Almost a year ago, 1/3 of the Little Corner of Moron suggested that we go to New Orleans for Halloween. I said “sure, okay,” and sort of forgot about it for awhile because in the past six years that we’ve been friends, things always get suggested and then never materialize and that’s just how it goes. But then a few weeks ago, he e-mailed me to say that we should start getting our shit together if the trip was going to happen. So now we’re half-assedly planning. We would be full-assedly planning if another 1/3 of the Little Corner of Moron didn’t have responsibilities like being married and having children, but his wife is pretty cool and it’s not like we’ll be gone for a whole week (more like two whole days, I think), so all of us going is probable. And while New Orleans is the preference, we did concede that both Nashville and Memphis have alcohol that they would be willing to sell to us if a closer alternative becomes necessary.
I told Graham about the New Orleans plan way back when it was first suggested, so I don’t really blame him for forgetting about it until I mentioned it recently. I didn’t expect him to be thrilled about me going to New Orleans without him, but I did assure him that if he didn’t have to work (and he does have to work, because all the freaks with too much bloody money go to the Central West End on Halloween), he was more than welcome to come. Which he most definitely would be, and it’s just a shame that he can’t.
Then he said, “I can’t believe I’m letting you go to New Orleans with two guys.”
And I said, “Excuse me?”
Because…um, really? Letting me? Oh, I see how that goes. You’re saying things that aren’t really true, because even though I am an adult and I can do what I want, we’re in a relationship and those are supposed to involve letting one another do things.
And the two guys thing, which was so ridiculous to hear that I couldn’t come up with a response at first. I think I finally went with, “they’re barely even guys,” which was a bit mean-spirited, but to me? They’re barely even guys. One of them is happily married with two cool kids, the other is like my shorter, hairier, gingerer sibling with an even fouler mouth. To me, they don’t register as guys. They register as people who are my friends and might as well be asexual for all the thought I’ve put into that subject.
I don’t think Graham meant what he said seriously. He’s not that kind of person and we don’t fight like that. Like I said, I think he was saying it because that’s what people who are in relationships are supposed to say. Plus he was a little envious that I get to go to New Orleans while he has to work, which I understand, but at the same time, he’s going to Hawaii next month and I’m not so he can continue crying me that river. It was just unsettling to hear from him at first, and now that I’ve had a few weeks to think about it, it still bothers me because I’m sick of everyone intimating that I can’t be friends with dudes.
Yeah, I know all about When Harry Met Sally, and why men and women can’t be friends without the sex part getting in the way. But I also know that that movie was impossible, and that Meg Ryan should never expect anyone to sleep with her with that Laura Ashley bedspread set in her house. The idea that men and women can’t be friends without sex getting in the way is a sad and insane idea perpetuated by lonely, sexually-frustrated individuals who have nothing better to do than cast their friends in disturbingly unbalanced relationship fantasies. While I know that some people genuinely do believe that men and women can’t be just friends because they themselves are incapable of being just friends with the opposite gender (or maybe the same gender, if they’re into that sort of thing), it’s a shitty lie that’s been perpetuated way too far.
First of all, I don’t have a lot of friends. I mean, I guess I do okay according to Facebook, but when it comes to people I make an effort to speak to on a regular basis because I genuinely care about what they are doing and how they feel, I’m probably somewhere in the 20-30 range. I think this is a completely normal amount of friends to have, not only because it’s manageable (I’m not very socially active, so anything more than this is just exhausting to me), but it’s also sincere. I’m not someone who gives out hugs to strangers or tells friendly acquaintances that I love them, so 20-30 is honest and sane to me.
Second, the friends I do have, I tend to hold pretty close. These are people who know a lot about me and can correctly infer my tone or facial expression when my words (in person or on here) say otherwise. They know when to ask for more information and when to simply laugh about it, and because of this, I trust them implicitly. This isn’t something I can say about a lot of people, and because of that, it means a lot to me.
Third, it doesn’t fucking matter that a lot of these people are dudes. Per the above, my qualifications for friendship are simple, and do not include me wanting to have sex with someone. With that in mind, when I find someone who meets my qualifications for friendship, I want to make them my friend regardless of gender. My male friends are about as sexually attractive to me as my female friends, and let me tell you that I would make a terrible lesbian. I’d have no idea what to do with boobs (bat them around like a cat?) and vaginas just gross me out. Just…ick. Again, I know a lot of people who aren’t capable of making this distinction and must make themselves sexually available to anyone of any gender they find attractive. I’m not one of those people. I played sports and read complicated books. My self-esteem is just fine, thanks, and I can make friends on my exacting standards alone.
So. The thought being allowed go to New Orleans with two guys is outrageous, because it implies that since I am a female and they are male, some dirty shit is going to happen. That’s biology, right? At least according to mid-1980s romantic comedies?
Wrong. You know what’s going to happen in New Orleans? We’re going to get drunk and giggle at one another and make people think we’re weird and someone’s going to fall down and I might laugh hard enough to pee on myself. Sometimes that happens to me. Which clearly isn’t a sexually attractive trait, so everyone can just relax.
It is such bullshit when people say that men and women can’t be just friends. That is the biggest bunch of nonsense and too many people believe it. Some of my best friends are guys and I agree with you that I’m about as sexually attracted to them as I am to my girl friends….which is not at all hahaha (sorry fellas).
As far as your boyfriend “letting” you go to New Orleans? or a boyfriend/girlfriend “letting” you do anything? Are you kidding? Seriously. Don’t get me started.
Becky, my favorite part of this is imagining Tom telling you that you’re not allowed to do something, and you giving him that “oh no you di’int” look, and then calling Dave about it and hearing him do that shrieking laugh about the whole situation.
That is pretty much exactly how it would happen too.
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