when i was 5 years old my best friend was a boy named kyle who didn’t know how to knock on doors so he made dinosaur noises outside my window to wake me up in the summer until i demonstrated how to ball his fists and slam them against my doors. we collected caterpillars in my trailer park and built them houses while we traded pokemon cards. he wasn’t the only one. there was ben, and mitch, and noah—but kyle’s the only one who hurt me, because when he tried to kiss me and i asked him why, he told me “because you’re a girl and i’m a boy, shouldn’t we like each other?”
i missed him so much and i wondered why he couldn’t just be my friend like he always was
in the first grade there was rich and joseph and i got sent to detention with them almost every day with a smile on my face. we built block towers and sang to my teacher’s lion king soundtracks when she’d turn the lights off during lunch time. one day they got in a fist fight over me at recess, and i wondered why they felt they needed to share my friendship, like it was something they owned.
in the second grade zach and i played yu gi oh under our desks during free time and i got moved for talking to him constantly. everyone in the class would tease him and i for talking, asking when we were going to date already, asking him if he’d kissed me, and he stopped being my friend.
when i was 11 i met a chubby boy with the name of a colour who wore puffy vests and unwashed t-shirts, with greasy hair and bright blue eyes and a smile that hid hurt behind it. people didn’t like him because he was silly, but i liked him, because i was also silly. he became my friend the day he bought me 5 giant roses and asked me to be his girlfriend, and i politely declined but promised him i’d be his best friend because i’d always wanted a best guy friend that stuck around. we burnt our feet on the concrete during the summer and walked home with the sunset silhouetting us. he talked often about how he loved me, but never blamed me for being me, even though he refused to move on. that boy dyed his hair jet black and sat on the end of my bed playing songs to me on guitar, and all that pent up rage from before didn’t show until the first time he slapped me across the face and called me a dumb cunt.
in the 7th grade there was a boy named ryan who sat next to me on the bus and talked to me about manga. he’d ask me personal invasive questions but i didn’t mind because it was attention and i liked attention. i was dating another guitarist with curly brown hair, one who was much more kind-tempered than the other, and ryan mentioned how much of an asshole he was every day. i wondered, why, why does he think the love of my life is an asshole? but whenever i asked him, he just told me, “girls only date assholes. there’s no room for nice guys like me.”
i wondered, if he was so nice, why did he say such mean things?
he never stopped with me, taking me to movies, hanging out with me, you know. being friendly. i thought we were friends. but then, how many times had i thought that before?
how many times had i bonded with a boy, thought they got me, only for them to ask me if i wanted to make out?
how come when i told ryan i was coming out as a lesbian, he stopped being my friend, and said “damnit, the one girl i really want to pound into a mattress, and she’s only interested in chicks!”
there was a boy my junior year who stayed up all night with me until the sun rose, talking about life, past loves, hopes, dreams. beneath a million twinkling stars spanning forever, he brushed long brown hair out of his eyes and listened to me talk about the history that made me. then he asked me if i’d ever consider dating a guy, and complained about how he’d never get laid.
when i told him no a couple hundred times, he found new girls to listen to.
i would sit on the couch and play zelda with dakota, and he’d talk about all my favourite games with me. he was the closest thing to support i had, and the letters and poems he wrote me were always so kind and friendly. but he’d put his arms around me on the couch, and no matter how many times i told him i was uncomfortable, he’d still come over every day and do it.
“don’t you know how it feels to love someone and not have them love you back? don’t you know what it feels like to be friendzoned?”
when i meet guys who talk about the friendzone, who talk about the girls who don’t give “nice guys” like them i chance, i always want to just say
when i was 10 years old i met a girl whose brown hair fell across her shoulders and whos eyes sparkled when the sunlight hit them, whose voice was like velvet and whose scent was like mountain smoke, who made me dizzier than a fly climbing a sugar hill. and i’m 18 years old, and i still love her, and she knows, and she doesn’t love me.
but my first thoughts upon hearing her rejection were not “what a bitch,” were not “she just wants a douchebag and not a nice girl like me!” were not “im going to keep pushing her until she dates me,”
“she is the best friend i have ever had, and i am the best she’s ever had, and i would hate to take that away from her.”
so before you play the victim, mr. Nice Guy, before you angrily throw your fedora on the ground and blame the girl you claim to adore so much:
put yourself in the shoes of a girl who thought she made a wonderful friend, only to find out that he just wanted her for sex. that he just wanted her for a relationship. a girl who was just an object to win, a prize. a girl who’s trust you’ve just shattered.
maybe she friendzoned you. but you girlfriendzoned her, first.
I am clapping for this, you just can’t see it.