Manspeak


Man-Breakups by Kevin Shipp
February 6, 2007, 1:42 pm
Filed under: Humor

I know, I know. This sounds really weird, but please bear with me as I try to tackle this difficult subject.

Sometimes close friendships we have with other men come to an end. Hopefully, this happens as a necessary part of the growth of your local church. Men you once spent considerable amounts of time with, who you may have participated in a small group with or served along side in a certain area of ministry must move on to serve in another area or in another small group for the benefit of those joining the church. The friendship isn’t necessarily lost, but it changes. Sometimes, relationships may need to end because the friendship encourages sin or distracts you from pursuing God. These are good reasons for friendships to end or change. This isn’t what I’m talking about here. Sometimes relationships change or end because of our sin or immaturity. This is a Man-Breakup.

I know you, like myself and most men who remain fairly proud, don’t want to admit it, but its a fact: We are prone to drop friends or pull back from investing in certain relationships when they become difficult, especially when we were kids.

So, I want to focus on what I call boyhood Man-breakups. Think back to your childhood. I’m not trying to put you on the “psychologist’s couch”, but for the sake of realizing how ridiculous we can be, think back to a boyhood man-breakup. Maybe a buddy of your’s stole a video game and refused to bring it back, or made you spill your Teddy Grahams on the play ground, or “went steady” with a girl he knew you liked, or accidentally threw up on your shoulder, or made fun of your mom, or broke your favorite toy, or spread an embarrassing (but probably true) rumor about you, or started hanging out with the “cool” kids, or ruined your science project. I’m sure, as a kid, you ended a close friendship for silly reasons, and in hindsight, find it very humorous.

Here’s one of mine: I had a buddy in elementary school and middle school named Ryan. We spent considerable amounts of time at one another’s houses watching movies (Independence Day was probably our favorite), playing video games (Mortal Kombat II on Sega Genesis and random fighting games like Fur Fighters and Street Fighter, Wolfenstein and Doom…we were obsessed) and listening to some rock’n’roll (Guns’n’Roses, Weezer, Blur, Beck, Sound Garden, Smashing Pumpkins, just to name a few). I am embarrassed to say it, but we even spent hours talking on the phone. If my mom wouldn’t let me go to his house or him come to my house, I would just call him and we would talk while watching a movie or playing video games…really for hours (I know this sounds girly, but its true, and I bet most men, if they are honest, will admit to doing the same thing!)

When I was young, I was very fat. Not chubby, not just “portly” or “big-boned”, but Huge (Yo soy Gigante). I was THE fat kid. And in the usual adolescent put-others-down-to-make-myself-look-good fashion, I was made fun of for my weight. Guess who was typically the ring leader? Yup, my best bud, Ryan. I recall coming home several days after school crying because I felt so awful due to constant joking. I would settle down in front of the TV and cry as I watched Anamaniacs and Tiny Toons while comforting myself with some Velveeta shells and cheese and a tall glass of Cherry Coke. I loved food and I loved sitting around, what was so wrong with that? I got so fed up with it at one point that I decided to “breakup” with Ryan.

There was never a definitive conversation or a fight. I think he got the picture after about 2 weeks of me not calling him or talking to him at school. (Most boyhood man-breakups are established with the Cold-Shoulder Method as opposed to the Confrontation Method or the Fist-Face Method.) It was over.

So, men, let me hear them. What are your thoughts on Man-Breakups? (I know you don’t like calling it “Man-Breakup”, so if you have a better name, by all means share it!) Do you have any funny stories or reasons for your childhood Man-Breakups? Did you ever reconcile with a buddy and become friends again? Did you ever have a parent end a friendship? How did you end the friendship? Were you ever “dumped” by a buddy?

Kevin

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8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Outside of my dad or brother, I don’t think I’ve ever talked to a guy on phone for more than 5 minutes tops.

I think you may be alone on that one Kevin.

-jmoore

Comment by jmoore

C’mon guys!!! You really need to stop posting all of these metro buzzword topics.

“man-dates” “man-breakup” What’s next??????????????? I almost hate to ask.

There is only one guy that I can think of right now that I will no longer call my friend. We all just kind of drift apart because of life and all that happens in it. I am not very good at keeping in contact with the guys that are my closest friends. They also live an hour or more away from me. It’s tough to get something organized for a weekend hunt with regards to kids, dogs, gas, money, etc.

I am also going to assume that none of you guys are that inept around food, or other things either. I will assume that it’s intended strictly for the entertainment value. Yes, cereal truly is the unmentioned food group. I do appreciate the transparency you guys show here.

No, I don’t have any other words for your “man-breakup”. I just tell people that they either are or are not my friends.

Comment by Fritz

I can’t say that I have ever talked to any guy longer than 5 minutes either, besides my dad
and my brother…Sorry there Kevin.

Comment by mini mike

Kevin, I’ll back you up. I talked for hours with a friend for months. This was in like fifth grade. But it got so bad that we would try to make the other person hang up first. I would often try to trick him into thinking that I was off the phone. Yes, it is shameful, but I’m glad to get that off my chest.

Comment by Chris Melander

Kevin, this means a lot coming from me (since I’ve been accused of the same thing myself—unjustly, of course): you are such a girl. “Man-Breakups”? “Talking on the phone for hours”? I know you might think this is therapeutic or something, but you might want to revisit Howard’s message on Biblical counseling.

And no, I’ve never talked on the phone with a guy for hours. The longest man-to-man phone conversations I have are when I’m discussing music with my composer while we’re working on a film together. That’s it. I can’t remember even one sitting-on-the-couch-and-talking-on-the-phone-to-a-bosom-buddy-with-a-pint-of-Cherry-Coke-in-one-hand-and-a-five-pound-box-of-Velveeta-Shells-and-Cheese-in-the-other-while-simuultaneously-engaging-in-Mortal-Kombat moment. Ever.

Comment by Cap Stewart

Kevin, I think you need to stick to humor on this blog…not the pseudo-feminine exploits of your past. Thanks.

Comment by Jonathan Oldacre

I’ve known my best friend Daniel since I was about 4 years ago. About a year ago he and his family moved to Florida. I regularly, if not daily, call him and talk to him for 30 minutes to an hour.

As for when I was younger, I remember me and a buddy of mine would talk on the phone while each of us were playing WCW vs NWO: Revenge, so know Kevin you aren’t alone.

Comment by Nathan Simmons

The attempts to agree with or encourage Kevin are, at this point, unhelpful. Correction is needed. So, Kevin, give me a call and we will talk about it for a while.

Comment by bigplew




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