I am a firm believer in the philosophy of Harry Met Sally. Men and women can’t be friends, not truly platonic, asexual friends. Deep down, somewhere one of them really wants it to be far less friendly and far more intimate. All rules are suspended if one is homosexual because while the packaging may look different, the basic sexual urges are similar. And honestly, in this day of the metrosexual heterosexual, my gay friend may have a better chance of getting that guy in bed than I do. He has a much better physique than I do. I had a rule back in college that I didn’t date men who took more time to do their hair or wore more make up than I did. I have adjusted my parameters to make stipulation for “product” and grooming in general. Men should be hairy in all the right places. He should not have razor stubble except at 5 o’clock ON HIS FACE. The preening, waxed, manicured, Bonsai man is confusing. If he has time to get weekly facials and mani/pedis…..then he should have no hesitation buying dinner with all of his expendable income. Screw that “going Dutch” bullshit.
It gets harder and harder to be the girl when the man is more girlish than me. True that I am not much of a girlie girl. Not a big fan of pink or frilly. I am no shrinking violet. I am also not intimidated, fearful or hesitant. In other words: chutzpah, juevos and cajones. Why is it that the words for having guts are in other languages? And guts often has a distinctly unfeminine flavor. As one of my colleagues once said…I need Princess rehabilitation. I need to learn or relearn how to be the princess.
So, if I want to feel feminine and so many of the men are potentially more feminine than me, it is better to start working on my relationships with other women. That doesn’t mean I am switching teams. Just the opposite. I think I need to place my effort into those relationships in which I am comfortable and capable. I am pretty sure my friends don’t secretly want me as their lover. They just want to gab, catch a movie, cook a meal, talk about a book, shop for shoes, buy our kids school clothes, get coffee or got take an exercise class. They don’t want me to do their laundry, cook them dinner, shop for their groceries, clean their house, help them with chores, babysit their kids or diss their husbands or ex-husbands. And since I am not searching to fall “in love” or become a pair again, I think having a larger social network among my women friends is perfect timing.
I had one of my first girl dates tonight. I was genuinely kinda nervous and excited. To make a new friend is not easy when you are in your 4th decade, especially when you have kids and husbands, ex-husbands, lovers and jobs and volunteer work and businesses to run and business travel and chores. And to reference Harry Met Sally, most men like most women’s company irregardless…. if he thinks he might get some action. A female friend is much harder to impress and please. She is also spending time with you because of YOU and not what she might get later. Plus, she has standards…and likely other friends.
I am guilty of shedding too many female friends over the years. I lost too many of those early friends when I paired off and then married. Marriage trumps friendship. And so many of the friends I made while married only function within the construct of “we are all married”. When a marriage breaks so many of those friendship break, too. It is like people fear divorce is contagious. And if you consider the statistics, once one in the pack falls, the likelihood is that others may follow.
But I am silly happy to have had a simple girl’s night out. A friend made dinner. Her husband came home later and ate too. And then she and I went to the movies. We saw Inception. We talked about NPR and books and our kids and a little about motherhood. We laughed quite a bit. I had a lovely time. And I have something today for which I am very thankful.