“We’ll always have the Diner”

(The following aint Zamboni, he’ll be back soon after his maple syrup 3-day immersion therapy)

French fries and gravy..

If you wanna talk you always got the guys at the Diner, you don’t need a girl if you wanna talk.

You told her, (didn’t you show her?)

Fenwick’s in the manger!:the smile of the week, definitely The Smile of The Week!

"You're gonna get coffee before we go to the diner and get coffee?"

You ever get the feeling there’s something going on we don’t know about?

Everything I learned in school I should have learned from Diner. I spent most of my late teens, early twenties not realizing the importance of friends. I thought it was about being social, having somone fun to pass the time with, excitement. I had more friends who were  women than men. I felt more comfortable with them. Of course there was always the underlying excitement and  possibilty of more. I confused this with friendship. These connections always broke because feelings started to overflow the  borders, invariably it got messy. I never could figure it out, or just never tried that hard. Maybe Checkov was right, you can only be friends with a woman after you’ve been lovers first. Or maybe it just takes more maturity than I have. Besides one amazing woman from way back in college days, I’ve never been good at the old friends with women thing.

In the words of George Michael, I should have known better. It was  in my junior year I discovered Diner and watched it with my little circle of guy friends numerous times. We wrote it down word for word. We went to all night diners and drank way too much coffee, pissing off waitresses asking for french fries and gravy, and cherry cokes,  then reciting dialogue from the film.

I had a best friend in high school, Sean,  in fact we were best friends since third grade, like brothers. In high school we opened up our dyad to include a few others. They seemed to feed off our close connection and we became a tight foursome, often fivesome- no accident  we became obsessed with a movie about a very close fivesome of guys in Baltimore in 1959. Five friends clinging to each other on the eve of both their inevitable adulthood and the huge social changes about to take place in their still just barely buttoned down world.

Another irony is that this was the last moment before sex and love in all it’s multi-armed-goddess might and glory stepped to the forefront of our lives. Adolescence for me, and maybe other guys, is basically one long hangout with your buddies while you wait to lose your virginity. After you do, there’s less to talk about and less time since you’re now busy trying to lose it over and over again. We should have learned from the movie that it was more than clever dialogue and great retro tunes- it was trying to tell us, “hey idiots, keep these friendships, there the ones that last…girls have a way of coming and going..”

We didn’t. I didn’t. Sean and I went out in a blaze of gory after a great run into our late twenties. I’m sure I was to blame. I’m sure he was to blame. I’m sure it had everything to do with all the years before and maybe not so much to do with a nasty letter, ugly words- who knows. The fact is, it was like losing a brother who was  also a best friend, a role model, an idol..if I went on i’d probably excavate more root causes and, well,  this isn’t therapy is it? Don’t answer that.

I’m at peace with it now, but I still watch Diner, and still love it, still yearn for the old friends. The ones you have a private language with. The ones who get your eyebrow raises, your smirks.. the small stuff. Enough inside terms and code words to fill a dictionary with.

Now my son asks to watch Diner every Christmas. He’s  10 but he gets it. I hope he keeps it with him, and I hope we’ll always have the Diner.

I am a woman; How Can I be a “Bro”?

It is a great question which comes from reader, Hermia. She also says to Zamboni, that she is always losing her man friends and not knowing why, and so wishes to know how to be more of a friend that keeps the man friends that she has.

Dear Hermia, Zamboni can help you with this, and I will first tell you it is most difficult and even in the way of your asking I am noticing how you go wrong. But don’t worry, if you follow a few simple rules, I can have you knocking back beers and laughing very loud in no time.

1. Bros are never posssessive. Already with your “hey how come you never call?” type of feelings, you are already travelling far from the land of the Bros. My bro may not call for one or two weeks, but when he do,  I answer only with “yo! waasup bro! let’s hang, its been too long.” Be very careful you are not answering with faint passive-agressive, “oh…hey…..you called…..I thought you were dead……ha…” That will immediately cloud the waters of Bro-dom into very murkiness. Bros don’t need guilt from their bros, they get this already.

2. Bros talk about sports, movies, or funny bullshit for like first two hours of bro “hangtime.” This, while starting to eat and drink, sets a neutral, healthy tone to the evening, letting each bro know they are in a safe-zone of non-threatening palaver. During this time, never get pensive look on your face, rest chin on one hand, look misty eyed and thoughtful while you say, “so……how are you?” Emphasizing “are.” This will send hair on back of bro straight up into defensive posture.

3. Bros do get very real with details. Yes you will have to give details of sex and your emotions. Many womens are embarrassed to talk of sex, and get all giggly and strange when conversation moves to this. They don’t want to seem slutty, or want to retain mystery, etc. You, my female friends must become comfortable with tossing out the craziest details of what you did last night. After two hours of drinking, the crazier the detail the funnier, and hence better. You know you have said they right juicy bro detail if it is met with wide eyes and “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? NO WAY!!!!” and the like.

4. Bros do share their emotions. Just not over tea. “Oh I love how I can tell you anything, just like my girlfriends!” No thank you please. Give us your feelings, leave us our gender.  See #2.

5.Bros don’t let bros drink alone. Or drive drunk, “dude, just sleep on the couch”, etc.

6. Hi five often. Or other little tappy finger bomb thingees. It’s fun to have  private customs that border on silly. Life is too serious not to  do stupid handshakes on occasion or raise your voice inappropriately.

7. Keep deeper stuff confidential, for gods sake.Trust.

6. Bros need you to be a wing man, an encourager, but never a competitor or a mom.  Let’s say you have come this far and the bro has accepted you and you him. He expresses a crush he has on this girl that really understands him, that is fun to hang out with, easy going, cute, you know, the whole Piroshki. Since you are a girl, unless his crush is of Sapphic nature, then you have advantage over male bro; you are not competitor for girls attention. Encourage bro to call, make date, but if bro doesn’t, don’t lecture or make to guilt.

But what if the crush is you? What if even after following all these precepts, your bro and you develope a real spark and out of the ashes of your burnt up bro-ship, the phoenix of love might arise?

That my friend is the danger, because once you do the touching or make the beast with two backs, things will get weirder than two frogs milking a goat, and you find you are very much a girl and a guy now.

But  then again, there is no love without risk eh?

And women look even better in tuxedo

To avoid this my female reader, go easy on make-up and sexy dress when you have bro-nites and  it wouldn’t kill you to pick your nose or scratch the crotch a couple times too. Or find gay bro and avoid much of this.

Most importantly, DUDE, GOOD LUCK! (Hi five)

Zambones has spoken.