Is it possible for men and women to be friends?
I grew up sandwiched between two brothers. I had a bowl cut, skinned palms and knees, and didn’t wear a girl’s bathing suit until people started making rude comments. Even then, I wasn’t psyched about it – Jams were cool and sand didn’t get all caught in the lining. My best friend, Joe, lived next door and we had a path between our houses, a break in the stone wall, and a whole world in our backyards. This all crumbled when an upperclassman asked us on the bus ride home from school if we were dating. I didn’t understand it back then.
Is it possible for two people of the opposite sex to respect each other and enjoy each other’s company without a relationship developing or the want of something more on either side fucking everything up? I would like to believe so. Because if not, any time a man is nice to me, it would follow that I have to assume it’s because he wants to sleep with me or that he wants me making his waffles and folding his underwear on a Saturday morning in the future. And that’s pretty depressing because I think we all have a lot to offer as friends and people in addition to what we offer as a lover or spouse.
And I hope that every time I smile at a guy and look him in the eye he’s not thinking I want to sleep with him or that I’m hitting on him. Because I’m not. I’m being polite and nice and nothing else. Is male/female interaction really all about sex? Am I incredibly naive to think it doesn’t always have to be and that I don’t always want it to be?
I enjoy my girlfriends. I enjoy conversations with close girl friends that I would never have with my brothers or close guy friends. But I also enjoy my guy friends and the ease of their personalities, the dynamic that can be cuttingly sarcastic, downright crude and also incredibly helpful.
I enjoy my guy friends and I don’t want to sleep with them – hopefully that doesn’t offend them. I don’t want to have to worry when we’re hanging out that they want to sleep with me. That by laughing at a funny joke I’m leading them on.
It’s kind of along the same lines as the whole just because a woman is gay doesn’t mean she wants to bone every woman who walks the face of this earth … or vice versa for a gay man. Yes, I have friends who are insane and attracted to a LOT of people, but that’s the exception, not the rule. And yes, some of them might want to take every guy they meet who has a pulse home, but for the most part, if “it” isn’t there, a friendship sure as hell would be a sweet second option.
I get bummed out thinking about the friendship that Joe and I missed out on because some ass made a comment that made us both uncomfortable.