I recently sent the picture above to someone I know with a message that read “I just finished making and having dinner with five ladies. One is missing, but here are four of them.” That is when I realized that I was outnumbered two-to-one.
I am outnumbered
Now and then I am reminded that there are absolutely NO men in my life. Well, that isn’t entirely true, but it is technically. Why does it make a difference? It doesn’t in the day-to-day of my life, but it makes a colossal difference in the aggregate.
I recently sent the picture above to someone I know with a message that read
“I just finished making and having dinner with five ladies. One is missing, but here are four of them.”
That is when I realized that I was outnumbered two-to-one. It’s me, mom and my wife (two women and me). When my family visits, it is my sister and niece who have come. When my wife’s family visit, it is her mom and her sister. I am always surrounded by women.
The women who raised me
Growing up was no different. I was raised by my mom (a single mother), my aunt, my grandma, my older sister, my mom’s friends who were all women (mostly single mothers too). How am I different because of it? For one, I don’t know how to be friends with guys. I have had friends—or ‘buddies’—but none that became friends (except for one). There is Amy whom I have known for seventeen years, there is Grant Baxter (a missionary companion of mine which makes him my friend for twenty years) and there is Ed who I have only known for six. Of the three I have hung out with Amy and Ed once in the last year and with Grant only once in the last fifteen.
It’s not that I don’t like befriending men, its just that I don’t know how to. I can strike up a conversation and banter with any guy, but in the end I loose interest. One of my therapists said to me that I needed to find men who could model a healthy role of husband, father, friend etc. But the only two men that come to mind are men that I don’t trust, my brother in law, and Ralph—an old acquaintance.
Only The Brave - (movie spoilers)
In the movie “Only The Brave” there is a scene where Eric, played by Josh Brolin is sitting on the porch with his friend Duane (Jeff Bridges). Eric just had a major argument with his wife and reaches out to Duane for advice. The scene has been stuck in my mind on the drive home and all afternoon. It’s a predictable scene. The hero is conflicted and turns to a wise mentor for advice. As a result he has a realization that changes the course of his life. It’s also the scene in a movie where you learn something about a character that makes you want to be him, but clues you into the fact that he will probably not make it to the end. At one point, Duane reaches over and places his hand on Eric’s wrist with a warm tap and and then cups the back of his neck the way a coach would do to a player in his team to let him know “I’m with you”, “you got this” etc.
I have never had a friend whom I could turn to who would interact with me like Duane did with Eric. Not a friend, mentor, and definitely not a dad. Is that what this is about—absentee father issues? Isn’t it always!
I don’t know if I am missing something by not having a male figure as a role model, mentor or friend in my life. But that’s just it! Not knowing if I am missing something makes me feel like I am.
When I wrote this, I was listening to this song:
Thirteen by Big Star. The lyrics to this song are irrelevant to anything on this post, but the melody makes me melancholic. Quite like I am feeling now.