with any of the women that I went to school with. Age has ravaged the class of ’90. When I look at the current photos on line, I sigh with relief at the bullets I dodged. I don’t see missed opportunities. I see the road not travelled and thank the photo pages on facebook for the road I’m on.