When you have to get out of that friendzone

Sunday June 24 2018


By Jackson Biko

The worst place on earth for any man to live in is the place where you exist just outside of the heart of the woman you are attracted to.

I have a female friend who plays for her team (to mean she likes girls). I have known her for 15 years. She doesn’t wear dungarees or men’s shirts. She doesn’t have short hair or a Mohawk, or veins standing out on the back of her hand. She’s as girl as they come.

I was attracted to her when we met but she dodged and ducked my advances and after a month of this terrible dance of musical chairs, she finally told me that she didn’t “like me that way.” I asked, “What is wrong with me? Is it my forehead?” She said, “No, it’s not even you or your forehead, it’s me.”

I laughed and thought, is she using that tired line on me? Is this how low I had sunk? “No, seriously,” she said, “I like girls.”

I said, “I don’t blame you, I like girls too.” Then she said, “I’m serious, I’m not into boys. I like girls.” I said, “Oh come on. You are not.

You can’t be. You are just saying that because you can’t stand my forehead. That’s impossible.” She said, “Why not?”

I was lost for words. I had never met a real girl who liked other girls. I had just seen them on TV, in American shows, wearing baggy pants and black lipstick. What did I know of the ways of the world, a small town boy like me?

I thought girls who liked girls wore shirts with cut off sleeves and could climb trees and make a fire using two sticks. I thought they shaved their heads and pierced their lower lips and wore men’s socks and said things like, “I will see you later, bro.”

I thought they would beat you up if you owed them money or stared at their girlfriend. I thought they lit cigarettes in your car without permission. Not this girl, surely. This girl was gorgeous. Sometimes she even tied her hair in a ponytail. And she giggled, for Chrissake. Girls who liked other girls didn’t giggle.

Anyway, long story short we had to become friends. Many years later we are thick as thieves. She’s a good person, a complete riot and a free spirit.

Women friends fall in many categories. There are those like my friend up there. There are those who you went to school with or worked with and you all have some mutual respect. There are those friends who became friends by the virtue of their brilliance or intelligence or the ability to see things in a way you will never see.

Then there are women you are friends with because you have the same temperament and disposition and they get you and you get them, but you have no physical chemistry.

Then there are girls who were more than just friends before but then you broke up and they dated some guy with a big nose and then somehow, time passed and the feelings ended and now you are friends and you can’t even believe you dated once.

The other friends are your pal’s ex-girlfriends, your girlfriend/wife’s friends or cousins, or the daughters of families you grew up with. Then there are women you are friends with because they are not your type. Neither are you theirs. So it works perfectly.

But the trickiest friendship is the one where you had feelings for her but she didn’t. She said “Oh no, let’s just be friends, I don’t want to ruin this.” (Meaning: I feel nothing for you. A cow will learn to dance salsa before I date you) and so you reluctantly accepted.

This is the most useless and torturous friendship that a man can ever get into it, because you have to pretend. When she starts dating someone else you have to listen to her nauseating stories about him. And act supportive. You say things like, “Oh that’s really nice, I’m happy for you, I hope things work out.”