A common meme I’ve heard during my life goes something like this: “Women are more social than men.”
Maybe that’s true, but I grew up in Chicago, where men are your good buddy and your male relationships determine what sports you watch, who you drink with, and who you eventually marry. As an introverted youngster, I was never comfortable with the culture and fled as fast as possible.
And because my dad died when I was young, I had few male relationships to serve as an example. Like a boy raised by wolves, I preferred social contact with women rather than men.
Even to this day, I only have a few close male friends. My closest – after my brother – just visited from Los Angeles on Thursday. The rest I've never seen, save one person, because they’re all BLOGGERS.
It turns out that males are not only social animals, their health depends on having male companions, reports the Los Angeles Times. Male social isolation is growing around the world, worry the experts, and it is making us sick with depression, high blood pressure, clogged arteries and infections.
How can that be? My kids have brought more diseases home in one week than I experienced during my 25 years or so of bachelorhood.
But the experts are firm: when guys don’t have male friends, we’re more likely to eat poorly, get sick and die unless we are married or live with our mums. After all, there is no one to nag us to wash our hands after we flush or force us to eat our broccoli. (I like broccoli, but then as I’ve said, I’m weird.)
I noticed the researchers left out another health-impacting possibility: having male friends generally means more physical activity: playing soccer, fishing or walking to the bar for a drink.
So how can men save themselves from themselves? Presuming you are unable to find a spouse or a willing mom, the experts offer limp suggestions such as volunteering or making friends for life. Humph, they didn’t even mention blogging.
Here are some of my own suggestions for single men. Sure, none of these ideas would have ever worked for me, but they’re better than the lame, ineffective ones offered by the experts:
If you are really, really tall, go to any pick-up basketball courts. You will have friends for life.
Take up golfing, get the best tee times and invite desperate addicts to go with you.
Buy a couple cases of beer, sit out on your front porch and offer one to every guy who walks by.
If you are opposed to drinking, hand out free trinkets to your favorite teams. (Be careful: you don’t want to offer a Yankees lid to a Red Sox fan.)
Buy the biggest fricking TV you can refinance your house for and become sports central for all your male friends at work and in your apartment building.
Tell dirty jokes at a bar.
Grill burgers or steaks – depending on you budget – and just wait. Men will smell the smoke and find their way to you.
Start a blog on how your dating life sucks. Other men will find you via Google in 0.2 milliseconds. (Keep in mind, these friends will remain anonymous with pseudonyms such as Big Al, Tough Guy and Nails.)
Go biking – must dress in requisite clothing – through Lincoln Park (or some equivalent area in your town.) The more expensive the bike, the more male bikers you will meet.
Punch a construction worker. (You will have friends for life after a lengthy hospital stay.)
Go kayaking in Lake Michigan (or some equivalent area in your town) during rough weather and meet some very nice rescue crews. If you live in a mountainous region, go hiking and then get stuck in some visible spot where you will have to be rescued by helicopter. If you forget to bring water, all the better for a longer hospital stay.
Rob a bank and let the police catch you. You will have more male friends than you can count.