Saturday, February 28, 2009

when harry met sally

Harry : You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally : Why not?
Harry : What I'm saying is - and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form - is that men and women can't be friends

I love When Harry Met Sally- I've loved it for years. (The iconic diner scene! The witty repartee! The street scenes of NYC!) Not surprisingly, I've always disagreed with Harry.

Until now. I've been truly loathe to admit it, and I'm still fighting it on some level, but goddammit - Harry's right. I've had loads of guy friends most of my life, until fairly recently. And "recently" spells the death knell for my optimism re: platonic friendship. What I've found is that if I am friends with a (straight) guy for some length of time, eventually, he'll decide that I'm into him. This wouldn't be such a big deal if I could just talk to the guy about the situation, but that's never how these things work. Any sort of attempt at discussion is met with a complete stonewall/"I don't know what you're talking about" type attitude. And then I become incandescent with rage.

(This is not to say that I don't occasionally fall for my male friends, but I usually just lie down with a cold compress on my head until it goes away.)

It seems the only friendships with men I can sustain are those with guys who are gay, married, or in relationships. Basically, if the romantic possibility hasn't been excised in some way, things are going to get up going pear-shaped. This poses a problem: my potential male friendship pool is small and shrinking. (For example, while I have many married guy friends, I met them all before they married.) So, increasingly, my male friendships are with men who are younger than me. If I think about it, I can see some vanishing point in the future - make friends with younger men, lose them through misunderstanding (see above) or when they settle down. (It is a rare occasion when I do not lose/nearly lose male friends after marriage.)

It's a thorny knot for me, and one I don't want to spend too too much time thinking on.

3 comments:

tamasha said...

but I usually just lie down with a cold compress on my head until it goes away

LOL!

Scorps1027 said...

I'm with Harry! But I add exceptions to his basic golden rule. I think men and women can be friends, but not really good friends before something gets weird or feelings develop. In other words, boundaries have to be constantly put up and reassessed.

That is a whole lotta headache!

If someone else has figured out the secret, please do fill me in!

arem said...

"if I am friends with a (straight) guy for some length of time, eventually, he'll decide that I'm into him."

lol, ahh, the male ego. it never ceases to amaze.