Category Archives: Friends

Middle aged men are more susceptible to feeling alone

isolatedThis past week The Boston Globe had an interesting article that I had missed but my friend Dan had read and forward to me.  The gist of the article written by Billy Baker is that many middle aged American men unconsciously are isolating themselves and over time, this is resulting in many feeling alone.

As the title of the article says, “The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.” Baker writes that after he spent time thinking about who he interacted with regularly he realized that he had been making work, his wife, family (even “me time” as he puts it) a priority, but over the years as family and job commitments increased, slowly but surely it was his “friends time” that had been pushed aside.friendsWhile many gay men are having families and the pressure to be there for their spouse and children is very real, I would like to think that our friendships for most gay men take on an added importance. However, when I look at my own life, I can honestly say that more than half the time I’m connecting with a friend the initial discussion goes something like this.

Me: Hi. How are you? I feel like its been ages. What’s new with you?
Friend: Life is good. I’ve been busy with work…. blah, blah, blah…

I get a lot of satisfaction from my work and it affords me a lifestyle that I really like, but I’d hate to think that I would value or put time at work ahead of time with friends. Staring at a phone or computer is a poor substitute for the connection one feels when you are with a friend nor are the memories going to resonate quite the same, so maybe we all need to evaluate how we are interacting with those closest to us. Are we defaulting to leaving a 5 word note on Facebook to wish a friend well on their birthday or are we picking up the phone, having a conversation to wish them the best and make plans to see each other? It’s really that simple.

Baker suggests regularly scheduling time with friends; either agreeing to a particular routine where you can meet or relying on clubs, sports, etc… that have a schedule you can commit to and be a part of to avoid letting long stretches of time pass before you see each other. If you’d like to read more you can check out the full article here.

Goodbye 2016

2017, New YearA lot has been said about how crappy 2016 was and how many are looking forward to putting this year behind us, but upon further reflection I realized that despite some high profile losses – chief among them for me Prince & George Michael and other horrible events in the world – I’ve had a wonderful year.

I’m thankful for the time spent with my family and friends, the new friends Sergio and I made along the way this year and some really wonderful events / happenings including but not limited to the following:

Family

Caitlin was born on July 26 and Summer was born on March 18

I’m an uncle six times over now that I have Summer and Caitlin in my life. Although Caitlin (above left) is as big – if not bigger, Summer (above right) is actually four months older.  The photo was taken this fall when  Caitlin was about 4 months old and Summer was 8 months old.

Father, family

Mom and Dad both celebrated milestone birthdays in good health

My parents celebrated really big birthdays with friends and family this year. They both remain in good health and with their new home in Portsmouth, NH I hope I will be able to see more of them in 2017.

Sintra, Portugal

We had a blast visiting Portugal. Here we are in Sintra – an easy day trip from Lisbon.

Sergio and I took two international trips this year, visiting Portugal for the first time this past September (FYI – we loved it) and returning to family in Brazil in November / December. In addition to those trips I was able to visit friends in the following cities: Austin, TX in March; San Francisco and New York City. Sergio and I also escaped what turned out to be an incredibly mild winter by spending several days in San Juan, P.R. in February.

There is more to be thankful for as well including my aunt’s fight with cancer, a new job for my brother-in-law, a growing business for my other brother-in-law, we met several special people this year who we are lucky to have as friends and lest I forget, while I’m sad to see Obama leave office he concluded his 8 years in office in 2016 with a level of class and grace that I think will be left wanting in the years to come.

I wish and hope everyone has as wonderful a 2017 as Sergio and I had in 2016.

Fifteen years later, my September 11th tribute post to Graham

911, September 11thFor as long as I’ve had this blog I’ve paid tribute to my friend, Graham Berkeley, who was on the United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into New York’s World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001.  The 15 years that have passed since his tragic death account for more time than we were friends, but he remains present in my heart and is someone I think of whenever I visit Provincetown or hear Whitney Houston and sadly every September for far less happy reasons.

Taken too soon and still missed today, Americans will mourn an attack on the nation that is for most fodder for political debate and indignation; especially this year with a Presidential election pending.  For me the 11th of September is always about giving thanks that my partner was not working the United Airlines flight and about the days that followed, which included the unfortunate task of packing Graham’s belongings and shipping them to his parents in the U.K.

In loving memory of Graham.

Meeting poeple in Boston through LGBT social groups

Manhunt Pool Party MenLast year at this time I shared a post featuring different LGBT groups  you can join as a way to get out and meet people. I wanted to share the links again to encourage anyone looking to meet people or simply get out of the house.

Boston Gay Men’s Chorus is one of New England’s largest and most successful community-based choruses.  Auditions are Sunday, September 11th.

Boston Gay Men’s Books Club is monthly book club on MeetUp featuring literature by and about gay men. This month’s book is Insignificant Others by Stephen McCauley. They will meet on Monday, September 19 at 7PM at Trident Booksellers on Newbury Street in Back Bay.

Dignity Boston is a progressive, inclusive community of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics and their allies. All are invited for liturgy and social every Sunday at 5:00 PM, St. Stephen’s at 419 Shawmut Avenue, Boston. 

Fellows by TWC is a group of 30+ singles who meet the third Wednesday of each month for cocktails and conversation (next meeting is Sept. 21 – register to receive updates via email for their monthly socials).

Fenway Health has been working to make life healthier for the LGBT community for more than 40 years; the Fenway and AAC are always looking for volunteers.

Gay Beer Club is a Boston based organization that produces events and gatherings for members of the gay community.

Gay For Good mobilizes the LGBT community to interact with the greater community by volunteering their time with different monthly activities.

Gays for Patsy is a country western dancing club that holds events each month. Beginners are encouraged to join.

Keshet Boston is a grassroots organization working for the full inclusion of LGBT Jews in Jewish life, offering community events for LGBT Jews in Greater Boston.

New England Gay Men Camping is a social outdoor adventure group for gay men. They will be camping at Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MA Friday, September 16. 

Opus Affair is probably best known for their monthly cocktail party hosted at local restaurants  to raise money for local arts organizations. Next cocktail party is Monday, September 19th (at a personal favorite spot) SRV in the South End.

The Welcoming Committee is a young, social group who organize activities to broadening the spectrum of gay life here in Boston and beyond.

Apologies if I have overlooked any area gay organizations in the area.  Feel free to add information for any such group in the comments section of my blog.

Scruffy Sunday

man in bedWho wants to be the one to wake this guy up?

Previous Scruffy Sunday Posts

Enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend today

friendship, friends

Source: guysandcoffee.tumblr.com/

I force people to have coffee with me, just because I don’t trust that a friendship can be maintained without any other senses besides a computer or cellphone screen. – John Cusack

Throwback Thursday

BosGuy, TBT, Throwback ThursdayBack in the early and mid-90s I called Atlanta home. It was a wonderful time to be there, and I have many fond memories of that time. This photo was actually from one of the many trips we would make to what I fondly refer to as The Redneck Riviera, better known to most as Destin, FL.