Sorry I’ve been away for a while… My father passed away August 19 and it rocked my world in quite a few different ways. There was the expected– the mourning of missed opportunities, the would-ofs and should-ofs. Without going too deep into it now, my relationship with my Dad was a rocky one with some real low points and long stretches of time without too much contact between us. Luckily, we had some great connections shortly before he passed and, while I mourn not being able to build upon that as I had hoped and planned, I’m glad that we had at least begun to rebuild.
Posts Tagged ‘friendship’
So Saturday I went to my friend Jess’s wedding and had a great time. I definitely needed a joyous occasion to bask in love and new beginnings. Some of you may remember I wrote that when I sent back my RSVP I impulsively checked off “+1” even though I don’t have a significant other and didn’t have any prospects for a date. I did it as a way of opening myself up to the universe and the possibility of meeting someone in the intervening two months that I could ask to accompany me to the wedding.
Well, *chuckle* the universe did NOT deliver. Sure, I can shoulder some of the blame, I could have desperately asked every woman I ran across out for dates but it’s not like my life offers too many possibilities in that regard. There were a couple possibilities that hit my radar that I pursued a little bit but neither panned out. But that’s okay—this wedding wasn’t about me, it was about Jess and her fiancé and I was determined to soak up the good vibrations.
It started off a little comedic, with me pulling out all my stunt-driving techniques to get through the city streets and into downtown by 4pm… and I nabbed a parking spot on the street about 7 minutes after 4pm and hoped that the wedding was running a little behind and/or there would be a way I could slide in without disturbing things. I meekly snuck inside and find out that the wedding actually starts at 5pm. Okay, whew! (more…)
Posted in Random thoughts, tagged Billy Crystal, divorced, friendship, Love, Meg Ryan, Nora Ephron, relationships, Rob Reiner, single, The Friend Zone, When Harry Met Sally... on June 28, 2012 | 8 Comments »
I was sad to hear about Nora Ephron’s passing recently. I can’t honestly say I was a huge fan of hers or anything, but the woman did some fantastic writing over the years, including the script for one of my all-time favorite movies, When Harry Met Sally…
I was in my early 20s when that film came out, and my love life history was barely existent, and what little there was of it was pretty much a shambles. Starting in middle-school, very nearly all my crushes and girls I’d fallen head-over-heels in love where all… friends. All my guy friends constantly begged me to stop it, telling me that there is a primal truth– that men and women can’t be friends AND more than friends. In fact, men and women can’t really be friends at all because there’s always going to be “the sex thing” that gets in the way.
I couldn’t help it though… I’d fall in love with some of my female friends and wanted both love and friendship.
The concept of course was a non-starter with the girls in high school, but I did manage to make it work a few times once I went to college. Still, while all my guy friends were racking up countless dates and girlfriends over the years, most of my time was spent alone, usually pining away for another lady friend who had put me squarely in The Friend Zone.
Then I saw the movie When Harry Met Sally… and I was like YES! YES! (Much like Sally in the diner). Not only can men and women be friends, but that friendship can sometimes bloom into something more. Even if it was just a movie, it was validating to me, proof that I wasn’t fundamentally broken, waiting for something that just doesn’t exist (even if it takes decades like Harry and Sally did).
In the movie, I loved Harry’s final pitch to Sally that they should be together:
“I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night.”
This reminds me of the post I wrote recently (The Good Stuff), and it’s definitely something to hope for. When a love is grounded in friendship, you develop that affection for your partner in their entirety, things that you might find annoying in someone who was just a friend (roommate) or just a lover.
Thank you Nora Ephron for bringing characters to director Rob Reiner and actors Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, characters that spoke to my heart and told me that what I wanted most in the world was really not asking too much.
The throw-down Saturday was a success! I was a little worried going into the home stretch because a lot of people who had seemed to be leaning heavily towards coming to the party started bailing on me in the days leading up to the event, citing other things they had to do despite me having planned this thing three months ago in an effort to get “dibs” first for June 23. It’s frustrating to me that I’m just not on very many people’s radar as part of their social scene, despite being a single guy willing and able to do stuff for two years now and making a serious effort to reach out and reconnect with friends (as I wrote about not long ago, She’d Want to DO Stuff).
Regardless of the light turnout though, the 10 or so people who did come by really showed their warmth, kindness and consideration that truly made me happy to have them as friends. One couple had some obligations out of town, but still came by for an hour or so before they had to leave, and helped with preparing the food before we chilled out and talked a bit. I really appreciated them making the time, it was awesome to see them. Another couple had plans later in the evening, but were enjoying the party too much to leave and cancelled their other engagement. My BFF ended up staying a lot longer than she originally intended. As a host, it pleased me to no end to have people want to stay and party on.
There was one woman in particular I had hopes would come by—someone I used to date a long time ago, we’d reconnected through Facebook, both of us are divorced with kids. She did come by… but brought along a male friend who I’m pretty sure is much more than friends even though I didn’t see any PDAs between them. Seemed like a super-nice guy who is hopefully treating her well. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really disappointed, but in a way it snapped me out of a fantasy I’d entertained that we might have been able to rekindle something. I blew it with her a long time ago, and I certainly can’t expect a second chance. But she could have easily just blown off the party and spent time with her fella doing something else, so coming by showed me that she values our friendship and that really meant a lot to me. They stayed quite late, and she even got me really tore up fixing us Loch Ness Monster shots, which made the remaining evening a pleasant blur.
I had a decent spread of food—grilled veggies, turkey burgers, hot dogs, grilled tempeh, homemade hummus and crackers, homemade salsa and corn chips. My BFF brought some homemade brownies that were quickly demolished. My beverage of choice for the evening was Lynchburg Lemonade: bourbon, triple sec, a sprinkle of sweet and sour mix, topped off with Diet Sprite. Was a light summery drink that didn’t fill me up and set up a nice buzz to cruise on for the night… until the Loch Ness Monster shots hammered me. You make those with melon liquor, Jagermeister, and irish crème. Despite my hatred for Jager, the combination actually tasted quite good.
I woke up around 6am starving, parched, and with my head pounding. I got up, rustled up some leftover party food, drank a big thing of Gatorade and washed down some Advil, and then went back to bed until noon, when I woke up feeling much better, just a little rough around the edges. Nothing was broken, no holes in the walls, and everyone seemed to have had a great time so that most definitely goes down as a success in my book. But the best thing for me was reconnecting with the folks who came by, hopefully deepening the friendship and opening up more opportunities for getting together down the road. As someone who’s struggled with loneliness and desperately has been trying to climb out of that social void, these good friends reached down and offered me a lifeline. It’s good to know I’m not alone!
The response to my guest blog over at Simply Solo (In Defense of the Beta Man) along with some things I read on a couple blogs recently got me thinking about “The Friend Zone.” You know, that place men talk about hating being put by the women in their lives, like it’s some dread purgatory from which there is no escape.
I don’t think it’s always like that, or that simple. Let’s talk about The Friend Zone. [NOTE: Much of what I'm writing here is assuming that the male/female friends in question aren't married to or significantly involved with other people. That changes the dynamics!]
Sure, for some (alpha) men and their relationships with women, there’s no worse fate than to be put into the FZ. For them, women aren’t friends, they’re prizes to be won and the prize should include some sort of sexual contact. If you’ve been put in the FZ, then there’s no chance of sexual contact and so there is no prize. The Friend Zone is the polar opposite of the end zone, game over man!
For beta men, as I talked about in my blog post, spending time with a woman he cares about is the prize. Sure, would he like to end the night with a roll in the hay? Of course, he’s still a man! A woman’s body holds endless fascination for a man and we’d like nothing better than to be given the chance to explore it. But a beta man is often interested in a woman for a lot more reasons than just sex, so being in the FZ means still getting to spend time with the woman. 90% of what you want is still a very good deal, right?