Justifying I love you?

I absolutely love my friends. I love them. I don’t use that term loosely. Allow me to break it down for you.

Friends- Someone that I share a common bond with, whether its over a shared experience or interest. We may not always be consistent with our communication patterns, but we know we can call on each other if ever needed.

Best Friend- someone who has put up with me when I wouldn’t have put up with me and still hangs around, showing me that my good attributes far outweigh my bad ones. They’re accepting, and loving. Even if we don’t talk for a few months, we can pick right back up where we left off as if no time has passed at all. Our friendship has probably survived at least one disagreement, and its water under the bridge.  Lets face it, life gets busy and complicated; but when it truly matters the most, the people I call my best friends have never once let me down.

Rarely do I hesitate to end a phone call with a best female friend without saying ‘I love you.’ Most women don’t hesitate to let their friends and loved ones know exactly how they feel (good, bad, indifferent), and as I find life to be exceedingly precious, I don’t hesitate to let my loveys know just how much they are loved.

One such lovey sent me this video today of guys telling each other for the first time that they loved each other. I thought it was the dearest thing I’d ever seen, and it made me so happy. I seldom read the news anymore, as its riddled with stories of anger and hate and misunderstanding on such a level of incivility that most of the time I end up feeling tired and defeated just looking at the headlines. But this, this made my little heart jump with joy.

AMAZING!

So when said lovey decided to send me this video, it made me think- I don’t usually say ‘I love you’ to my guy friends, as I would be afraid of a) crossing a boundary, b) having my meaning be misconstrued, c) making shit permanently weird forever with no recovery in sight.

But truly, why not? If we have well established boundaries, a healthy friendship and no romantic feelings, why not be able to express those words of endearment and appreciation to someone of the opposite sex? I think about how many times I’ve called my saintly gentlemen friends and how not once have they ever made me feel crazy, or sad, or like the completely bat-shit, irrational, raving lunatic I was behaving as.

I’ll never forget something my first boyfriend did that has definitely affected me even years later. After we’d broken up, his best friend ended up telling me that when I would call him sometimes, he would put the phone down, walk away and come back and I would still be talking, so he would just let me talk until he was ready to end the conversation. Now, seeing as I was 14 and probably not talking about anything I would now find worthwhile, the point is, I was expressing myself, thinking he was in agreement or found me interesting, when the complete opposite is true. I was so hurt, and felt like I was an uninteresting chatterbox not worthy of my dating partner’s attention. It cut me pretty deep, but I’ve all since healed over the years, and mostly I believe, because these friendships were cultivated.

These guys know better than any boy friend how to handle me, and will be a resource for the future Mr. someday. Where boy friends have thrown up their hands in total defeat and walked, these guys have shown me that I’m worth listening to and taking the time to understand. How freaking amazing is that?

Now I know that ‘boy friends’ and ‘guy friends’ are two totally different relationships, and I’m sure that if I dated any of my guy friends, our dynamic would be totally different. But that doesn’t negate their importance in my life, nor does it take away how they’ve made me feel.

So why not express my appreciation for them? Why not tell them how they have saved me from myself much in the way my lady friends have year in and year out, all the while helping me understand the inner workings of the male mind? For answering the phone when I call and spending time on me that they will never get back. Time is such a precious commodity, so I seldom take it lightly when someone spends time with me (or on me…no pun intended), especially when I wind up rambling on about a problem that isn’t even really a problem and come to my own solution and they haven’t had to say a word- they just listened. (Yeah, they put up with A LOT). The greatest gift anyone could  give me is their undivided attention. And I’m all too happy to return the favor.

“Be who you are and say what you mean because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

– Dr. Seuss

This world needs more love.This life is too short to live without it in any fashion.

Truly, to my male friends, I freaking love you guys.

So there.

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This is why I don’t read the news

So, WTNH posted this story recently which made my brain want to leak out of my ears and fall despairingly to the floor.

http://wtnh.com/2014/10/02/whos-secretly-photographing-the-gas-station-girls/

I would like to live in a world where women are not objectified by their body. This is pure evidence of the rape culture we live in. This says to me that this man (THIS MAN- not all men. See what I did there?) #1 is promoting the male sense of entitlement to objectify and treat women not as human beings, but simply as objects. #2, it screams out loud that who women are as people is completely irrelevant to society because instead of seeing women as people, women are  as the clothes they wear, the way they look and how they fit in their jeans. Personally, I don’t get dressed every day with the intent of drawing attention to myself. I put on what looks good and professional for my job, or I wear what I’m comfortable in (I do prefer not to wear pajamas in public, but that’s just me). And if I am out in public, and someone cares enough to take my photo, then do the human thing, and ask me if you can first. We have become a society of “take what we want when we want.”  Only by creating a consent culture (which needs the help of EVERYONE) can we hope to maybe eradicate centuries of treating women like second class citizens and sexual objects for male viewing pleasure as well as this insane sense of entitlement. A matter of manners, which I think we can all agree have been forsaken in the face of the modern times. “May I please?” “Would you mind?” are all examples of an active consent culture. This is how I begin sentences, whether I’m speaking to the person at the drive thru or my boss, because, MANNERS MATTER.

Technology has also created a voyeuristic sense of entitlement that allows people instant gratification under the guise that their reality and every experience is worth sharing. News flash- not every single thing that happens to you throughout the day is newsworthy. Not every post is a rare gemstone of information that we’re all salivating to experience.

Moral of this story- women are people, not things, and NO you don’t have the right to photograph someone without their permission, because they’re a person who has the right to their body and has a say in what happens to it.

And one final thought- its not the clothes that a person wears that invites assault or violence towards them. Its the entitlement of the other person to have zero regard for a fellow human being and to get what they want.

*drops the mic*

Also- I have 5 other points / examples in my head that I don’t have time to formulate now. Stay tuned, this rant is far from over.