Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Friend-Dating

Tonight I’m going on a first date, and I’m going on it blindly. This morning I perfected my makeup, fretted over earrings (big, tacky gold or small, simple Peridot?), and slipped on my go-to jeans. We’re going to Pegu Club, where fabulous cocktails abound, and I already plan on getting tipsy to offset the guaranteed awkwardness.

Though decided upon last week, this morning I’m second-guessing my choice of venue. Sure it was great when I was there in December, but is it still good now? How much has the crowd changed? Will it convey the right vibe?

As an aside, this is not how I normally act. But this is no ordinary date. This is a friend date.

I’ve found in the city that girls have more traditional dating relationships with each other than we do with the opposite sex. Perhaps because hooking up is so easy, and dropping relationships even easier, we tread more carefully when selecting our girlfriends, the ones to penetrate the inner circle of our lives. Guys we try on as though they were dresses, snatching up ones we think might work for the moment, compiling notches, piles on the closet floor. Girls we try on more like undergarments; we want them perfect. They can’t pinch, they can’t pull, and though they are quite assorted as only a few match, some fit only for certain occasions (sober won’t mix with wild nights out, young mom won’t fare well with perpetually single, best road-trip buddy won’t love the long hikes so dear to sandal-wearing tree-hugger), each singular one we’re lucky enough to find must be great.

Too bad shopping for friends is far more limited than shopping for clothes. Work is the easiest arena if you’re surrounded by a gaggle of girls your own age. Friends of friends, randoms met at parties and bars, and at the gym are slightly more difficult. And even when you’re that you’ve managed to finagle the perfect group of friends, the city ends up finite, and great people leave for far off, open spaces. Filling their void is particularly hard. The city can be synonymous with lonely at times because we’re all in so much of a hurry, our heads down and bags bouncing, heels clicking furiously to get to wherever we’re going. So as girls, sometimes we’re left exposed, indulging in this strange ritual, seeking each other out, trying each other on, and hoping we’re liked equally in return.

Oftentimes, we eye each other in the office, first complimenting each other’s shoes or handbag, then working our way up to, “Oh, I’m running out to grab some lunch, want to come?” After breaching that boundary, we tread upon more dangerous ground: happy hour. If we’re really lucky, we can translate that into a Friday night pre-party, and only a very select few make it to Saturday shopping or Sunday brunch status. The number dwindles even lower when we enter stupid-movie watching, dream-sharing, soul-baring, daily-emailing, helping-one-another-move territory. Those friendships are the ones that feed our imaginations; the girlfriend equivalent of wedding fantasies, where the groom takes a backseat to a group of phenomenal bridesmaids.

Seems like it’s best if you approach any coupling, friend or otherwise, with the barest of expectations. Easy, breezy, if it happens it happens, if it doesn’t, oh well, there's always next time. That is how I feel about most things in my life, but deep down, everyone wants to be liked, whether it really matters or not…

So tonight, a friend date. With a very famous blogger. And I need to adhere to the rules of etiquette, composure and class. Because, like all friend dates, this is an evaluation, a test.

And I want to pass with flying colors.

44 comments:

Hattigrace said...

If your very famous blogger is the one from Fla, she is a wonderful person, easy to talk to, a great listener and mischievous sense of humor!

Loved this post. Yes, girlfriends must be the right fit! Have a great time!

Chana said...

have a good time and don't be nervous, being yourself will just do. enjoy.

Anonymous said...

This is SO true. I'm always dating for friends, and double dating with my friends and their boyfriends and mine. This is pretty funny.

Julie_Gong said...

So true... so very true. Good luck with the date.

NCTRNL said...

Guy friend dates have a similar feel. It's really weird when you look at it that way. It is weird to think that it is more beneficial to be friends with some people than others. Especially famous bloggers. The scene from Notting Hill comes to mind where the weird British girl meets Julia Roberts' character for the first time.

MKD said...

Oh my god, this is so true. I wonder if guys get like this or if they care. I'm willing to bet they put on a little extra deodorant for a first friend "date."

Grant said...

Well, this discarded article of clothing wishes you well in your trying out a new piece of intimate apparel tonight. :p

Cece said...

I am so glad to hear Im not the only one daydreaming of finding more amazing friends *sigh* After college everyone moved home and now even with having a boyfriend I feel as if I'm dating again. Its tiring.

Laura said...

Friendship was so much easier back in the 3rd grade. The BFF Club (best friends forever) met during post-lunch recess, and we had no qualms about hopping over to each others' houses uninvited. When did the invitation become mandatory?

pookalu said...

i totally agree. i'm a lot happier when girlfriends "pick me up." it's the whole validation thing -- esp since in this city women tend to size each other up, subconsciously or not.

hmmm, who is this famous blogger?

Sky said...

oh - how i miss my really good friends! i have relocated after many years of strong and vital roots far, far away. finding girlfriends when you are no longer a student or employed is quite difficult. starting over from scratch is hard - no friends of friends, no avenues to begin the networking. hard, hard, hard. i have 2 "friends" now - one is a possible keeper; the other i doubt it. but even the keeper will never work her way deeply into my life. we don't have enough in common for serious "sister" sharing. :(

great post. hope it goes well. xing my fingers for you!

Lynn said...

I agree with you here. I think it's because my biggest heartbreaks in life have come from my girlfriends, not boyfriends. We EXPECT men to leave, or cheat, or break out hearts, we never expect that from our girlfriends. All of this is why the process of choosing them is so important!

Hattigrace said...

So, how did it go?!

NotCarrie said...

So true about the friend first dates:) Hope you have a lovely time!

polkadot said...

i feel the switch to friends to hang out friends is the hardest.

D.T. said...

Yeah, I'll admit, finding that perfect friend is almost just as hard as finding that perfect outfit. Like a classic Armani or Chanel suit, you want something that will last a long time. And when you do find that perfect friend (or outfit!) remember to take care of it and to cherish it, because something like that can only be as good as you want it to be! So go out and have some fun!

Cheetarah1980 said...

A friend date is how I met my roommate, The Curly Haired Stick Figure. She was the buffer. Turns out the actual date didn't stick and the buffer moved in.

I think you'd pass any friend date. I've never hung out with you and I like you already.

K said...

Hey all,

It went pretty well. She was great, actually. Now if I can only help get my other friend's book club to get back in order, and mix some other friends in, everything will be stable in the "dating-friend" universe.

Now let this be a lesson in my utter dorkery for all :)

Sarah said...

Ooo book clubs! Sounds like my kind of girls. After I take one helluva exam on Friday, I'm reading my first book for pleasure in nearly a year... first up is Big Sur by Kerouac.

Anna said...

Good luck, good luck :)

Alison said...

I moved to the city recently, and even though friends of mine are moving to the city as.we.speak, I have spent A LOT of time daydreaming about finding the ultimate friend in the city. I keep meeting boys- at my temp. jobs, in my acting classes... I even started scheming about making these new guys 'set me up' with their female friends. My boyfriend thinks I'm crazy. I just really want to go to brunch.

andrea said...

Oh, I loved reading this. Thank you for writing it. I'm glad to hear that it went well.

teemo said...

Wow. I'm a guy (found this via Gawker.com) and this rings true for guys as well. Though maybe it's just me. My last "friend-date" . . he though smoking cocaine (yes, smoking - think they call that freebasing) and watching gay marine porn would be a good idea I guess. Errrr . . . somehow that's not quite what I pictured when he said he was having a "party party".

Some days you want to laugh, and some you want to cry and just get some fucking cats or whatever it is single straight guys do. Do straight guys get cats?!?

Anyway, good post. Comforting that maybe it's really not just that I'm a bloody freak magnet.

Cheetarah1980 said...

You had lunch with that famous blogger. Cool beans.
I'm glad to hear that it went well. I told you that you'd sail through flying colors. Now about Fatty Crab, when shall we go? And don't forget we gotta hit up 40/40 too.

StephanieKlein said...

It was lovely meeting you at such a lovely spot. I'm glad you reached out and made the effort. I think a lot of people forget that sometimes making new friends means putting yourself out there, just like dating. You know there is now "speed-friending" or something like that. I'd try something like that once. Drunk.

Laura said...

I work for this fabulous company that can hook you up with up to twenty bachelors and help you "Speed-Friend" in just one night! It’s called HurryDate, and we host tons of “speed-dating” events on a monthly basis at some classy hot-spots, conveying the perfect message in NYC! If you sign up for one of our parties, you will meet a diverse and interesting group of single men (not to mention, have plenty of drink specials to knock off that awkwardness of the four minute conversation!) The best part is if you don’t like him, after four minutes, you’ll never have to talk to him again!



Check out our website at www.hurrydate.com and let me know if you’d like to try it. I’d be happy to comp you and a friend!



Good luck at finding Mr. Right, or Mr. Right NOW!



Laura

Manic Mom said...

You obviously passed with those flying colors... she linked you from her blog. Your site-o-meter's gonna skyrocket!

Buffy said...

I go through stages where I feel smothered down by friends.....and stages where I feel like going out and getting a whole slew of new ones.

Problem is, I always worry they'll never live up to the originals - Chris, Flynn and Earl (identities totally changed to protect the not so innocent).

It IS a 'putting yourself out there'....but I never though of it that way...until now.

mamak said...

OMG ... I can't believe that two of my very, very favorite bloggers went on a friend date. If I were even remotely living in the same region, I would be soo jealous. Oh wait, I am anyway! :o)

~Black American Princess~ said...

Friend dating, that's funny because I have been writing about friend dumping. There are so many parallels between dating and friendships!

I hope your friend date went well.

AintGonnaTakeItNoMore said...

OK, for the record, most straight guys don't fret about such things.

I will like anyone if they aren't judgemental or mean drunks, cause I like to party but hate the drama!

Other than that, most guys always have our favorite subjects: woman's asses, tits, guitars and cars. Everything else is just fluff!

Elizabeth said...

I'll never forget my first "friend date." It was around 25 years ago when a new friend invited me out to dinner. How odd, I thought. But what else do I have to do besides pet my cat and watch Perry Mason reruns.

So I went. And she's still my best friend!

dianne_lone said...

Last night, I went out on a date with a man I met in webdatedotcom. He was awesome. He is such a gentleman and I think he'd be a great lover. Believe me, he seem to me like I was dating back in High School, where there are stars twinkling in each other's eyes and butterflies in my tummy. The perfect dating feeling!

Jarcened said...

Friend date was fun and beneficial in a way that you get to know another individual and new infos about anything depends on the flow of your conversation. I had so many friend dates but one most special date I have was with my boyfriend I met at wealthymendotcom. But I don't consider it a friend date now, it was our first memorable date. :)

Jarcened said...

Friend date was fun and beneficial in a way that you get to know another individual and new infos about anything depends on the flow of your conversation. I had so many friend dates but one most special date I have was with my boyfriend I met at wealthymendotcom. But I don't consider it a friend date now, it was our first memorable date. :)

Jarcened said...

Friend date was fun and beneficial in a way that you get to know another individual and new infos about anything depends on the flow of your conversation. I had so many friend dates but one most special date I have was with my boyfriend I met at wealthymendotcom. But I don't consider it a friend date now, it was our first memorable date. :)

averagedrinker said...

don't you love it when you prepare for a date? the beauty rest suddenly pops up the night before you date. up to now, after 3 years of dating my guy from webdatedotcom, i'm still very excited whenever he fetches me from work or at my apartment. he never failed to come up with gerat ideas to keep the intensity of excitement glam up the relationship we have.

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steller said...

LOL
what is your difference from other dating sites? you want to see the dirt of other sites? go and check out webdatedotcom if you will find any.. people who go to dating sites without subscription evidently are losers since they dont have money to get on such sites lol.

brad909 said...

if you are really looking for love on the internet try going to webdatedotcom. i go there regularly and i had met a lot of good people that i could talk to. i would not recommend it if i do not like it thats for sure.

averagedrinker said...

wow, i can just imagine my first date from a chatmate from a guy i met on webdatedotcom. it was a disaster but heck, after a few months of still getting in touch, he turned out to be my best guy friend.

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