Place & Time

Ask any of my guy friends, if they wanna’ get together, any place, any time, from Des Moines to Las Vegas, I say, “Count me in.”

See, I’ve felt comfortable in women’s company as long as I can remember. I’ve always liked girls. There’s a photo of me from pre-school with the most adorable freckle-faced, red-headed girl ever. I never went through that “girls are yucky” phase. I remember them all: Melissa Yates, Jennifer Clarke, Chrissy Ferarro, and on and on and on. I could always talk with women, presumably because I could always talk with my mom. Which is not to knock my dad. Some of my best memories are of Chris, he and I picking through a pile of steamed shrimp on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

But I never really fit in with the guys. I mean, I have some terrific male friends, but if you ask any of ’em, they probably wanted to kick my ass when they first met me. I’m not sure why, but dudes don’t really get me. Which is probably ok. I’m not much of a “dude.” I don’t know shit about sports (I only run marathons and triathlons, beeyatch!). I don’t know shit about cars. Heck, I don’t really know what else guys talk about. Gambling? Prostitutes? I dunno’.

Which brings us to this rainy Sunday afternoon. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: this is The Year of the Guys. Listen, I have gotten in more than enough trouble of late with the ladies. By the close of 2004, as I’d wreacked about as much havoc as is possible in the realm of the feminine, it became apparent to me that I could use some dudes in my life.

So tonight, I gathered my bruthas. I sent a note mid-week convening the “Beer, Wing & Pool Appreciation Society.” It read, simply: “Dead Poet. Sunday. 5 p.m.” (See, I know these married types: 5 p.m. is doable.)

And so it is. And so it was. Chris, John, Jay, Jonathan and I gathered at the Dead Poet (my favorite neighborhood bar because it is completely without schtick) for beer, wings, and pool. Some notes:

Chris ran the table. He kept talking about “Ohio rules,” as if he’d lived there in the last decade. But he played like he was a Marietta freshman all over again. Allbeit one with a two-year-old at home.

John was recovering from last night’s SNL party. He’s recently engaged. He’s getting married in September. I’m presuming it will rub off.

Jay is off to Mexico in the morning to shoot for The Tonight Show. He just purchased a three bedroom on the Upper West. And is expecting a baby girl. I’m presuming it will rub off.

Then there’s me, the consumate dater, always in love. But not now. Nope, I’m steering clear. Still, the guys always have advice for me, and often enough, it sounds fairly sage. But it’s supurfluous. ‘Cuz for now, it’s The Year of the Guys.

Thanks, dudes.

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