Whenever I mention to someone that my best friend is a man (and a straight one), I’m often asked, “how does that work?” It pretty much works like any best friendship. We talk about pretty much everything, support each other, and even consult each other on shopping decisions, among other things. However, there are somethings distinct to our friendship that I don’t experience with my girlfriends:
- Sports are a bigger part of my life. I enjoy watching sports, particularly football and basketball, but I’ve certainly done a better job of keeping up with the NFL and NBA (especially NBA) seasons since Leon and I became besties! Leon loves basketball so much that he made sure that we watched the playoffs during our last vacation, in May, lol. (Granted, they were welcomed down periods between our adventures.)
- I’ve become very comfortable in masculine spaces and energy. A room full of men talking sports, while drinking whiskey and beer? A cigar bar/lounge with smoke filling the air? The men’s department of Neiman Marcus or Nordstroms? While these spaces may make some women uncomfortable, I find them to be comfortable and even relaxing.
- I know who to go to for emotional responses…and it’s NOT Leon, lol. That’s what my girlfriends are for. I tell Leon that I’m scared I may be single for the rest of my life, and he may say, “Ok,” “Maybe,” or simply doesn’t consider such a statement worthy of a response. LOL! I tell my girlfriends the same thing, and they say, “Don’t you say that. You are amazing. Any man would be lucky to have you!” Such polar opposite responses to things, but both necessary in my life. He’s simply not a very emotional guy, which is a welcomed (most of the time, lol) balance for an highly emotional gal like myself.
- Manual labor is a welcomed weekend (or weekday) activity! I’ve helped move tubs, carry baseboards, install smoke detectors, till the land, and even attempted, but failed at helping to move a gas stove, lol. When Leon has an investment project, we take frequent trips to Home Depot, a place I only go to for paint and cacti with my girls, where I push heavy carts full of all sorts of materials, and even help clear the the lumber display of siding. To some this may sound like too much, but I love it! Truth be told, I’d probably get an attitude with Leon if he did these things with someone else, lol.
- I feel SUPER protected. I know that there are things that can happen in life, beyond anyone’s control, but having Leon as my best friend, makes me feel more secure and protected from those things. With my girlfriends (some of them, at least), I’m the one who takes on the protective role, but with Leon, I feel like all things will be just fine. Flat tire? Leon comes to fix it. Out at night? Leon will let harm come to him before me (not just in theory either; I’ve seen this in action). Walking from my car to his house? Leon looks out of the window. Crossing the street? Leon has used his man strength to keep me back from walking on many occasions. You get the picture, lol. I know that Leon can’t protect me from all things, though, bless his heart, he REALLY tries, but I flow through life with more feelings of security, knowing that he’s my bestie.
- In spite of being a woman, I’ve learned a lot about women and being a woman. I’ve learned to let a man do nice things for me. I’ve learned to walk in my queendom. I’ve developed a criteria for the quality of man I want to spend my life with, God willing. I’ve gotten first hand access to the way men think about things women do, like open the door, instead of letting a man do it for her, or only expect him to pay for everything, or how much they hate the high waist shorts that make us look like we don’t have booties, lol, among other things that may or may not be appropriate to say on the inter webs. 😉 I’ve seen women thirst after Leon, both in real life and on social media, and have taken plenty of mental notes, based on his thoughts and their actions, on the things I do and don’t want to do as a single lady. My best friendship with Leon has allowed me to understand a different perspective on womanhood, which has also helped me to better understand myself.
- I almost always have a +1. I’m an introvert (Leon is too), who generally doesn’t like going to parties and such, where small talk is a requirement. At 31, I’m tired of going to family (and extended family) events where folks ask me, “where is your date?” My solution for these and other social issues, is to take Leon with me. We genuinely enjoy each others company, like people watching, and both like brown liquor. I’m sure that at some point Leon will meet some lady he likes, and I’ll have to start going out alone, but in the mean time +1 for me!
Having a man as a best friend is a one of a kind experience! I think every woman can benefit from having a male best friend, at some point in her life. While every male + female best friendship will not be like ours, it will definitely be like no other that you’ve ever had. There are just somethings that makes my friendship with Leon different than that with my girlfriends. (who are amazing, btw), and while it may not be for everyone, I wouldn’t change our bestie-ness (yes I just made that up, lol) for anything in the world.