Thursday, 29 October 2009
So, this is it. The end of an era. The very last one of my male friends finally got married. Et tu, brute.
He said I looked bored at the wedding. I was not bored. I was thoughtful. It felt like something was ending. Something or someone was being taken away from me, forever.
I was looking at him walking down the isle, thinking of the good old days back in Baku.
I did not really like him at first. He was one of the very few young and single expats in Baku those days and, to paraphrase the Big Pink, girls fell like dominos.
And boy, did they fall. Not just the local girls, who salivated at the very thought of catching someone like him. Expat women, bored and surrounded by either Azeri (whom they just had no idea how to handle) or expat males (whose eyes were only focused on the exotic and easily approachable local girls) were more than happy to flirt with him too. So, I thought he must be just too full of himself. On top of that, he managed to go out with two of my close expat girlfriends. Thus, I have no idea how, years later, we remained such good friends. Perhaps, it has something to do with the fact that, through years of listening to my girlfriends moan about him, I felt like I knew him inside out.
There is something about male friends that we girls love. Yes, gay male friends are cool, but it is quite possible to be just friends with a straight guy, if you remember this old and obvious rule: do not sleep with him. If neither of you is physically pining for each other, the friendship can be good fun.
Of course, most of male friends normally fall under one of the following categories:
1) Someone you had gone out with before, and somehow miraculously, remained friends since then.
2) Someone who secretly fancies you, but knows he has no chance. So he is hoping that if he sticks around, you might get either too drunk or too desperate one day, and he will get lucky. At least once.
3) Someone you fancy but can not confess as you are either too ugly or too shy.
So when you are friends with a straight guy, but without any of the above factors, it is probably somewhat unusual. So, I guess I should have been more understanding when he worried about his bride’s feelings at the wedding. He felt he could not talk to me for too long as ‘she might get upset’. He felt he could not sit next to me as ‘she might get jealous’...
For years, I never thought our friendship might be questioned. When he showed up in the middle of nowhere in North Wales for my wedding, and gave me a big bear hug in front of everybody, I never even considered that might look wrong. It never crossed my mind that Husband might have some concerns about this friendship.
And now, for the first time, I was confused.
I was worried his new wife would not like me. I was concerned she would not trust me. I was afraid my long term friendship with this old friend would now end-because she would not approve.
So I got annoyed. Being a woman, she should have a gut instinct that nothing is going on! - I thought to myself. She should not get so paranoid and possessive from day one. What is wrong with her?? My poor friend, who is he getting married to?
But then, watching her smile at him and reach for his hand every time someone made an emotional speech, I saw how happy they looked. And I let him go. For long years, he was my single male friend. Someone to share a dirty joke with, gossip, laugh and (OK, maybe!) flirt a little. But now, things will never be the same. He is no longer just him, but a part of them, and if I want to continue to be his good friend, I must accept her. And hope that she will accept me too.