I’m pleased to present this guest post by the lovely Ms. Sabrynne McLaine as part of the Relationships Blog Hop. It’s a neat thing I’m participating in this week with three other lit fic authors. We each chose a different type of relationship to celebrate, and I chose friendship. Here’s what Sabrynne has to say about that (read on, it’s good):
I have to confess – I’m one of those women who have more men friends than women friends. I realize that, to women who don’t, I’m not only an enigma but also worthy of suspicion that at times edges toward contempt. From what I gather from various forums I’ve perused, the contempt arises from the idea that it’s impossible for men and women to be just “friends” (remember When Harry Met Sally?) and therefore, women who claim this are simply lying so they can spend time with men they secretly want to sleep with.
Unfortunately, I have to agree with this one, which came up in various posts. I recently went through some drama with a woman whom I’ve known for a few years. I got a bit harried with one thing or another and neglected to get in touch with her for several months. When I realized I hadn’t spoken to her for a while, I sent her an email suggesting lunch. She responded by informing me that, since I couldn’t be bothered to maintain our friendship on a more regular basis, she decided we were no longer friends. I was completely blindsided by this and tried to contact her to discuss it but she refused to return my calls and emails. Speaking to another friend about what I thought was a bizarre and OTT reaction to my temporary “neglect,” she said a similar thing had happened to her.
Now that I’m in my forties, I find this to be a non-issue, but when I was younger, I struggled to find girlfriends who didn’t feel the need to compete over any number of things, from boyfriends, to girlfriends, to jobs, to grades, to clothes…you name it. As I said, though, this problem could simply be a maturity thing, and I’m sure guys could cite similar examples when they were young.
1)More in common
I’m well aware this statement causes irritation among women who have predominantly female friends: “How can you have more in common with guys than us girls? They hate shopping, we hate sports (I agree, except the Olympics), they’re not interested in celebrity gossip (neither am I). What on earth do you possibly have to talk about?”
Like everyone, I have many interests, and depending on who I’m with, I pull from my interest repertoire to find a connection with the other person. The tricky thing for me, though, is the subject of children/child rearing/anything child-related, because I have no experience in it and without children, it’s hard to contribute in any meaningful way. While most of my men friends have children as well, they tend to only talk about them when something newsworthy happens, like if Johnny won some contest or crashed the family car or something. However, I find women with kids mostly talk about their kids, so I nod politely and make inane comments in an effort to add something to the conversation. I’m sure they’re thinking: “Why do I hang out with Sabrynne? She’s so boring!” I do know a few childless women, but although our numbers are rising, we’re still very much in the minority.
My current day job is in finance, which is 90 percent male-dominated. So finance is something I can easily chat about, but my women friends’ eyes glaze over at the mention of the markets or financial planning. I also have lots to say about politics and science, which men seem to find more interesting than women I’ve met. For example, I was thrilled about the Mars landing (I made sure I was sitting in front of the computer at 6:30 am to see the first images from Curiosity), but most of my female friends didn’t know about it and/or didn’t care. Which – let’s be clear – is perfectly fine. Everyone’s different and that’s how it should be, but your friends are your friends because you have things in common. Art is one subject that transcends genders; I’ve made lasting friendships with women artists and we never lack for conversation. And I’ve just started up my metal detecting hobby again (yeah, I know, not the least bit cool but I like it) and I’ve already met a kindred female soul whom I felt an instant connection with.
So why, in spite of the pitfalls, do I still make a concerted effort to add to the number of women I would call friends (and hopefully vice versa)? As I mentioned, there are other women out there who share my unusual interests, and they seem just as relieved as I am to find a similarly-inclined female. I suppose it’s nice to know that you are not alone in your strangeness. Also, believe it or not, there are a few “women-only” subjects that I would find difficult to discuss with men – you know what they are so I’ll leave it at that. And finally, I do love fashion, especially vintage, so it’s nice to be able to discuss fashion-related topics without feeling awkward.
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