This arrived recently, as a follow-up to a phone call:
My best friend from high school is getting married (at last). He finally decided to be realistic.
When he was a teenager, he was like me: not gorgeous, not ugly, but ordinarily handsome in the way that young men who are in good shape can be. We look different and were attracted to different kinds of girls, and that was an obvious benefit — we never competed for the same girl.
One key difference between the two of us, even back then, was that he wanted to have it all. He wanted a girlfriend to be smart, funny, super-model figure, and so on. Well, sorry buddy, but (a) there’s not very many people like that around and (b) the ones that are tend to attract better guys. I was far more realistic and didn’t place the same premium on looks that he did. Even then, I tended to look towards a long-term relationship rather than a weekend of fun. I had serial relationships of a year or more typically. Each might have lasted a lot longer except for the mistakes of youth.
For my friend, however, relationships were more chaotic.
He would hit on girls that weren’t very interested in him. Sometimes he would be besotted and embarrass himself in the most hilarious ways at parties after he’d had a few drinks. As a drunk, he was so hopelessly imcompetent at chatting up hot girls that it saved him more than once from a beating by the present and watching eyes of the girl’s boyfriend.
If it had been a really long time since he had had a girlfriend, he would give up and hook up with almost anyone. When he got that desperate, he usually attracted needy women. After a drunken weekend of fun and needed release, he’d wake up to the reality that a needy girl was now following him around until he girded his loins and built up the courage to break up with her. Often it would be a month or two before he did that. During that time, the poor girl was getting the very definition of silent treatment and mixed signals that have been the subject of many blog postings here. His only compensation was that he was young enough that he didn’t realize what he was doing. Men of our age should know that by now.
As I said, he became more realistic over time.
The girl he will marry in a few weeks is a lovely lady. They both live in Sydney and she is a corporate lawyer. She has a great sense of humor that copes well with his idea that life should be lived in a completely relaxed and erratically unfolding way.
He was the best man at my wedding and it’s very disappointing that I cannot be at his wedding to return the favor. Unfortunately, traveling to Australia recently for my father’s funeral wiped out enough of my Air Miles that I cannot do it again. I am also low on vacation time and goodwill in terms of having other families look after the kids while I am away (as my runaway wife will not have anyone other than Charlotte to stay with her).
We share the same first name and I wish him every success in marriage. They have been going out together for almost a decade now and living together for half of that. I have confidence they will make it.