Friends With Benefits? Only if You're Talkin' Health, Dental, and 401k

Editorial by Shamus Greensboro

I got this ladyfriend, she done broke up with her boy-toy last month. She calls me up to cry on my shoulder, because I'm such a good listener she says. Nevermind that I lost most of my hearin' in the war.

We meet at Paddy's Irish Pub, down in the meatpacking district. She's talkin' my ear off about what happened between her and this guy, how he left her for her hairdresser, Lance, and how now she's got to go find a new place to get her hair done. "Where's your lady, Shamus?" she asks me.

I tell her that at the present time, I'm between girlfriends. I usually dump 'em before the holidays, and pick up a new one after Valentine's Day. It's a tough economy, and ever since I been laid off at the steel mill (two years and counting), I've had to save money wherever I can.

"Do you know what friends with benefits are?" my ladyfriend asks. "We have drinks together--why can't we do other things?"

Can't say I'd ever heard the term before, but she says it's an arrangement between two friends to have sexual relations...without entering into a romantic relationship. No strings attached. She and I been friends for a while, but we ain't never made it with each other, she says.

"I don't need no sex," I says to her. "What I need is to get my teeth fixed. What I need is to visit the doctor for the stones rattlin' around in my kidneys. What I need is a retirement plan.

"Unless you can sweeten the package, I'm going to have to pass."

She's a good-lookin' gal, but a man's got needs. Friends with benefits? Only if you're talkin' health, dental, and 401k.