Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Bonding With My Men

I’ve got a lot of men in my life. There is my father and the fiancé, who are the two most important men. There are several other family members I have and are marrying into relation with. And there are a bunch of friends I have and are marrying into relation with.

I’m not sure why, but it’s important to me that the men in my life have a high opinion of me. I think it’s more important to me than the opinion of the women. There’s got to be some psychology behind that, but I’m not even going there. I want to talk about what I do to make sure their opinions are high and moments I’ve had where I feel really satisfied that I’ve accomplished my goal.

My Efforts

1) A lot of women these days don’t cook. I grew up around women who could all cook, but my skills in the kitchen seem to be the exception to the rule amongst the females I know. So I like to cook for all my men, well mostly my daddy, my fiancé, and all my guy friends and my fiancé’s guy friends.

2) A lot of women also aren’t really that into sports. I love sports, in particular football. I’m even in a fantasy football league. I like being in a group of guys and being able to discuss things about sports. I come off as pretty girly (at least before they know the depths of my potty-mouthiness) so my knowledge and love of sports is always a surprise to guys. Holding a discussion with the fiancé’s friends to compare our line-ups for our fantasy football teams is always fun.

3) Combining groups of friends isn’t always easy. Bringing a new significant other into your circle of friends is not always a smooth transition. The fiancé and I only dated a short time before getting engaged, so our friends pretty much were thrown in the deep end for getting used to the spouse-to-be. Luckily, our friends get along very well. Making sure I wasn’t needy about time or judge-y about personal jokes (except one that seems so disrespectful to women) was pretty key to getting accepted pretty quickly.

4) This is another about combining friends. I have a lot of girlfriends and guy friends (which is why my wedding party have eleventy billion people in it). They have significant others that have to try and fit into our weird dynamic. We love to have fun and hang out and just enjoy each other’s company. But we are a rough bunch. The quiet ones don’t always seem to make it in our group of friends. One of my friends has a particularly quiet boyfriend, but there was something about him that I liked, so I reached out to him at the first sign that we had anything in common.

My Moments

1) When some of the fiancé’s musicians friends asked for me to cook for them because they’d heard about how good my food was, I felt amazing. When they started naming specific dishes, that was even better. The part (tiny, tiny part) of me that is a homemaker really enjoys being seen as a person who can take care of others in the kitchen.

2) Part cooking and part love of sports came together when a friend requested that they throw a Super Bowl party and I come over to add love of sports and good food. When I think of a big Super Bowl party, it’s a gathering of big burly sports loving men and their unhealthy snacks. I was really flattered that they included me in such a big way.

3) The fiancé and his friends have an app on each of their phones which is basically a permanent chat room. They’re always chatting and cracking jokes and poking fun at each other. We were all out hanging out the other night and one of them suggested I join them in their chatting. I can only imagine that the invitation would have been rescinded if I had accepted, but it was still a nice offer. The fact that he even felt comfortable making such a suggestion, and in front of another one of they guy’s girlfriends no less, spoke volumes and made me feel all happy inside.

4) This boyfriend of my friend loves me now. And he loves the fiancé. I’m pretty sure we’re by far the favorite of the couples he has to spend time around because he’s dating my friend. And he knows I’m completely for their relationship. Most of my people tend to keep their distance from me when I’m upset. They don’t shun me, but they never try to cheer me up or get all in my face. We all know life just works better that way. But this boyfriend of my friend never pays attention to that unspoken rule. Besides the fiancé, he’s pretty much the only one who can improve my mood. And the fact that he goes out of his way to do it really makes me glad I reached out to him.

How do you bond with the men in your world? Are you a guy’s girl or a girl’s girl?

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