I read with interest and some amazement the “tribute to my male friends” capably penned by Vicki Sullivan about her lifetime experiences having male friends (“Maine Observer: Can women and men be friends?,” Dec. 8).

I am a married man, and over my lifetime, when single or married, I have had and continue to have several female friends. I do not choose to name them, only because I might omit one and would certainly not choose to hurt anyone’s feelings by not including them.

To me, it is ridiculous to exclude friendship with anyone of the other sex merely because of her gender. In the main (Maine included), I find that women are much more interesting than many guys I know.

At a party, I tend to move away from the “band of brothers” and look for one or more female friends, as a diet of sports and/or business talk can be quite boring, while women offer a different slant on the world.

If a marriage hinges on a man (or woman) having a friendship with only his or her own gender, then that marriage is on rusty hinges and could fall apart anyway.

I love my female friends – they make me appreciate being a male much more than any of my buddies might.

John H. Linscott

Portland