This week I have the honor of kicking-off our new theme Boyfriends or, Friends who Happen to be Boys. When I came up with this idea, I assumed it would be easy to write. I’ve already covered the boyfriend side of the equation, so I figured I’d take a whack at the other side. Surely, among the various groups of friends I had a teen, at least one of them had to be a guy, right?
Well, it depends on how you define “friend.”
Sure, I had male acquaintances. A few were fairly decent pals, especially the guys I spent time with in vocal jazz class and drama club. But did I have any close guy friends, boys to whom I could confide my innermost feelings and secrets? A relationship like the one showcased in 1989’s Say Anything?
No, I’m not talking about Lloyd Dobler and Diane Court. I’m talking about Lloyd’s friendship with Corey and DC. He confides in his two best girl friends who are genuinely supportive of him and help him navigate this relationship with Diane.
|Admit it, you can hear the song, "Joe Lies" in your head, too.|
Nope, I never got that lucky. The more I think about the boys I knew fairly well in high school, in nearly every instance there was some kind of romantic element to the relationship. Invariably, I had an unrequited crush on the boy; the boy was crushing on me; or somehow—usually under the influence of too many wine coolers—a guy friend and I ended up messing around on a beach or in a dark room at some party.
Pop culture is filled with these types of relationships. Remember Pretty in Pink? Duckie was secretly in love with his best friend Andie, but played it off as a joke in front of her. And how about Some Kind of Wonderful? Drum playing tomboy Watts thinks her feelings for working class misfit Keith are platonic until he asks out the wealthy popular girl, Amanda. Class warfare hijinks ensue and in the end, Keith releases he’s in love with Watts, too and they live happily ever after.
So, this reminds me of the eternal question posed in When Harry Met Sally: Can men and women ever be just friends?
As an adult, I’ve come to think that yes, in some circumstances, grown-up men and women can be friends. But what about teenagers? Is it actually possible? Or are there too many raging hormones? Too much impulsivity?
I hope not. I want to believe teen girls and guys can be “just friends” and have each other’s back when it matters. I think I would have benefited from a real, platonic guy friendship. I’m sure a friend-who-just-happened-to-be-a-boy could have helped me avoid some of the idiots I pined after and/or got involved with. At least, that’s what I imagine.
So how about you? Did you have a good guy friend as a teenager? A friend who just happened to be a boy? Was it strictly platonic or were there secret (or not so secret) romantic feelings lurking in the background? I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got to say!
You can learn more about Lea Nolan at her website, on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. Her debut novel, CONJURE, is the first book in The Hoodoo Apprentice series. It will be released in mass market paperback by Entangled Publishing in October 2012 and is available for pre-order atAmazon and at Barnes and Noble.