FRIENDS

Among the first definitions found in the Merriam-Webster dictionary for “friend” are: a person you like and enjoy being with, one attached to another by affection or esteem, one that is not hostile.

This is my brother whom I gave great affection for and hold in high esteem. But if you Google the definition of “friends”, you’ll find that their definition exclude relatives, so for the purposes of this little note, he doesn’t count as a friend – although for the record he is one of the closest people to me in the world (despite whatever it is he is wearing around his neck in this photo which reminds me of the director & writer Peter Bogdanovich).

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 And this is Kate Moss. And why is she pictured here you might fairly ask. The answer is because that same Google definition also defines “friends” as typically exclusive of sexual relations. For the record I have never had sexual relationships with Kate Moss, nor I have I ever met her. However, if I had met her or had a sexual relationship with her I would like to think that we might have become friends … who am I kidding?

Kate Moss, not a friend either.

Kate Moss, not a friend either.

I am a firm believer that “friends” are one of the most important things that we can have. Over the course of ones life “friends” will come and go – childhood friends, school friends, work friends, acquaintances – but some friendships will stick, they will stand the test of time, they will be those trusted ones that you come to love as if they were family. And that’s the essence of what I’m writing about, those “friends” that stand the test of time and what it feels like to lose a real “friend.” Take a moment and see how many you can count that fit that description – those “friends” that respect you, that hold you in high affection, that call you in the midst of a crisis.

Friendship requires work (this and what follows are purely my opinion which you are free to disagree with or not), they require tremendous listening skills, they require the ability not to be judgmental immediately and they require the ability to forgive. They are found on two-way streets and require more work than most people (my opinion again) are willing to put in. So when you lose a friend it hurts that much more and if you’re smart, you do whatever you can not to lose those friendships.

In the last few years I can count the number of friendships that I have lost, and not a day goes by that I don’t mourn theses losses. I mourn these losses because I can’t just go out and replace them the way I might replace a lost wallet filled with credit cards or set of keys (two examples of things that take some effort to replace and along the way create short-term aggravation). I would like to be judgmental about some of these lost friendships, but I’m not – I’m incredibly sad.

And for those friendships where I did something heinous that was not forgiven, I live with that responsibility. And for those friendships lost for reasons of misunderstandings, miscommunications, or mistakes that someone else made and wasn’t able to come to terms with their part of the responsibility, my heart is open that one day those friendships might be rekindled.

Being non-judgmental is hard and runs counter to most of our instincts. Really listening to someone else is hard too because while we may be taught to listen before we speak, very few people really do that. Instead we are thinking of what we want to say and in doing so we drown out the words of the person speaking to us, and if that person is asking to be forgiven for something, it’s even harder and we might never hear what is really being said.

Friendships are lost for so many reasons, none of which can balance the pain one might feel in losing a “friend,” because shared memories will always be there to remind you of what you had and have lost. And that’s far worse than losing a sock after doing laundry – socks are sold all over the place. Friendships can’t be bought and sold. And I would like my friendships back …

 

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DATING MYTHS EXPOSED: DO JEWISH MEN REALLY HAVE A THING FOR ASIAN WOMEN?

On April 16, 2013 I tweeted this post from a site called Coffee Meets Bagel – a new entry into the online dating site game. Three months later, I see my original tweet retweeted every few days or so. And I thought about the question that was supposedly answered in the original post, “Do Jewish Men Really Have A Thing For Asian Women?” and I decided that I would write the definitive (as in my) answer to this question, then tweet it and sit back and see what happens.

I believe that if one were to ask the question “if Jewish men really have a thing for Asian women” in NYC or LA, the answer would be yes, Jewish men have a thing for Asian women. But that would be a stereotypical answer in the two cities of our country where stereotypes reign. This little map is an example of someone’s approach to stereotyping 48 of our 50 states, but has no bearing on the topic of this post other than showing that stereotypes are rampant and often wildly insensitive and just plain wrong.

mainland-usa-according-to-common-sense

My completely non-scientific research indicates this particular myth is all over the internet. Here’s a link to a blog that highlights 7 Jewish/Asian couples of some prominence; and does add some fuel to the argument that their may be some truth to this myth if you happen to be billionaire George Soros.

I grew up in Allentown, PA and was a stereotypical “nice Jewish boy” and I have to admit that having been spurned by the nice Jewish girls in my circle of friends, I was inexplicably drawn to what was then, and probably still is the real trophy for nice Jewish boys, blonde haired and blue-eyed non-Jewish girls, aka “shiksa goddesses.” And this may have been best illustrated by Cybil Shepard and Charles Grodin in The Heartbreak Kid; remade recently with Ben Stiller, (but I didn’t see that version, so I can’t vouch for the impression it might have made on today’s crop of nice Jewish boys).

The epitome of what nice Jewish boys dreamt about in the Seventies - perfectly represented by a true Shiksa Goddess, Cybil Shepard.

The epitome of what nice Jewish boys dreamt about in the Seventies – perfectly represented by a true Shiksa Goddess, Cybill Shepherd.

I can attest that this film, as filled as it was (and still is) with enough nasty stereotypes for everyone, represented a goal that many a nice Jewish boy went out of their way to achieve. And I admit that in 1972  and for many years to follow, I was drawn to that specific stereotype. Although I’m guessing that the stereotype Neil Simon created in the guise of Cybill Shepherd wasn’t limited to Jewish boys. And Billy Joel only added fuel to the fire for adolescent boys and still adolescent men when he wrote  “Only The Good Die Young” and cast future wife Christie Brinkley in the video for  “Uptown Girl.” Look closely at the lyrics to both songs if you don’t believe me.

But I digress.

This Jewish man is attracted to Asian women. And to Black women, White women, Jewish women. In fact any woman whose eyes flash, whose intellect stimulates, and whose smile and laugh are infectious. Because sooner or latter all men, Jewish or not, grow up and myths remain just that, myths.

Missed Opportunity

This evening I was at the 5th anniversary party for The London West Hollywood, held on its famous rooftop. I want to thank The London for having invited me and I appreciated being able to attend.

But I blew it big time.

On my first pass around the roof I saw a woman who resonated with me. Not sexually, and not in a way that I wanted her to feel uncomfortable. But because she was by far, and I believe I have the resume to back up this declaration, the best dressed and best looking woman at the whole event.

Her dress was white lace, mid-thigh. She had a slip on under it (proper and all that much better) so all one could see of skin through the dress was the bottom four or five inches above her hem, mid-thigh. I realized it right away, stopped, made eye contact and smiled, and then continued on my pass around the huge rooftop. I noted that she appeared to be with some male friends and felt I had acted like a gentleman in not interrupting her.

When I came around a second time some minutes later, she was every bit as stunning, well dressed, and beautifully presented as one might expect. Just not what one would expect to see on the rooftop of a packed party. About thirty minutes later I was speaking to a photographer friend of mine and I told him about her and asked that he come with me to find her – thinking I would introduce myself, explain that I had 16,500 some followers on Twitter, and ask her permission to take her photograph and post it as an example of what I thought a well dressed, beautiful woman should look like at an event that really didn’t call for that kind of attention to detail (and this is no snipe at The London – when you invite this many people, you get what you get). And maybe I would have found the courage to give her my card, and introduce myself to her friends, explain what I was asking for, and pay them all a compliment.

We didn’t find her and I never met her and I never got to share her image. Shame on me.

Life is too short to let this happen again. And I hope I will learn that lesson.

The Decay in Civility, Part 1; John Sununu on Colin Powell

Here we are in the run-up to the single most important event Americans actually take part in (unlike Kardashian weddings), a presidential election, and while I have an opinion, which is not what this post is about, I have some examples of amazing acts of lack of civility that major public figures need to be reminded of. And since they don’t read this blog (alright, pretty close to no one reads this) but over 10,000 people will get a tweet about it, I’m hoping some of you will understand the bipartisan nature of my thoughts and share them with anyone and everyone you can.

Let’s start with former Governor John Sununu’s odious comments questioning the motives behind retired General Colin Powell’s endorsement of President Barack Obama in the 2012 election. In a nutshell Gov. Sununu (a senior advisor to Gov.Romney’s campaign) suggested General Powell’s endorsement was racially motivated and the General should end his membership in the Republican Party. Not only does this mimic Rush Limbaugh’s heinous comments about Powell’s 2008 endorsement of then candidate Obama, but it touched off a firestorm of indignation in my head about how people deal with one another in public forums (and to a far greater extent, in everyday conversation between people who aren’t running for office, but just trying to maintain healthy and honest relationships with friends).

For the record I am happy to blast any Democrat who would make an equally offensive comment about Governor Romney’s religion – comments I would find equally heinous – or anything else that crosses the line.

And it’s that line that just keeps getting murkier and murkier in this digital age. How often have you written an email to a friend, a colleague or co-worker only to find out later that your words were misunderstood or read in a way that you had no intention of. Civility, maintaining friendships, doing things for friends that put you in positions of risking that friendship and the greater notion of treating people with respect, trusting them, and giving them the benefit of the doubt takes guts.

John F. Kennedy, in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis, spent hours with his most trusted advisors trying and trying to figure out a way to avoid a World War (see Robert A.Caro‘s fourth volume on Lyndon JohnsonThe Passage of Power) and talked specifically “about the miscalculations” that had led to the first World War. According to Robert F. Kennedy’s recollection in the Caro book, these miscalculations “they somehow seemed to tumble into war, he said, through stupidity, individual idiosyncrasies, misunderstandings and personal complexes of inferiority and grandeur.”

War was avoided and though historians have spent much of the last fifty years questioning every decision that was made before, during and after that crisis. JFK took the time to give his “enemy”, Khrushchev, more time than those around him wanted to have to help avoid a crisis becoming a war. And though hardly ancient history – a tough argument to make given the state of education in America today – it serves me as an excellent example of treating someone with civility despite what is going on in the world around you.

It takes work to remain civil. It takes more work to keep friends.

Both are worth it in the long run.

Chateau Marmont’s Private Den of Gin

This gallery contains 4 photos.

News of this new quiet little drinking den at the famed Chateau Marmont comes to us from the blog Urban Daddy. And so excited are we here at Ask A Man Too that we’re off to check out this news for … Continue reading