Drinking in the Conversation

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to meet up with fellow blogger, Kenneth, (Culture Monk) when he stopped by my area on his blogging tour. Although the initial coffee shop visit ended up being cut short, I was able to meet up with him and Jay (lefreakshow) at a bar (brought along the husband) to finish up the fascinating conversations from earlier over a beer or two.

The biggest thing that stood out to me during the four-hour conversation, that meandered through numerous topics, was just how much I have missed having discussions, debates and exchanges where the passion for the topics being covered was so evident and accepted by the other party. There are times that I come across as way too enthusiastic or passionate when I talk about subjects I’m really interested in and there are people who just won’t engage me. For that night, with the husband, Kenneth and Jay, there was just pure open dialogue about ideas and concerns relating to our society, no judgements just great conversations.

For as closed off as I can appear, I really am a social person. I enjoy helping others, contributing to creative endeavors and I honestly want to leave the world a better place for having me in it. I think Kenneth’s blogging tour has been an excellent idea and the kind of opportunity I wish I was able to take advantage of. Now more than ever I want to get out into the world and interact with other people, rally a community back into existence and appreciate the unique attributes that each person can bring to an idea or conversation. If Kenneth ever wonders why so many people are getting behind what he’s doing it is because the idea (and his own enthusiasm) for bringing back a social commodity that is sorely lacking just makes sense, it inspires hope. He is really easy to talk to and I can now fully understand why strangers seem perfectly willing to engage with him and share their life stories. Not everyone would be able to do what he is doing, but he is perfectly suited for this endeavor. I really do look forward to future collaborations and fully support the ideas we discussed.

For now I am going to be creating a spin-off blog that is more focused on discussion and helping contribute to a more positive society. I have a lot to say, maybe it’s time to stop keeping it all bottled up in my head.


Slippery Slope or Community Inclined?

Prior to marriage I had just as many male friends as I did female friends. After marriage I have next to none. Some just moved away, others moved on, but I find myself missing the component male friendship used to play in my life.

Sometimes I just want to go out and watch some baseball while I drink a beer and play some trivia. A much easier task to accomplish with a man than with a woman. Sometimes I just want to get my hands dirty and learn how to change spark plugs, other times I don’t want to have to keep up a lengthy conversation but instead just want to shoot things on the virtual Xbox battle field. Often times I’m looking for a male perspective on situations. Yes I could do all these things with husband but when you are used to doing these things in a platonic mind frame it can feel odd to think your only option is with a person you don’t have a platonic relationship with.

Therein lies my quandary. Are married people allowed to make new friends of the opposite sex once they are married? I understand that it doesn’t help a marriage to look outside it for certain things you are supposed to be getting from your spouse, but what I’m looking for is something I feel has nothing to do with marriage. I don’t want male friends to flirt with, I don’t want them to complain about my husband to or provide protection. I grew up hanging out with guys and I’m comfortable hanging out with guys and I like to do guy stuff, so to not be able to do that leaves me with nostalgia and nostalgia can be detrimental to a marriage.

One of husband’s friends is going through a difficult situation and husband has been making sure he goes and visits regularly to provide distraction and support. This is one of the few friends husband has that I have no problems with. Knowing that the friend needs a sense of community I reached out to see if I could offer up some company as well. I am always looking for people to go running with and as the weather is finally warming up he and I have made plans to start working out once a week. Husband has stated he has no issues with the arrangement but when I was talking about it with my brother he looked at me like I was crazy and told me it was a terrible idea. Innocent thinker that I am I am having trouble understanding what the issue is. I just want company as I couch to 5k train and husband’s friend just needs to get out of the house he is cooped up in and likes to be active. None of the women I’ve talked to think it is a bad idea but the few men I’ve asked said it would be opening up an opportunity for something bad to happen.

Maybe it is because I am a woman that I think men and women can have purely platonic relationships. It only seems to be the men that think it isn’t possible. If hanging out with husband’s friend will cause any sort of issue to develop I would rather just not start working out with him at all. I know I am capable of keeping things platonic as I’ve done so many other times before, but if men are not able to do that I feel like I should know now. Men and women just being friends, slippery slope or just part of being in a community?