Monday, October 02, 2006

What Boys Taught Me

I know I don’t tell personal stories about myself very often, but this weekend reminded me of something. (V Note: And to the few of you who could read more to this than there is, I’d ask that this post not be misinterpreted as taking a side as that’s not what it is about at all).

First, while I wouldn’t trade my girlfriends for anything, 9 times outta 10, I get along with guys better. My first friend in kindergarten was a boy and I’ve always just felt more comfortable with groups of then. I thrived on my friendships with boys so when I was in high school, I never had a boyfriend, ever. I had many “guy friends” but rarely the occasional flirtation or “hook up.”

In my mind, conceding sexual feelings meant the end of these guys valuing me as their friend. I actually remember thinking this when I was in second grade as I watched Tony Ellis, the heart throb of Washington Elementary, "go with" and dump girl after girl after girl after girl, while I got to remain his friend for several more years and that meant lots of fun times with him and his buddies. But in fifth grade, I made the mistake and agreed to “go” with him and was promptly dumped for Tina Bluett one week later and our friendship never recovered. That lesson stayed with me.

In high school, I was a member of the speech and debate team, and I credit a lot of who I am today to those people and experiences. Anyway, as you can imagine, there are not a whole lot of cuties that go to these speech tournaments a.k.a dork fests. I had several girlfriends on the team that were pretty darn cute so we got a bit of attention from the guys. We essentially had two main schools that we were close too and that included attention from about 10-15 different dudes (some just friendly, others more).

So, while there were several guys that I would have dated or at least liked to hang out with more seriously, I wouldn’t. The main reason is because I hated the idea of guys talking to me because they wanted to hook up with me. At the age of fifteen, I was seriously paranoid that I would lose friends because I’d choose one over the other or others wouldn’t care about me if they had made out with me or whatever. This fear gave me an incredible capability to push people (guys) away just so that I could keep them close.

It got to the point where I’d have three or four friends of guys coming up to me and saying “so and so really likes you” or “so and so wants to go out with you” –you know, typical high school stuff. I’d always laugh it off. Always.

Most of them quit trying after a while, and eventually we all settled into some great friendships.

When I went to college, I met a guy who proved to be everything I could ever want in a first love, but we didn’t start dating because I was worried that it would ruin our friendship. In fact, we were strangely intimate friends for several months before I’d even admit “I like you.”

It’s been a while since I thought about that because in the real world the divider between friends and “lovers” is rarely cross and re-crossed. A few months ago, I went on a overly-passionate rant because I was having a great chat with a guy and then as soon as he found out that I was not available, he just stopped mid-sentence and left me standing there.

He has a right to that (particularly if he assumes the only value a woman has is her vagina), and I certainly respect the idea that “Hey, I’ve got enough friends,” or "you're not my friend-type," but as a female who has many guy friends that I value and hopefully enhance their life in some ways other than sexually, those type of scenarios bring back a lot of memories.


Blogger KassyK said...

V-You haven't taken sides as far as I see it (not knowing the situation of course) but I wanted to tell you--YES VOMIT HERE IT COMES--I love you. You are an incredible human being and friend.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Sweet said...

Having an 'incredible capability to push people (guys) away just so that I could keep them close.' Sounds VERY familiar. I have more close guy friends than girls as well. And I haven't dated any of them, eventhough they are very datable, for pretty much the same reason. And when I admit to myself that I may be interested in one of them -- I immediately stop being myself around him, and become a nervous wreck. Annoying to say the least.

12:02 PM  
Blogger V said...

K: Thanks, dude.

Sweet: I totally understand. I almost missed out on one of the best things that ever happened to me for that reason. Sometimes you have to listen to your heart and not your fears.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Oooh, welcome to Heather B's world of divulging like to a male friend. It's awesome! Come have a seat and feel the craziness and nerves.

I adore my male friends and most of them I could never date, but one particular male I happen to be slightly in like with right now and made the really fantastic decision to tell him...and well yeah...The last few weeks have been spectacular to say the least.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Well, I'm going to change things up here at the shmoozfest and quote Frank T.J. Mackey (from Magnolia).....

"Do you think they're your friends? They're not your friends. Do you really think she'll be there when things go bad? Huh? When things go wrong? You think again. Fucking Denise. Denise the piece. Oh, you're gonna give me that cherry pie sweet mama baby."

Sage advice follows.....

"But: Listen up: That is not to say that we don't all need women as friends, 'cause we're gonna learn later on in Chapter 23 that having a couple of chick-friends laying around can come in real handy in setting Jealousy Traps."

And the classic.....

"Respect the cock... and tame the cunt. Tame it."

V, this is why that guy stopped in middle of a sentence the moment he knew there would be no prize. It's just biology, don't take it personally ;-)

1:39 PM  
Blogger V said...

Heather: That is great, and good for you for stepping up and putting yourself out there.

Sean: Awesome quotes, I love that movie (and that character P.T created). And, I don't take it personally, it's just something I was thinking about and hadn't thought about in a long while.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Cool V, perhaps I can use you sometime to set a Jealousy Trap? I think you would be quite effective. LOL!

2:40 PM  
Anonymous kyle foley said...

v, do you support boehner?

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

V - Long time reader, first time poster as your post has definitely touched something that some of my friends and I discuss a lot.

I think the post actually speaks to the very nature of men and women and society. I understand the position you were in growing up - I did the same thing to girls I REALLY liked and not just hooked up with. I knew it could wreck everything if we hooked up and it didnt work out (which of course it wouldn't). But can guys and girls really be friends for life? I grew up in a small town, and went to kindergarten with the same people I graduated with for the most part. From that time I have my core group of friends that includes one girl who seems like you ie: one of the guys, always around etc., yet none of us dated her. (She was attractive also, so it isn't like someone would not be into her.) She and I have both moved away but we all get together as group a few times a year. She even asked me to read at her wedding and it was really great, but somehow awkward. Is it because we are basically programmed to reproduce with the opposite sex that it becomes socially awkward to have CLOSE opposite sex friends for life? Not that I am particularly affected by what is socially accepted, but it seems that sometimes those friends fall to the wayside once we are older/married etc. Not because we like them any less, but because that emotional/friend closeness is societally "supposed" to occur with a spouse/significant other. Is it a function of age? maturity? habit?

You seem close to a number of opposite sex friends so how has that affected your "regular" relationships or do you say "hey if he can't handle my friends you aren't really that into me etc?" and to the guy who stopped talking mid-sentence, is it OK that he was so interested in you (maybe not just for sex, but more) and didn't want to make that investment in yet another female "friend". Maybe he was the guy who always ends up as friends - not that he only values the vagina. I mean come on, Its OK to value it but not ONLY that!

Anyway great post and keep up the good work.


12:48 PM  
Blogger V said...

Ash: Thank you for these thoughts and questions. I'm going to think on this a little and get back to you.

Thanks again--

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Dumbass said...

I took a monster SHIT today.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

My best male friends in high school and college were inevitably guys who were promised to someone else. I knew I could be completely myself around them because neither of us was after a sexual relationship. These relationships sometimes danced around sex, but I never betrayed the other woman and was never asked to. My wonderful memories are of these guys and not the discarded boyfriends or the lovers who dumped me. As an adult, there is nothing better than a gay guy as a friend. As wonderful as sex can be, it has the potential to fuck up a good relationship!

9:58 PM  
Blogger WiB said...

Here you have the explanation for why women complain about not being able to 'find a good guy' and men constantly lament the fact that 'women only date assholes.'

Ladies, you essentially program yourselves to not consider the guys that will actually be good to you, because you want that in a friend, and wanting that in a friend necessarily makes that person not dateable. So those of us Quality Gentlemen get to hear things like, "you would make such a good boyfriend (just not for me)" or "I can't believe you don't have a girlfriend (although I'm not going to date you)" while we listen to our female friends wonder where all the good guys disappeared to. Not that anybody blogs about that or anything.

And for the record, I don't think a woman's only value is her vagina.

I also like boobs.

Uh, I mean smart, confident, funny women. Sometimes I get that confused...

2:29 PM  
Blogger The View From Dupont said...

"When I went to college, I met a guy who proved to be everything I could ever want in a first love, but we didn’t start dating because I was worried that it would ruin our friendship. In fact, we were strangely intimate friends for several months before I’d even admit “I like you.”"

I just wanted to thank you for putting that little aside into the story... I had a first love just like that actually, and it made me smile a bit to remember that feeling of being so close to your best friend and knowing you were falling but the terror that it involved... but having that friend, and eventually more, was one of the best moments ever for me (even if it lasted over a year). Thanks for reminding.

8:51 AM  

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