I’ve been hesitant to write this post. I am having a writers dilemma. The moment when you have to decide how much of yourself … and of your friends … to put in to your writing. The last thing you want to do is hurt anyone. But the words are bouncing around in your head ready to tumble on to the page. What do you do? A writer can take certain liberties. Change names, write in generalities. But when they read it, the friends can tell it’s them you have written about. Will they understand it’s really just all about me? It’s not that a lot of people read my blog .. but I worry what if they do one day?
They say to write about the things you know best. I know me best .. my experiences and relationships. That’s what I always write about here. So if you’re reading this and recognize yourself in my writing, be flattered that you effected my life in a way that I had to express myself. Relationships have never been easy for me, I don’t always know the social cues or normalties involved in getting to know people, and I find myself now entering that horrific stage in relationships called “The Friend Zone” – from both sides. And I don’t really know how I got here.
I went to my 30th Year Class Reunion several weeks ago. It’s funny looking back with your friends as adults; at all the antics that took place and crushes that were had. It’s quite another thing to find out that not ONE … not TWO .. but THREE gentlemen had feelings for you during High School. I was such a junior hermit back then I had absolutely no idea. I wish that I did have a clue .. I was so lonely in High School I could have used a couple of puppy love moments.
I was lucky enough to meet up with all three gentlemen during that Reunion Weekend, and I am so glad that I did. Friday night was the first meet up. I found in my friend a kind, gentle and amazing man. I really wish I had more time to talk and find out how life has treated him. He’s a father – and I can see him being that doting kinda dad that puts his kids above everything else. He’s well liked at work by his employees and clientele. I would have been a very lucky woman to have called him my guy. I know that the feelings from high school are lingering momentarily, and I don’t know that if he got to know me as an adult if he’d feel the same way. What I do know is that he will forever be a very dear friend and important part of my life.
The second meeting happened Saturday during our party at Lendy’s … the night I was just a little .. well OK a whole lotta … drunk. Yes. I let go for the first time in my life and had one too many cocktails. I was having the time of my life up to that last Lemon Drop. I blame the bartender for making that way too strong and giving me a straw to drink it with. Ha! I digress … before that last Lemon Drop .. or maybe it was during that last drink .. #2 came up to me and said “I had such a crush on you in school” .. which floored me. Because I had such a crush on HIM during school. I even pulled over my BFF to tell him I did indeed have a crush on him in high school. The thing is .. his girlfriend was standing right behind him while we were having this conversation. And the first rule of womanhood is you do NOT .. NOT .. make a play for another woman’s man. As it turns out .. learning more about him than I really wanted to during the cruise .. he’s really not my kinda guy.
Finally on Sunday my BFF and I went to visit with gentleman #3. He wasn’t able to come to the Reunion festivities with us as he’s been battling a few health issues. So we brought the reunion to him! Of the three I didn’t know him well enough in High School and I was a bit shy. We had limited time to visit with him and it went by so quickly. It felt like we had just arrived when it was time to head out. He has a lot of struggles ahead in life, and I want nothing but the best for him.
I’ve made promises with all three to stay in touch via Facebook – and I really hope that we do.
The thing is … there was a guy #4 too. And that’s where I entered the other side of “The Friend Zone”. We’ve been talking on and off via Facebook the past couple of years, and I’ve grown to really respect him as a person and admire what he has chosen as a career. I enjoy our conversations, he’s intelligent, and while he tends to be a bit more logical in his thinking than I am, he cracks me up all the time. It’s not often you find someone who can be kind .. and it’s pretty much never that I find someone I can trust without a doubt. That Saturday night at Lendy’s – the night I was so drunk I couldn’t walk – I asked him to hold my hand on the way home in the car so that I knew I was safe. And he did. He has no idea how much that one gesture meant to me. When he walked me in to my BFF’s childhood home I didn’t want him to leave. That’s when I knew .. I’d moved past friends.
He was with us during the cruise, and I watched him go from a very serious person who didn’t know us well, to the jokester I knew he was, being very comfortable with the group. There was one moment in the elevator .. he was trying so hard not to laugh at our antics .. but you could see the sparkle in his eyes and the holding back. That’s the moment he realized he could be himself with us. It was towards the end of the week that I made my confession, and found myself placed in the Friend Zone. I know I took him completely by surprise, but I just couldn’t continue without saying something. And I’m glad I did it – because now we both know where the other stands.
It doesn’t feel good to be placed in the friend zone. It’s just a milder form of rejection .. I like you enough to be besties .. but I’m just not that in to you. You start to questions what the hell is wrong with you. That so many people want to be good friends but no one wants to take that next step and find out if there could be more. I question myself often these days – and wonder if perhaps I really am just a horrible person. Perhaps its all the baggage I’m carrying around from life. Maybe I just need to let it all go and see what I’m left with?
But you know what – I would much rather grow a friendship with him than nothing at all. And we are – growing our friendship. Our group of 6 from the cruise have bonded and grown so close, I couldn’t ask for better friends. We have plans to get together in March and another cruise in January 2017. I can see us all growing closer over the next year, and our adventures on the next cruise are sure to be EPIC. Maybe that friend zone isn’t going to be so bad after all?