Let’s face it. Adultitis not only affects our parenting, but it can affect our friendships as well. And men suffer greatly when it comes to having quality, well-developed friendships. It may be the John Wayne syndrome, thinking that we can do it alone, but even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. We might be perceived as weak or soft if we call up another guy to hang out, but we will miss out on great experiences and a rich life with out great friendships.
Now already, you might be thinking, “I’m married and have kids. I don’t have time for friendships!” That’s the Adultitis talking and you need a cure fast! Men who are married with kids need friendships not only to keep them sane, but to lend a hand in hard times! So how can we escape the doldrums of Adultitis-infected friendships? Here are some great ways:
Housework Heroes: If a buddy of yours can’t come out and play, head over to his house and help him with the work he has to do. Grab garbage bags, Windex, or your lawnmower and get over there. Working together around the house makes the tasks go faster and helps your buddy out. If you can get it done faster, just maybe you can catch the rest of the game on the TV.
Care Package: Have a long distance buddy? Maybe an old college roommate or a work buddy that moved away? Send a care package. Fill it just as if they are at summer camp. Include drawings from your kids, pictures of your family candy and a can of Pringles (they ship well). Include a handwritten note about how you wish you were closer. It sounds corny, but everyone loves getting care packages.
Bag of Groceries: If you are at the grocery store, call up your buddy and ask, “Hey, man, I’m at the store, what can I get you?” He might balk and say “Nothing!” But everyone needs more milk, toilet paper and paper towels. Stop by with the bag and plan a time to fish or hang out over coffee.
Create Your Own Fraternity: Fraternities sound great, but when you’re in college you might not have had time, desire or money to join one. But it’s a brand new day! I’ve given my closest male friends little plastic Green Lantern rings. I explain that this signifies they are my friends for the long haul, not friends I’ll pass by, forget about or discard. When I’m in trouble, I have an email list with all of them included. I’ll send an email to them that says: Lanterns: I need your help! It’s great to have them respond! Maybe you give them a shirt from your favorite sports team (Cubs Fraternity!) or a great cigar. Maybe you brew them a special batch of beer. Whatever it is, make it unique to the group of friends you have. Being included, feeling like you belong is one of the greatest cures of friendship-adultitis there is.
Ryan McRae is the creator of Geek Week, a week on college campuses that celebrates the geek culture. He writes a blog called geekinafghanistan.com and has left the comfort of the United States to reboot his life in Afghanistan. He has written a book: A Quick and Easy Parent’s Guide to College and if you donate to his charity:water campaign, he will send you a haiku. He received his M.Div from Moody. None of that matters compared to the fact he calls Kim and Jason Kotecki, “My good friends.”