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Posts tagged "Friendship"

Please Help the Cause Against (Middle Age Male) Loneliness

Please Help the Cause Against (Middle Age Male) Loneliness

The plan was to hit some tennis balls before heading to dinner. Take advantage of the beautiful weather, maybe grab a drink al fresco on the way to the restaurant. Sounds awesome, I nodded, and I meant it. They always have a blast together, my wife and her friends.

I didn’t feel left out. Nor did I begrudge putting the kids down on my own. I was glad this was happening. So too, I’d wager, were the other dads involved. But that didn’t mean we’d follow suit. Occasionally we talk about organizing a male-only outing, but nothing has ever materialized. Which,…

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From the Archives: A Referendum on Midlife Friendships

From the Archives: A Referendum on Midlife Friendships

“We haven’t seen them in a while,” I hear myself observing every few weeks, usually in reference to friends with whom my wife and I have lost touch.

Most of the time, the estrangement is logistical, schedules being what they are in a house with two working parents and two napping toddlers. But guilt nevertheless sets in and triggers defensiveness. Soon platitudes like “it takes two to tango” or “life happens” are being trotted out and before long, you’re castigating yourself or the other person(s), possibly deconstructing society as a whole, and any chance of reconnection has been essentially nullified.

Growing up,…

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How Many Friends Have I Really Got?

How Many Friends Have I Really Got?

The most awkward part of the wedding wasn’t the foot-washing, believe it or not. Uncomfortably sensual, sure, but there was also something touching about it.

More awkward was the fact that she was there in the first place. You see, she would’ve been surprised to receive an invitation, let alone a request to be a bridesmaid. But there she was, lined up at the altar with six ladies she’d never met before, all of them wearing the same dress, standing behind an amiable young woman with whom she had at best a passing acquaintance.

A more honest person (or less of a…

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Hollywood Teaches Us How to Be Good Friends: A Much-Belated Review of The Intern

Hollywood Teaches Us How to Be Good Friends: A Much-Belated Review of The Intern

I inwardly sighed last week when my wife suggested that we watch the 2015 Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway comedy The Intern on HBO Now. One has to admit there are problems with the film’s setup.

Robert De Niro plays Ben Whitaker, who is a retired, widowed, 70-year-old who spent 40 years climbing the corporate ladder at a telephone book publisher. He applies for a “senior internship”* offered by a hip start-up, About the Fit, which has set up its open-office, iMac- and MacBook-heavy workplace in the building where Ben’s factory used to make the now-obsolete phonebook. Ben gets assigned to the company’s…

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Don't Look Now But Your Soul Toupee Is Showing

Don’t Look Now But Your Soul Toupee Is Showing

We’re not finished milking Tim Kreider’s essay collection We Learn Nothing. Not by a long shot. The following passage from “The Czar’s Daughter” has made the rounds a bit and is worth reproducing here, as it touches on a dynamic we talk about with some frequency in reference to social media, namely, the difference between who we’d like to be or feel we should be and who we actually are.

The essay is a rumination on, and almost a eulogy for, a deceased friend of Tim’s named Skelly. Apparently Skelly was quite the character, reputed in their circles for the stories…

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A Referendum on Midlife Friendships

A Referendum on Midlife Friendships

“We haven’t seen them in a while,” I hear myself observing every few weeks, usually in reference to friends with whom my wife and I have lost touch.

Most of the time, the estrangement is purely logistical, schedules being what they are in a house with two working parents and two napping toddlers. But guilt nevertheless sets in and triggers defensiveness. Soon platitudes like “it takes two to tango” or “life happens” are being trotted out and before long, you’re castigating yourself or the other person(s), possibly deconstructing society as a whole, and any chance of reconnection has been essentially nullified.

Growing…

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Glennon Doyle Melton Drops Her Weapons and Steps Out of Her Armor

Glennon Doyle Melton Drops Her Weapons and Steps Out of Her Armor

With a criminal record and a history with drugs and alcoholism, Glennon Doyle Melton was having a hard time landing even a volunteering job. Despite her father’s suggestion that maybe “there [were] some things [she] should take to the grave,” Melton decided that she didn’t want to hide any part of her story, she wanted “to die used up and emptied out.” In her hilarious and beautifully honest book Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed, Melton talks, among other things, about her decision to share her story—which, of course, really meant sharing her struggles—with others. With the same arresting…

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Friendships and Fender-Benders in Cars 2

Friendships and Fender-Benders in Cars 2

The release of Cars 2 this past summer marked the first Pixar movie to receive almost unanimously poor reviews. While some of this criticism was probably veiled jealousy of Pixar’s consistent success, I still have to admit that this film lacked the heart-tugging storytelling I’ve come to expect. The film has lots of flash – with some enthralling technical wizardry, but the substance was disappointingly thin. Or better, I didn’t enthusiastically identify with any of the characters.

The success of a movie usually depends upon the audience’s ability to sympathize with the main character – if we don’t care about them,…

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