Remember When Harry Met Sally? No, not the scene at Katz’s (which, btw, is not as good as it used to be). The bit about men and women not being able to be friends. It made for great movie dialogue, but lucky for me, I’ve always known it’s a load of crap.
How do I know this? Because, for as long as I can remember, some of my best friends have been straight guys. And no, not exclusively. I’m not one of those women who doesn’t get along with other women. I have women friends, too.
I can trace it back to when I was 16 and got a job at a movie theater. There was a strict division of labor, girls worked the candy counter and boys were ushers. On slow days there was only one candy girl working for every 4 or 5 ushers (I’m old, and so we’re talking pre-multiplex days). So I spent my summer hanging out out with a bunch of really cool guys who were slightly older than me (bonus – lots of invites to college parties from guys who thought of me as their little sister).
Anyway, this week there were a bunch of articles about how great guy friends are (that’s the way these things work, one person writes something and then you see it everywhere). The first one, Guy Friends Rule by Mary Elizabeth Williams, appeared in Salon. It was Salon, so she took the high road, wondering at one point if the popularity of some of the more inane dating advice books written by guys could be explained by the fact that so many women don’t have guy friends.
Well, I figured I’d join the fray. Here are my Top 5 Reason Why Every Single Girl NEEDs a Bunch of Guy Friends (the Type Who Like Boobs)
1) Beer and hot wings, need I say more. Total generalization, I know. There are plenty of women who like beer and hot wings, too. But the truth is, sometimes (a lot of times) I like to just go out and talk meaningless shit and drink beer and eat food that’s really, really bad for me. And I don’t want to hear about anyone’s relationship or hear about how many calories there are in the onion rings (or how many hours someone is going to have to spend in the gym to work them off). I just want to blow off steam and/or chill out. And, in my experience, guys do that better than girls.
2) Guys friends will tell you the truth about what they do and don’t find attractive in women –> always helpful! – I can still remember the day I found out that most men didn’t think anorexic looking chicks are hot. It was a slow day at the movie theater and I’d snuck a fashion magazine behind the candy counter. I was flipping through the pages and hating myself (like your average American teenage girl) because I’d never look like one of the models. One of the guys came over and made a face as he looked at one of the pictures. I asked him what the face was for. He said, “She’s too skinny. It’s gross.” I asked him to elaborate and I came to find out that he thought that most of the models that I’d thought of as ‘perfect’ until then were ‘too skinny’ in his eyes. (I then spent the next week asking every other guy I knew about this and they pretty much all agreed. I’ve always been into field testing theories.)
3) Women with guy friends tend to be more at ease around men in general – I’m not a dating expert. But I’m pretty damn observant. And one of the things I’ve observed time and again is that it’s the women with few or no straight male friends who have problems meeting guys casually/in social situations. Conversely, the ones who have the easiest time are the ones with lots of male friends. Because they have no hang-ups about talking to guys. They’re just people. People with penises.
4) Chances are, they will broaden your horizons (if you’re smart enough to let them). I am a huge sports fan (well, one sport, I’ll keep that off the blog). My male friends can be blamed/thanked for that. And a guy friend helped me learned some blogging basics (I can still remember sitting in his apartment, him trying to not lose his patience with me as I stared at html for the first time, in a panic). Could I have picked this stuff up from my female friends? I guess…
5) No matter how many assholes you date, you’ll never start hating men – My guy friends are a bunch of the warmest, kindest, most generous people alive. Plus, they’re all extremely cool and make me laugh my ass off. I’ve been treated pretty badly by some men in my life, but I’ll ever give up on the gender, because I have proof that good ones are out there.
Tags: blogging, boobs, friends, jezebel, rules, The Frisky