I don't proofread my posts before I publish them... cause I keep my thoughts au naturale.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Best friends and boyfriends? Let's check the high school vernacular.

"Best friend" and "boyfriend" are two labels that as an adult, throw me off.  I have found that since high school, the connotation of these words have changed.  And to be honest, as an adult, their meanings are a bit confusing to me.

Boyfriend: Remember in high school when a guy would say, "you wanna be my girlfriend" or "wanna go out with me?"  Cause, you know... everyone was "going out."  And for you older folks, the phrase "going steady."  Or for the even older folks, "let me invent the wheel, then we will go to my cave and cook up this saber tooth tiger I hunted.

Then there was the wearing of the class ring or the letterman jacket (which predated me, I believe) or wearing his away jersey to a football game.  Or if you didn't date a football player (congrats), I think it might have just been the class ring.  Or if you were like this uber-skank I went to high school with, your boyfriend would make the first letter of his name out in hickies on you.

No seriously... are you?
So how do we KNOW that someone is our boyfriend in 2017?  No really, how?  In high school, it was "cool" to have a boyfriend.  When I was single after separating from my husband, I can 100% say I did NOT want whatever a "boyfriend" was.  Ain't nobody got time for that!  Now, I believe the actual definition of boyfriend means the same now as it has for decades, possibly centuries (again, ain't nobody got time to look the history of the word up).  It means a guy who you are "exclusive" with. That's it.  Boyfriends provide different things to different people.  Some provide comfort when sad, some provide a seat filler next to you at the movies, some buy you food, some annoy you to no end and you can't figure out why you're with them, some are just arm candy, and some are a good standby until Gerard Butler comes to his senses and hunts you down.

But as adults, how do we KNOW someone is our boyfriend?  I recently had someone in her early 30s tell me that the guy she was seeing straight up asked her to be his girlfriend.  Well, that made it easy.  But that seems to be an exception among adults, right?  Then there's the obvious: Facebook tells you that it is so.  We always say that nothing is real until it becomes "Facebook Official."  You're not really engaged, single, married or in a relationship until your status has been changed on Facebook.  But we're still not there yet, Folks.  How do you KNOW to put it on Facebook?  Inevitably, the assumption of exclusivity will fall apart.  Either someone will want some realistic form of commitment or someone will find out that the exclusivity was one-sided.  So... how do you KNOW??

Best friend: In high school, determining who your best friend(s) was/were was as easy as reading the bottom of their note to you that said, "BFF, Nicole"  or "LYLAS, Melissa."  You could have a slew of best friends and no one batted an eyelash.  And you could have that one frenemy named Erin like I did.  (Shhh, don't tell... but she knows.)  But as an adult, for some reason "best friend" has a very very heavy connotation that I often fear using.  This is mostly for fear of being shunned.  What if I think someone is my best friend, but they wouldn't use that label on me?  I'd feel like such a loser.  So what does it take to call someone a best friend?  Does it require years of knowing someone, a special chemistry that isn't determined by time?  Or just someone that knows too much, so you want to make sure you think they are special so that they don't divulge all your secrets?  When it comes to friends, I often find myself using this terminology:

Facebook Friend: someone I've never met in person, but due to mutual interests, we have become Facebook friends.  We enjoy witty banter or the liking of each other's statuses or pictures, but there is no expectation of physically meeting them.

"Friend": someone you know in person, but you could live without them.  Often this is someone who I know I will see in public at some point and am afraid to unfriend them on Facebook for fear of an awkward meet-up.  They are people who I might grab lunch with if they asked, but I'd rather not put forth that kind of effort.  These tend to be the people who get upset if you unfriend them, but won't lift a finger if you are in need.  Air quotes are always necessary when referring to these people as "friends."

Friend: someone you look forward to spending time with and that you have their phone number and actually use it sometimes (for texting of course- my friends know better than to call me.  Again, ain't nobody got time for that!)  Someone who would hopefully help you out if you were in need, or otherwise come up with an excuse why they can't other than just ignoring your plight.

To anyone who claims me.
Best Friend:  someone you are so willing to spend time with that you would even spend time with them when there were children involved!  Someone who would give you all the money in their savings if you were in need.  Someone who tells you their deep dark secrets and knows that they would be murdered if they told people yours.  Someone who gets your sarcasm and twisted humor and thinks it's funny.  I don't think that "best friend" can be correlated with time.  It's okay to let go of someone who once was your best friend now that you no longer share any common interests and make no attempts to spend time together.  Let it go, let it go... (were you singing the Frozen song there with me?)  Just like it's okay to have new best friends.

Wow, this was long.  Anyone want to add to my definitions?  Anyone want to help me?  Why is it that these terms are so complicated when they are just basic English?


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