Thursday, January 8, 2009

Isn't it Bro-mantic?

So much in a person's life changes in a mere decade. There were the crazy days of youth spent meeting new people and taking big risks. Then there was the stage when you start taking those first wee steps towards settling down. Maybe you start driving a four-door sedan. Maybe you realize that it's impossible to be productive at work the next day if you've spent the previous night bar crawling. Maybe you even meet The One. On your first date, you put on your cutest outfit, ring his doorbell, pretend you don't notice the noxious black smoke coming out of his kitchen, and choke down the steak-turned-hockey puck that he so lovingly prepared for you. Fast forward several years, one wedding, and one baby later. You forget what it's like to function socially, because you're too busy trying to just keep up with the tiny dictator that has taken over your world. Many of your single friends run screaming from the smelly chaos that is now your life. To cope, you find safety in numbers: You start making new friends who have recently been taken hostage by tiny dictators of their own. And that's exactly what we did.

Benjamin and I met Julie and Nolan while walking around the neighborhood. It was a match made in playdate heaven: Nolan and Benjamin are just a few months apart, and Julie and I are both Asian women with short hair and excellent taste in jeans. Not wanting them to feel left out, we introduced our hubbies to one another, too. At first, they seemed to have little in common, but once they revealed their mutual affinity for video games, it was on. Game on.

One afternoon several weeks ago, Vince asked, "Can Shawn come over and play?" That night, as I tidied up dinner dishes, they got busy slaying bad guys in their favorite new video game. From the bits of their conversation I overheard, it seemed like a pretty violent affair: "Why don't you go down there and chainsaw that guy?" "Save me! I'm dying!" "Where are you?! I have like only 22 pellets left!" "I'M HIT! I'M HIT!! AAAHHHHHHH, #@$%!!!" "What, you died AGAIN?"

After Santa gave Vince a subscription to XBox Live for Christmas, their game-playing horizons expanded even more. They could now physically be in their own homes, but still virtually hang out together. In fact, that's how they spent the passing of midnight on New Year's Eve while the rest of us were peacefully sleeping. Don't worry - Vince assured me that no kisses were exchanged at the stroke of twelve.

Nolan and Benjamin's friendship has been flourishing as well. When Nolan took a shine to Benjamin's new wheels, Benjamin was more than happy to swap rides for a bit. Nolan seemed pretty excited to test drive Benjamin's car, but I think that he got the bum deal, because Benjamin got to eat all of the snacks that were left in Nolan's drink holder.

As I watched the boys play, I couldn't help but laugh to myself. It seemed ironic that the babies were the ones checking out cars while their fathers preferred playing video games!


matt Kaplan said...

Oh sure I see how it is...fine (sniff), I understand...Lucy's being left behind because she's not a boy. Well fine!

Just kidding but seriously, Nolan you did get a raw deal.

Catherine (aka Lucy's Mommy) said...

Egads! That was me, not Matt! I didn't realize he was already signed in but I think he feels the same way!

linkergirl said...

So cool! I just met Julie the other day and I made the connection that she is right across from us. So cool that Benjamin has a BFF!