Dear Papa: I’m about to move to a new city for work. I met plenty of friends in high school, at camp, playing baseball and in college. Since I’ve basically lived here my entire life, I can always find someone to hang out with, but now I’m at a total loss. How do grown men make friends with other men?
—Lonesome in Lansdowne
Dear Lonesome: Men have other men they’ve known since they were boys. Men have comrades they’ve shared their last sips of Grappa with as bombs burst overhead. Men have men who teach them how to drink wine from a goatskin so it sizzles on the back of the throat. Men have men who pour them daiquiris or bring them cappuccinos at a cafe. Men have rivals for love. Men have rivals for talent. Men have men who fail to be true rivals, no matter how hard they try, and men have men they sit next to at a bar to talk about the fights. Men have women. Men can even have men who help them carry their poles when they go fishing. Men do not have friends.
Dear Papa: Now that the weather is warm, I want to ride my bike more, but whenever I bike in a dress I get honked at. I’m sick of getting cat-called for just leaving my house! What should I do?
—Bare-Legged in Bella Vista
Dear Bare: I don’t understand. What is the problem? Wear pants? Don’t ride your bike? Shout back? Tell each one to shove his own eye in his asshole? Marry them? That would surely cause suffering. But, really — why would you ask me this? The only reason I’ve ever worn a dress is to hear what a man had to say about it.