Friday, December 28, 2007

Hump of Wonder

" Writing can be a pretty desperate endeavor, because it is about some of our deepest needs: our need to be visible, to be heard, our need to make sense of our lives, to wake up and grow and belong." -Anne Lamott
So now I write.

In Harry Met Sally Harry says, more or less, that girls and guys could never be friends because there's always that "what if?". Falso. There may be a "what if" at first because let's just be honest... almost every friend you've had of the opposite sex deserves the courtesy of the "what if?" Then you get over it and just enjoy the platonic glories of friendship. But then there are those rare occasions when you make a new friend and it's the kind of chemistry that causes beautiful, weird and dangerous things to happen when you mix ammonia and bleach.

This person will completely intrigue you. Not just the sort of intrigue you get at first when you enter into that first awkward and silly conversation where you may be nervous because you could have food in your teeth or sleep in your eye, so nervous that you don't even realize the inappropriate things you are saying. This someone totally wraps you around their finger with their every effortless, surface acquaintance. Sometimes they walk into your life and your friendship is this hilarious array of common ground via music and movies and "You're friends with fill in the blank?!? Me too!" And then of course a random deep conversation to ensure them that you're not just an attractive, funny, schmuck… no, you are also an intelligent, spiritual, socially conscious one.

It's a sort of thoughtless infatuation. Thoughtlessly infatuated yet you think of them often enough. It's always "great to see them" and it's always a coincidence… even though you knew they had an 8:30 class in this particular building with a very socially conscious busty brunette (you should have never dropped) and you inconveniently took the collision route. I've only done this twice... or so. But we do it because we are excited about the mystery of the next conversation. Of course this all sounds like a crush but it doesn't have to be.

It's the wondering whether or not it could become a crush (and in our crazy hopes and dreams a slippery slope from there) that leads us to these inconvenient collisions and a complete enthrallment in the description of their last meal in the cafeteria. Then something will happen. Someone will say something… or do something… or smell something. It will be one of you or both of you and the 'they can do no wrong' will fly out the door. Maybe it will be politics, or race and denomination issues or maybe they'll just be funky beyond words one day. It's at that moment when many will cross over what I'd like to call the Hump of Wonder.

You will realize that he's going to vote for a complete idiot, he would never join you at a Pentecostal church service and that he only bathes on the days he has that 8:30 class. He may realize that you aren't really as socially active as you are conscious, that you have cankles and that you talk about yourself entirely too much and go out of your way to run into him. From there you both are standing at the hump. The hump can do no wrong. I believe what is meant to be will be and sometimes one be will be entirely more painful and humiliating than the other, but it is nonetheless completely necessary.

I've narrowed it down to 3 roads after the hump. Life is not this black and white but at times I categorize things like this to make my own love travesties more interesting and aesthetically pleasing for every one. You could love this person in spite of these things like bathing and politics… love them in spite of themselves. They could get over your cankles and stalker like personality traits and from there you can become one of two things. Your friendship could grow into romance. Maybe it'll work out and you'll eventually birth and/or adopt attractive, funny, schmuck babies and raise them to be magically delightful citizens. Or maybe you'll love this person for the platonic joy they will give you as one of your closest most dear friends for the next 15 years. His kids with the busty chick in his 8:30 will call you "Auntie."

The third and least hopeful of all the roads is the inevitable demise of your adorable and clever interactions. You'll stay friends but it can't be close anymore. The poor cankles can no longer take the collision route; it's just not good for your heart. Here's to the clarity we all receive on our opposite sex friendship journeys over the inevitable hump of wonder.

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