The friend zone is a pretty recent invention. (Truly, the picture above is titled Two Lovers so it’s used here in jest) Mostly because it wasn’t until modern times that women really got to choose who they were romantically paired with. And ever since women have been deciding what to do with themselves, men have found a reason to be upset with them about it. (I don’t know if this is technically true, but it sounds right)
But I do know men invented this special area. It’s definitely men who needed to come up with a fancy way to describe the unutterable anguish of friendship with a woman. And it’s male comedians that drive home the hilarity of men — losers — who are stuck being friends with women. A travesty.
And it’s also comedians who remind women that they’re being irrational to retain men as friends around them, too. If he’s such a good guy why don’t you marry him then?
(Digression: This utilizes my favorite playground epithet which appears to at least date back to the Pee Wee Herman “if you like it so much why don’t you marry it” classic. Which let’s be honest is definitely the academic level we’re working with here if you think there’s a special “zone” for men who are in friendship relationships with women.)
How could a woman be so blind to have a man directly in front of her — a man she describes as kind and nice and good — and maintain that she don’t want to marry him? What, there’s more to a romantic relationship than thinking someone’s a good person? Ugh, women complicate everything.
(Second Digression: The fact that men think women complicate things and then create a special relationship name for themselves I think really says it all in terms of the idiocy that men are willing to perpetuate in order to keep tight, defined boundaries between the sexes and prevent the spread of “cooties” which goes hand-in-hand with this Pee Wee Herman level of philosophy we’re working with.)
But what I’m really mad about, if I’m being honest, is the confidence with which men assert this “universal truth” that “men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way”. Because when Billy Crystal said this in When Harry Met Sally, I believed him. When I saw this movie the first time I had a good many male friends and I was shocked and amazed to discover that, in fact, this had all been a ruse! If I’ve being honest, it’s led to some really awkward conversations with male friends of mine. Conversations that made me look…at the very least, extremely egotistical.
It turns out — and to be honest, I was as shocked as anyone — that men are capable of forming good, strong friendships regardless of sex. Almost, one might speculate, entirely separate of sex altogether! Almost dare I imagine, that friendships are more common and basic than romantic relationships and therefore more easily and readily to be found between people of opposite sexes than sexual relationships?
Is it possible I’ve gone too far? Well if so, than as Pee Wee Herman would say, “SHH! I’m listening to reason!”