tennis captain

I feel sorry for boys. Salon Magazine, (December 7, 2013) writes, “Adult, white, heterosexual men have the fewest friends. Moreover, the friendships they have, if they’re with other men, provide less emotional support and involve lower levels of self-disclosure and trust than other types of friendships.” (December 7, 2013).

Even science says that once men retire, unless they’re still involved with team sports, community groups or meaningful activities with others, they just lose their connections. It may be the main reason that of all the nursing homes I’ve visited over the last some 50 years, the percentage of men compared to women is miniscule. Why? They die younger. Why? They don’t have friends.

Perhaps the hidden message is that they have no reason, ‘to hold on.’ Consider this: two thirds of all nursing home residents are female. In some areas, that number even reaches 80% according to the NY Times (“The New Old Age,” January 30, 2012).

So let me share this: I am grateful for the women in my life; the ones who laugh, cajole and commiserate with me; the ones who encourage me to be my best self and truly care about the ups and downs in my life. They are a blessing beyond measure. I wish my husband had the same support network.

I wish ALL men had the same potpourri of wonderful, wild and deeply concerned human beings in their lives. Friendships like these go beyond time and distance. They persevere and give you hope as the days dwindle shorter.

In the last 17 years, I have played tennis with hundreds of women. The two pictured above are on my latest team. The gal on the right is our captain. She has come to EVERY match I’ve ever played and cheered me on, every, single time. Once, she even drove out of her way to buy my coffee as I entered a 3rd set after several hours. That is devotion. That is love. That is as good as it gets in this brief, and very, short lifetime. May every man find a friend as good as that.


2 thoughts on “GO GET ‘EM BOYS

  1. Hi Helen,
    I think there’s much truth to what you have written here! One of the main reasons for men dying younger too that you didn’t touch on is that boys are raised to be competitive whereas girls are raised to be cooperative. When a human being is raised to be competitive they immediately place others in an adversarial position so that they themselves can “get ahead.”
    When women are placed in highly competitive business positions, they begin to start having the same heart attack rates and general mortality rates that men have. As one man wrote in a book I read years ago, “How does my wife think I became successful financially, by being a nice guy?”
    Doug K.


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