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Online Dating to Death by Sam Folks

So it’s Movember, you know the huge movement for men’s health? Movember raises money for cancer research (particularly testicular and prostate cancers) and spreads awareness about all men’s health issues. It’s a massive, global cause that has everyone growing caterpillars, or in some cases, full blown face bushes to promote participation in and support for Movember. Additionally and more specifically, the Bloggers for Movember team is back in full swing this year.  Elizabeth Dating  Trenton Dating  Paterson Dating  New Brunswick Dating

Now, I could continue this post by telling you about my obsession with facial hair, like I did last year, but instead I want to dig deeper. Because Bloggers for Movember means more to me than the fact that considerably more men are walking around with panty dropping stache’s. So hear me out.

Up until the past few years, I have never experienced death or serious illness. Not dealing with anyone close to me anyway. Sure, I had family members who I was too young to really know who died, and I saw a few family dogs go “back to the farm” during my childhood. But I still only cried at funerals, because everyone else sobbed around me. I didn’t feel true loss. I didn’t understand it.

When I thought of adulthood, I thought of jobs, kids, marriage, families, grocery shopping, and drinking coffee. I didn’t think about the unpredictable. The unforeseen. The cruel backstab of Death.

I want to talk about my friend. I want to talk about my friend who died. I want to talk about his death by writing about the first death I had to deal with on a personal, lonely level; a virgin to true loss.

I’ve always been one to have more guy friends than girl friends. Not for any reason, or that I prefer it that way, it just has always sort of been that way. Sometimes I find myself feeling more compassion for men. Again, I can’t exactly pinpoint why, but I recognize it. I attribute this to my connection with Jet.

Jet and I grew up together. He was always friends with my older brother, so naturally they never gave me the time of day, and I didn’t try to get it. Fast forward to college. I am barely 17 years old, and out at a nightclub named after a beer barrel. I see Jet. I remember the predictable first conversation, the one you have with someone who sees you unexpectedly for the first time in a few years. “How are you? You go to school here too? Remember that time your brother made me smoke cigarettes?”

Admittedly, I remember feeling kind of smug to be getting his attention after all of those years of fulfilling the role of lame little sister. I’ll never forget the last thing he told me that first night we chatted as ‘adults’, “I promised your brother I’d watch out for you, so I’m watching out for you. Deal with it”. And then we downed a beer.

We were friends.

I remember so many things about Jet. He was hilariously misunderstood. I knew people who couldn’t fathom a friendship with him, because of his dry humor and harmlessly disdainful tone. That was just Jet, and I got it. I enjoyed his humor, as it was similar to mine.

Memories are funny. You don’t think you will remember what you remember about a person, and you never remember the things you expected to. We went to homecoming together. We did Finance homework together. I bought him in a frat auction while he was dressed as a Ninja Turtle wearing a fucking diaper, just so he could NOT come do the dishes at my apartment. We weren’t best friends. We didn’t have profound history. But we were true friends.

When Jet died, I hadn’t seen him since the beginning of the year. When he died, I couldn’t remember the last things we said to each other. I was upset that I couldn’t remember, angry that I couldn’t remember. All I could see was what he was wearing in the hallway where we passed each other in those last months of school. I wish we had enjoyed one more Mardi Gras together with all of our friends. I wish we could have listened to Stealers Wheel in that SUV one more time. I wish he knew how much his life had meant something.

You see, how Jet died isn’t important. It was something that couldn’t have been predicted or prevented. But you know what is important? That Jet died. It’s important for men who CAN do something to prevent life threatening health issues to DO that something.

Jet probably never knew how much our friendship meant to me. I don’t think I even knew, until he died. Someone you know, one of your friends, thinks the same of you. So go to that check up and do what you can to take care of yourself. Maybe that way we can all stay virgins to death for a little bit longer.