The one with the squint and the fat chin?
Dear Regular Guy,
Why does my man always have at least one bad thing to say about my friends? It doesn't matter who they are or how nice they are, he will always find at least one trait of theirs to pick up on and slag off. - Fed Up.
Dear Fed Up,
Easy one this.
It's self-preservation mixed with a touch of manliness.
Men can't be seen to openly like their friends or to be heard saying anything remotely seriously positive about them. Hence, we always rip in to each other or put each other down. The more we love our friend the more we will take the piss out of them and the crueler we will nickname them.
Being heard to say that your best friend's shirt is really nice or that you think he has great hair is tantamount to saying that Brokeback Mountain really reached out and spoke to you. Instead we will point out that his shirt looks like something from the 70s and his hair is thinning out at the top.
It's what we do.
So we do the same to female friends too, because it's all we know. To do anything else would be weird or could possibly be misconstrued as flirting.
And this is where the self-preservation comes in.
No way on this planet are we going to risk going down "Do you fancy my friend?" Avenue. If openly liking our best male mate is bad, then liking your female friends is evil personified.
We aren't in love with your friend just because she has beautiful legs up to her armpits, massive boobs and a spankable backside - no way; besides, have you noticed her huge feet? We can't risk saying we "really like" your friend in case you decide we fancy her, which takes things to a dangerous place.
But the fact is some of your friends are probably quite attractive. Their bodies are nice, their hair is nice and in some cases, even their personality is nice. This is true. However, it just isn't our place to say that. If we do then it won't come out sounding like we simply like your friend, it will come out sounding like we want her - and that is not the case, honest!
Recently, I had a very similar conversation with my own wife about this. I was effectively told enough was enough and that I was to stop saying negative things about her friends and instead was to start being nicer.
Here's how it went the very next time she mentioned one of her friends, who I have cunningly renamed "Kylie" for protection (mine). I think this proves why we are on a lose-lose footing whenever we talk about your friends and why it is that we usually play it safe to be guilty of the lesser of the two wrongs.
It all started when my wife said, "I'm seeing Kylie tomorrow. I haven't seen her for ages so it should be nice"
"Yes, you remember her, tall and blonde, came to that BBQ."
"Oh - Kylie."
"She's something special. Have you noticed the way her eyes light up the room or how her smile makes your heart skip a beat? Her breasts defy gravity like the Goodyear Blimp and her legs - don't get me started on her legs. I could talk to her for hours because she is so interesting and bright that conversation just flows. I'd be on her in a shot, given the chance"
"Her arse is a bit fat."
"You really are a dick."