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Husband ≠ Friend

5 Apr

Yesterday morning, Mr.JB was feeling very affectionate and lovey, and on his way out the door, he kissed me and told me I was his “best friend”.


Aww. How sweet.

First of all, you should know that he’s leaving on Sunday to attend a conference in a really big, glorious, proper city, and he’s giddy with joy at the prospect of getting out of our little town. Mr. JB is a city boy at heart, and there is pretty much nothing he loves more than the sound of traffic and sirens and the sun bouncing off skyscrapers and the hustle and bustle of millions of people shoving their way down crowded sidewalks.


Me? Not so much.

What he really wants to say isSee ya later, hillybilly! I’m outta here!”, but it comes out as a smooch and “You’re my best friend”.

It’s straight-up bullshit, but funny bullshit, so I don’t mind. But it did get me thinking….

Mr. JB is a great guy, obviously, and I love him to pieces, but he is NOT my best friend. My best friend is Pixie, by far, followed by GloryGirl, SuzyQ, SnowWhite (who is in France for the year with her husband and kids, but she’ll be back in September), JudgyAsshole, Prince Charming, CleverGuy and NurseRachet. Those eight people form the core of my circle of friends. They are the ones I complain to, ask for advice, laugh with, discuss endless amounts of minutiae and just generally share the details of my life with.


On the one hand, it would be awesome to be married to Pixie. She does laundry! And she cooks! And she sends the most hilarious ecards about how much cooking and laundry sucks! We spend many days counting down the hours until wine o’clock and no one appreciates my contempt for internet assholes quite like Pixie.


On the other hand, I wouldn’t like to fuck her. Oh, she’s super cute and hot and has awesome hair, but the whole girl thing doesn’t do it for me.

So there’s that.

After the “best friend” comment yesterday, I thought I would try a little experiment on Mr.JB to see just how good a friend he is. I copied and pasted him, the whole morning, on all the texts I sent to Pixie. Here are the main issues in my life at the moment:


The hamster is loose in the ductwork. (Don’t ask, it’s a long story).

The stitch marker fell out of the slouchy hat I’m making for LittleDude, and now I’ve lost my place and the whole thing is fucked up.

Who the fuck gives a four year old Sharpie markers? How do I get Sharpie markers off the coffee table?

Do these yoga pants make my ass look fat?

I don’t have any lime juice to make the barbacoa. Can I use lemon juice instead?

What the fuck is wrong with Amanda Marcotte?

The Catching Fire trailer will be out on April 14th! Squee!

Do I have to wait until the kids get home from school before I have a drink?

On a scale of one to ten, how hot is Chris Hemsworth?

Just as I predicted, shortly after 11AM, my phone rang. I have a special ringtone for when Mr. JB calls: It’s the Imperial Death March from Star Wars, and when I hear it, I know this shit is serious. He never calls unless it’s really important.


Dear, what is all this bullshit you are sending me? Am I supposed to do something about this?

Then of course, I drop the F Bomb.

But I thought you were my friend! My best friend! Don’t you want to know how my day has been?


Let’s not be friends.

You see, I think there is something totally and utterly destructive in the notion that your spouse should be your friend. Your best friend, even. Friends are people who share your interests and who are going through some of the same stages and having the same issues and confronting the same obstacles that you are.

And sometimes, when friends pass into different stages of their lives, the friendship loses some of its intensity and value and there is a disconnection and often those friendships drift into fond acquaintances and that’s it.


Graduating, getting married, having children (especially having children), buying a house, moving cities, moving countries, changing jobs, managing health problems – all those things can change a friendship into something less.

Sometimes, it’s just time to move on.

I’m incredibly fortunate that my best friend has been my best friend for almost 20 years now. Pixie and I have been inseparable since our first year at college. I’ve known SuzyQ for 13 years. CleverGuy’s older brother was the best man at my wedding, so while I have only known him really well for 5 years, I have known his family for a long time.

CleverGuy is a really good friend. I can talk to him about tons of stuff that doesn’t interest my other friends, but he is about to graduate from an engineering program, and who knows where he will end up? If he moves very far away, we’ll still be friends, but not as close as we are now.


And that’s okay. That’s life.

Friends fill in little voids in your life that your spouse either isn’t interested in, doesn’t care about, or just can’t fill in! There is no way Mr.JB can ever appreciate how valuable cimmaron is when making Mexican-fusion dishes. JudgyAsshole, who is a wonderful cook, can. JudgyAsshole’s dad has brilliant advice about flower arranging. No way in hell Mr.JB will EVER have an opinion on that subject.


At the moment, I happen to give a shit about those topics, and I am lucky to have friends who can share those interests with me. It’s conceivable that my interests will change in the future, and I’ll need a different set of friends to reflect what’s new in my life.

And that is absolutely a two way street. I don’t care what Mr.Jb’s Xbox score is. I don’t give a shit which part of the budget will be used to fund a new hire. I do NOT want to watch Naked Gun. I don’t give a fuck how much trouble linen pants are. Text your friends, dude. Don’t bother me with this shit.


But what happens when your spouse is your friend, and your interests change? Then what? You start feeling disconnected, alienated, lonely. When you ask your spouse to meet your needs as a friend, you run the very real risk that your needs will change, and your spouse won’t be able to meet those needs.

That’s a tragedy. The solution is NOT to trade in your spouse for a new one. It’s to STOP asking your spouse to be your friend.

So if Mr.JB is not my friend, what is he?


It’s very simple: he’s my husband. I’m his wife. We are partners in an enterprise that matters deeply to both of us: our family. Of course, we have shared interests and I find him hilarious and fun to be with and when he’s gone, I miss him deeply. He’s also really great to have sex with. But ultimately, we are partners, not friends.

If all my friends were to suddenly disappear, I would indeed be very lonely and sad and unhappy. But that wouldn’t be my husband’s fault, nor would it be something he could solve. Getting rid of my husband wouldn’t change the fact that I am friendless. It would just mean that I am without the protection of a partner.


And it would mean, that in a very real way, I would lose most of my most cherished memories. In a long term partnership, like the one we have, we are the repositories of one another’s memories. Our shared life together exists in one another’s minds. Our life is a tapestry of tiny threads, woven together, into a work of beautiful art.


Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.

Simone Signoret

I don’t need my friends to create art. I just need my fellow weaver. When I find the work frustrating or irritating, I don’t turn on my partner or throw away the whole project. I text my friends.

That’s what friends are for.


Now, does anyone have any ideas about how to get the hamster out of the air ducts?

Lots of love,


Sexual economics and the FriendZone

21 Mar


So the OED has added “friendzone” to their dictionary, defining it as:



a situation in which a platonic relationship exists between two people, one of whom has an undeclared romantic or sexual interest in the other:

I always wind up in the friend zone, watching them pursue other guys

I think it’s impossible to understand the concept of the friendzone without understanding two related ideas: sexual economics and hypergamy.

Let’s start with sexual economics. It’s neat how the OED tried to make it sound gender neutral, as if either men or women could end up in the friendzone, but the explanatory sentence tells the story a little more accurately: men end up in the friendzone, watching women pursue other guys.

Why does that happen? Well, according to Amanda Marcotte (sigh, don’t you just love her?), it’s basically because you’re a fag. Oh my! How offensive! Does she really say it’s because you’re a fag? Well, not in so many words, but the sentiment rings loud and clear.


Red flags to look out for: inordinate amounts of time spent on Reddit, My Little Pony paraphernalia in his home or on his Facebook page, a tendency to use terms like alpha and beta male, and a paranoid belief that women in Princess Leia costumes have set out to destroy him.

Okay, correction. You’re not just a fag, you’re a geek, too.

Never trust a woman who scorns Princess Leia. I’m just sayin’…


Women like to claim that men just can’t handle rejection, and that men feel entitled to attention from women they are interested in, but I think there’s a little more to it than that. You see, the sexual economics in our culture have changed dramatically. When women were a little less willing to have sex outside of committed relationships, men had to work a bit harder to get sex. That’s not a bad thing, either, because men working for sex pretty much built the entire world as we know it, but now things have changed.

Let’s talk for a second about hypergamy: the practice of marrying up.

Women generally want to marry someone of equal or higher status to themselves. They want a man who has more qualifications, more education and more earning power than themselves. Lady doctors want to marry surgeons, not garbage collectors, no matter how terrific that garbage collector might be.

garbage collector

Nothing inherently wrong with that, if you ask me. I certainly married up, although part of me regrets not marrying a more working class man simply because our assumptions about the world would have been more in line. I didn’t marry FOR money, I love my husband very much, but I rejected previous suitors for not being high-status enough and that’s something I feel somewhat ashamed of, now that I am older and wiser. I also rejected a very high status, very rich man because he was widowed and had children already, and didn’t want more, so on the gold-digging whore scale, I guess I fall somewhere around the middle.

Where we run into a problem is that women now outnumber men on college campuses, and they are earning, in general, more qualifications and have higher educational attainments than men. That tightens the pool of available men – there are way too many women competing for way too few men.

cat fight

Combine that with easy access to sex, and men have the upper hand by a country mile. High status men, that is.

What is a girl to do? Sluts everywhere, handing out sex like party favors and too few men to chase after.

Well, in that case what you need is a plan B. A back-up plan. You need to keep the lower status men hanging around, just interested enough to keep up the pursuit, but without committing to anything, just in case someone better comes along.

The lower status men, with their obvious attention and interest can flatter your ego and vanity and lend a sympathetic ear to your problems and possibly even provide a few late night booty calls (which you can then pretend to regret deeply the next day and reassert that your friend with benefits is back in the friendzone), while you wait for that bigger and better man to come along.

Win-win, right?

Uh, no. You see, keeping a plan B man on emotional hold while using him to gratify your own feelings and occasional sexual urge is actually a really shitty, bitchy thing to do. It’s all about what the women feel and what the women want, and the men in the friendzone are basically just leftovers: something you will eat if you have to, but you’d rather have a nice fresh steak.


And gosh, big surprise here, some men DON’T LIKE BEING TREATED LIKE MEAT. They will react negatively to being jerked around by women when they have made their interest clear. That isn’t acting entitled to women’s attention: it’s acting entitled to a little bit of common courtesy and respect.

True story: JudgyAsshole met a young woman recently, with little in the way of accomplishment (she’s a file clerk) but more than average in the way of beauty, and she seemed like fun, so they went out a few times. And they had sex. JudgyAsshole considered it the beginning of a relationship.


Now, JudgyAsshole, like most men, is willing to trade accomplishments for beauty, among other things. Beauty is A virtue, but it is not the ONLY virtue. Kindness, thoughtfulness, generosity, cheerfulness- all those things go a long way, especially when combined with beauty.

PrincessGetOverYourself, however, had a rather high opinion of her own beauty and what that might be worth on the dating market, and she tried to friendzone JudgyAsshole. They could have a relationship and occasional sex, but this would have to be done on the down-low so she didn’t miss out on a potentially higher status man.

She works in an office with lots of men who are partners in the business, and of course, she was hoping to land one of those. In the meantime, Princess was happy to receive attention and flattery from JudgyAsshole, but he had to accept that she was still on the prowl for someone much bigger and better.

She was truly, genuinely shocked when JudgyAsshole told her to go fuck herself.


No seriously. Princess thought it was perfectly reasonable to use JudgyAsshole emotionally and physically in the short term, all the while scanning the horizon for something better. She didn’t even LIE about it. Nope. Couldn’t seem to figure out what his problem was anyways. I mean, really, JudgyAsshole is very conventionally attractive himself, and he is accomplished professionally and well on his way to an amazing career, but gosh…something better could come along.

A file clerk.

With a little beauty.

Feel entitled to a high status man.

And entitled to the attentions of a “lower-status” man (in her opinion) in the meantime

Who thinks she’ll be one of those women moaning where have all the good men gone in a few years time when her beauty isn’t quite so valuable anymore and she has no other qualities to offer?


Let’s be clear: I am not saying that men and women cannot be friends. I have several males friends who are very dear to me. PrinceCharming is a terrific guy with a sardonic sense of humour and a love of the absurd. I deeply enjoy his company.

CleverGuy is possessed of a wickedly acerbic wit and his ability to mock the ridiculous is unparalleled. We like to watch Star Trek and weep.


JudgyAsshole is incredibly perceptive about human behavior and we love judging other people and calling them out on their bullshit. We call each other out on our own bullshit, too. He also beats the shit out of me at Scrabble by playing all these stupid botanical terms that he learned from his father, who sells tools but also loves flower arranging.


All three of these guys are attractive and clever and accomplished and not one of them accepts being put in the friendzone by the women in their lives. No fucking way. And since I don’t see them as tools to use for my own gratification, yes, we actually are friends.

The whole concept of the friendzone rests on the assumption that the vast majority of men are disposable. They can provide utilities to women and society, but their worth is measured only in terms of what they deliver, and they can be discarded with impunity the moment something better comes along.

The idea that men are human beings, just as deeply interested in loving, complex, emotionally satisfying relationships with the people in their lives is denied. Men become beasts of burden, useful until they’re not.

What’s wrong with that?

I’ll let Mick Jagger answer that:

There’s only one response to being put in the friendzone: fuck off.

fuck off

Give her the flick, lads. She’s not worth your time.

Lots of love,


Did you wear your clothes more than once? For shame, you slovenly bitch!

4 Dec

So, today the Daily Mail is reporting that a whopping 72% of ladies surveyed admitted they only wore their clothes ONCE for fear of, wait for it, BEING TAGGED ON FACEBOOK IN THE SAME OUTFIT TWICE!  Are you fucking kidding me?–girls-Liverpool-conscious.html

Oh dear. Where to start?  How about that shopping for clothes is pretty much destroying our environment?


Yeah, yeah, consumer capitalism relies on women shopping for useless shit to keep the whole economy turning. Consumer capitalism is NOT THE ONLY OPTION. Consumer capitalism rests on the foundation of maximizing shareholder value, which means sell as much useless shit as you can to idiot consumers who are too busy assuaging feelings of guilt and inadequacy to notice that their scented fucking candles and ugly throw cushions and cheap party frocks are actually destroying the entire goddamn planet!  There ARE alternatives that do not involve swastikas and drab grey uniforms.  We could try Customer Capitalism in which shareholders take a backseat to meeting the needs of the people who actually buy your shit, and that’s just one option.

And ladies, are you hoping to one day marry one of the blokes you’re blowing,  behind the pizzeria?  Well, first of all, stop handing out blowjobs like they’re napkins at McDonalds.  You’re being a slut and sluts lower the value of all women.


And second of all, think for a moment about how much it costs to buy that many clothes!  Who gives a fuck what your Facebook friends think?  If they are going to rag on you for wearing the same clothes twice they are NOT YOUR FRIENDS.  We’ve really forgotten, as a culture, what friendship means.  And that is an especially tragic situation for women, whose base impulses are not always so innocent, and who definitely need friends around to save them from themselves.

No man with any sense in his head wants a wife who will bow to that kind of ridiculous social pressure (a new dress every time you go out!) and he sure as hell doesn’t want to pay for it!  Lots of ladies are probably thinking, well so what?  I’ll pay for it myself!  And that right there is why you are NOT married, and probably never will be.

cat lady

Marriage isn’t about you.  It isn’t about him, either.  It’s about US.  You align your interests with another. You agree to build a family, a community, a society. You agree that your own needs do not dictate the entire course of civilization.  Because your own needs are, quite frankly, fucking stupid.


You need to be tagged in distinct outfits on Facebook?  You need a new dress every time you go out?  You need a wake the fuck up slap, is what you need.  Hope you get one, before it’s too late.

Lots of love,


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