The Dinner Party
In the kitchen, drinks in hand, amid a couple dozen jostling people, I was chatting with someone I’d just met. “This is so great!” she said, “Talking with another girl!” Once again, I hear how women are just so difficult to be friends with. Interestingly, she was pretty forthright about connecting this with her own attractiveness. It seems that males are more likely to approach her and respond well to her and females are more likely to be jealous and mean.
It did occur to me that it’s been awhile since I’ve heard this song. Maybe this phenomenon fades once you pass your mid-twenties or so.
From there the conversation took a much more intimate tone and I guess, to me, that speaks volumes about how much we want ‘same-sex’ connections and the special topics that we permit ourselves to address within them. When someone doesn’t have many of those friendships and the experience of knowing how they usually proceed, well, it’s interesting. In this case, it was like we bypassed a lot of stuff and got right to the goods. It made me uncomfortable; I can’t lie. I know we need an outlet for talking about those powerful things – sexual experiences, religion, family, etc. – and I think the social restrictions we place on these topics prevent us from healthy, open dialogues about them (and by extension, prevent us from discussing them openly with people of other genders, too). Then, when I’m in a situation that’s as if those rules didn’t exist, I’m flustered and more judgemental than I should be. I’d love to talk about this stuff with friends I’ve had for years (yet we still can’t bring ourselves to cross that line) but I’m not ready for it when I’ve only known a person for 10 minutes.
I wish for that girl that she finds good woman friends, that she gets to express all of those things, and that there are less-conflicted people than I for her to chat with at a party.