I was on my way home last night, after finally re-scheduling and meeting my friend for that long, lost drink, when I had a thought:
Am I selfish?
It’s not often that I get to see my friends — since most of my good ones are fairly scattered around the state and the country — and it’s not very often that Stone Brewing Company has special pours within school-night driving distance. So, it was a good excuse for my friend and I to come together and have a couple of rare beers.
But as I was heading home that thought occurred to me because my wife never gets a night off or a night out. She also never asks for one. Which isn’t to imply that she should ask for one to receive one, but frankly, I don’t know that she wants one.
The more I thought about it, the more the dichotomy became clearer. Men like to have “guy weekends” as a chance to catch up with their buddies, drink as much as they want, do something manly like go fishing or watch sports, rip farts without hesitation, wrestle with no shirts on, kill something and then cook it whether it’s a pig or a deer or a human being and have that perceived importance of “male bonding.”
A study, confirming aspects of this, was brought to my attention this morning, which is funny since I was having these thoughts last night. The headline reads: Boys night twice a week keeps guys healthy, study says. Who’s to argue with science, right? Thomas Dolby sure wouldn’t: SCIENCE!
Women usually don’t desire these weekend extravaganzas or crave many opportunities to go drinking during the week with their friends. (Unless they’re from Sex and the City, which is about as real as me becoming the next Ryan Gosling to a group of females.) My wife — and I think most new moms — would love an opportunity to hit a day spa, or get a mani-pedi, or have a nice Niçoise Salad and a glass of chardonnay from a ponytailed waiter named Brody.
The reason being is that they don’t want to leave their family or their new child for longer than an hour or so.
My wife is far more patient than I am and would probably cry if she didn’t get to tuck her baby in at night (I used to be that baby, now I’m typing this and she’s sleeping. How things change. Alas …) She is already worried about the four days she won’t be around our daughter when we go away for our anniversary. I can’t begin to imagine the amount of Kleenex we’ll go through when our daughter leaves for college. Although, she’s eight months now. In seventeen-plus years we might be begging her to leave the house.
All I know is that if I encouraged my wife to go grab a cocktail with her friends she would text me more than a 13-year old sharing juicy gossip with her friends. She wouldn’t be able to let go as easily. And, after spending some time with some new moms, it seems that is the prevailing feeling amongst all.
I, on the other hand, certainly miss my family while I’m away, but I also see the opportunity to take a mental breather. Out of the house you aren’t worrying about the baby ramming her forehead into the coffee table, or the dog poop in the yard that needs to be picked up, or the leaky faucet or the mortgage payment or what’s for dinner. It’s a good way to let your shoulders sag for an evening.
So, is that selfish, or am I just adding to the legitimacy of the aforementioned study?