Monday, November 16, 2009

Pack Mentality

As I was walking to my first college kegger, a tall guy ambled up to me.

“Hey,” he said in that monosyllabic way guys do when we’re trying to appear cool to other guys. “You a freshman?”

I told him that I was. He didn’t believe me. I always looked older than my true age. He kept insisting that there was no way I was just starting college.

“Why would I say that I was freshman if I wasn’t?” I said.

A friendship was born that night over beer gulped out of red plastic Solo cups. Not only did we live in the same dorm, but we also had the same major. We brought things to each other’s lives. He had Super Nintendo. I looked old enough to buy beer without an ID.

It wasn’t just him that I became friends with, but a group of guys with whom I have remained close for nearly 20 years. We didn’t plan it this way, but after graduation we all headed out west to Los Angeles. Because I live at least two time zones from any family members, these guys have become my de-facto family.

Guys tend to form packs, like wolves. We protect each other, offer each other companionship and hunt together. In my pack, we always hung out, ate pizza, drank beer and played video games. We occasionally went out to mingle with other packs and genders. We watched movies. We quoted the Simpsons liberally. We enjoyed making fun of each other, but always out of love.

I can’t imagine those first few years in this city if I didn’t share it with those guys. I can’t imagine it without them now. There is much history between us. We have stood up for each other at our weddings. We’ve provided support in those first rough few months as new parents.

We don’t get to hang out as much as we used to, but when we do not much has changed. We might drink more soda than beer these days and we don’t stay up nearly as late. But we still play video games and watch cartoons. We still quote the Simpsons and we still rip on each other all of the time. Maintaining my pack is as important to me as my family. I would not be complete without my boys.

Our kids now play together. And as friends, we are proudly raising a new generation of geeklings.

--Daddy Geek Boy

What about you? Do you travel with a pack? How long have you known each other? What do they bring to your life that your significant other may not?


SciFi Dad said...

I've never been much of a pack animal, preferring the lone wolf mentality. I've had circles of friends, and I've stayed close with some of the individuals, but the groups as a whole? Not so much.

ZenMom said...

Are you Monica or Chandler? ;)

Great post!

Oddly enough, I just posted a blog last night about my anti-social tendencies - I don't have very many people I call friends.

I've always kind of envied people who have a "pack" - a group of people who are all friends with each other.

My few close friends are all from different aspects of my life. So, while they all know each other or at least know of each other, they are not friends themselves - does that make sense?

The funny thing is that, while I never got my "pack" in real life, I've found one online. I'm a member of a small group of women that started out as an online "Mom" discussion group a few years ago, but has turned into a very tight circle of real friends. And I'm pretty thankful for them. :)

But old friends really are the best. They are that comfortable pair of jeans in the back of your closet - nothing formal or fancy, but they fit just right and feel so good. :)

WannabeVirginia W. said...

That is an awesome post. I wish I had a pack of friends or in my case a "gaggle" of friends, unfortunately I seem to choose solitude and shy away from groups of women hanging out.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Wannabe! You need someone like me around! We'd have great fun!

I'm a pack person myself. I love friends and people and would much rather surround myself with them! I enjoy my solitude, but I like friends and groups of friends.

We don't play video games however, we have much more important things to do like solve the worlds problems over lunch, dinner, or shopping an then we catch a movie to relaxe ;)

Awesome post DGB!

Daddy Geek Boy said...

SciFi...yet you are the biggest blogging social butterfly I know.

Zen...Sadly, I'm Monica.

Wannabe...Why do you shy away? Would you be better in a group of guys rather than women?

Shelle...I would have never guessed that you were a pack person!! ;)

Anonymous said...

Damn man I am definately a lone wolf. The bride says even with my real family! I work alone, I have very very very few irl friends that could be considered close. Cool to have buddies though!

James (SeattleDad) said...

I am with Scifi - I would love to run with a pack, but will never commit the time away from my family to do so. Leaves me looking online for friends, I guess

Dating Manual said...

I am with Scifi too! Cheers James!