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Deeper Than Guys Over Girls

October 29th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Every year around this time, I head back down to my alma mater to celebrate homecoming. Over the years, the trips have been all about two things: my boys and the women. But this year, as I make my way down for my sixth homecoming, the women aren’t nearly as important as they used to be, at least, not in the capacity they once were. This year, I’m most excited about seeing my boys, so much so, I can’t imagine the opportunity of hooking up with any girl getting in between that.

The running joke amongst my boys used to be, “Where is Jozen going to wake up this year?” For quite a few homecomings, one of my boys would usually have to pick me up from somewhere, whether it was a hotel in Virginia, or somewhere in downtown D.C. And I used to pride myself on such a reputation. That was, after all, the goal, and as trashy as that may sound, it seemed like such a natural thing.

This year, I was almost going to skip homecoming altogether all because that desire to wake up in an unfamiliar place with some woman wasn’t really kicking like it used to. I thought, that whole thing is getting old and if I’m not really trying to hook up with a woman, why should I bother? Then at the last minute, it turned out I had to go down this weekend for an assignment, and as it turns out, three of my other boys are ready for homecoming too. So this year’s homecoming is part business and part business as usual, except for that whole waking up somewhere I didn’t plan on sleeping at.

All I really want to do these days is spend time with my boys. Maybe it’s because one of our closest friends died earlier this year. Maybe it’s because another one of my closest friends, Jermaine, moved here close to a year ago. But whatever it is, 2010 has been the year of my boys, but in a way it never was before.

From my best friend back home to my best friends in college, to my brothers I met when I was older, when I think about the men amongst my age group, and I assess the strength of those relationships, I realize it’s deeper than friendship. What I have is a family of men and for a long time I don’t think I realized that.

I used to associate my boys with trouble, largely because it was with them I would get into all kinds of trouble. Even girlfriends I dated would say they trusted me by myself but when I was with my boys, it was a completely different story. But in hindsight, I should have never let their insecurities compromise the bonds with my friends, and it’s not that they ever did. It’s just, so many women see guy time as a necessary evil, the operative word being evil. They let their man go be one of the guys with raised eyebrows and ask any man, it gets frustrating to be put in a position where we feel like we have to choose.

When I get into my next relationship, I fully expect my woman to understand that only I will reserve the right to cut one of my boys out of my life. There is no say on my friendships with the men who have stuck by me through all kinds of things she was never there to witness or be a part. This isn’t some bros over h*es thing, so much as it is a people who have been their for me over people who just arrived and need to prove themselves over a period of time

The problem is, because I don’t roll with choir boys, my crew usually is seen as the type of bunch who go to strip clubs and disrespect women. I should say for the record, we never disrespect women, especially the ones at the strip club. But do we enjoy socializing with women and talking to women when we go out? Absolutely we do. Women, after all, are one of the main reasons we’re trying to look as sharp as we can when we step out. What we have learned though is collectively the reason why women do gravitate towards us is largely because they see the camaraderie we have and they want to be close to it. Not in that way, but in a genuine way, because they see our bond isn’t a fly by night thing.

Case in point: When my boys and I went down to Little Rock, Arkansas to put to rest our best friend Enoch “Tre” Tims III, we went out all four nights we were there. We even went to a First Friday party. During the day we cried and mourned the loss of our best friend, and during the evening, we celebrated his life by partying as hard as anyone could in Little Rock. I didn’t know how hard until the day I was leaving and loading up my luggage to be checked. The guy behind the counter grabbing the luggage looked up at me and said, “Hey, hey man, you were at that party last night, weren’t you?”

“Umm, I was at a party last night,” I said. “Which one are you talking about?”

Disco was the name of the club he said, and certainly Disco (people called it that because it was short for the club’s real name, Discovery), was the name of the place we were at the night prior.

“Oh yeah,” I said. “My boys and I were there.”

The guy threw my luggage on the belt, then turned to my ticket agent and said, “Let me tell you, this guy right here and his boys? Wild. Wild! They were up in that club acting wild and getting all these women.” Of course, it was awkward for me to be recognized in a city after only spending four nights there for the first time ever, so all I could do was laugh it off. Then he asked, “What were you all celebrating anyway?” I didn’t have time to get into all the details of how all these men who gathered to bury one of their own could also look like they were enjoying life so much, but I think I came up with an answer that said it all. “Friendship,” I said. Pounds were exchanged and I went on my way.

This weekend, I’m going to celebrate the same thing.

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The Process: Wish me luck with keeping my diet intact while I’m down in D.C. for homecoming weekend. I know that fast food is going to be calling my name.

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  • Anike Love

    It’s really a great thing to have a tight-knit relationship with your boys and be able to express how much it means to you. Social support is a huge thing, and I feel like a lot of guys don’t feel comfortable having close relationships with other men because it seems like a “womanly” thing. Little do they know that men who don’t have social support networks don’t live as long as woman who do! (I’m sure there’s some empirical evidence on that somewhere lol). But have fun this weekend! And even if you do wake up in some unfamiliar (hopefully not unfortunate) looking woman’s place, at least you know your boys have your back!

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  • http://twitter.com/kindasweetish Aisha

    *snap snap snap* i know this isn’t a poem, but that was my inclination…anyway, I like when a man has a “crew” so he’s not always looking to me for entertainment. I’ve been in that relationship (more than once) and I hate that I neglected my girls for that, but no more! lol, friends can be soul mates too…have fun! I went to Howard’s homecoming once…wild!! Made me hate Syracuse homecomings.

  • Miss.Riss

    When I was coming up with a list of things that were a Must and a Must Not with my potential mate a few years ago, I came up with…

    Mr. Right Must have at least 2 long term friendships.

    A friendship is essentially a relationship. And men that know how to hold on to and deal with the ups and downs of a close, serious friendship are usually very respectful and decent men who know how to handle themselves maturely in a relationship.

    I hope you have a wonderful time with your friends. Friendships are so important in life.

  • Ashleigh

    This sounds almost like it could be a great screen play for a newer, more sophisticated version of “The Wood” or “The Brothers”. My favorite line “…only I will reserve the right to cut one of my boys out of my life.” A man having a good close knit group of male friends signifies loyalty and intimacy.

  • http://weightlossandthesinglegirl.wordpress.com/ Single Girl

    Friends make life better. I wouldn’t want a man to come between me and my Girls. I respect the bond and ‘stories’ that a guy and his crew has. Friendship is a great reason to celebrate. Enjoy your weekend. -SG

  • sim

    This post put a smile on my face. Friends make life that much easier!

    And, lmao at:
    “I should say for the record, we never disrespect women, especially the ones at the strip club”.

  • I.mind

    Ahhhahahahahaha! BROMANCE! That has got to be one of my most favoritest words ever! And people say Pop culture is ruining America! Pish TOSH!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/thefabfoodie Qiana McKoy

    I’ve been in a relationship with a man who had no male friends – it’s not a fun time. He was ALWAYS trying to go out with me and the girls, and I would end up not having a good time because I was babysitting him all night. I’m happy when my boyfriend says he’s going out with the guys – cause he still comes home to me:)

    re: the process – stay away from the fast food! You can still eat healthy without hitting up Ben’s Chili Bowl and the Jumbo Slice spot!

  • Eleanore

    Choosing your boys over a Hook-up? That’s fantastic…but shouldn’t be that surprising. A long-time friendship with someone who really knows you and keeps you around anywhere should feed your soul way better than rolling around naked with What’s Her Name. Some relationships are worth nurturing (the Boys) more than those that mainly take care of a physical need (Her). You can find another Her almost anywhere. Go with your Boys

  • recent reader

    If a woman must accept your friendships (which I agree with) then a man must accept the friendships a woman has. Even if he believes some of them need to end (as you mentioned in a previous post). A woman’s friends (the healthy friendships) see a side of your woman you will probably never get a chance to see….so keep them close because you never know when they are the ones you will have to turn to for advice on your girl.

    And mixing the crews is always the best part….while still having your own bro time and she having her “girl” time.

  • http://alishawritinglife.wordpress.com Alisha Tillery

    You’re doing a great job of cherishing your friendships. That’s what homecoming is all about to me–the friendship. I’m late commenting, but I’m sure you enjoyed yourself.

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  • FlyBrownie89

    My girls have always been important to me so much so I call them my sisters. They have been with me through so many ups and downs so I like to hear that you to Jozen see your bois as your family. I never put a guy ahead of my sisters and i think its good that you won’t do the same thing next time you get in a relationship because a girl who really loves or is concerned about you would never want to separate you from your bois. My train of thought is why would you want a man who would give up his friends for you when he’s known you for such a short time yet these guys who have always been there for him he kicks them to the curb sounds very disloyal and i wouldn’t want a man like that. I am also not the kind of woman who gets mad when my man goes out with his friends because its nice to chill with your man but sometimes it time to be with the girls and wild out like we do! Its healthy to chill with your friends even though you are in a relationship. Furthermore if you feel you can’t trust your man with his friends then maybe you shouldn’t be with him if I can’t trust you with the company you keep then I won’t date you! At the end of the day Its all about balance!

  • Anonymous

    I love that kind of bond that passes the test of time.