“Hey! You wanna go hang out and grab some coffee later?” I asked a friend recently.
“Hmmm. I don’t know. I need to check and see what (insert name of friend’s significant other here) is doing first,” they answered.
“Oh, okay,” I respond, while secretly thinking to myself, “Christ almighty is he your warden or something? Are you allowed to take a shit without full disclosure or do you need to check in with him first for that also?”
Ah, yes. The timeless dilemma of trying to be social among a group of friends who are all strapped down and whipped by relationships and commitment.
“Now Robby, that’s not a fair assessment,” my friend James chastised me recently when I shared my thoughts with him. “It has nothing to do with getting your partner’s permission. It’s about showing courtesy to the person you’re sharing your life with. It’s not just about your wants and needs anymore. You have someone else’s feelings to consider. You’ll understand when you meet someone and settle down.”
Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot that I don’t understand ANYTHING because I’m not suction cupped to the hip of another individual. Please forgive me.
If you want to talk about considering someone’s feelings, let’s consider mine for a moment.
Now I realize that for most people, growing up can include finding the man (or woman, or perhaps even a non gender identifying individual) of your dreams and settling down and building a life together. Eating for two, drinking for two, breathing for two, blah, blah, and blah. I’m not there yet. Carry on. I’ll watch from the couch.
But without sounding like I’ve completely gone off the deep end (too late), I share the following sentiment to my coupled friends: I wasn’t quite prepared to have my chair at your table ripped out from underneath my big ass and given to your spousal equivalent with out a warning.
Empty cartons of take out are treated with more dignity when cast aside than friends are.
I have a bone stiffer than Cindy McCain’s plastic smile to pick with that.
To all of the domestically coupled folks spanning the globe I say cut your single friends some slack, will you? I realize that as just a friend, we’re not the center of your universe and that in reality; we take up a very small percentage of your thoughts. We can handle that. But try to understand and remember that when we entered each other lives, there weren’t all these other obligations, responsibilities, and people to think about. Once upon a time, it was your friendships that got you through.
I’ve accepted that many of my friends have brought someone else into the picture and that their lives are changing and evolving, but just because it has, doesn’t mean our friendship has to.
I change my hair every twelve seconds. Does that disrupt your daily grind? I think not.
So, to all the happy couples of the world, the next time someone call you and asks if you want to do something, do us all a favor, pretend for a moment that life is like it used to be, and answer accordingly. “Sure” or “I’m gonna hafta pass” or “let me get back to you” will suffice. We promise the minute we hang up you can call or text your honey and collaborate on an official answer.
And perhaps, one day, we will learn to be more considerate too when we call, and ask instead, “Hey, do you and (insert name here) want to hang out?” And just maybe we won’t be complete sarcastic bitches about it either.
Okay, whom am I fooling? I’ll always be a complete sarcastic bitch…but maybe less so.
Essential Download: "The Little Things You Do Together"
Available On: Original Broadway Cast Recording
Originally published in the October 2008 issue of The Empty Closet, New York State’s Oldest Continuously-Published LGTB newspaper since 1973, through the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley.