Friday, July 22, 2011

How to Score at the Park

After talking with a friend the other day, I realized that I have to change my position on a post I wrote some time ago, probably close to three years. ( think I wrote about this, but couldn't find anything.)

When I first moved to the Lakeview neighborhood, it felt as if women at the parks would not talk to me. I went to several parks and I felt like an outsider. Even worse, it felt as if women felt defensive when I was near.

That is no longer the case. I probably make a single-serving friend (see Fight Club) every other visit to the park. Maybe two out of every three visits. While I'm not good at translating that into playdates or a real friendship, it's nice to have a friendly conversation with no strings attached.

An interesting aspect of this new found . . . confidence at the park is that I tend to seek the company of women rather than men. When I see men at the park, it never is my initial instinct to consider the possibility that he may be a homemaker.

With respect to preferring the company of women, I can't say what that is, exactly. I do know that I am a man in a woman's world. And it still is. Part of the proof is marketing. Just watch daytime TV. I promise you will never see a clothes washing commercial aimed at male consumers. Even when I was in high school, I made several good girl-friends with whom I would talk for hours on the phone without any romantic connotation. Perhaps I am finally comfortable with my appearance and my life, a change from my teenage and twenties when I felt awkward and battled acne. While there is never (NEVER) any flirtation or romantic intention, I would be dishonest if I didn't admit that being confident with women makes me feel good about myself.

On the flip-side, why is it that I do not seek out guy-time when out with the kids? While few of the men I come across in public are homemakers, we still have plenty in common.

As I'm writing this, I wonder if there is something in me that wants to separate my home life from my social life. I love guy time. Love it. But when I'm having guy time, I like to get rude, crude, and rowdy. My humor is base and, at times, misogynistic. I love a good beer but ten is better and please pass the bourbon. Oh, and the F-word? I use F like Paula Deen uses butter. Golf? Is there any better place to be than your favorite golf course with your buddies? Okay, maybe playing a hockey game (including the locker room before and after the game as well as the beers in the bar after the locker room.)

Perhaps I should make more of an effort with guys at the park. I can only imagine how uncomfortable some may be. Perhaps they feel silly as I once did playing little kid games. Perhaps if a cool guy had made an effort with me when JD was little, I would have had a better initial experience.

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