Dudes drinking microbrew, all about the play
With the ski season half over here in the Northern Hemisphere, you may have fallen in love with a bro. In my town, they’re snowboard and ski bros. In others—they might be surfers, rink rats, skaters, or bicycling disc-golfers. They’re all cut from the same cloth. They all have an odd devotion to some kind of high-caliber or low-caliber destination sport, to the exclusion and detriment of just about everything else in their lives. They all hold the allure and promise of a life’s-worth of being loved, loving the heck out of life and low expectations—all to the tune of whatever’s on heavy rotation at your closest hipster acoustical punk microbrewery.
But there are four things you should know, for better or for worse, before you seal the deal and settle down with a bro for the long-term.
1) They make great playmates for your children.
Bros are always playing. They derive no satisfaction from anything other than playing—such as getting something done other than learning a new trick? Nah. Cleaning something besides their gear? Heck no. Advancing and broadening as a person, stepping up to life’s challenges if they’re not tallied on an X Games ticker (that’s always running, if just in his own head)? What for?
And by this, I mean that when you plan an entire day around an extended family event, or if you want to spend time in the company of others, or if you want to do anything, really that’s unrelated to his game(s)-of-choice, there is always something he would rather be doing; just like there is always something your toddler would rather be doing. He will have no problem taking your toddler to do it while you muddle through the day, and no one has to suffer through that awful how to sit still and be polite jazz.
2) If he hasn’t grown up by the time he’s 30, he’s not going to.
I told myself all kinds of things about this one. My husband and I were on-par with our maturity levels when we met in our early and late 20’s, respectively. And, who doesn’t continue to evolve, learn, and grow as a person? Bros. Bros don’t. They want the same thing out of life at 45 that they wanted at 25—somewhere to play and a snack when they’re hungry.
When other men ratchet up their lives professionally so they can be sure to enjoy retirement, yours will ratchet his down to be sure he enjoys life, and works through retirement. You see them everywhere in destination sports towns—67 year-old baggers and busboys. The bros that never left, or maybe they just couldn’t afford to.
I’ve seen old age. It’s painful, messy, and exhausting. The last thing I want when I’m old is to punch in on someone else’s clock so I can work 8 hours while I try and hold my bowels and make coherent small-talk. But, that’s just me.
3) Foodies beware. Or, really—anyone who eats food.
Your bro will talk admiringly of his buddy who, for years, has eaten only dry oatmeal out of a baggie. You know, because it’s cheap and is easily stowed in the pocket of tech outerwear, a cargo pocket, or a surf bag. He will be perfectly content with energy bars, sports drinks, and the one dish he learned to make over a gas camping stove that first season he moved out here—wherever that is. That same dish. Over and over and over again. It’s mostly potatoes. Partly, it’s because he doesn’t have money in his food budget after spending it on energy bars and sports drinks; but it’s also because he doesn’t want to spend money on food when there is next season’s gear to buy. So—if you like to eat a variety of food, and if you like good food (even just sometimes), you will be buying it. You will be making it. But, be sure to make lots because he’ll be eating it, and asking for seconds.
4) At least your bro husband’s friends will be cute.
Your bro husband’s friends will always be cute. Because they’re always twenty years old. One of my husband’s favorite sayings when I met him, about the fresh batch of women at the ski area every Fall was the ol’ “I keep getting older, they stay the same age,” à la Dazed and Confused. The same could be said of bro husband buddies. Why? Because the grown-ups leave to go do other things. And, they leave to go do other grown-ups. Then there will be the one dude who is older than your husband in the pipe, the park, the ramp, the rink—they’ll make plans to meet up when they both should be working. You’ll wonder if he’s a bad influence. And then you’ll realize that you just legitimately wondered whether someone was a bad influence on your middle-aged husband. And if you hadn’t felt like your husband’s mother yet, you will now.
So—you wanna marry a bro? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
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