Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | April 5, 2005

Taking Chances

He leaned in for a kiss in the middle of the game. The GAME – I came over to hang out and watch the game. I was knocked off balance and asked, “What are you doing – don’t be silly . . . I can’t see the TV.”
He said, but we kissed before.” I stared him down while thinking of a million ways to let him down easy – yeah we kissed it was a peck kiss, that’s all. Nothing more nothing less. I kissed him the same way I kiss would kiss my grandpa. A simple peck on the forehead with a heart felt see you soon. He froze, unsure of what just happened. “Yes we did,” I started to stammer, not the Hugh Grant adorable way of stammering, more like Gilbert Godfrey. How do I explain he was in the friend zone? Once I’ve decided you’re in the friend zone. There is no escaping. “Don’t be silly, we are neighbors – let’s keep it at that”
We sat there for a few awkward moments. As usual, I made some comment that was a hell of a lot funnier in my head. He glanced over at me still unsure of how to act, told me I was a dork and laughed. Mean while I silently prayed his suave attempt to achieve player status had been thwarted. As I left his apartment to go home he said, “I have a lot of friends I’m not looking for anymore.” I blurted out, “Then I guess we can’t be friends.” He threw the white flag in the air and said, “Let’s talk later”
I recall all the Harry Met Sally conversations I have shared with my friends and buddies as to weather or not men and women can be friends. It’s an age old question. There are several types of male friends. One being the buddy, the guy who initially notices your womanly curves and thinks you’re cute. At the start of the friendship he angled a few lines to see if you would bite. Unknowingly you turned him down; you didn’t even see the bait dangling. He would jump up and down yelling, “Hello do you like me?” You failed to recognize the clues. If you did see the clues, you cast them aside saying to yourself, “I don’t like your bait – I want the one on the upper west side who knows his way around the Loop.” This fish has joined the school of minnows. As Toby says, he’s a “Stripey”. After he acknowledged your lack of attraction, once again he felt the pain of rejection. He brushed his shoulders off and became the guy you call for dating advice. He loves you, respects you, and wants the best for you. Now he’s one of your best buds. This is what I encountered last night.

In rare circumstances after years of being “just friends” SOMETHING changes. The dynamics of the relationship shift. A cold front, turning 30 or 40, changing cologne, to many glasses of cheap merlot, whatever -you begin to see this person for whom they truly are, your best friend and lover. That’s what we all want isn’t it? But if the attraction isn’t there: no promise of tomorrow can exist. Wouldn’t that be great if we could buy attraction? Purchase it from a street vendor the same way we buy soft pretzels. Mmm nice and doughy, the perfect combination of salt and substance. Spray fermions over the ones we wish we were attracted to or were attracted to us? Instead it’s like trying to grab a prize with a crane. You see the one you want; the coloring is appealing, right size and shape. The geometrics and positioning of the beast look attainable and … you take a chance. You have to!

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