It’s a relatively long story but please try and read it all…
It turns out I can’t buy a friend a gift without other people thinking we’re in love. I’m male, she’s female. We get on well, we have a laugh, we’ve talked about literally everything and helped each other through darker times. Neither of us are “in love” with the other, we just get along very well.
A few weeks ago I was reading a book full of ideas and things to do that will make you feel better about yourself. One tip was to buy your friends a gift. Not for any occasion but just a gift that fits with how you view them. Another idea was to write them a letter but I never got round to writing anything so I started looking at little presents I could get a couple of my closest friends.
There’s a little backstory to this… Last year the friend mentioned above and I were out shopping and she wanted to buy a new mug for her new job but the queue at the checkouts was really long. I offered to buy the mug for her as I was queuing to buy a few other things myself. When we got back to work everyone in the office assumed I had bought her this mug (a mug with loads of red love hearts on it) and didn’t think she’d chosen it herself.
Anyway she messaged me the other day and said she’d chipped that mug and, jokingly, asked if I’d buy her a new one. We laughed about it and we moved on but I secretly ordered her a new mug to be delivered straight to her office. Now, over the last year or so the other people in the office have become more and more convinced that we’re seeing each other because of how we act together. We’re not. So today the mug arrives in the office and because I work in Scotland (office is in England) my friend had to take the brunt of the abuse from the other workers.
My point is this… If I was a female and had bought a mug with love hearts on for a female friend, nobody would have batted an eyelid. Because I’m a male buying a mug with love hearts on for a female friend, they all think I love her. When I say there’s abuse from co-workers I mean it’s all light-hearted and it’s all joking. But it’s just the concept that todays society doesn’t allow a male and a female to just be friends. I spoke to a male friend about her and the first thing he asked was were we together? He couldn’t understand the idea that we were so close but not in a relationship.
I’ve never been great talking about relationships in front of people. I’ve had girlfriends and I have been romantic but if other people are nearby I go quiet and don’t talk about anything. So when I do go down to the office in England to see them and they start referring to the two of us having a relationship and me buying her gifts, I get embarrassed and go red which only makes things worse and I hate it. I even came up with a conversation scenario that I could use if they ever ask me straight if I would ever go out with her. It goes something like this:
“Would you ever go out with [insert name here]?”
“I doubt it. I’m gay.”
It’s at this point I would watch their faces closely as they recoil in horror at how wrong they had got everything, as they panic trying to backtrack through all of the sarky remarks they’ve made.
“No. But you didn’t know that did you? You assumed that I was straight and that because I’m male I would naturally be looking for a relationship with her. ”
Okay that’s a pretty shit scenario. As usual it sounds a lot better in my head but I just hate the idea that a male and female can’t just be friends these days. And just to clarify I’m not actually gay. I’m bi. But to get the most out of that scenario I would tell them I was gay for maximum effect!