by Jane Moneypenny
“How much football can you watch in an weekend? Pre-game, game, post-game, highlights, more highlights…”
My friend Carrie wasn’t happy with our obsession with sports this weekend. After all, we WERE on vacation at our friend’s (who is also her boyfriend) studio condo on the beach in Clearwater, Florida. But she knew that was going to be that kind of weekend when she decided last minute to tag along. In our group of 5, the 3 guys and I were fanatic football fans and crucial playoffs games were in our midst.
I end up spending the weekend in a mixture of relief for the Saints winning, frustration that I couldn’t get any alone time to catch up with Mike and annoyance at Carrie for not understanding the point of a group trip or anything for that matter.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not judging her for not liking sports and I completely understand her annoyance of being surrounded by it in such a small space. We’ve all been there, but knowing full well that this weekend would be more of a “friend” weekend instead of a “Mike & Carrie PDA, lovey-dovey giggly” one, she had little room to complain, especially when she went a day early to get alone time.
But I digress. What’s really on my mind is the complexity of guy friends. I’ve been lucky that I’m close to numerous guys that I trust with my deepest secrets and things that sometimes girls just don’t understand. More often than not, one of these guys starts dating a girl and falls off the face of the earth. After all, he can’t continue talking to me every night when there’s a girlfriend as a priority. Understandable. And as I mentioned before, I would never want to be THAT girl in someone’s life, but there’s that tiny part of me that wants to be selfish, wants my friends back to myself and the the feeling of guilt and censorship to go away.
Maybe this is the way things happen. Guy and girl are close friends. Guy gets girlfriend and disappears. Guy and girlfriend break up. Guy pops back up and wants to be close again as if he never went MIA. Repeat cycle. Maybe I’ve been single for so long that I forgot what it’s like to be in a relationship. I know those feelings of insecurity and jealously of random girls in your boyfriend’s life, especially when those suspicions are founded when cheating is later discovered. So how do I find that balance of wanting to talk to my friend but also respecting the boundaries of his new relationship?
The longer I’m single, the more irritated I get at those couples constantly touching each other, always giggling secretly, always rubbing each other’s backs. Maybe it’s envy that I don’t have that or ever had a guy be publicly proud to be with me. I’m not sure, but I tried desperately to squash that feeling this weekend when I desperately wanted to take a walk with Mike so we could catch up with the chaos of life. But Carrie is my friend and unaware of how close he and I are and I know the questions would come if we suddenly disappeared to talk. So I attempted a happy face even though I was in a bad mood (a combination of a bad week at work, exhaustion, etc). and stayed quiet when the 3 of us not in the couple got stuck in a closet playing cards so they would spend time alone after she got mad at him.
To my surprise, he called me later and apologized for not getting a chance to pry more into my obvious “bummed” mood that I thought I was hiding so well.
“I just wanted to apologize. I could see you were bummed more than usual but I couldn’t…”, he trailed off and we both understood the reason being Carrie. I apologized to him for not being more chipper. Two apologizing friends, neither with a solution to a dilemma that may never have an answer.