The Pissing Contest

Men are territorial.  That’s nothing new.  Whether it’s their car, job, TV or their woman, they feel the need to mark it.  But what about their best friend?  While men may not get catty with their friends in the way that women do, they make their mark in a different way.

I realize I’m late to the party but last night we watched Chasing Amy.  I hadn’t seen it before.  Here’s hoping that you’ve seen it otherwise you won’t be clear about the scene I’m referencing…

There’s a scene between Ben Affleck and Jason Lee when Ben’s character has just started dating this girl, Alyssa, that Jason’s character seems to despise.  The two guys go on to have an argument over it since Ben says he’s in love with her and Jason lists a bunch of reasons why she sucks and will eventually break his heart.

My question is:  Do all guys get territorial when their best friend falls hard for a girl?

I sensed something like this from one of my husband’s best friends (let’s call him Harry) when we first began dating.  I don’t have many talents but what I do have is an ability to read people and the energy they give off.  Harry clearly did not like me.  No words on the subject were exchanged but there was a definitive vibe between us.  Michael’s free time became monopolized by canoodling in his bedroom with me, and that left less time for – I’m guessing here – bullshitting and getting wasted?  Harry is intelligent, witty and sarcastic.  Bantering with him now is fun.  Then, it was a challenge with that undercurrent of him (probably) wishing I’d be abducted by aliens.

When I met Michael he was himself but a different version of the man he is today – kind, generous and fun yet reckless in that way that guys living in a bachelor pad can be.  He was the cool guy.  I was the uptight good girl.  But most anyone compared to Michael back then would’ve seemed uptight.  (Even Robert Downey Jr.)  If we seemed an odd match at first, I guess we were.  But the great thing about marriage is that you get to have secrets that only matter to the two of you.  Why things work between you is something other people don’t have to get.

We’re all older now and most of my husband’s friends are married with kids.  The hangover-inducing parties that once were have been replaced by kid-friendly barbecues in the backyard.  With the happiness of moving forward and creating your life as an adult comes a little sadness for the selfish fun that no longer exists.  When that kind of fun does come around, you can’t help but watch the clock because you know your kids will be up mere hours after you’ve paid the babysitter and thrown yourself in bed with your clothes on.  And who in the world is less sympathetic to a night of partying than someone measuring 3 feet tall who’s really, really hungry for Cheerios and must watch Nick Jr. immediately?

I can see now why Harry felt the way he did in the beginning.  Actually, it took him a few years to come around.  He probably knew that it was the beginning of a change, and change isn’t easy for anyone.

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This entry was published on September 11, 2012 at 6:35 pm. It’s filed under Kids, relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “The Pissing Contest

  1. What, no hangover-inducing parties anymore?! C’mon over! Bring the kids!
    There’s always the Muddy Guestroom! 😉

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