Through with platonic friendship!
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|Sun, 09-14-2003 - 6:32pm|
Take, for example, my friendship with an interesting young woman named Leah. The last several months of this relationship have essentially been an exercise in experimenting with a slightly more aggressive, even jerkier, persona than I have tended to exhibit throughout my life. This has meant, among other things, not putting her on a pedestal (sometimes dissing her outright), making it clear that I'm only interested in sex with her, trashing the men she likes--all because these are things I think a "typical guy" would do. Most importantly, I've declared a moratorium on platonic friendship, and heartily invite other men to do the same. God bless you men who are truly happy being "just friends," but I can't be the only one among you who has had musings about how much simpler the dating game would be if "friendship" were simply taken off the table as an option, and if men had the discipline to immediately recognize offers of friendship from women as the dead-ends they usually are.
Leah and I are friends, and there is often a tongue-in-cheek quality to my anti-friendship rantings, but I also discern in our relationship many of those things about platonic friendship in general that bedevil and frustrate men. I enjoy my friendship with her, but it's not the sort of relationship I want to make a habit of getting into. Thank god I'm not really in love with her and am actively pursuing other women--or else being forced to listen to her crowing about other men would be even more unbearable than it already is. For the sake of my sanity I had to give up any thought of ever having something with her, but that doesn't mean that I don't reach my boiling point with her bragging about her latest acquisition of beefcake.
So, have I finally turned into a Real Man? Hardly. I've just become somewhat more adept at behaving in conventionally masculine ways for the sake of you women who are most comfortable with that. Truth be told, I've rarely been impressed by manly men, and don't relish the idea of turning myself into one. Because I've always been something of a non-conformist with a pungent sense of irony, if I try too hard to be Mr. Confident it only comes off as parody. Besides, too much havoc is caused in the world by men who are sure of themselves (G.W., I'm talking to YOU) for me to be wild about joining their ranks. But if a pretty face insists on it, I'm more willing to meet her halfway now than I was a few years ago. That's some sort of progress, I suppose.