The human condition is an interesting thing.
Now, I don't say this as way to share anything I'm currently dealing with -- although I've referenced the "friend zone" in the past. This is simply something I'm thinking about because it does reflect a truth for some of us. While it may not be a current issue... it's definitely been one in the past... and not even the recent past... we're talking the waaaaay past.
We need a name for this -- Let's call it "The Duckie Syndrome"... yes, a "Pretty In Pink" reference.
I'll always remember this one girl when I was in high school. Her name was Jenny and she lived a few doors down from me - textbook, right? Anyways, Jenny was so fucking cute - she was a cross between Debbie Gibson and -- what am I saying? She looked just like Debbie Gibson and yes, I did have a thing for Debbie Gibson in High School. It was less about the music and more about the funny feeling I was getting in my whoo-ha region. She was my "Only In My Dreams"/"Shake Your Love"/"Lost In Your Eyes"/not so much "Electric Youth" crush. So when the Gibson doppelganger was only a few doors away I was sold.
Ooooh Jenny what happened to you? All I wanted to do was something to you -- to tell you the truth - at that age I'm not sure what I was capable of (even though other boys may have been scoring homers, I was still just happy rounding second). Now what I remember is this... Jenny had a boyfriend (like they all did). I'm not even sure the guy lived around us. I think he was more of a city dude. Me? I clearly had the Duckie syndrome full throttle, but that's what us awkward, puny, prepubescent teens did. Girls didn't take us seriously. We were more like little brothers and we took what we could get. There was no chance for a romantic future (at least the immediate future). What proof do I have? Once again I submit the evidence in the form of "Pretty In Pink". In the original version of the film Duckie is suppose to end up with Andie. They did such a good job at casting the Duckie character (a career making role from Jon Cryer) they soon realized when they were filming the final scenes where they get together ... it just wasn't working. The romantic connection wasn't there. They were friends (at least in Andie's eyes)
I think John Hughes had his heart in the right place when he wrote the original version, but it wasn't real and audiences weren't going to buy it. I think Duckie went on to do just fine, but Andie's role in his life was that of Jenny in mine. Granted I didn't hang out with her to the extent Duckie did, but like I said, it was my "friend zone" crush.
Now this part gets a little graphic (not sexually, obviously because I never had the good fortune of hooking up with my Debbie Gibson lookalike). I have this memory, and like the grade school/Donna story, I have a vivid picture of this moment with Jenny. As I said, I remember her being a girl who always complained and was breaking up with her boyfriend. The boyfriend, playing the role he's suppose to play, was a dick who played the "be a dick to her" game perfectly. It allowed me to play my Duckie role (although I never got to lip sync "Try A Little Tenderness" to her). Knowing me, I would have chosen some Duran Duran song like "Save A Prayer" - Gay, I know... I sort of rolled like that. SO, Jenny always seemed to be breaking up and getting back together with this guy and she would of course complain to me. And I would listen, thinking that today might be the day she decides to drop that zero and get with this hero (Vanilla Ice said it better).
Look, you and I both know that wasn't going to and didn't happen, so don't think I'm going to drop some sort of bomb on you about the one off second base dry hump session.. because it didn't happen... sorry to let you down. BUT, here is what I remember and it was awesome. I was over at her house and hanging out in her bedroom. We were chatting about something - God knows what. I was sooooo lacking in "game" that I'm sure I was just talking nonsense and trying to contain my pants.
I'm sure Jenny knew I had a thing for her because I can't imagine why else she would do this... unless she thought I was Gay. And to tell you the truth, it's a possibility. My short stature, love of Duran Duran, what I think was new wave attire, and high voice I'm sure hinted that I was in sexual limbo. I assure you I wasn't. I had a stack of Playboy magazines which I enjoyed "looking" at - we'll leave it at that.
Back to Jenny's bedroom. So there I was and there she was. We're talking about whatever we're talking about and all of a sudden I remember her pulling out a vibrator and showing it to me (no, she didn't "show" it to me), but she showed it off. It was a scene out of some coming-of-age movie. It was your basic model - no bells and whistles with the exception of it's purple color. I don't remember if it was hers or if she was showing me her mom's. I think it was her's. I mean, why would she show me her mom's vibrator. So, there I was - definitely dealing with some pubescent issues. And we giggled. She turned it on - we laughed some more. I think in a moment of trying to be funny I put it in my pants as an attempt to play it off like it was what I was packing. We laughed more as the vibrator protruded from my shorts while activated. It was quite funny...
And that's all I remember. But clearly there is a reason that moment stands out in my mind. I had such a crush on her. I don't remember what happened to her - like I said, we didn't hang out a ton. We were just neighbors. I don't even think we went to that same High School. I think... think... she got knocked up at a young age (most likely from el dicko). I have a vague recollection of seeing her at the mall with a baby. And that was it.
Another story in the arsenal of relatable experiences. Spending your teenage years of being in the "friend zone" does have its benefits. Later in life you tend to relate better to women which brings more opportunity once you've finally gone through puberty and are socially and mentally prepared to handle your business with the ladies. If "Pretty In Pink" defines the "friend zone" experience, then I suggest also seeing the movie "Just Friends" with Ryan Reynolds because I think it does a solid (and yes funny) job at showing what the future holds for those of us who spent our younger years in that horrible place (however, I wasn't fat... I was small). If there were young High Schoolers reading this I would say have faith that it gets better... but, in truth, there ain't no High Schoolers reading this (at least I don't think). So, perhaps there are those of you who were like me and will seek comfort in knowing you weren't alone (not that you thought you were).
Jenny wasn't my only "friend zone" experience, but it's the one that stands out. I'm sure there were also girls I had crushes on who may have liked me back, but I had no clue how to initiate back then... except for at Summer Camp. There, I didn't seem to have a problem... but that's another story for another time.
Go out and play!