May 20, 2012
I have a friend who shall remain nameless. I’ve mentioned him a few times here; I’ve called him Nameless, and he shall remain Nameless. This is his choice. I leave it to you, Gentle Reader, to figure out who he is. People who know me closely will not have a problem.
The thing is that Nameless and I dated – or I thought we dated – for a while. That didn’t work out well. This is actually my second attempt at writing this entry because the first one ended up going on and on about the relationship and the details of why it didn’t work out, but that’s not really what I want to write about – for this particular post or in general.
Nameless and I are still very good friends. He’s actually my best friend, and I’m not one to use that handle gratuitously. He’s more like a brother. I’ve met his family and they have adopted me; I’m invited to all the functions. Recently a friend of his asked if we were back together. I’ve had to really begin to watch myself that way, because it’s easy to slip into the habits and familiarity of couplehood. But, he doesn’t want to be together; he has told me this more times than I care to mention.
My point, and I do have one, is that while I’m trying to date again, it’s not easy. First of all, it’s not easy to meet people – for me anyway. Second, it’s not easy to meet people that I would want to date. I’m really just not into bars any more; I should go more often just to kind of keep that line in the water, but it’s a lot of hassle. Then there’s online dating. ***Please do not read this next sentence if you’re squeamish.*** If you create a profile on a gay dating site and describe yourself to God and everybody as a top, then you’d better have the balls and self-confidence to go along with that bold statement because I don’t have time to babysit or listen to snivelly, whiny men who ask me every 5 minutes if they’re bothering me. ***Okay, you may begin reading again.***
But, I end up comparing people to Nameless. By that I don’t mean to say that he’s where I set the standard because I’d like to think my standards are a little higher than somebody who won’t agree to officially call me a boyfriend much less a partner; I’m shooting for a husband here. But, I end up asking myself, “Would I introduce this man to my mother? My sister? My nieces and nephews? Would this man introduce me to his family and make me a part of it? Could I make this man an intimate part of my life? Would I buy a house with him? (This didn’t happen with Nameless, but I wanted it to.) The answer so far has been no… since I stopped thinking that I was dating Nameless, anyway. There were a few close-calls before him.
This doesn’t even touch on the number of friends I’ve met through him, some of whom I call my own friends. So, when I broke up with him, and said that we could be just friends, and it turned out that this meant that nothing changed except for my expectations, it left me in an awkward position. Many people have told me that I should consider just phasing him out of my life – for a while anyway. (One person told me to just burn the bridge, but she’s warped and has far more self-esteem and friends than I do.) The truth is that he’s more than a friend. When I need help with something he generally will drop whatever he’s doing to help me. (Like, when I run out of gas in the pouring rain, for instance.) He’s been with me for any important events in my life since we’ve become close. When I attended a very moving retreat at church there was a supper at the end for family members to join the attendees. He’s the (only) one who came. He was there when I was confirmed as a Catholic; he was there when I was in a car accident that left me lying on the side of the road and eventually in an ambulance. I know that I can count on him and I can’t just turn my back on that.
So, now as I meet people and begin talking with other men I feel a pang of guilt from time to time. It will be awkward if I ever do date again. But, even beyond that, coming out of that situation has left me a little fuzzy, as if I’ve been napping for ages and I’m coming into the world again, blinking in the bright sun, rubbing sleep out of my eyes and wondering what’s happened. I used to have a circle of friends (one of my own) and this and that happened and now I don’t have that circle any more, and all of my friends seem to be through Nameless to one degree or another. I’m not just in the market for a boyfriend; I’m looking for a brand new set of friends that I can count on. (Before anybody gets their panties into a wad, let me clarify by saying that this doesn’t mean that I DON’T have friends, it just means that I want more of them.) Because, every time I get to a weekend or an evening and I want to go out for dinner I call Nameless. For anything big or small my first reaction is to call Nameless. And, while I will never say that I regret knowing him or that I wish we weren’t friends, I’m never going to make new friends this way.
So, that’s my awkward little story about a very special person, who shall remain Nameless. Now it’s very late, I’m very tired and though I probably won’t sleep due to the volume of coffee I’ve consumed today I need to think about going to bed.
e A r n i e