Wednesday, November 20, 2013

TMI: Ya gotta have friends!

TMI is a weekly feature by Sean of Just a Jeep Guy.   I always enjoy answering the questions but some of them require much more soul-searching than others.
I have a clear idea of who a true friend is versus what I call "good-time acquaintances."   I have very few true friends (but hope to find some more) and quite a few good acquaintances.

TMI: You gotta have friends.
1. Did you have an imaginary friend growing up?   No. In my early childhood, I had lots of real kids to play with; primarily, my brother, a cousin who lived nearby and the four kids who lived next door.

2. Are you still friends with your BFF or anyone from your youth? My best friend, RB, was born in the same week as me in 1962 we were neighbours for the first two decades of our lives. We've been endlessly-supportive friends ever since; through the deaths of both his parents before he left high school (one from cancer, one from a heart attack), my years as a cancer patient, our marriages and births of children (3 for me, 2 for him) and now, both of our divorces.

Due to our various life dramas and the fact that I spent most of my 20s living thousands of miles apart, at times we haven't seen enough of each other.  But this situation has improved recently.

3. Who is your best friend now? RB, my best friend mentioned above.

4. Do have same sex friends of the opposite orientation? Yes, my friend RB is straight. I have a number of "good -time acquaintances" who are all straight as well.

 5. Ex's as friends?  Presently, my ex-wife and I are not friends but she has mentioned several times that she hopes to be one day. That is dependent on her shedding her bitterness and anger towards me and dealing with her own emotional and mental health issues.
Frankly, I doubt that we will ever be friends. Given her history of erratic behaviour, I can't imagine ever trusting her.

I don't really have an "ex" who was a gay man, but I do have a few guys who I hooked up with who I do non-sexual things with, such as going on a hike.
6. Do you have any non-human BFFs?  I've been extremely close to two dogs (now deceased) whose lives revolved around me, especially towards the end. Studies show that dogs can experience real love towards a human but I'm not sure this actually qualifies as "friendship" according to my definition of the word.

7. Are you friends with any relatives? For the first +30 years of our lives, my older brother was my best friend.... we were inseparable and are stilll highly compatible. But my ex-wife started a major conflict with my brother and his wife which made this extremely awkward. My brother and I talk a bit more now but his wife still seems to be hostile towards me so thus remains a gap in my life.

My father (79) is another best friend right now; we discuss every detail of our lives and look to each other for mutual support and advice. One exceception: although my father knows that I'm gay, I don't plan on discussing my hookups with him.

My father was extremely critical of me in my youth but he has mellowed hugely in old age, especially after I had cancer and after my coming-out and divorce drama.

8. Friends at work?    My closest confidant is a teacher colleague (a straight man) to whom I told every detail of my gay / coming-out / divorce journey. Mike gave me invaluable support regarding my wife's erratic behaviour and told me countless times: "Don't over-react. _ _ _ _'s a good person; she will change her mind in a couple of days."

I presently work with the most fantastic, funny, supportive, dedicated group of friends / teachers ever.  Some days, we leave school with our cheeks aching from laughing so much.   Please read the blog "Welcome to the Middle Ages" and Robert's excellent answer to #8 regarding the cameraderie which can exist between teachers.   He gets it!

9. What's your Facebook number? I'm not on Facebook, thank goodness!

10. What's the worst thing a friend has ever done to you? Are you still?  Maybe I am looking at the past through rose-coloured glasses, I can't think of a single example.  I think it's a hold-over from my days as a cancer survivior but my life motto is: "Don't sweat the small stuff."   And I always add..."Except for your health, it's ALL small stuff."

A true friend would never do anything like that to a friend. If anyone treated me badly, I would conclude that they weren't a true friend and take the advice of my grandmother who would have said: "Let shit go!"   I wouldn't have spent another moment worrying about it.

Friends with benefits?
I would welcome having a friend with benefits but so far, a suitable candidate has not yet emerged, in terms in availability, sexual compatibility and someone who I find sexually attractive / skilled. But I'm not sure if such a relationship would work if / when the parties became emotionally involved. 
I've had many, many married men (on want to establish a "friends with benefits" relationship with me. They're looking for a buddy to go golfing, fishing and hunting with, and having sex on the side. If that means I'd have to pretend I was straight in the presence of his wife and children, I say "No thanks!"


  1. Good answers. They sure make sense to me!

    Peace <3

  2. I think the guys in the first pic are "good-time acquaintances." I'd love to be acquainted with them.

    When I wrote the Ex's question it was really with the gays in mind. Whether gay or lesbian, our circle of friends tends to be both the remnants of past relationship and planting fields of future ones. I used to stay friends with my ex's and then there was one I couldn't get over with him still around and starting with him, I'm never kept another ex.

    The last question I'm hoping will revel future Life Time movie plots.

    1. I've met numerous gay guys (in real life) who are friends with their exes. If I was truly on love with my ex and was dumped, I could not imagine being friends and constantly reopening that wound.

    2. I never plan to get involved in such a triangle. My answer is always:"NO!!!."

      Speaking of movies, I watched on Netflix a gay version of "The Graduate" ...... "Mulligans" is about a closeted Dad who has an affair with his son's hunky college friend. Worst movie ever!! Wooden acting, but I watched the whole thing because the men were hot.

  3. Like Sean, the husband and I have a circle of men around us; they have come to Sweat Lodge gatherings and other gay events we hold her for the last couple of decades. I think I've mentioned this before, but these are all cool guys who know how to take care of themselves and each other, and who have loved each other (not generally romantically, but genuinely cared for each other) for years. Sex among us in twos or various combinations happens naturally and spontaneously and is a really lovely thing. Several happy relationships have developed over the years but have remained open when they're with the group. It is a wonderful way to live.

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