Monday, April 23, 2012

Dear Reader, please help

Dear Fabulous Honestly YA Readers,

You have likely already noticed we blog members select a topic and we each do a bit of a write up on it. Of course you noticed this; you’re an observant lot. And maybe you even wondered how we select the topics. After much deliberation, discussion, meditation, and chocolate, we arrived at a method of selection: we take turns. I tell you this not to expose the wizard behind the curtain -- we all know by now that the magic resides within ourselves, right? -- but to help you appreciate the truth and perhaps desperation in the following statement: This friends-who-are-boys topic was not my idea. Not even remotely. At no point did I think “Oh! I was going to suggest that!”

image from iStockphoto.com
Maybe you recall, dear reader, any previous posts of mine wherein I divulged a truth about my past: I attended an all girls’ high school. Boys were mysterious creatures that spent their days somewhere else, in another building in another town far away from curious girl gazes. And you know, at the time, that was A Good Thing. Think about it. The boys we left behind in middle school or junior high were sloppy, smelly things who often had dirt or food on their faces and thought fart jokes were high humor. By high school, when the boys’ school was invited to our school for dances, the boys danced on one side of the auditorium and the girls danced on the other, with a string of nuns positioned between. (Okay, not really. There was no need for the nuns; we were terrified enough of one another to make any sort of physical divider superfluous.) During those high school years, I met boys at work and at church. And though we were friendly enough, we weren’t really friends. We spent our assigned time together contentedly enough, but “buddies” never shifted to “friends” much less to boyfriend-girlfriend. Not then, at least. Not until college.

So I have no real-life experience dealing with high school boys. even now, in my supposed adulthood, I stop at the local bagel store in the morning, the store that’s overrun by high school students, and I see those boys… and I’m mystified. Surely they can’t be unfathomable creatures? I know the men they turn into and they’re not very complex. Men, I find, are rather simple things and I take comfort in that knowledge. So high school guys can’t be a whole lot different, right? They appear to be just somewhat larger versions of their sloppy smelly middle school selves, only not quite so smelly and often with clean hair (the sloppy seems never to end). They appear loud and boisterous and prone to profanity. And they all seem to think they are the epitome of cool… and the girls all seem to ignore them as if they’re not quite finished becoming human…
 
Which means it perplexes me still. How do boys and girls become friends to begin with? Never mind the question of becoming something more than friends; let’s not complicate things too much. How do these two completely diverse populations ever find enough common ground to build a friendship on? In short, dear readers, I need your help! I need you to tell me the secret. Do you become friends with a guy in the same way you become friends with a girl? Do you discover you have similar interests and slowly start hanging around together, first in a group, and then maybe just the two of you? Do you text back and forth, laugh at the same joke, play video games and watch movies? What makes it possible for boys and girls to be friends?


Please help! High school may have prepared me for appreciating Shakespeare, but there are some serious gaps in my education. thank you!

 ~Jennifer

7 comments:

Lorie Langdon said...

Jen, you are hilarious! LOL! Unfortunately, if you read my post last week you’ll see that I turned to the cautionary tales of 70’s sitcoms to learn about the boy-girl friendship myth—which is sort of how I see it. Even Miss Melissa’s beauteous tale of her friend that was a boy, resulted in them going to a dance together and sharing a kiss. I’ve yet to find any proof that platonic boy-girl friendships exist in nature (unless you’re playing for the same team. ;)
So, I’ll be curious to see what responses we get from our fab readers!

Melissa Landers said...

Hahahaha! Well played, Jenn. Well played.

And Lorie, I maintain that Derrick and I really were *just* friends. The kiss was a natural extension of our platonic date.

Kimberly said...

Jen,
This was the funniest blog I've read in a long time. It's so true! But yet these smelly, sloppy creatures CAN become good friends. :-)
And listen...my husband STILL thinks fart jokes are high humor. And so do all of my kids (boys and girls alike).
My daughter who is 11 has many friends, but only a few are girls. Since she's been in kindergarten, she has always been friends with the boys. They play sports at recess, they laugh and joke about school or television shows. And I can tell you this honestly--she has never once come home from school crying because one of her "friends" who are boys figuratively stabbed her in the back. She has never once dealt with a catty boy, and I love that about boy-girl friendships. Catty girls are the WORST! So, if I could, I would steer her towards her friends-who-are-boys and let her kick a soccer ball around or talk about farting. Rather that than the alternative.
I just cracked up at your post, though, Jen! So funny. For a split second, I pictured this gigantic barricade of scowling nuns with rulers in their hands ready to whack the first teenager to cross the line. LOL.

Ginger Calem said...

Awesome, Jen! Absolutely hilarious. I had friends that were boys in high school. And both my boys are many friends who are girls. I think it's about having a 'group' that hangs out together.

You are spot on about the smelly middle school boys turning far more showered and cologned in high school. ;)

Carey_Corp said...

Jen - I love your post! Especially: I know the men they turn into and they’re not very complex.

Which leads me to conclude boys/men reach the peak of their complexity at 18 and it's all downhill from there. Allll downhill.

Crystal said...

The opposite is a mystery to me. The vast majority of my friends were boys in HS (and as an adult) and I still have no idea how to approach a woman and befriend her.

Julie O'Connell said...

Jen -

I had a bunch of high school friends who were boys. That didn't mean I didn't want to date them, just that they weren't interested in me that way, so I enjoyed simply hanging out with them, going to movies as a group, playing poker - lots of different things. (This was back in the Pleistocene, so we didn't text or play video games.) My signal I've met a kindred spirit was, and still is, a sense of humor. If someone could make me laugh, I was sold.

I like boys. I always have. I like my own boys, too. Sure they went through a smelly gross phase, but for the most part, they're pretty awesome.