05.07.2012 10:56 AM

I love you, man

I like obits better than just about anything else in newspapers, most days, so it wasn’t unusual that I read about the passing of Goober.  This part I read, then re-read:

In a statement released through the funeral home, Griffith, 85, called Lindsey his friend and said that they would often talk on the phone, most recently a few days before the actor’s death.

‘I am happy to say that as we found ourselves in our eighties, we were not afraid to say, `I love you,’’ Griffith went on to say. ‘That was the last thing George and I had to say to each other. `I love you.’’

Every straight man loves other men – their fathers and brothers, their grandfathers, and so on – and sometimes can even say so.  But it’s hard.  To the consternation of women, who are smarter about these things, we are socialized to never, ever say what Andy Griffiths said.  We are taught that it is against our nature.  That it’s weak.

That’s absurd, of course, and we know it.  But we still do it.  For instance, as I type this, I am wrestling with whether I should tell you if I have ever done what Andy Griffith did, so plainly, with his now-departed friend.

As many of my female friends will tell you, I believe that the vast majority of men are emotional cripples.  We’re messed up.  And, perhaps, our inability to be honest about our feelings is what lands us in trouble so frequently.

What say you, O Wise Readers?  And, for the male ones, have any of you said what Andy Griffiths has said, recently?




  1. paul says:

    Way too Beta. There are real reasons men are hardwired to be strong. It is not perfect but we learn to express ourselves to our brothers in other ways.
    People are free to do as they choose but I hope there are still some Alphas standing when the sh** hits the fan. These are strange times.

    • Heather Emme says:

      Actually, the concept that men cannot platonically admit their love for one another is newer than you’d think. There are a slew of languages that have words for fraternal love. Famous thinkers wrote on its beauty and importance. It’s also pretty North American. In my admittedly brief travels, I’ve seen a far different male relationship archetype than we have here in Canada.

      Aside from that, I’m certain being an alpha is about setting rules, not following them. If you cannot say you love someone because of the impression it might make, that makes you the beta.

      • Ted B says:


        I personally think it has far more to do with a cultural homophobia – or more precisely a fear of being labelled gay – that has devolved in the 20th century where an ambiguous statement like “I love you” – love me? how? platonically or romantically? – is given a negative interpretation just because it has the potential to be romantic.

      • Bil Huk says:

        i prefer to to think of myself as a VHS.

  2. Matt Ellis says:

    We shouldn’t feel that way. I tell my friends, both male and female, that I love them all the time. You never know when you might not be able to say it again.

  3. Craig says:

    I love you, Warren

  4. Tiem says:

    My late husband was big, strong, sincere and emotionally wise; so he was greatly loved by the men he worked with.
    He was often present during hard emotional situations for younger co-workers as a staunch support.
    “Love you, man” became easy for them all to say openly.
    Max, a grandnephew once announced to the family that “Unca Mike has a lot of lovers”.
    Nice to know he is remembered that way.

  5. In the system says:

    Careful, Warren. Margaret Wente might hear about this…

  6. Dan says:

    I think the words come out a little more easily to younger generations… so long as it’s followed with “bro”, “dude”, or the classic, “(no homo)”.

    • Reality.Bites says:

      Yes, nothing enriches an expression of love more than following it up with an expression of bigotry.

  7. In all seriousness politicians, especially male politicians, seem lacking on the emotional level. It’s in vogue to be strident and inflexible – recipes for disaster in personal relationships for the most part.

    While we project the need to be strong in our leaders to defeat the enemy, Churchill was by his own account, a very emotional person. He attributed it to his ability to connect with people, especially when giving speeches and motivating the populace during the war effort.

    He seemed to have the right stuff when the world needed it.

  8. Bil Huk says:

    men in my family have rarely had trouble telling each other that they love one another. eastern europeans can drink with, kiss, and hug other men in their family with a certain degree of comfort.

    i find it more difficult with male friends whom i love. During particularly difficult or joyous occasions, its easier, but seeing some of the hands that life deals out, all men would be better served saying i love you alot more than we do.

  9. Lala says:

    I love you, Warren.

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