Issue #104 – “Bro-ing Out” – February 26th, 2007

-There’s nothing that requires less maintenance than male friendship.  Girls make carefully laid-out plans with each other.  Guys just sort of show up.  Your doorbell rings, you open it, your buddy is there, he has beer, you welcome him in, and that’s it.  Hanging out with the guys – sometimes referred to as “bro-ing out” – is an activity that all men are instinctually drawn to – just like texting while on the toilet or watching unnecessarily demeaning porn.  Guys in their twenties have an especially strong bond, due to having several years of actual life experience under our belts and the knowledge that marriage is slowly but surely dwindling our numbers.  Bro-ing out is our way of steadfastly maintaining that bond – as long as someone brings the beer.

-If chicks don’t see their friends for like two weeks, they often cry and send each other emails complaining that they feel “distant.”  I haven’t seen some of my friends in about a year, and I feel nothing.  My buddy Triplet #3 is having a bachelor party in Montreal next month, and just seeing the boys for 48 hours of debauchery will be enough to sustain our friendship for another decade.

-Sometimes I’ll be hooking up with a girl and, due to some particular circumstance, she asks, “Can you please not tell your friend about this?”  I always promise to oblige then immediately resume removing her Rock & Republics.  Of course, the first thing I do upon leaving the scene is call the guy friend in question and tell him every detail – including the fact that the girl asked me not to, which is often the best part of the story itself.

-Only dudes thank their friends for not caring about them.  A few weeks ago, I got a frantic call from my buddies in New York asking if I’d spoken to Claudio recently.  Apparently, they’d all gone out and gotten shithammered, but no one had heard from Claudio the entire next day.  I dropped Claud a text but was generally unconcerned and soon forgot about it.  Two days later, he resurfaced and explained that he was just really hungover and had lost his cell phone.  I told him I figured as much but that everyone else was freaking out.  Claud replied fondly, “Karo, I knew you wouldn’t be worried.”  “Hey,” I said, “That’s not what friends are for.”

-Chicks often seem surprised when a friendship suddenly wilts.  Guys, on the other hand, are pretty good at knowing who their true friends are.  If I’m genuinely excited to be invited to a friend’s wedding, as opposed to secretly calculating how much that shit is gonna cost me at – that’s a true friend.  If I call a friend, and don’t hear back from him right away, but I feel totally comfortable calling a second time and leaving a “What the fuck?  Call me back, dick.” voicemail – that’s a true friend.  And if a friend hooks up with a girl, promises her he won’t tell me about it, but then just tells me anyway, well, that’s a true friend who’s as trustworthy as they come.

-At twenty-seven, it starts to become difficult to keep track of where your friendships originated.  I mostly bro out with my high school and college friends, but there are some outliers thrown in – like my buddy Chi who I met at work.  He in turn became tight with Claudio and the rest of my high school friends.  So tight in fact, that when I recently received some information about our upcoming ten-year reunion, I forwarded it on to Chi, completely forgetting I hadn’t even met him until five years after graduation!  There’s no denying, however, that as I’ve gotten older I’ve grown to appreciate my true friends more, no matter where they came from.  There’s just something comforting about knowing that there are guys out there who won’t care if I’m missing, will lie to a girl’s face for my benefit and, of course, will always bring the beer.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-The latest Hollywood trend I’ve noticed is going to meetings and being offered a choice of cold or room-temperature bottled water.  I just don’t even understand why anyone would choose room temperature.  That’s like ordering a Caesar salad at a restaurant and having the waiter offer to sprinkle it with either black pepper or baby powder.

-High-definition is fucking everywhere.  Even radio stations are claiming to be HD – which I’m not even sure is possible.  I’m telling you, high-def is the new low-carb.

-Whenever I qualify a statement by adding, “But I’m not complaining,” you can be assured I most definitely am.

-For some reason I really get a kick out of reading the second email that people send me explaining how they forgot to include the file they said they were attaching in the first email.

-Went to one of those vintage t-shirt stores the other day.  My friend kept pulling shirts off the rack and proclaiming how “random” they were.  Um, it’s a fucking thrift store.  Everything is twenty years old and, by definition, random.  If you found a brand-new Urban Outfitters t-shirt (you know, the kind imprinted with an ironic yet pedestrian slogan) hanging on the rack, now that would be random.

-You know how in commercials people are embarrassed to raise their hand because of their underarm odor or hesitant to kiss someone because of their halitosis?  That’s the way I feel when someone asks me to borrow a pen because I just gnaw the ever-living shit out of them.  My Bics look like fucking gerbil chew toys.

-And, finally, I have a full weekend of bro-ing out ahead of me as my childhood friend and former roommate Brian comes to Los Angeles to visit.  It will be admittedly strange, however.  Brian and I moved in to an apartment in New York in 2001 and lived together for over three years.  Now, though, he’s married, about to get his MBA from Columbia, and is, for all intents and purposes, a real person.  I wonder, will we still get along?  Then I’m reminded of the day in 2001 when Claudio’s girlfriend dumped him.  It was the same day that Brian and I, both single at the time, had finally secured entry to an exclusive club we’d been dying to hit up.  That night, as we pre-gamed, Claudio, obviously upset, called Brian.  The phone rang and rang.  I looked at Brian, but he didn’t say anything and didn’t pick up.  Finally, I understood – we couldn’t get into the club with another dude, so Claudio, distraught or not, had to be sacrificed.  I think that being able to share and laugh at that ridiculous story with Brian means we can always bro out, married or not.  Claud, on the other hand, will have never heard this tale until he reads this column.  But knowing him for over twenty years, I’m certain it will only make him laugh.  And if not, well, I’m not complaining, but at least, for once, someone else will be left saying, “Fuck me!”