Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nobody Just Wants To Be Friends

Nobody just wants to be friends.  This has quickly become one of my favorite phrases.  Originally, the phrase was used in this context:

Cute Friend: This older guy who is friends with my friends but isn't friends with any of them on facebook just friended me and then said we should get coffee.  Is that weird?
Cute Friend's Friend: Yes.
Cute Friend: But he's just really friendly.  I think he just wants to be friends.
Cute Friend's Friend: Nobody just wants to be friends.

We started using the phrase repeatedly because said Cute Friend gets this type of "friendly" message all the time.  I think of it as a "feeler" message.  Generally, no one, especially not someone you know through friends, really wants to just lay it out there up front so instead they ask if you want to do something wishy washy that makes you think well, maybe-it's-a-date-but-maybe-it's-not.   The last time I got a feeler message like that, I told him I thought his friend was cute (and then that friend and I dated).  Yeah, I was that brutal.

So anyway, the phrase has become applicable in my own life lately.  The guy I went on one match date with ages ago actually emailed me MULTIPLE TIMES to see if I just wanted to grab lunch in the park or go to an architecture lecture with him or see a movie with him and his friends, you know, "just as friends."  It's probably my own fault since I pulled the "I'm too busy to date" line.  At first I sent him polite, but what I thought were very clear, responses.  And eventually I stopped responding full stop.  Nobody just wants to be friends.

And then 'G', the Good Guy who I just couldn't bring myself to keep dating, emailed me out of the blue a few weeks ago and asked if I'd be interested in hanging out with him and some of his friends now that football season is starting up (Uh, what?  I do not watch football), totally not as a date thing (riiight), just because he thought I was really fun (well, thanks) and might have fun joining up with him and his buddies sometime (because that wouldn't be awkward).  I don't know that I could've had a more negative reaction.  I wondered if I was just being too cynical, so of course I told half my friends (aka forwarded the email) about it, who similarly concurred that it was weird, and then I proceeded to tell an entire bachelorette party the story, and they all thought it was weird too.  Nobody just wants to be friends.  (On the bright side though, in one fell swoop, that email erased any chance of me having any future regrets about ending it with him.)

And then 'F' popped up again.  True to form, I just asked him why the fuck he was emailing me.  In a nutshell, he said, can't I just say hi?  I said, no.  He said, we can't be friends?  And I said, what?  No. Why would we be friends? Nobody just wants to be friends.

Now I know.  It is so absurdly cynical, but if you think about it, in a post-college stage in life, isn't it sort of true?  There's always some reason, as innocuous as it may be, that you wind up exchanging numbers with a member of the opposite sex - whether it's that you want to date them, or that you want to date their friends, or that you want to work for the company they work for, or that you need a new tennis buddy.  Sure you may eventually end up becoming actual friends after you've dated/dated their friends/gotten a job/played sports together, but at the very beginning, there was probably some ulterior motive.  Since graduating, I cannot think of a single straight guy I've become friends with purely because I thought he would be a fun friend.  It's kind of like in that episode of Friends when Joey challenges Phoebe to find/perform a truly selfless act and she fails.

Nobody just wants to be friends.

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