Four friends and I go out to dinner once a month. It started “innocently” with a friend and I having a regular dinner out and grew organically into this Five Man group. Our dinners consist mostly of therapeutic laughter, inspired by sometimes witty, (more often not witty), clever jokes, bad jokes, puns, and inappropriate comments which are politically incorrect. In other words, it’s a nonjudgmental safe space where, once a month, we can take a deep breath.
I have grown increasingly astonished by the questions from female hostesses and waitresses along the lines the lines of “What are you guys doing out?” “Is it a special occasion? Birthday?”; combined with tone, facial expression and body language that ranges from sheer confusion to mild disgust.
I’ve compiled some responses, which might be helpful. (Which have not gotten past my filter).
1. We have a visa from immigration which allows us to gather outside a golf course, sports bar, fishing hole, marina, bowling alley or sporting event
2. We wrote Jeff Bezos about a “Prime Porn” service and he’s asked us to further develop the concept. (Think about it- unlimited server capacity, no buffering, better selection, available in the kindle store). He already sells a 55 gallon drum of lube. See my post on “55-gallon-lube-on-amazon-com”
3. We’re working on a Ted talk, “Keep and Maintain your teenage Male Sense of Humor”.
4. A gathering of more than two male friends is not, absent proof of emails to Russians, aliens or a non-Christian religious group, a conspiracy. Ok, not an ILLEGAL conspiracy
5. Yes, our wives, almost wives, girlfriends and sex buddies know we’re doing this and employ the full range of emotions from amusement to annoyance, sometimes simultaneously.
6. Yes, we go to a different restaurant monthly to reduce the consequences of getting kicked out for bad behavior, and wait at least a year before returning to a previously visited location. (We’ve never been kicked out but have had some nearby tables ask to move and repulsed a waitress or two). (We leave huge tips as open and blatant bribery)
7. We are not LGBTQIA (see two above) BUT- it would be PERFECTLY OK if we were. (No animals are harmed or abused during our meetings but may be inappropriately mentioned in jokes or in reference to illegal behavior)
8. If you find several same-sex friends over the age of 24, dining out together as odd or weird, you need more or better friends or better priorities.
9. We call ourselves the “Dirty Old Mans Club” because the title is kind of stupid, juvenile, accurate, and self-deprecating. Thanks for noticing. If we can think of something dumber, we’ll change.
10. Sometimes, our comments “cross the line “. (Is there a line? Where is the line? Who sets the line?). Nope- nothing is sacred. Thank God.
Everybody needs a tribe. If you don’t have one, get one. If you have a tribe, thank them. And go disturb a restaurant hostess today. Your mental health will thank you.