Okay ladies, how many times has this happened to you? It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon. You and your man have lunch plans with the parents. At a nice restaurant, too. One of those cloth napkin, jacket required, “why are you ordering a burger when the chef’s signature trout almondine is on the menu today”-kind of places. Yeah, it’s shaping to be a pretty good day.
Except he should have picked you up already. What gives?
Suddenly, the phone rings. It’s him and—what a surprise—he’s bailing. Something about how the boys just dared him to watch all three Robocop movies back-to-back-to-back and how he’d be stupid not to do it because if he can make it all the way through to the climactic ninja robot fight sequence at the end of Robocop 3 without getting up from the couch once, not even for a bathroom break, then he’ll be a hundred dollars richer.
Now quick show of hands: how many ladies have experienced that? If I had to guess, I’d say there’s exactly one hand raised. The one belonging to my ex-girlfriend. No real shocker there. That being said, swap out lunch with the parents for some other thing that responsible couples enjoy doing together and the Robocop marathon for whatever self-destructive activity your paramour and his pals do for fun (helmetless mini-bike jousting, perhaps?) and I bet the personal becomes universal.
So why do we do it? Why do we, in the parlance of our times, put bros before hoes?
First, a word in our defense.
Not to mention that we’ve made tremendous strides in the last 50 years. These days it’s de rigueur for an expectant father to witness the miracle of childbirth as it happens, rather than hear about it second hand from the orderly staked with figuring out which local bar he holed himself up in after dropping the wife at the ER.
So back to the question at hand: why do we sometimes value time with our friends more than our time with you? It’s because you do so many different things for us that we occasionally get confused and stop thinking of you as friends. Not to say you aren’t our friends, too, because you are. It’s just that you’re also way more than that. You’re our therapists. We reveal our insecurities to you in a way we never could to our guy friends. At least not without getting tarred and feathered with a nickname like Weepy McTearyeyes.
You’re our surrogate mothers, making sure the scraped knees we suffer while stumbling home drunk at 4:30 AM don’t get infected (because who wants to deal with a hangover and gangrene?). Also, while you don’t literally dress us, you do let us know that the only people still wearing pleated khakis are the French Foreign Legion.
More than anything, you are our coaches. You push us to improve ourselves. You motivate us to do great things using your wit and your charm instead of throwing chairs at us the way Bobby Knight would. Plus, when you pat us on the ass, it feels good without making us question our sexuality.
And speaking of sexuality, we get to have sex with you. You’re our partners in the most fun thing there is to do in the universe. In short, you do everything for us and mean everything to us and sometimes the emotional G-force of those notions is too much for us to handle. Kind of like how real G-forces are sometimes too much for astronauts to handle. The way we keep from emotionally losing our lunch is by seeking out those who we know won’t ever ask us about our feelings, AKA our bros, and having a little fun. Fun that, interestingly enough, usually ends with non-metaphorical puking.
Of course that doesn’t make skipping out on plans to hang with the boys okay. Next time your man tries to pull that, I say counter his excuse with a quote from Robocop. Look him straight in the eye and say:
“Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.”