Once, in college, some friends and I sat down over wine and Keebler Chachos to discuss All that Was Wrong With the World. The fact that, despite our mother's assurances, the dumb girls were still getting all the guys, the demise of "Twin Peaks," and whether or not it was worth it to mount the inner-thigh machine (you know the one) in the student rec center were among the topics at hand. And also, the theory that female characters in film and on television seemed to almost always exist to give the male characters some sort of motivation or crisis. But there's another much-maligned character I'm thinking about today- the male love interest's best friends. They're always whisking him away to a Vegas bachelor party rife with strippers, booze, and an inconvenient murder. (You might replace Vegas with Mexico, the strippers with video games, the booze with Keebler Chachos, the murder with a big bag of stolen heroin- whatever. You know the drill.)
I guess my life isn't exactly cinematic, then, because Mr. Frick's friends rank among the top reasons I had for choosing to spend my life with him. Granted, for Valentine's Day they did show up at our front door with pantyhose over their heads and kidnap him away for a day of Rock Band, paintball, beer, and diner food, but no strippers, heroin, or indeed Keebler products were involved (to my knowledge). To this girl- whose best friends were always boys, who yearned for a brother, and whose idea of flirting has always been the old ice-down-the-back trick (noogies work well, too)- the Guys are all that (and a bag of Cinnamon Crispana).
Eric the Lionhearted (Cran Kool)- He'll hold your head in his lap when you're all boozy from your bachelorette party. He'll stay up all night baking a birthday cake for your three year-old when he finds out, last minute, that said three year-old thinks that the surprise baby shower being thrown the next day is actually a birthday party for him. He writes beautiful love letters to his wife (sorry, girls). He runs marathons like it's going out of style, is a passionate advocate of eating locally, and is quite likely the most generous person I'll ever know.
Tim, my new BFF (Paris Kool)- He's the kind of teacher you hope your child will have every year from Kindergarten through college- he's that patient, wise, funny, and smart. Although he doesn't like to admit it, he's one of the strongest people I know, having experienced unthinkable loss and having the grace to appreciate all of our bumbling efforts at understanding, helping, and coping along with him. Every day I walk into work and he's still there in the classroom next to me is a day I have to resist running in and hugging him just for still being there. OK, sometimes I don't resist. And you know sixth graders- The rumors!
Chris, my Love (Kool Forest)- You should see him with the Biscuit. One night I came home from a late meeting at school and found him singing Thomas the Tank Engine songs and doing a little jig, all for the amusement of my cranky little guy. He never fails to show up with a gift (small hand-held fans are called "the Chris fans" in our house). He organizes fantastic parties, digs Tori, and has the most mahvelous eyes.
Brothers, best friends, opportunities for Mr. Frick-sanctioned flirting (watch your backs!)- I love you.
All the while I was knitting these hats, I couldn't get a line from a movie out of my head. The very movie that inspired the discussion about women's film roles. And so, at the risk of becoming just as irritating as Patricia Arquette: "You're so Kool. You're so Kool. You're so Kool."