Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks spend 3-5 hours together almost every night. Generally at Carl's house. Often watching television. Always laughing and talking.I know that because they both talked about it with Marc Maron on his great podcast "WTF with Marc Maron" which is really becoming a beautiful history of comedy.
It was just one little anecdote among dozens in two conversations with some of the funniest men alive. But it got me thinking about friendship and how lucky I am to have men that I can see myself still visiting and enjoying time with decades into our old age.
Romance is mysterious, but it is also involved in the propagation of our species and therefore has been discussed and dissected by pretty much every writer that ever picked up a pen. The bromance on the other hand is a more recent topic of discussion and contemplation and one that I think is still misunderstood and undervalued by our society at large.
The emotional toll for modern masculinity is high. In a world where the historical errors and misdeeds of the Male gender are so openly on display and constantly examined in relation to our modern existence, it's hard being a guy. Particularly one that is excited to see an end to the Male dominated culture, but also very fond of being a dude.
That's where the bromance is so important. Two (or more if you're so fortunate) like minded men can keep each other sane in the battle to be manly but not a Neanderthal. To live in a multicultural, gender-equal world but still like to blow stuff up and burp once in a while.
I've got several such friendships. But three that I'm likely to take with me as long as Carl and Mel have carried theirs.
The first is my banker and my big idea buddy. He's been engaged and unengaged, I've been married, divorced and engaged again and we're still together. If I'm ever to hit on a hot stock, it'll likely be from his recommendation.
Next is the godfather of my children, Son #1's namesake and the future head Imagineer of my personal theme park. Through deployment and divorce and a total of four births, we're still spending Saturday afternoons discussing what the word will be like when we run it. And dreaming of ways to take it over.
Last is my Other Guy. My partner in the endeavor that is "Two Guys, One Podcast." He's my good-timing buddy, my co-host, my co-pilot and my comrade, and I can't believe that 3 years ago we weren't even friends.
My life is immeasurably better because of these three guys. Maybe you don't have three, or maybe you're lucky enough to have dozens. Regardless, gentlemen, tell your friends you're thankful for them. If it's been a while since you've seen them, make plans. And hang onto those friendships as time passes.
The luckiest of us will have a Mel to our Carl to chuckle through the evenings with in our old age.