I know we've probably all seen that meme and have laughed. But when I see it, I count my lucky stars that all of the men in my life get along. I'm sure I've written about it in the past, but when I see them hanging out and having fun my cold, dead heart just swells.
|L->R: Jay, Mez, me, Robbie|
Robbie and Mez were among the group of shooters who immediately took me under their wings when I was a baby shooter. I've written in the past about the importance of shooting buddies over on The GunDivas, but I don't know that I've talked here about how important it is for women to be surrounded by men who believe in them.
"My boys" are every bit as important to me as "my girls", and it might have been even more important to me that they approve of, and get along with, Jay. You see, my boys helped me heal from a bad break-up, though they didn't know it. My girls helped too, but in a different way. My girls listened to the sobbing and angst that went along with having my heart broken. My boys showed me my worth and believed in me. They treated me with kindness and respect without ever knowing how damaged I was. They accepted me for who I was: a new shooter who was willing to pull her own weight and learn the ropes. There might have been some hesitation at the very beginning, simply because the majority of the (very few) women who attended the shoots were there only to appease their significant others, so they didn't know what to expect.
There are some people who say that it's impossible for people of opposite genders to be friends, but I don't believe that at all. In fact, I think it's critically important to have friends of opposite genders.
There are lots of studies out there about how important a father figure is in a child's life, or failing that, a good male role model. I want to throw it out there that it's not just children who benefit from from good male role models. Having quality men in my life as an adult showed me how I deserved to be treated. I have a great father figure in Bill, but that's not the same as having friends who showed me, through their actions, what I could and should expect.
As important as it was for my girls to approve of Jay when we started dating, it was every bit (maybe more) important for my boys to approve of him. It was equally important that Jay not be threatened by my male friends. As a society, we tend to talk about strong women, but we don't talk about strong men. Let me tell you, it takes a strong man to go into a relationship with a woman who is surrounded by men she has a history with, and who she loves in the same way she loves her girls.
Maybe that's why this picture means so much to me. I have spent a great deal of time this week counting my blessings that Jay and my boys melded so well. Every time I see them together, my heart swells. It's not just Mez and Robbie who Jay gets along with, I'm talking all of my male friends.