Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Because When Do You Ever Really Know Someone?

Dear Diary, ((I started this post yesterday, but got sidetracked by the fact that I
a.) Got a late-night goodnight call/hour-long talk from Andrew and b.) Was tired from having Andrew over the day before because c.) I stayed up late talking to him the night before that.
But I swear it's a non-clingy functional friendship!
...I think.))

It's been a while, I know. What has happened since my last escapades with Andrew the friend with benefits, the guy who I wrote the First Boyfriend Memoir about, or Nice Jock from way back in the day? Well, I'll tell you all about it in the next few posts, but for now let's concentrate on Andrew.
Contrary to the romantic courtships and heartfelt touchy moments that are portrayed in romantic-comedy films in the media, friends with benefits are friends for a reason. It's actually kind of sad that Andrew and I don't connect with chemistry, or that X-factor thing that you can't put your finger on, that passionate drive-you-crazy spark that comes from making out with hands held tight and planning a life together while screaming at each other on picnic dates at the park in the middle of the day. It's that passion that I think differentiates friends from couples. It's the reason why when Andrew and I hang out with his best friend and his best friend's girlfriend we call our hangout, no not a double date, a couple and a "couple of friends" hanging out. We don't really kiss on the lips much, since there's no chemistry there, but physically we're both somewhat attracted to each other which results in the "benefits" we share off-and-on. Like an open relationship almost, except we aren't trying to kid anyone with what we're doing by slapping a title on it. We're friends, and whatever happens inside that friendship is personal, and there's no point in pretending that it's something that it isn't. He's a guy who I could talk to for hours and be weird as hell around knowing that as much as he might judge me, it's with an appreciation for my authenticity and comfortable nature I have developed around him that he earned by getting to know me on a deeper level before anything physical happened. The reason we have a functional relationship despite the physical nature of it, I think, is because neither of us have a real motive from being friends. Whether one of us is dating somebody else, or we're sharing summer nights together, we enjoy our conversations and respect the other person's loyalty, since true friends, as we have discussed before, are hard to find. We both appreciate having someone to share the little stuff with and someone who expects nothing back when the other person gives, who is around whenever the other is upset, despite their evident flaws. In retrospect, I could probably consider Andrew my best friend. Even though I go through periods when I hate him (and I don't mean getting angry at him during my time of the month, wherein, by the way, Andrew is super nice by trying to comfort me with different methods of getting rid of my cramps, i.e. "On Google it says green tea and warm towels help, you want some?") and he gets frustrated with my stubbornness by not taking his advice on my problems, we always end up talking it out with explanations, apologies, and long late-night phone calls. I read somewhere that most people end up best friends with the people that they initially hate, which makes sense. Hate, after all, is not the opposite of love; apathy is its antonym. So what hate is, really, is a strong emotion that is still that, a emotion. And if you can harbor hate for someone, if they make amends who's to say that the relationship won't bounce up to love, loyalty, and trust?
When Andrew and I first met, the initial few weeks of our getting to know each other consisted of him being super friendly to him being a real asshole. We met when I was breaking up with The First Boyfriend, and he was a really good listener. But we ended up having a mini-high-school-PG-13-level hookup where I ended up with a hickey even though we never kissed. We went to a party for his best friend's girlfriend's birthday and met a few interesting characters. One was a stoner-type of guy with long legs and hair to match. He asked Andrew, "Is this your girlfriend; you guys are a couple?" most likely because we were attached to the hip for a while after we met and frequently would go off by ourselves to sit on a desolated staircase or bench to talk about life. Now, I didn't expect Andrew to be super protective of me since we just met or emotionally-attached since our friendship was emotionally completely platonic at the time, but I didn't expect his rudeness.
"No, I am ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT single." We both stared at him. "She's just my bitch," he added and give Stoner a high-five. "What?" Andrew asked looking at me as though he said nothing wrong. Naturally, I was pissed and I never forgot that he spoke so low of me. Now fast forward three years.
The other night Andrew and I were on the phone and he asked what I thought about him when I first met.
"Well, I thought you were exactly how you are now when we met initially, but then you got kind of...weird. Not weird exactly...more like an asshole."
"What, really? What did I do?"
"You called me your bitch.," I said lightly. I never brought it up with him before because even though it always reminds me of why I would definitely never date him, he hasn't said anything relatively mean like that since.
"What..." he thought about it.
"I don't think I said that. I would never say that."
"I think I would remember if I said that, I don't remember that."
"Well you did. We didn't talk for a while after that."
But it just goes to show that as you get older, you see people change. Who knew that this asshole, this douchebag of a wimp would end up being the one who I trust with so many of my secrets and with the fragility of my emotional state three years later?
 That being said...Andrew has come back in the picture since our blow up last summer. Btw, can you believe that last summer was pretty much an entire year ago? It just surprises me how fast senior year really passes by, and I wonder if the rest of my life is going to pass by this quick. The change of exiting high school is kinda freaking me out in the back of my head because I keep having nightmares of family members dying/trying to kill me with knives and/or saws with yellow handles and/or pistols concealed in their shirt sleeves by chasing me around random locations. So, that sucks. Anyway...
When he went out with his last girlfriend, the one after the one who replaced me at the end of summer, I went out with another guy around that time. Slowly, but surely we became friends again and built up each other's trust by being supportive of one another as both our short-lived relationships fell apart.
Speed up to New Year's Eve, the first time we hung out since our messy fallout in the summer. We were just with two of his best friends and one of their girlfriends (yes, the one who's birthday party we attended sophomore year) eating and walking around the city to welcome the new year of 2013. Funny that I mention it though, because we missed the countdown while waiting for some warm to-go drinks at a local Asian dessert cafe. "Why did nobody tell us that midnight was coming or care that it's New Year's Eve?!" we discussed among ourselves. Anyway, we ended up hanging out at Andrew's house, talking and watching funny videos on his laptop. It got late though, so everyone left to go home except for me, not wanting to walk in my door at like 3AM to a pissed-off mother.
The two of us just sat on his bed and talked. That turned to laying under the covers and talking. And that turned to our faces getting really close together as we talked. Which turned to us making out for a while, although we both really lost any sense of chemistry that we had in the summer in my opinion, and that turned to us sleeping with each other the way that friends with benefits tend to do. And it was the first time that he ever finished with a girl, even though I myself have never been emotionally connected enough with any guy to finish.
But now it's May and neither of us have dated anyone since, even though he off-and-on likes that Korean girl that he left me for last summer and seems to have a confusing off-and-on thing with her, though he has expressed to me that he has no desire to have a commitment with her knowing that he would end up breaking up with her again because of their intellectual incompatibility. Andrew came over on Monday, the first time that I've had a guy in my bed since The First Boyfriend back two years ago since I've been pretty cautious with inviting guys over/going to guys' houses after everything that happened with him. I would say that Andrew is better than he used to be in bed, but still no grand enchilada for me..
In my defense against people who might judge me for my pseudo relationship-friendship with Andrew, I would simply say that inter-personal relationships between people are much, much more complicated than they seem and that labels only mean so much. Because I know that I am not a person who would feel comfortable getting around with different guys, I value that I have somebody who I trust enough to share so much with. Our many talks on the phone that build up for months of no physical contact, but just emotional support lead me to believe that he's not just after one thing from me and it gives me the confidence to continue whatever I feel like doing with him, knowing that there's more behind it.
AND SO, that's what's been going on with Andrew and I. What the future holds for us, I have no idea. And there's no point in trying to project where its going at the rate we're going because all I know is that I love him as my friend and would be somewhat sad if we had a finite fallout with each other. He said to me before that he knows me better than I probably even know myself, which is a bit of a stretch, but it's nice to think that there's somebody out on this planet of billions of people who has tried to take their time to understand me. I don't understand everything that he says or does, but I feel like deep down I know that in his core his experiences in life have shaped him into a good person who is just trying to be accepted by others and loved by the people who he won't admit to caring about.
For a feel-good end to this post, I'll include our Thanksgiving 2012 messages to each other:
Me: "Happy Thanksgiving! We've had very weird memories but I'm thankful to have you as my friend hahah"
Him:  "Haha you too :] I'm grateful I met you, for the better and worse."    

-That Girl, because can you ever really know someone? And does it matter if you never do?

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