Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Guys Night Out...or In

Last Thursday was what I would call a “Guys Night Out”, or what my sister thought was more like a “Guys Night In”. Either way,  the dinner consisted of four men and myself,. Not only was the guest list men’s only, all of them brought with them  a troublesome love story. One of them also brought with him a bottle of Don Julio tequila as a way to celebrate Mexico’s 200 years of independence, which towards the end of the night became the perfect poison to drown all sorrows. Our dinners tend to have slightly more female representation, so last Thursday was unique as far as gender make up goes. I was a bit concern at the beginning, I must say. My skills and those days of just “hanging out with the boys” are a bit rusty now that I am a married woman. So I did wonder whether or not I would fit in on the conversation and really be able to contribute, which I love doing. Interestingly enough though, the night turned out to be more familiar than I had imagined and very much reminiscent of your traditional “Girls Night Out”. There were the usual stories about love, and the lack of love. There were also plenty of stories about those who broke our hearts and why and how they did so, and yes, there were even tears! (though these were caused by the onions Felipe was chopping to make the salsas, the scene itself was priceless).

Let me focus for a moment on one particular story of one of the guests. As it turns out, one of the guys present had just broken his engagement 5 DAYS prior to the dinner! As soon as he came into the apartment, I could tell the poor guy was in bad condition. With his first glass of wine came some preliminary conversations about the ex and the breakup,. But it all really came pouring out towards the end of the night after we were done with eating and having conversations at the table. As soon as he was able to take the floor, he did not let go. Off he went! Stories about her, some connected well some didn’t, all together, less than a cohesive story was rambling passionate words of disillusionment. It was surprising to see that at the end of the day, it didn’t really matter if what he was saying made any sense, or if he came across as the villain or the victim of the story. All the guy wanted was some solidarity from the rest of the men, only pairs of ears ready to listen. And that they did! The men sat down, sipped on their tequila, and just listened.

So the big learning from this dinner for me was that sometimes, humans need to just let it all out, and that males are particularly gifted at just listening, without a need to comment, judge, or give out advice. There is something to be said (and admired) about just seating idly by and listening to a soul that lets it all out.

Gracias a todos y pa riba, pa bajo, pa el centro y pa dentro!

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