“Male” as a Foreign Language.

I have been married – and divorced – three times. Two of those marriages were of respectable length and maintain civility even now. I have a handful of male friends who are closer to me than most others. I have a son with whom i share a good relationship. And yet i am clueless as to how to deal with men. I can’t speak their language. I’m not even talking the fine art of being fluent in Male. I’m talking Male for tourists here. So much time amongst them, and i can barely ask for directions to the subway.

To make matters more complicated, just like the formal and informal “you” pronouns of most European languages, Male has two distinct dialects: “Romantic Interest” and “Friend”.  And tho you may long to be bestowed with romance, once you’re deemed worthy of the friendly informal, your chances at ever being more than their friend get tossed out the window with the formal language phrases like, “You are really amazing.” or “How did i get so lucky?” They are replaced by phrases that require you to lie with a straight face and agree that the woman who got the role you wanted is perfect. Faster than he can switch from “vous” to “tu”, your hopes are dashed, and not even your aching, begging eyes will change his mind.  Hell, not even a night of award-winning sex will change his mind. You are “tu”. To be anything more would go against the laws of testosterone

They say that there are some men who are bilingual and can speak both dialects at the same time, transitioning seamlessly from one to the other when speaking to a woman who is allowed both roles, but i have never met one personally. I think those men are like Sasquatch or Nessie… Real only to the few who believe to have seen them. Men, God bless them, are limited. One girl, one dialect. Friend or potential partner. Never both. That would be like a fruit that was both chip dip and hair treatment. (Incidentally, if you are reading this and you are male – Avocados are both. Duh)  Anyway, the point is, tho there are men who swear they married their best friend, those men are on the same list as unicorns and flattering bathing suits – on the “Shit I’ll Believe When I See It” list.

Not that i mind being the friend. It’s nice to have a man in your life that you don’t need to worry about impressing with your unceasing awesomeness and sexiness. Or, if you’re like me, giving the impression that you have those things. It means you can be yourself. You can be flawed. You can be real. And they will love you regardless. Just not the way you want them to.

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