Recently, I was among the last to leave a party thrown by a good friend of mine when I noticed a young damsel in distress. I asked my friend why this girl was tucked away in the corner, scowling at her phone and she informed me that the girl was having some troubles with her boyfriend. Although I don’t have boyfriend troubles or a degree in psychology I could relate to the feelings that causes one to transform from upright to the fetal position, even in a crowded room. I recognized the look on her face and the anxiety in her voice. Someone was playing phone games with this innocent heterosexual and I didn’t like it! So I grabbed another plate of food and called an intervention.
My friend and I enveloped the girl as I started the inquisition. My first question was going to be “why do you like boys?” but I remembered that we need to be tolerant of those who are different. We told her to start from the beginning so we could help her make a decision regarding her future with said boyfriend. She obliged and told us it all began so wonderfully and that he was so attentive and sweet. She continued to tell us how after she became closer to him she could sense him distancing himself. “Oh, he totally sounds like a lesbian!” my friend shouted. “We got this,” I proclaimed.
And just like that we were tag-teaming this girl…with advice (not in the way you’re envisioning).
We recommended that she play hard-to-get if she wanted him to commit. “Everyone plays the game, and everyone likes a chase,” we insisted, as we clanked our drinks and toasted ourselves for being so wise and helpful. But when she told us that he had texted her saying she shouldn’t come over because he had a headache, we became extremely suspicious. Even lesbians don’t use that excuse. While my friend was trying figure out if he was a gay or straight woman, I had concluded that he was cheating.
Having been cheated on in the past I could see all the signs. I insisted we all drive by his house so that we could catch him in the act. My friend concurred as we had once done this for her many years ago. The sweet young girl looked terrified, however.
I don’t know what was scarier for her; discovering her boyfriend was potentially cheating, or dealing with two pantless, jaded lesbians, drinking whiskey and snapping their fingers.
Just then my friend’s girlfriend entered the room and as we filled her in, she suggested that the girl should call him and have a conversation. My friend and I were instantly silenced. We hadn’t even thought of that. Who talks on the phone anymore? And as it turned out he really was sick and the sweet, young, heterosexual girl was able to confirm it by the sound of his voice. She didn’t need me to sneak onto his property or spy on his Facebook wall to tell her. She didn’t need us at all. We almost cockblocked an innocent man. How many other cocks have I blocked, I wondered? How many beavers have I damned? I questioned my judgment and considered all the bad advice I may have given; all the lives I’ve probably ruined.
I also thought about all the advice my friends had given me over the years and how unbelievably inaccurate some of it was. They were just as lousy at making decisions for me as I was for myself. I even ruminated on all the unspoken words that could have saved me from some of my biggest mistakes; like the time I moved 1,500 miles away for a girl I had just met and my friends, instead of telling me it was the dumbest thing I would ever do, threw me a going-away party. And when I inevitably returned home a few months later with my tail between my legs they then admitted they should have warned me rather than buying me toiletries for the road trip. Though it’s doubtful I would have ever listened to them anyway. All the introspection in the world won’t take away our mistakes or fill us with the joy that comes from life’s ebbs and flows. As the saying goes, “It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye, or becomes a single mom.” But if our friends aren’t responsible for us then who, is? Perhaps it’s time we listen to our inner voices as we weed out the noise of the crowd.
Last I heard that sweet girl and her boyfriend are doing very well. That’s straight talk for getting it on. Let this be a lesson to all: be mindful of the advice of people who are perpetually single or without pants.