Over the years, I have developed a number of successful relationships with women, a whole group of girls that I hang out with and talk to and cry on the shoulder of, if need be. As satisfying as these relationships have been, I would be lying if I said that generally speaking, I do prefer the company of women to men.
Call it casual sexism but I do find male/female friendships to be less stressful, mainly because they are less intimate. Men want to have fun. Women want to know every damn thing: who your people are? What school did you go to? What do you do for a living? Are they hiring? Do you have a boyfriend? Why don’t you have a boyfriend? Why did you wear that outfit with those shoes? And then after we are done with our interrogation, we hold a conference about you, usually when you’re away, to help us determine what’s wrong with you and how we can utilize this Intel in our competitive quest for dominance.
And when you are not the subject of discussion, it is all about them. Boyfriend/husband troubles. Career troubles. Kids troubles. Trouble troubles. You, as their friend, have to sit and listen to it all. Even if you don’t want to. Even if it is the same conversation you had with her many times before. Even if you’re out on a night on the town, trying to have a little fun, and the conversation you had many times before, just isn’t appropriate in this environment. Like the time one of my girlfriends waited until we were all pissy-drunk, having a good time at the club to have an emotional breakdown about her baby father. The same baby father we ‘d been telling her for the past 2 years was a low-down dirty dog. Why couldn’t you do this at home? Why now do I have to stop having fun to pat you on the back and remind you again that, “he ain’t shyte.”
Nope, I’m just not that interested in that anymore. I prefer going to do things; activities, movies, dinners and brunch without the drama. I prefer conversations outside of work and personal life. I just don’t like to talk about stuff that I want to emotionally get away from. If I’m around people, I want to be happy, to laugh and generally have fun. And after my outing is over, I don’t want to leave feeling like I just watched a marathon of the Dr. Phil show.
Likewise, I can joke with my male friends in ways I can’t with my female friends. Being naturally snarky, which makes me prone to speaking my true heart at times, men tend not to read into everything I say. They get it and if they don’t, it rolls off their back and we’re off to the next subject. Whereas my female friends may laugh and then 10 minutes later, the question is, “what did you mean by that?” Nothing, really. But they don’t believe me. And then they are off to hold conference with the other women about my attitude problem. Verdict: guilty. Punishment: cold-shoulder for a week or until someone else does something to annoy them.
Socially male/female dynamics are not really acceptable. In fact, there are plenty of blogs about why men and women can’t just be friends and why you should be leery of women, who prefer the company of men. They say that these women are high maintenance, emotional retards, who are probably more judgmental, attention seeking competitive than any girl they claim they can’t get along with.
But I’m comfortable with my neurosis, enough to trust in what works for me at the moment. And easy-breezy relationships are the most that I can handle at this stage in life. That’s not to say that men aren’t as aren’t petty, gossipy and backbiting as women. Believe me, they do exist. It’s just that my male friends and I usually laugh and talk shyte about those dudes behind their back.
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