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AARP Bulletin


The Considerably Older Guy's Advice on Friendship

Funny wisdom on the best kinds of friends to have in your life

considerably older guy advice friendship friends how to make wife young porch beer relaxing

Friends are more important than ever. The trick is to finding some and keeping them. — Corbis

As a Considerably Older Guy, you'll find that friends are more important than ever. The trick is to find some.

Many have left the planet. Others have hidden away in fear, convinced that an aggrieved relative is out to smother them.

Bachelor friends, in a last ditch try for happiness, have gotten married, a surprising number to cleaning ladies. A wife with a cleaning lady background will tend to monopolize your friend's time, although, to be fair, his apartment will be spotless.

The last thing you need, as a Considerably Older Guy, is to be friendless and alone. Here is advice on keeping your remaining friends, however few in number.

The friend no matter what

Don't allow a small disagreement to ruin a friendship. If you find yourself on opposite sides, say, on Kurdish independence, don't come to blows over it. Remember the good times you've had together. Then continue the friendship with as little bitterness as possible. The Kurds will always be there, but a good friend won't necessarily.

Don't insist that a friend see you exclusively. It's perfectly acceptable for a friend to have friends of his own. And there is no need to spy on the friend and hack his phone to find out who he's speaking to. It's not like dating.

Your own wife

Why not? No one is closer to you. Who else has a better understanding of your Hopes and Inner Fears. Why not take her to a hockey game. Or out camping. But it's tricky. When you're ready for sex, she might say: "Are you crazy? I thought we were friends."

A true friend is someone who will accept you the way you are. No need to shave or shower or worry about your appearance. Don't push it, though. Even the closest of friends will draw a line at nose and ear hairs.

4-in-the-morning friend

Every Considerably Older Guy should have a 4-in-the-morning friend. At some ungodly hour, when 911 doesn't respond, such a friend will hop out of bed and rush to be at your side.

Don't call on such a friend when you've had indigestion. Or you're feeling a little lonely. Wait for a seizure of some kind or clear signs of a heart attack. You can't expect a 4-in-the morning friend to come running over because you can't find your slippers.

If you're a Considerably Older Guy and you find yourself without a 4 a.m. friend, don't rail at the fates and bemoan your outcast state. Instead, take a good look at yourself. Are you a 4-in-the-morning friend? Would you jump out of bed in the middle of the night and go racing (limping?) over to a friend in distress?

"Four in the morning?" you might say. "Don't be absurd. Try me at 4 in the afternoon when I've hit my stride."

Next Page: The downside of important friends and young friends. »

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