I wrote earlier about the value of good friends and expressed that I would rather be average among a group of big dick guys, than the top dog of a pack of limp dick guys.
Well, I found a guy that makes me feel average.
We’ll call him Big D, because his name is Dave. Big D is one of the other Tae Kwon Do parents and we’ve been hanging out twice a week for the last two or three years. We always get along and look forward to our weekly conversations. Over the last year or so, we’ve started spending time together outside of the class. A couple of kids birthday parties, cookouts, etc.
Big D and his wife are a few years older than us; I’m 35, he is 43. Our wives grew up in the same town, but were far enough apart in age that they were just acquaintances when they were younger. Now they are becoming hang out buddies. They take camera classes together and go on photo shoot outings.
Vocationally, Big D has accomplished quite a bit in our small town, rural setting. He’s worked for the Sheriff’s Department, been an EMT and paramedic, and currently works as a Nurse Practitioner at a local Family Care center.
So, Big D has me trumped as far as age and social status. On top of that, he seems to know how to do everything. He is an avid hunter, maintains his own vehicles, remodeled his own house, hell he even brews his own beer. He’s also an expert marksman.
All of that is great, but what really has me impressed with Big D is that he seems to be a better friend than me.
In a single weekend he a.) Invited our family to join them at a Chuckie Cheeze type pizza/game place for his daughter’s birthday. He paid for everything. b.)Took our middle daughter home for a sleepover, then took her out on the lake on Saturday. c.) Came over later that day to help me install the liner in our new pool. d.) Stopped by yesterday after work to diagnose my wife’s kidney infection and offered to keep the kids while we went to the ER.
For the majority of our marriage, we have been the initiators. With the exception of the group I talked about earlier, we have always been the more active half of any friendships we’ve had. I’m not used to being around someone who proactively does more for me than I do for him. It is a little unsettling.
My wife and I discussed this over the weekend. We have to work on being more active with Big D and his wife. She said she’s going to just go grab their kids for a couple of days so they can have some time alone. We need to be having them over for dinner more often. I need to help him put up his trampoline. We aren’t talking about doing it just to try and keep up; I think they need it.
Big D is an awesome guy, but they live out in the country and work all the time. I don’t get the sense that they do much socializing. I’ve never heard him talk about having a hunting buddy. I’ve never heard them talk about having other couples over for dinner. The wife doesn’t seem to have many social friends either. Everything seems to be just the two of them.
I want to make sure I’m clear on this. I’m not trying to compete with Big D; that would be petty. He clearly outranks me and I’m perfectly content to spend time with the guy and learn a lot of useful things from him.
But this is a guy that I would be honored to have as a close friend. I want to make sure we are treating him and his family with the respect and appreciation they deserve.