Friday, April 15, 2011

Boys and Girls

Let me start this off by saying that I have no problem with homosexuality. Personally, I'm a girl that likes boys, but I think that people should love whoever they want to regardless of genders. If you want to be gay, be gay. If you want to be straight, be straight. If you want to love both boys and girls, go for it. No judgment here.

That aside, I find myself continuously frustrated at how ambiguous sexual orientation can be these days. I think I used to have decent gaydar, but lately it seems to be broken. Maybe it's all the blending people seem to be doing. Polyamory is even acceptable these days, especially in the weird little hipster universe that I live in (I still don't really get polyamory, but that's a whole different topic).

Anyway, it's impossible to tell who's gay, straight, or otherwise. Like I said earlier, I don't care which way you swing. But it's nice to be able to know.

I guess I have a habit of putting the people in my life into boxes. I categorize them based on the behavior they exhibit and then I interact with them in an appropriate manner.

This would be a good system if people stayed in the boxes I put them in. I'm learning that people don't do that. People are too complicated to be sorted into brain boxes and they rarely stay in the category I think they belong in.

For example, if someone is going on dates with boys and giving me occasional fashion advice, I'm going to put them in the "gay best friend" box. I'm going to invite them over for disco parties. If they suddenly start showing interest in becoming more than friends with me, I'm going to be totally thrown off. Why? Because that behavior does not fit my expectation of how a boy in the "gay best friend" box should act.

I think I should stop pretending that everyone can fit neatly into a box. No more compartments. No more predetermined ideas of what my various friendships should look like.

The next part of this word vomit parade harks back to the age old question brought to you by our friends Harry and Sally (specifically when they met): Can men and women ever just be friends or does sex always get in the way?

If you know the answer to this question, please tell me.

I've spent my entire life trying to believe that platonic friends are possible. But the truth is, every platonic friendship I've ever had has been weird at some point in time for one of the following reasons:

a) He likes me and it's not mutual.
b) I like him and it's not mutual.
c) We like each other, it's mutual, it doesn't work out, and then it's awkward.
d) I don't like him but I think he likes me even though in reality he doesn't.
e) He doesn't like me but thinks I like him even though I don't.
f) He gets drunk and says something weird.
g) He gets a girlfriend and then has no room in his life for other girls.
h) A jealous party misinterprets our platonic friendship and starts 7th grade-style rumors.

I'm going to stop before I go through the entire alphabet.

Of course, friendships aren't always ruined over these things. Some of my greatest friends are of the opposite sex and we've totally moved past any weirdness or sexual tension. But I have also lost friendships because of these things. Though it should no longer be unexpected, it's always somewhat surprising. Not to mention disappointing.

I want to live in a world where men and women can be friends without having to worry about love or sex or what people think. Sadly, I don't think a world like that exists. I think the fact that one person has a penis and the other person does not is always going to come up in some way, shape, or form.

It's only taken me a little over 23 years to realize this. Go me.

This doesn't mean I'm giving up on platonic friendships, but maybe I can begin to view them more realistically. Maybe next time I can have a little foresight and I won't have to listen to all of my neighbors say "I told you so."


  1. This post is my life Lauren!

    I have one true guy friend - but he tends to disappear when he gets a girlfriend.

    And my current boy-issue seems to be either from b), c), or f) - the jury is out on this.

    I wish we could just get our shit together enough to figure it out. Boys are so stupid. That is something that I know to be true - that isn't something I need to ponder. It's the level and degree of stupidity that I'm unsure of.

  2. Guys and girls can never remain just friends. One of them will have feelings for the other, sooner or later.

  3. In my experience, it's usually reason b. Some guys can get past that, like H, who is now my best friend. But others, like C, somehow manage to leave my life completely. I'm not sure how he managed that, since he still lives just down the hall from me.

  4. I'm one of those weird people who's almost always been able to avoid that weirdness and sexual tension. Most of my guy friends, it hasn't ever existed with, and those were it did at some point, it was acknowledged, and moved on from.

    *shrug* I have a feeling though for me it has a lot to do with that I act more like a guy to begin with. I understand them better, and I'm often immediately under the 'one of the guys' category.

  5. I also compartmentalize people. I'm working really hard on that this year, because I found I was getting disappointed often.

    I think men and women can, more or less be platonic friends, but there are always going to be little things that could be misconstrued. E.G. I have a friend in his late 30's who is married and has two lovely kids. I have 0 interest in him and he, 0 interest in me. He has, on occasion told me how beautiful I am. If his wife were a jealous sort of person, I'm sure that that could get all tangled up into some sort of mess.

    Thus, I think personality types of everyone involved in a friendship, not just the individual parties play a role.

    Blah blah blah, etc.

  6. You've got 3 years on me questioning(/realising?) it.
    Even if I try and cut back on my boxes for people I still think I'm going to end up with two: boys and girls. Unfortunately I always interact with them a little differently, they both get the best out of me, but sometimes different bests. If that makes sense...?


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