I always hear the question, Can men and women "just be friends?". Of course i took to Facebook and asked the question, "Can men and women be "just friends" and remain platonic? I got varying answers from men and women lol. Women saying that yes they can and men saying that the "line" will probably get crossed at some point. (Duh!) I want to thank everyone who responded to my question. I got a couple of inbox responses as well. Y'all funny!!...in my Randi Hall voice lol
As I read through the responses, I got to thinking that I do have a friend who's the opposite sex and we've been friends for a LONG time. But the friendship that we have now did not develop in the traditional sense. It actually started about 25 years ago. When I was 16 years old, my cousins and I went to Kent State University to visit our sister/cousin Darci. We always went to visit her for the weekend to go to parties up there. I have to give mad props to Darci for allowing us to come visit her like that! Back to the conversation... I was 16 years old, 11th grade, and at a college party in some gym or some facility on campus. My memory eludes me right now. I don't remember much about that night, which is odd because I have a really good memory. But the one thing that i remember about that night is seeing some random guy walking around the party with a red sweatshirt and some weird looking white letters on it. He had a red and white cane and was doing, what I found out later, was called "twirling". All I know is that i could not take my eyes off him! And when he saw me, he couldn't take his eyes off me either. As I'm writing this, I'm thinking about the Six Degrees of Separation Theory again. That night at the party, this guy walks right up to my other cousin, who went to another college, and just started talking to her. Come to find out, they went to the same school and knew each other. So he asks my cousin about me. Years later he told me because he thought i was so cute (i hate that word lol). My cousin shot him down QUICK ok? All i can remember hearing was my cousin saying, "She's only 16!" lmao
So fast forward 2 years. I'm a Freshman at IUP now. Eighteen years old. Still a baby and ain't even know it. I remember the first night we were in the dorms just sitting around trying to figure out what to do. It was me, three of my cousins, and another friend we had graduated high school with just a few short weeks earlier. So, in walks these two guys, one in a Black and Gold t-shirt with Greek letters and another in Red and White t-shirt with Greek letters. I thought to myself, "Clearly these guys were hoopers". Both were tall and very athletic looking. I could tell just from looking at them. Yeah, i stereotyped them lol. Ok so anyways, i said hi, he says hi, and then he sits down. Like somebody invited him, right? We all start to talk and then he says my name is "DT". I'm like huh?? I say to him, do you remember me? He looks at me for a second, and then realizes who I am. Only I'm not that 16 year old he met at Kent State a couple of years earlier. lol...I was legal now *crackin up*
Over the next few months there was a lot of waving as we walked past each other in The Grove,a few run ins at some on and off campus parties, and a lot of clandestine messages from his boys and roommates. By that time, i had already done my personal housekeeping. He just needed to do his. Eventually we let ourselves officially be a couple. We ended up dating for about a year and a half. And during that time we spent a lot of time with family. I spent some time with his mother (may she Rest In Peace) and he spent a ton of time with my family here. It was fun and we had a good time with each other. Yes, there were some bumps in the road. A LOT of bumps in the road. More than I care to remember. But that kinda went with the territory. Basketball player, fraternity guy, popular. It was what it was. Ultimately, we went our separate ways because i got fed up with his ass (lol).
Then one day out of the clear blue, YEARS later, he calls me! I mean like 10-12 years later. He said that he was cleaning out some old stuff and found my old phone number. He dialed it to see if anyone would answer. I didn't lol, but he left a message. Imagine my surprise when i heard his voice again. We talked for hours. I told him about my son, he told me about his and his daughter. This was also when he dropped that bomb on me that his mother had passed! That hurt my heart! Real bad. I had told him that my Aunt Patricia, who adored him, had passed away also. There were a lot of coulda, shoulda, woulda statements too. What if we had stayed together? What if I were his kid's mother? What if he were my son's father? How different would our lives be?
A couple years had gone by and we had talked sporadically. Nothing major really. Just the usual "How's everything going?" type of conversations. About 4 years ago he called to say that he and his son were driving through the area and wanted to know if it was ok if they stopped by? That was the beginning of our friendship. Our relationship is so much better now that it was 20 years ago. Probably because we have so much more in common now than we did back then. We both have very athletic sons and they get along like brothers.And because his son has already been through the whole college recruiting/selection process situation, i ALWAYS call him for advice regarding situations for my son when it comes to athletics. When he and his son come around, it's like a big ole happy family minus the "relationship" among the parental units lol. Our friendship is way stronger than our relationship had ever been. There is a mutual respect for each other and there's no proverbial line to NOT cross because we've already been down that road. And because of the past relationship, I think this is what makes our friendship stronger than most. "DT" is the first man that I ever loved and the first man that I ever felt love from (other than my dad). He introduced me to different things that I probably wouldn't have given the time of day to if it he hadn't been in my life. I used to HATE riding around in his car listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers (lmbo) but to this very day, I love that band! I had a flashback when they performed at the halftime show for this year's Superbowl. He always told me how smart I was and that I inspired him because whenever he came to my dorm room, I was always studying. That was a front, by the way. My books were always open, but I didn't study as much as I should have. By Spring semester of my Freshman year, I was spending WAY too much time at the Alpha house. We used to kick it hard at the house too lol. Whenever I and one of my cousins hears the word "beverage" we crack up laughing because he used that word often.
Some people say that men and women can't be friends. Some say they CAN be friends. I'm still on the fence about that. I haven't met a guy yet who wanted to "just be friends". My personal experience is that there's always a slight motive for the friendship. That's just natural human emotions. "DT" loves me and I love him, but it's a different kind of love now. It's a "friend til the end" type of love. So even though the progression of our friendship could be considered [very] nontraditional, we embrace it wholeheartedly. We're thankful and grateful for our friendship and how it's blossomed over the years. We have a relationship AFTER the relationship.
...i can just hear Mossie saying, Yeah right! lol