best friend is a man. People will tell you that men and women can’t be platonic
friends, but we’ve somehow managed to make it work. There has been nearly 20 years of
friendship under our belts now, complete with traveling adventures, moves that
have separated us by thousands of miles, and life changes that have put us on
what would seem to be different stratospheres.
That best friend of mine lives in Los Angeles and works as an actor and
voiceover extraordinaire. If you watch Fox, you’ve likely heard him on a weekly
basis. He is also a consummate bachelor, dating women 10 years younger then him
(on average) with tight little bodies and plenty of … enthusiasm. On more than
one occasion in the last few years, he has told me he might be ready to look
for something more substantial and settle down—but then, there is always some
new 21-year-old on the horizon.
on the other hand, am living in Anchorage, Alaska, raising a toddler on my own
and spending most of my time living a fairly domestic life. My friends are all
married with children, and I haven’t met a man who has felt worth my time in years.
live different lives, like we always knew we would, realizing from a fairly
young age that we both wanted different things. But our friendship has always
maintained, which is how we found ourselves in Hawaii together for a week just
after the new year—the first attempt at a joint travel adventure since my
little one was born.
He might have said a time or two that this trip solidified his desire for a vasectomy.
My friend is basically a big kid himself, but he has never been around a child for an extended period of time. So, I was
nervous, nervous that he was going to have a hard time adjusting to the
challenges of traveling (and living) with a toddler, and nervous that he would
mourn the way we used to travel, hopping from one adventure to the next with
little time for rest.
his credit, he actually did pretty well. He might have said a time or two that
this trip solidified his desire for a vasectomy, but by the end, he was asking
to hold my little bug in the airport as we worked our way through security, admitting
he was going to miss her. Of course, there were some comedic moments along the
way, instances where the things coming out of his mouth made it infinitely
clear this poor man has no idea what raising a child entails. And that a
vasectomy might not be the worst idea ever.
1. “She keeps pulling everything out of drawers!”
our first day in Hawaii, within hours of arriving, I was unpacking and my girl
was exploring. I could hear him following her around, trying to engage and keep
her entertained as I got us organized. Finally, he came into the room
exasperated and said, “She keeps pulling everything out of drawers! Why does
she do that? It’s like she has to touch everything!”
had to explain that yes, that’s kind of what toddlers do. And then I had to
remind him that the last time he had visited me in Alaska, I came to him with
the same exasperation—irritated that he, too, seemed intent on touching
didn’t see the connection.
2. "Why can’t she be more helpful?”
next day, I overheard the two playing as I got ready for our day. When I
rounded the corner, I heard him say, “I keep trying to clean up and you keep
pulling everything back out! Why can’t you be more helpful?”
3. "But then I remembered what was waiting in her diaper."
jumped in the shower one morning before she woke up, only to hear her babbling
on the monitor when I got out. He looked up at me and said, “I really wanted to
go get her and start playing. But then I remembered what was waiting in her
entire trip, every single time I attempted to change that diaper, he vacated
the room. As quickly as humanly possible.
4. "I really want to play up the whole kid thing."
one point he said, “I want
to see chicks checking me out because they see me playing with her and they
think it’s hot.”
hours later, he explained, “I just need you to walk away for like 15 minutes.
As long as you’re here, people are going to think we’re a family. When really,
I need that girl over there to think I’m a hot single dad.”
He tried to use my kid to score dates. And no, I did not comply.
just the look of pure horror on his face every time someone made the assumption
that we were a family and referred to him as “dad” or her as his daughter was
pretty priceless. Until, by the end of our trip, he confessed to me, “That guy
asked me how old my daughter was, and I didn’t correct him. It felt weird.”
Do you think I could get her to go in (the fridge) and let me close the door?
the course of our week together, I found spaghetti noodles in my hairbrush and didn’t
know if they were left there by him or my little girl. The two of them made a
game of seeing who could be the loudest and laughed hysterically as they copied
each other’s movements. I cleaned and cooked. They played. My two kids, getting along so well.
our last day, I walked into the kitchen to find him holding the refrigerator
door open and telling her it was Alaska. “Do you think I could get her to go in
and let me close the door?” he asked. I couldn’t tell if he was serious or not.
But I made it very clear that doing so would not be OK.
little girl couldn’t say his name, but what she did say sounded an awful lot
like “Ducky.” And by the time we said our goodbyes, I could tell she was going
to miss Uncle Ducky almost as much as I would—he was certainly more fun than