The Unbearable Banishment: When a Man Likes a Woman*

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When a Man Likes a Woman*

*With apologies to Percy Sledge.

I was scheduled to meet my pal, Jane, at an Irish/Manhattan after-work watering hole. I've known her for many, many years and we like to drink. She almost married a friend of mine. Personally, I think she dodged a bullet. We hang out as often as we can. I cannot tell you how liberating it is to go out drinking with a girl and have absolutely no sexual tension in the room to distract and muck things up. We've never had any sparks between us and because of that or, perhaps, despite it, we've become the bestest of pals. It's a very satisfying friendship. She's got her husband. I've got Mrs. Wife. No problems! It's great! Hombres, if you can pull it off, I highly recommend it. You can say stuff to a girl you're not trying to seduce that you can't say to your guy friends or to a girl who you would like to seduce.

She's a news editor at one of the major networks and is often sent to far-off, sometimes exotic, locals. It's almost always in relation to some kind of disaster, so she's got great stories to tell, although she complains about the constant travel. My work is so boring compared to hers.

The nature of her work often results in last-minute cancellations because she needs to chase a story. It happened a few nights ago. Since I was granted the night off and it was such a pretty evening, instead of rushing back to New Jersey, I went down to the World Financial Center at the southern tip of Manhattan to hear some music. During the summer months, there are dozens of outdoor free concerts littered all over New York. I saw blues musician Angelo M and his trio. It was very satisfying. I love watching an accomplished guitarist play up close. I like to see his fingers dance on the fretboard.

Here are some random shots I took of the World Financial Center. Just to compare/contrast, here's what the big glass Atrium looked like immediately after 9/11. What a mess!

I'm happy to report that it's been restored to its original grandeur. I hope you're looking at these through a nice, big, bright monitor.

The construction project peeking out in the center is the new Freedom Tower. Christ, I hate that name. It's too jingoistic for my tastes. It reminds me too much of Freedom Fries. But it's an architectural home run. Wait 'till you see it.

Bonus pic with lovely contrasting angles.

While listening to the music, I bought a couple of tacos and a bottle of beer. Delicioso! I ate them at a little table under a tree, Hudson River to my back, blues solos in front of me. They gave me one of those little packets with a cloth wipe inside for clean-up. I flipped it over and was shocked to see this:

Directions?! Is there someone out there who doesn't realize you need to open the packet and remove the moist towelette? Are they rubbing the packet on their hands wondering why they're not getting any cleaner? I'll bet this wrapper edict was a mandate handed down by some desk monkey in Compliance.

* * *

Ad from last week's Sunday New York Times Book Review:

Two HOT Summer Reads!

Contracts in the Real World (Stories of Popular Contracts and Why They Matter)


The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America

My God. I think they're serious.

* * *

Can anyone tell me why my dog likes to roll in feces? What abhorrent behavior! It sickens me a little bit. I keep telling you...cats, cats, cats is the way to go.


Blogger dinahmow said...

Well of course that kind of friendship is gold! Sadly, I lost most of my man-friends when their new wives didn't quite see it from the same angle!

Rest of the post? The usual mix of good reads, music(today is the birthday of the saxophone-yay!), architectural stunners and idiocy.You're on a roll, sir.

You know I'm a cat person.

June 27, 2012 at 9:31 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

- Gross-gender/non-tension friendships are magic!

-Freedom Tower? [cringes]

- Summer concerts? Yay!

- Beer/Tacos? Mmmmmm...

- The word "moist" -- HORRID!

- Dog/Feces? Mine likes to eat it. Especially little frozen turdsicles in the winter. Be glad he only rolls...

June 27, 2012 at 11:59 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

"Cross-gender"... there is no "Gross-gender". Never mind. Whisky. Crap...

June 28, 2012 at 12:00 AM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Having a pal of the opposite sex IS great! I've got a couple of male friends just like that. Of course, any men I date have to be okay with me having men friends that aren't trying to seduce me (and sometimes they are hard to convince that that is not the case) because I won't get rid of my friends. Period.

Very nice photos! I've never been to NYC or environs so it's cool to see what you see.

Re: the dog. Some like to do that, some abhor it. Who knows why. My sister has two dogs. One will roll in any kind of fecal material (or dead creature) and the other one doesn't even want to stand downwind of that stuff! Only thing I can say is keep a close eye on her when out and about the brown stuff. Sorry I can't offer more than that.

June 28, 2012 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger Ms Scarlet said...

The dog is rolling in the faeces because the cat stole the list of instructions that tells him only to sniff it.
Cats are mean like that.

June 28, 2012 at 2:47 AM  
Blogger HesdedJim said...

Scarlet Blue is TOO funny! Hehehehe.........

Now me, I have had both dogs and cats....each has their good and bad qualities. And each individual dog and cat is different from every other dog and cat.....I got a cat that just laughs it ass off while it craps IN FRONT of her clean litter box, instead of in it....but with that one quirk, it is otherwise a great cat. Our other cat could give a shit if you EVER change out the litter box, but thinks it is funny to claw me from under my computer desk, with a great deal of stealth...the bigger the surprise the better. Boy have I yelled at that %$^*$*.....

Continue to LOVE your blog, such a nice mix of family, work woes and pluses, NYC, people, art, etc. You do an incredible job, and if you ever get to thinking we don't appreciate it, just reread this little comment 2 or 3 times in a row. You write very well, and I thank you very much for sharing.

Best to you and your family!


June 28, 2012 at 4:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Female non-sexual friends are priceless and I wouldn't ever be without mine. Like Ponita said, any girlfriend I might have has got to realise that I'm not giving my girl friends up. It's such a shame when people partner off and drop all their old friends. It should be made illegal.

Those directions aren't clear. "...and use." But how, for God's sake?

June 28, 2012 at 6:41 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

dinah: The wives were jealous of your incredible hotness. My wife has a healthy self esteem and isn't worried about such nonsense.

daisy: Thanks for the "Gross-Gender" clarification. I was all over Google trying to understand your meaning. You should copyright turdsicle.

Ponita: It doesn't take much for it to go horribly wrong. If one party get the slightest desire to reach across the table and take the others hand, it's pretty much over. We have learned to run to the dog when she starts rolling around in the grass. Usually, it's just a worm but you never know.

June 28, 2012 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Scarlet: In my mind, cats are smart enough and devious enough to do something like that and dogs are dumb enough to fall for it. Every time.

Jim: Thank you very, very much for those compliments. I'm from Ohio and have been programmed to feel bad about accepting a kind word, but I'm going to rise above it this time.

looby: I actually thought you might have a problem with this, meaning, sooner or later, it's going to lead to a proposition. Serves me right for prejudging you. The directions mean "Use to clean up that mess in your hands/lap/face," I suppose?

June 28, 2012 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

All I'm saying is - good job you're not married to me Duckie!

Very heartening to see the magnificent restoration of the Atrium. Great shot.

June 28, 2012 at 7:31 AM  
Blogger Sausage said...

Nice pics...never had a female bestie but I do know that the mrs po pooed the hiring of the 24 year old lass that came in last week looking for a job. I thought she was qualified :)
wife - NO.

June 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Pat: Why is that, pray tell? Don't tell me you're the jealous type!

Sausage: They (girl-friends) are pretty handy to have around. They give good advice. Anyone who is 24 is qualified. For anything. End of argument.

June 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

I did have a female friend who used to work with me in Scotland. We'd meet occasionaly after school for a coffee and a chat and I'd help her with her computer programming (she'd moved to another school then)but her hubby got a bit jealous and told her to stop.

There was never anything sexual about our relationship, and I've never been unfaithful to my Beloved in our 35 years of marriage, but we never saw each other again.

Love the atrium.

The instructions: It's as bad as that microwave company which had to insert into their manuals "Not suitable for drying pets" after a stupid old biddy stuck her Yorkshire Terrier into her microwave and nuked the poor beast. THEN she successfully sued the manufacturers for NOT having such instructions.

I blame the lawyers.

It's like having the packet of peanuts with the notation: "May contain traces of nuts"

Sometimes I almost despair, but a little whisky soon returns me to my normal level of simmering rage.

June 28, 2012 at 4:21 PM  
Anonymous nursemyra said...

1. I love your architectural New York posts.
2. Cats rule.
3. I nearly always feel that underlying sexual tension with male friends. Except for one: we've been mates for over ten years now, though we did have an initial period of "we like each other so much, should this be a relationship?" Luckily, we decided we'd be better off not taking things any further.

June 28, 2012 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

TSB: It takes a strong, confident spouse to put up with this sort of nonsense. Mrs. Wife has known Jane for a long time, as well. I think that makes a difference. If I suddenly said, I just met this girl and we're just going to be friends, but we're having drinks, that might, understandably, be an issue.

nurse: You are an enchantress and I imagine any fella would have initial wistful hopes. But it should settle down to a companionship (one would hope).

June 28, 2012 at 9:26 PM  
Anonymous paulo1 said...

I've never had a girl/friend, with the sole exception of an ex who I pretended was just a g/f while all the time plotting nefariously to win her affections back. Needless to say the outcome was less than satisfactory and in the meantime I fell for my soon to be wife. Gradual wear and tear, on my wife'side and on her new boyfriend's led to a sundering of souls.I really would like a girl/friend. I can imagine the great craic you could have without the sexual tension.

June 30, 2012 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Eryl said...

You're so cool; I have a male best friend but he's gay so it probably doesn't count. All other friendships with men have always become a little odd, though one or two got over it and survived they aren't as intimate as my girl friendships.

The photos are fab, nice angles too.

Who knows about dogs...?

And regarding your last post: your in-laws probably make themselves unhappier than they do you. I mean, imagine being that uptight!

July 2, 2012 at 5:55 PM  

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