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Saturday, February 13th 2010

1:02 AM

Never forget your Guy-Buddies, Ladies!

  • Mood: happy
  • Music: Hindu Chants

 (Iris & her buddy Gary)

Ok, as I was uploading that last entry, it occurred to me that I was writing about only my female friends, and that I really needed to acknowledge—with a big hug!- my wonderful male friends, especially those ones who have been with me so very long, and whom I could hardly imagine life without! I know there are those who say that men and women cannot be friends, but I am here to tell you, that just ain’t so, folks. My guy-buddies have been a source of warmth, friendship, laughter, help and emotional stability for a long, long time, and, other than a brief let’s-try-and-date with one of them, they are all platonic, lovable and a joy to my existence.

(At one of Iris' parties with Carlos & Gary)

Now, I’m a thorough “girly-girl” according to my friends: I love perfume, high-heels, Victorian teas, long skirts and spiral perms, and yet, I need those male pals around—not to pet me or praise me, but to just hang with, talk to, and feed the need for the brother I never got to know (Mark, another long story). I was always closer to my male cousins than my female ones, and my favorite was my gay cousin Paul, tall, dark and handsome, with a fine mind, a creative spirit and the craziest sense of humor this side of Bette Midler on crack. I guess he was the original inspiration for seeking out male friends, and I never looked back!

(Alvin, Sobeida's hubby with his fake beard, and Rosie's John, at Halloween--two great guys that always make a party better!)

At social gatherings, except with my mom & sisters (where the vibe is distinctly female, bitchy and rather loud), I tend to be drawn to the area where the guys are smoking, bullshittin’ and laughin’, while the beer bottles go round and round. I like to hear their deep voices, smell the pipes & cigars, enjoy their naughty, politically incorrect sense of humor, and even try my hand at some Spanish translation with my Latino buds. I just like being around all that intense male energy! When I worked at the Catholic school, it was all women teachers, with one small exception of the computer tech who came in once a week, and I just craved some masculine vibes around there—all the bitchy, paranoid, suspicious females and their intrigues, their fake nicey-nice smiles, and jealousies just drove me NUTS! Oh, what I would have given for one tall, hefty, warm-hearted, red-haired football coach, or perhaps an insouciant, intellectual, black French teacher to laugh with! But alas, none appeared while I was there.

(Wayne, looking really young, holding my daughter, Melantha)

I’ve had my red-haired guy who was like a brother, Wayne, in my life since my daughter was a baby. He was dating my sister Lori at the time, who later threw him over, but somehow he just kept hangin’ around the family, and eventually just became part of it. He’s a chubby Santa of a guy now, with his beautiful red hair and  beard almost completely white, but he still thrills over the new Star Trek movie with me, and grills one of the best damned steaks around. My kids love him, and he has always been a part of their lives as they've grown. He's a warm-hearted guy who loves his family, his brother and sister & their kids, and is the best Uncle ever. I always feel so comfortable and at home in his little carriage house apartment, and we've spent many an hour there drinking whiskey & Mountain Dew and watching episodes of Babylon 5 or Star Trek. We're planning a cook-out at his place before this February ends and I'm bringing his favorite red-potato salad!

(My Georgy, a few years back, with his hair still black and curly!)

George I met through my daughter’s real father, who I dated in school—they were best friends and David kept saying, “You gotta meet George—I just have this definite feeling you two would hit it off big time”—and we did! He walked into the livingroom at David’s house one weekend, I looked up, somehow “recognized” him immediately (though I’d never even seen a photo) and said, “Oh, there you are! It’s so good to see you again!”—at which he answered,”Yes, it’s great to see you again too, it’s been SOOooo long!”—everybody fell OUT, but honestly, that’s how it went! He was a spiritual guru of mine for years, an emotional pillow to cry on, and just the best friend a girl could ask for.

(Mikey at a party at their house-full of good beer and good cheer!)  Mike—or Mikey, as I like to call him—is my friend Iris’ hubby, and one of the sweetest guys I know. He obviously adores Iris and I love being around the two of them. He’s Peruvian but was born in Chicago, and has a distinct dry humor and sense of self that definitely belongs to the home of Da Bears! He’s a damned good step-father to her three kids, a hard-workin’ guy, and he’d give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. I love his smile, his way with a rum and coke, his patience with family politics and the way he turns into a big kid when he gets really toasted. He, Iris, Raul and I are usually the last ones to leave a party, and he is just a great guy to hang around with. You can talk to him about anything, and whatever scrapes against his American no-nonsense masculinity, he’ll letya know right off! But he is always humorous, never unkind, and has a level head when you need one. Besides Raul and my Grandpa Bland, he's one of my all-time favorite Aries!

(BH at "1001 Nights" in Beijing)

Bao Huai is a good friend of mine in China—a bisexual, bizarre and intense Scorpio with a gift for language & self-promotion. He held the most fabulous parties with a rainbow of international guests, and was continually promoting me as his famous American-Beauty/Artist/Psychic friend all around Beijing. He is multi-talented, intellectually curious, and veers between extreme sexuality and Buddhist asceticism--he also has interesting taste in decor (love his apartment!). We met when I first moved to Beijing, and we spent many hours drinking and partying at The Elephant, a favorite Russian club of ours. He calls me his "non-physical soulmate and soul-sistah". We had some great times together and still write to each other--his letters are always a treat!

(Danny & I at his Halloween party last year)

Danny you may know if you have looked through my studio website, Angel Illuminations (http://www.angelilluminations.com) -his portrait is right on the homepage and is included in the Portraits section as well. I met him 3 years ago at the Savannah Greek Festival, where I saw this dark, beautiful young man standing by his mom, and decided right away I had to PAINT him! He ended up coming to lots of our parties, meeting Iris and Sobeida and Rosie and just being a never-ending source of drama, humor, creativity and fun—he’s also a GREAT drag queen!

Last, but not least, is my computer Genii, Falko. We met back in 1984 through a guy I was dating, Philip—Falko was the computer tech at the engineering firm where Philip worked. We went there one night so Philip could work on his project for an hour or two before we went to dinner—he told me to go in and talk to Falko because we had so many interests in common, and indeed, we did! We ended up gabbin’ for 4 hours! He later upgraded the computer that Wayne had given me (my FIRST one), and taking into consideration I was a single mom on a limited income, said he'd take just a home-cooked meal for payment--that started a fine tradition that holds up even today. He would come over for a visit, fix the computer, and end up with me and the kids, chatting for hours around the table. His wife wasn’t that fond of cooking at the time, so he seemed to really enjoy the meatloafs, spaghetti, German sausage and desserts, and would usually stay late, talking, laughing, and teaching—because he is, at heart, a Teacher, a sharer of knowledge. He is also one of the kindest, more loyal and honorable men I know. He has been such a help to me over the years, a good friend, and a source of joy in my life. Recently I learned he had cancer, and wept as if he were my own brother—which, in a way, he is!

I love all my guy-buddies dearly, and these are only just the top 6! They have loved me, stuck with me, kidded me, teased and put up with my quirkiness for years, and I adore them, each in his own way. Any woman would consider herself lucky to have friends such as these, and honestly, I just don’t know what my life would’ve been like without them. Double hugs, youse guys!

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