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Old 03-12-2008, 09:44 PM   #21
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Who needs a men's group when you've got the internet. As a matter of fact, maybe all the members here are men. Yeah, that's it.

I'm actually a hairy guy by the name of Leo...from Philly.

Let's share.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:49 PM   #22
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Who needs a men's group when you've got the internet. As a matter of fact, maybe all the members here are men. Yeah, that's it.

I'm actually a hairy guy by the name of Leo...from Philly.

Let's share.

Since I can not be Leo ( which is one of my favorite guy names ) . I'll be Vinny from Newark !
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:54 PM   #23
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My two best buddies are women. I have always felt more comfortable talking to
women than other guys - it gets competitive with guys. Besides, women always
seem interested to hear personal details.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:55 PM   #24
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Since I can not be Leo ( which is one of my favorite guy names ) . I'll be Vinny from Newark !
Yo! Nice to meecha Vinny.
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:47 PM   #25
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I've been part of a few "men's groups" (off and on) over the past many years. Two of my favorites were both 'church' groups, though 'religion' was very seldom discussed. With the first group, we used to get together on Tuesday evenings at the local pool hall to shoot pool and to shoot the sh*t. The other one (the "Men's Meating"....which I still attend once in a while) meets the 1st Saturday evening of the month for a steak cookout, soda/beer, and usually a good ol' (black & white) war movie!

There's also the groups of guys that get together at our local coffee shops just about everyday of the week. I get together with some of them once or twice a week, to guzzle coffee and solve all of the world's problems. When I was on vacation, the only thing that I really missed about being away from home, was the 'quality time' that I normally spend with the guys here at home....guzzling coffee!
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:54 PM   #26
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In my home town the older men get together for coffee once a week and talk manly things. Much like UncleMick's Slidell coffee shop. Men also get together to hunt.
I used to love elk hunting. But that is heavy duty sh*t! at least on the Peninsula where I did most of mine it was an exhausting thing that really isn't for older guys, unless you train all year to be able to do it.

The other thing about hunting is guns. You really should be concentrating on the guns, not male bonding. I finally quit when I determined that too many of them didn't have the same safety standards that I have.

I had some good friends at the range near where I used to live-but again I think one pretty much had to be aware of and respect the somewhat restricted emotional range of these encounters.

My favorite companions were Indians. They have the most interesting indirect humor. It takes while to catch on, but then on you are fully entertained. OTOH, it takes some adjusting for the average hard charging white guy to reach this point!

Ha
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:56 PM   #27
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Ha, I'm pretty surethey have Elks, Masons, Knights of Columbus and, heck, maybe even the International Order of Odd Fellows in Seattle. You're certainly old enough to belong at one of these places, no? Or do you not like knowing the secret handshake?

I always figured I'd join the Stonecutters when I get over 65.
I'm an Eagle, ***** pocus and all. And you are right, we have Odd Fellows too. I should qualify easily for that one!

Ha
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:17 PM   #28
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I used to love elk hunting. But that is heavy duty sh*t! at least on the Peninsula where I did most of mine it was an exhausting thing that really isn't for older guys, unless you train all year to be able to do it.

The other thing about hunting is guns. You really should be concentrating on the guns, not male bonding. I finally quit when I determined that too many of them didn't have the same safety standards that I have.

I had some good friends at the range near where I used to live-but again I think one pretty much had to be aware of and respect the somewhat restricted emotional range of these encounters.

My favorite companions were Indians. They have the most interesting indirect humor. It takes while to catch on, but then on you are fully entertained. OTOH, it takes some adjusting for the average hard charging white guy to reach this point!

Ha
It was always the poker game/bourbon/bonding the night before - it's a wonder some made it out the next day.

Elk in Colorado.

Offshore fishing the rigs in Louisiana. One group I knew at the plant went thru two programs(Apollo/Shuttle), two boats, father to son charter change and a number of divorces/new wives over 30 yrs. Pretty much the same guys except for those who died/retired and left the area.

heh heh heh - doughnut shops are cheaper and safer.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:22 PM   #29
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I never realized I had it so tough as a guy.

Can I get a hug or something?
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:23 PM   #30
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maybe something here? Meetups near Seattle, WA - Meetup.com
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:53 PM   #31
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I never realized I had it so tough as a guy.

Can I get a hug or something?
I love you man. Group hug..
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:11 AM   #32
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Interesting topic and one that is relevent at critical times in a man's life.

Divorce

Death of a spouse

Loss of a job

Loss of a child


These are critical events in anyone's life and they all involve some form of loss. Loss is difficult to just walk away from as it affects many aspects of your life and unless you find a way to deal with each loss individually they will become additive and can create some pretty nasty psyco-social issues if not addressed.

There are a number of support groups out there for each of these areas. The more common ones relate to loss of a spouse or family member through death and these forums tend to be very heavily female predominate with a small but vocal male presence.

It seems most guys either don't take the initiative to see if there is a place to get help or don't want to appear weak and ask for help. The smart ones do both and are way ahead in getting through their loss adjustment period (aka mourning).

Most of the guys I run across who have experienced a significant loss don't like to talk about it so it gets hard to get them to open up to a frank discussion on the topic. It is seen as weakness to open up about emotional issues. Which is strange since most guys don't feel the same way about asking for help in other areas...auto mechanics, home repairs, gardening, or sports trivia. But don't expect much of a discussion when it comes to personal emotional issues. That is far too much raw nerve to expose to some guy who would enjoy making fun of the weakness and causing the man to retreat into his turtle shell.

Guys are like turtles. We carry around a shell of great weight and bulk that protects us from outsiders. Even our wives and SOs don't know everything because we hold back to some degree. Rare is the guy who spills it all to DW. If he exists then bless him but he is a loner among men.

We teach our children to be competetive because we see life as a very tough and nasty place where special fine-tuned skills are required to be a "winner". We try to cultivate these skills while dismissing emotion other than aggression. Team sports are about winning and losing. Despite the sloppy and half hearted saying "you are all winners if when you lose games" what it felt is disgrace and embarassment for the losing team. The good parents hide it well; the not so good parents shove it in their kid's face. I have been to a lot of kids sports events over the years and the parents are a huge problem with their kids and other team member self esteem. Most of this is guy driven.

Is it no wonder guys retract into their shell when faced with an emotional issue? Guys don't typically discuss deep emotional issues. Close friends may discusss hard facts and possible plans but rarely get into the emotional side of it. "How do you feel" is not a phase common among most male groups. "What are you going to do about X or Y ?" Is.

We do the best we can despite the barage of emotionally charged handgrenades tossed at us by our DW or SOs. "Do I look fat in this dress?", "Am I the prettiest girl at the party?", "What are you thinking about?", etc. There are no right answers to these questions and we know it but every time they come up we are forced to lie or pay the emotional price. We learn to avoid pain quickly.

We just want to win at life and be left alone to lick our wounds. The question "How do your feel?" has no answer that makes sence for us. We don't allow ourselves to get in touch with our feelings on a daily basis so this question is meaningless to us. We are either OK or Not. If Not, the we will work it out ourselves. It is our karma as men. You can't help because you don't understand what it means to not know how you feel.

Men solve problems. Women work on issues. Men can't solve issues because they aren't true problems. An issue is something to be worked out verbally by a woman. Men don't do this and we need to be better at just listening rather than trying to solve a non-problem.

With that I am out of here.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:16 AM   #33
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Mens' Club. Hmmm... Isn't that the local watering hole (pub/bar).

Hobbies seem to be reasons to congregate.

I have family and friends that ride motorcycles. Some of them belong to clubs that ride their bikes to meet for lunch or breakfast weekly and plan short group trips on the weekend.
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:48 AM   #34
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SteveR.. great post! I am only intermittently attuned to the subsonic emotional life of my DH. I ask how he is and he's "ok". I ask what he's thinking about and get maybe a sentence.. not a lot of embroidery or explication or background. I'd like to think that I give him space to express, but it doesn't seem like that's what he really wants to do. When he does open up it is usually about "things" and rarely general feelings or frustrations.. or rather, he'll tell me his frustration with X, Y and Z, and it stops there.



I kind of agree with the final remarks about problems vs. issues.. but then I think of most of my favorite books and how they are written by men and how very dense with description and emotional subtlety they can be. I often find female authors more predictable and less challenging (except for maybe Joyce Carol Oates who I used to loathe -- nor do I seek her out now because she's on the depressing side, a little too close to the bone/nerve).

So I think it's giving men short shrift to assume that a more nuanced emotional realm is terra incognita for them and will always be so. It just may not be up for direct public consumption.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:26 AM   #35
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Wow, Steve, did I see a lot of myself in that, although I never did the hyper-competitive team sports thing (not in my make-up). Very insightful.

I think Ha has in mind non-sexual companionship, rather than "sharing", no? I think that is a tough nut to crack, as things can be misinterpreted and many men's time together centers around a specific activity (fishing, hunting, etc.).
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:28 AM   #36
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over the years i've had close friends both male & female & both gay & str8 and i never found much difference among them in their level of introspection based upon gender or sexuality.

i've a good male friend who doesn't talk much at all about feelings but who speaks and acts with more integrity than most, obviously indicating that he is pretty well in touch with what "feels right".

i've female friends who spend a lot of time talking about their feelings but when you confront them on specifics they ball up like an armadillo, refusing to face what is obvious.

do not be fooled by honesty. an open flood gate can divert more water faster than a dam can accumulate it.

"sometimes it is easier to see more clearly into the liar than into the man who tells the truth. truth, like light, blinds. falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enchances every object."~~albert camus
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:42 AM   #37
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We are just different creatures! They (men) are not women with more body fur! I prefer the company of men - because they do not get all touchy feely with their emotions (I am cool with mine - and do not feel the need to share with all on a regular basis).
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:45 AM   #38
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I remember being at a lounge some years ago with 5 or 6 buddies. After a few beers and some pool one of the guys started getting sort of emotional and talking about his girlfriend that had recently left him and how much he loved her etc. etc. One of the other fellows promptly grabbed a nearby bottle of window cleaner, sprayed it in his face once and told him to shut up.

The "victim" spent some time rubbing his sore, red, vinegar filled eyes, but understood quickly that nobody wanted to hear about his emotions so he did indeed shut up about it. His eyes stayed red for quite a while, and everyone, including him had a good laugh about it. Nobody thought any less of him for his emotional outburst, but when you are a guy it is understood that you don't talk about those sorts of things in that sort of environment.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:55 AM   #39
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Grizz, that is a tough crowd, but I understand the sentiment!
While I wouldn't spray window cleaner on someone, I might prefer not to get involved in these sorts of messy emotional scenes. I am probably closer to Steve's "work on problems, not issues" and Fireup's no touchy-feely stuff. This is how I felt when I started reading men are from mars...I'm pretty sure I'm from Mars.

But DH has poker, and is getting geared up for building a "man house" out back so he can host supper club meetings (what they call boy's night). I go out once every week or so for dinner with a group of girls, and we don't talk all mushy either, thank god.
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:10 AM   #40
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Interesting topic and one that is relevent at critical times in a man's life.

Divorce

Death of a spouse

Loss of a job

Loss of a child


These are critical events in anyone's life and they all involve some form of loss. Loss is difficult to just walk away from as it affects many aspects of your life and unless you find a way to deal with each loss individually they will become additive and can create some pretty nasty psyco-social issues if not addressed.

There are a number of support groups out there for each of these areas. The more common ones relate to loss of a spouse or family member through death and these forums tend to be very heavily female predominate with a small but vocal male presence.

It seems most guys either don't take the initiative to see if there is a place to get help or don't want to appear weak and ask for help. The smart ones do both and are way ahead in getting through their loss adjustment period (aka mourning).

Most of the guys I run across who have experienced a significant loss don't like to talk about it so it gets hard to get them to open up to a frank discussion on the topic. It is seen as weakness to open up about emotional issues.

Steve , You hit the nail on the head . Several years ago my SO & I were each going thru one of those issues at the same time . I had lost a child and he had lost his job . I immediatedly went to grief counseling were I yelled ,screamed and cried . He stuffed the issue inside until it came boiling out . My ex husband who's son it was has never really dealed with it . He shoved it in and ended up in Intensive Care close to death . We all have to get those intense feelings out someway or they keep on building .
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