I hope you have been listening to our shows in which Davin and Joe have been discussing their relationships with their African sweethearts . The absurdities, the twists and turns, and the hilarious things that the guys have been writing (and are having written to them) keep me hanging on the edge of my seat. Who needs t.v. when I have my own personal soap opera every week with these two?
Anyway, after hearing about their exploits, and reviewing how we constantly disect each of these relationships to see how it is turning out, I have been thinking about how “real” relationships grow, and the way we interpret signs along the way in these budding romances.
I am reminded of a friend from years ago, I’ll call him John, with whom I had hoped to become more than friends. We had met through a theater group, and during the course of working on shows together and going out on what I wished were dates, our uncategorized relationship grew. Now, as most females do, when hoping that a relationship is going to move on out of the “friend zone” amd into a romance, I indulged in the sport of picking apart behaviors and phrases and body language, to see if I could tell which way his heart was headed.
After going out on casual evenings alone, to the movies, dinner, etc. several times, with no apparent moves towards making things anything other than platonic, I started to go over the checklist. Is it me? Does he not like me? Why the hell is he spending so much time with me, and initiating outings then? Oh my God, I theorized…he’s gay. We met in a theater group, DUH. Doesn’t matter he was married before, that must be it.
But the problem was, he didn’t seem gay. He talked about relationships with women in the way that straight men do, and I wasn’t getting that telltale feeling that I’ve gotten so many times over the years in my career as a (pardon the term) fag hag, with great gaydar. No, this was just not happening. But since I still wanted it to happen, I clung on to little things – a certain look, sharing of confidences, his continued invitations out. What was I missing? I was tortured, trying to read the tea leaves of his every utterance.
The thing that made me think that we were possibly moving towards being more than pals was his confiding in me what seemed to be a very big secret for him. He had a camel puppet named Clarence that was sentimental to him. When he was married, he used to make the puppet talk to his wife, and it was a private joke between them that he missed terribly.
Okay, I didn’t think that was very weird at all, being as I’d spent years pretending that my cat could talk, and had developed a fully fleshed-out character for my unsuspecting cat, which my close friends were well aware of. My poor cat said hideous things in a sort of bastardized French accent, and we would laugh at his expense. See? I was much weirder than John, and didn’t think anything of his deep, dark secret. But, I was touched that he thought enough of me to share this with me, and thought that it was evidence of our getting closer. Why would he share that with me otherwise, I reasoned? He must REALLY like me, I thought.
*Ladies, here’s the thing. Just because a guy is yap, yap, yapping about his life, his secrets, his dreams, whatever, it does not necessarily mean that he is considering you girlfriend material. Sometimes, it just means that you are friend material – and a patient listener.
Shortly after that monumental confession, ahem, John broke the news to me that he had begun dating someone else. To add insult to injury, he told me about his girlfriend AFTER he asked how I felt about him. Thanks for that, John,you thoughtless schmuck. Our budding non-romance swiftly became a dead leaf.
Years later, when I saw him at a mutual friend’s party, he told me about how he was taking puppetry classes and getting really into it. I said that I was not surprised to hear that, since he was so attached to Clarence, the camel puppet.
He looked at me wide-eyed and said, “I TOLD you about Clarence?”
I could have slapped him. What I had thought of, to that day, as a big breakthrough and major moment in our “relationship”, he didn’t even REMEMBER. Double schmuck!
I told this story to say that you can dissect a relationship all you want, but sometimes the signs don’t mean what you think they do, and you may just be surprised about how things turn out. And I would also like to warn women away from men with camel puppets – or even cats that they seem just a little bit too close with.