Life is hard. It seems like every new day brings a new question that, try as you might, you’re just unable to find an answer for. The Smoking Jacket understands this, and we’re here to help.
Each week, media sensation Tracy Pendergast and TSJ’s managing editor, Adam Tod Brown, set aside some time in their busy schedules to answer your questions in a feature we’ve cleverly named “Ask TSJ.”
This week’s question comes from Mark, a reader in New Jersey…
I called my buddy the other day because I hadn’t talked to him in a few weeks. After we talked for a few minutes, he asked what I was calling about and I said I was just calling to chat. Next thing I know he’s tearing into me about how dudes aren’t supposed to call each other just to chat. Do you agree?
Tracy Pendergast: This is a great question, but you may be asking the wrong person. I am the most awkward phone talker on the face of the planet. I am the one who lets it get silent for just a couple seconds too long, and then when you try to jump in and save the day I speak over you at the same time, causing it all to happen again. I avoid phone calls at all cost with only three exceptions- guys I’m interested in, people who give me work and my mother (She’s a cool broad).
We live in a glorious age. A time when technology is so advanced, we can all communicate with absolutely no human interaction. I am a great friend, but I prefer to maintain my friendships via text. With all the options out there like email, IM, texting and social networking you are really making a bold statement by picking up the phone and longing for a human to answer.
Now, I realize that these feeling aren’t the status quo for most women, so let’s get to the question at hand- Is it weird for dudes to call each other? Well…yeah…on a regular basis it kind of is. I think it’s weird for any friends to feel the need to talk constantly. This gets especially rough as we become adults with jobs, spouses and kids. Do I think it’s weird to call once in a while just to catch up or for advice? Absolutely not. Just be honest with your friends- if you’re not really a phone talker let them know so they don’t think you’re dodging them. Use the phone to make plans and then hang out and chat in person… then cancel last minute via text…they might be mad at first, but it’s nothing a Facebook poke can’t fix.
Adam Tod Brown: Holy bejeezus. No, it’s not acceptable. It’s not acceptable at all. Your “buddy” was right to chastise you for that horse shit. I’ve turned down writing gigs solely because the person offering up the job wanted to “hop on the phone” to work out the details. The chances of me taking a phone call and listening to you gab for an hour and coming away from it not completely resenting you are slim to none.
I could go the rest of my life without a phone call from another living person and be completely happy. There’s a reason why cell phone companies are so quick to offer up unlimited talk minutes these days. That reason is because nobody gives a shit about talk minutes. If you can’t effectively stay in touch with people without spending countless hours per month on the phone, buy one of those “Social Networking for Dummies” books and fix your shit.
But it’s not just my abject hatred for talking on the phone that leads me to say that a dude shouldn’t call another dude just to chat. Guy time is supposed to be an escape. It’s supposed to be a time to either get away from your nagadocious spouse/girlfriend or, if you’re single, to get away from your cave of loneliness and spend a couple hours interacting with other people. Talking on the phone takes that one good thing about male friends right out of the equation. I need guy friends so I have someone to go see eardrum shredding punk bands at seedy clubs with. I need guy friends so I have someone to sneak booze into movies about things that explode with.
What I don’t need are guy friends who want to sit on the phone for an hour sharing their feelings. If a dude is calling me, it damn well better be because they need bail money. Otherwise, save the conversation for when I see you at happy hour.
Tracy Pendergast is a writer, model, singer, television personality and former Navy Seal. We might be lying about one of those facts. Check out her official website or follow her on Facebook to find out which one.
Got a question for Adam and Tracy? Click here and fire away. If we use it…your life will immediately improve for the better.