Frenemies Forever

March 12, 2013 at 10:59 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now | 1 Comment
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Females have very complicated relationships with one another.  While it is possible to have some really good true friendships, even sisterly relationships, there are complex emotions that often interfere with what some may think should be normal relationships.  Women are very in touch with their emotions and therefore are less likely to ignore them when they surface.  Women have the ability to immediately hate each other without ever even meeting each other, or hating each other for seemingly ridiculous reasons.  Women are jealous, envious, competitive creatures and any woman who says that this isn’t true is lying.

And it starts early, really early.  Little girls make friends, create cliques and leave other children out.  Little girls butt heads with others in their circle of friends, but there’s not much they can do.  They put on a fake smile and go on so as not to lose their place in the group.  This is when the frenemy concept first begins.A frenemy is someone who, for one reason or another, is in your circle of friends, but you don’t really like her, but you can’t kick her out.  For some reason somebody likes her, or alternately, she has some kind of connect that makes her valuable.  Maybe she has an “in” with the popular boys, or has wealthy parents that let her have parties on the family boat, or maybe she’s the only one with a car.  So you push her arrogance, braggart, manipulative, dramatic, backstabbing ways aside not to commit social suicide.

It is a strange practice among women that I’ve seen at every age from little children up to senior citizens, so while I’d love to say that it will or should come to an end, that’s just not realistic.  I, myself, have had a few frenemies in my life.  I have a strong personality and very specific traits that I do not like (and a hard time hiding that).  Some of my friends are a bit more lenient than I, so every so often, I have to cooperate with some ladies that aren’t my cup of tea.

The good thing about frenemies is that it means we are using some restraint.  It may seem like we are being untruthful, but the reality is that we are attempting to be respectful by not voicing our opinion, or taking the masculine approach of getting physical with people we don’t like.  Still, for someone like me who doesn’t hide my emotions very well, this is a challenge, but it’s part of girl code, and let’s face it, it’s really not worth it to get into it with someone you really don’t like.

At some point, the frenemy stage with a particular person can end.  But it always lives on in your memory of that person.

Dating a Man Raised by Women

October 21, 2010 at 8:39 am | Posted in Family Ties, Relationship Woes | 16 Comments
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I’ve dated men from all different family situations, from the happy go lucky, “perfect” family, down to the “broken home” where words of hate and disconnect pepper the air like Febreze.  A child’s family has great effect on who that child grows up to be.  I can’t say I’ve seen that any one specific situation was better than the other in terms of how the man turned out — it really is a case-by-case, individual circumstance situation — but I can say this.  There are some real unique qualities of a man raised by all women.

The boyfriend comes from a family of strong Italian women.  He was raised by his grandmother and his mother, who also raised his sister who is only a year or so older than he is.  These women are no bull kinds of women; women who work hard to provide for their children; women who, at the drop of a hat will do anything for their children. They are women to admire.

Having such positive female role models in his life, the boyfriend has always been a complete gentleman.  I must admit that when we first met, I assumed he was a player just by his good looks and his comfort in talking to girls.  It was only later that I’d learn that this comfort actually came from being surrounded by girls all his life.  He was never a player, had dated in his life but never superficially; he was never into playing games.  He always wanted to do the right thing and did everything he could to do so.

So this well meaning boy turned man has always had a strong respect for powerful women and never feels upstaged by his ambitious girlfriend.  Having a strong girlfriend is often a turn off to men who want to be in charge, but not this one.

But there are some downsides to being raised by all women.  Because they did everything for him, it’s hard to get him to cook or clean, or tend to general house care.  As may be a typical male chore, he’s very good at taking out the garbage and changing light bulbs, but the vacuum, which sits in plain sight, only budges under my thumb.  He leaves behind unique messes that are tell tale signs of his existence — fork marks in the nutella, cereal boxes torn open, coffee grinds in the sink, socks on the floor.  Because they were always there to clean up after him, he is still adjusting to cleaning up after himself.

But he does know to take my bras out of the wash to hang dry, and he does take the dog out late at night when I’m already in my pajamas, and he does move my car when alternate side rules are in effect.  He does love me, as I love him, unique messes and all.

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