Ask A Woman: Imagine a world without beer and basketball…
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It’s my observation that dudes spend a lot of time going to the gym or playing basketball together. Also binge drinking together. Or meeting for happy hour. Or tailgating before a sporting event. Or shotgunning a beer after summer kickball league. Drinking and sports are fun, there’s no doubt about it. But what if you want to branch out? What if your knees are getting bad and your gut can no longer handle tequila? Keeping up friendships through adulthood, even after you pair up, is really healthy and really important. Here are some ways to nurture those relationships without blowing out a shoulder or ruining your liver.
#1 Play cards or games
Lots of guys have monthly poker games they host or attend. Yes, beer is often a part of the festivities but it’s not the main event and you can certainly subsist on water or soda if you don’t want to drink. If cards aren’t your style, what about a quarterly game night? No, you don’t have to get out your niece’s Candyland (Gumdrop Mountains, whoo hoo!). Risk. If you’ve never played it, it’s an extremely manly board game involving world domination. Pacifist, eh? Monopoly. Trivial Pursuit. These are all good ways to bond with your dudes.
Movie with gross creatures? Studly world domination? Sounds like a dude-centered evening.
Wait, is that Jenga? All right, well, Jenga is more fun when you’re loaded.
#2 Go to a movie
If you and your wife constantly argue about what movie to see, encourage her to have a night out with her girlfriends seeing the latest rom-com. When it’s your turn for an evening away, go see whatever flick she has zero interest in and bring along a couple buddies in the same situation.
#3 Brew or ferment or distill something
Okay, yes, there is alcohol involved. But I’ve found that my friends who brew beer or make wine actually aren’t binge drinkers. They really enjoy the taste of quality alcohol, and their enjoyment means they savor instead of gulp. This hobby can be expensive, so that’s another benefit of sharing it with a friend. Split the cost of the supplies and do all the grunt work together. Once you have a good variety bottled, invite other brewing enthusiasts to bring their wares over for a tasting party.
If it requires a funnel, it’s more science than drinking, amiright?
#4 Take the kids (or dogs) on an excursion
For those of you with kids or creatures–give your spouse a break by offering to take the kids to the park and then lunch. Invite along a friend who has kids the same age. Your kids will burn off some energy, you can catch up with your pal, and your partner will be very grateful to you. If you have dogs, a trip to the dog park is a great excuse to hang out with other canine-loving friends.
See? It’s cool to go to the park. Go. Get in a fight. Meet a hot Mom.
Community service is such an underrated activity. If you get involved with an organization on a regular basis, it can be a very rich and meaningful experience. But it’s hard to make that initial commitment. Make it easier by signing up with a friend. You can coach a sport, tutor kids on the weekends or after school, build and repair subsidized housing accommodations, make meals at a shelter. Knowing that you have to meet a pal there will make you stick with it.