Can You Really Just be Friends with Someone of the Opposite Sex?

At some point in our lives we all seem to have that one best friend, the one we can confide in without limits. Tell them everything, cry on their shoulder, and stay up all night laughing your asses off being obnoxious. There for you in the good times and in those moments when you are an absolute freight train heading towards the cliff with no breaks. For me, that has undoubtedly been a friend of the opposite sex.

In years past, it has always been completely platonic. I thought of these friends as big brothers who always had my back, of which the feeling was mutual. And that was what it was. Complete and total trust in them. Never having to worry about what might happen if we found ourselves alone and those primal instincts of jumping each other’s bones rearing itself.

Usually they had girlfriends whom for most turned into long term relationships if not wives. But here in the later years as we are all approaching the first of those milestone birthdays, I have noticed things have changed, changed drastically. As some, including myself, have endured breakups and divorces the tables have turned. And unfortunately some of those long term friendships I’ve had to let go of.

Let go of due to those primal instincts taking hold. No longer can we stay up laughing and joking all night as it turns into who can jump who first. Can I ask why and what has changed? Is it with age that these casual encounters seem less faux pas? It is after all someone that I have the upmost trust for and added bonus it’s not some random. But the thing is it’s not due to having feelings for each other, more of maybe filling that loneliness void. In the short term it’s great, fucking fantastic.  No strings attached.

As the weeks and months go by though the confusion sets in. One of us seems to meet someone that we want a relationship with and have those more than friends feelings for. Which in turn leads to the other singleton left out in the dark, wondering. Crawling up in their head trying to figure out did they have feelings for that friend.  Or was it just filling the loneliness void, a moment of vulnerability?

I have walked both sides of the equation and decided no more. No more crossing that friendship line with any of my long term friends of the opposite sex. Long term being defined as they knew me pre-divorce, pre-kid, or pre-marriage. Essentially they have grown through the years with me. As I have discovered it ends badly. For some people maybe not but in my experiences over the past few years it is just plain messy.

But what about those I have met since the long term definition? Here’s where it gets even trickier. I met this guy a few years back randomly. We chatted and hit it off immediately. I was attracted to him but we were both in our own separate, weird dating relationships at the time. Kept in touch though and a great friendship grew of it. We tell each other everything and when I say everything it’s all the nitty gritty. We don’t roam in the same circle of friends so I guess you could say we felt safe baring it all. My confidant, a therapist of sorts.

Few months ago it all changed. One night staying up being goofy, as he was trying to get me over the latest heartbreak, that friendship line was broken. Well to say the least it was erased into oblivion. As we were both suffering our own relationship woes we decided to enter into this whole “helping each other through it” arrangement. The two of us being emotionally detached peoples it was great at first.

Then it evolved. Not just a night here and there. But every weekend and the occasional week night. It dawned on me one of the last weekends he was here while we were folding clothes that I can’t differentiate is he being helpful as a friend or something more. It’s all blurred, I mean come on we were folding clothes on a Saturday night. So many mixed signals

He is talking to his ex again and asking me for advice. Before all this I wouldn’t have thought twice about giving advice but honestly I don’t think I can now because my own feelings could occlude it. I will admit when he talked about the ex I had those infernal stabs of jealously raging internally, and that took me by surprise.

Now here I sit pondering what the hell to do with this all. Again asking that damn question:

Can you really just be friends with someone of the opposite sex?  And not give in to those primal instincts….

~Snarky Coppertop

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You are JUST as F**ked as the rest of us. BE A NICE PERSON!!!

Snark and I were having a conversation the other day regarding traffic. Traffic takes up a lot of our conversations as we chat via our handsfree devices whilst maneuvering through the suburban jungles on their crowded asphalt and concrete trails, encountering dangers at every turn! In otherwords, traffic in the metro Atlanta area is completely jacked. No lie. Anyways, we were talking about traffic and we were talking about using manners in traffic. Like, if we are *all* waiting in an ungodly long line of traffic, is it really gonna hurt to let that person who is turning from the intersecting street to your right in front of you? Is that one car really going to make you later than you were already going to be? No, probably not. And that is the point.

In the case of all these assholes out there, yelling at the inconvenience of life because they have to wait in line or let someone scooch beside them to get some meds at the store or to all those who are so angry about people who don’t speak english living in our country…seriously? Are you really going to let your mouth open up and your ass fall out?

Guess what, people. We are all in this together. We will all eventually breathe the same air on this planet. We will all eventually drink the same water. Eat from the same farm. We are all connected in one way or another, despite the connection not being completely visible to us. We are all, in one way or another, affected by the same events that take place in this world and we are all responsible for being the best people we can be to each other. Doing this could make interactions so much easier.

And when this great big ball of rock decides it’s had enough of us puny humans living on it’s surface, or when we puny humans have done so much damage that this big ball of rock is no longer habitable, then we will all be in the same situation. So, when you think of all of this-and I mean *REALLY* think-then it really does make sense when I say:

“You are JUST as fucked as the rest of us.

Be a nice person!!!

Be Kind to yourself and one another,

The Grey

Copper Top and the Grey: It’s Been A Long Time Coming

I have an announcement and a little back story. First, the back story.

When I was 17 years old, I met someone that will ALWAYS be in my life. I spent the summer after my highschool graduation essentially living on her couch. I was so much a part of that particular group of people that I had status at the apartment. The couch was my spot (much like Sheldon) and if I wanted to sit or lay down, others had to move. I slept on that couch, cried on that couch, laughed and sang and acted goofy with my friends on that couch. And I spent the majority of my time with that chic. She and I became fast friends and even though life has taken us in different directions at times, we always come back to our friendship as though no time has passed. She is the inspiration for me starting this blog. She is the inspiration for the name of this blog. And now, she is going to be a PART of this blog! <— That was supposed to be the announcement!

I want to extend an extremely warm welcome to my friend, Coppertop. She will be posting, just like me. There will be posts by us individually (We will sign our names to differentiate who wrote what: Her being the Snarky Coppertop and me being The Grey) and then there will be posts that are collaborative and there will be posts that are simply little transcripts of our conversations. We decided last night that our conversations are too ridiculous not to share, so you shall gain some insight into our little corner of crazy. Hopefully you all will cackle like crazy, as we both do.

So hopefully, in the necxt week or two, posting will become more regular again and there will be more entertaining content to enjoy and share.

Smoochies~

The Grey

Remembering the Lost

I’ve had some ups and downs here lately. And yesterday, I had a big shock. A dear friend, someone I have known for the past 24 almost 25 years of my life, died.

He was an enigma. Rob was someone who, as cliche as it is, marched to the beat of his very own drum. He was never one to conform, always trying to new, different, and sometime dangerous things in life for the experience and the thrill. Rob was easy to love, easy to hate, easy to forgive. He had a way about him that would draw you in, anger or not, and you would find yourself smiling in amusement at the conversational twists, turns, and topics. Rob was, simply put, himself.

I met him in middle school. He was a wild child, bucking against authority and that appealed to every young girl he knew and met. He was a “bad boy” in his thrift store gear and combat boots, as though he was daring anyone to challenge his sense of self and style. I knew, from the moment I met him, that despite everything, we would remain life long friends. You see, it isn’t often you meet your male counterpart who shares the same birthday-year, month, and day…with only a few hours of difference between time. He was my birthday twin. And there was a friend connection that lasted over two decades and while he is no longer with us, that connection will remain for the rest of my natural life. I am sure that I am not alone in this sentiment.

He was a father, a brother, a son, a friend. And while I won’t lie and say he made only the best choices in his life, I will not stoop to slander him either by saying he was the worst kind of person; I truly believe he was a good man with a good heart and a lost spirit who only wanted to find his true and rightful place in this world. Everyone has a dark side. It’s our choice as to how much of that we share with others. And Rob, while he kept some things to himself, shared these moments with those he trusted. Not many people do that.  He was a musician. A talented guitarist and piano player. He loved his friends and his family with a fierceness. He was someone who loved and needed love in return.

I shall mourn the loss of my friend. I shall mourn the lost time with him here on this earth. But I shall celebrate his life. I shall celebrate his spirit. I shall celebrate him.

Rest In Peace, Robert F Cook IV. I hope to one day see you again on the shores of Valhalla.

rob

til vi møtes igjen bror

schwabs-obits-viking-funeral-illust

A Call To Action

Time is of the essence.

I know there are tons of people out there who voted for Trump who are not bad people. They are not racists or homophobes nor do they want to deport all the illegal immigrants while dancing on the revoked food stamp cards and BLM t-shirts of others. They were fed up with the political climate and decided to take drastic measures and vote someone into office with whom they, in any other situation, would rather not associate. Someone who promised them *everything* they wanted, who said *all* the things these disheartened voters wanted to hear. This is a huge wake up call. Washington needs to see. They need to listen. They need to remember they are elected officials who are supposed to represent the people of this country and they are supposed to do things in our best interests and not their own. But is has always been a boys club and the electoral college..whom I believe is guilty of gerrymandering…went against the popular vote (what WE THE PEOPLE wanted, no less) and elected this man president. This shocking, unconventionally popular man who has made a name for himself in the public’s eye as someone who will gladly insult you should you even appear to be against what he wants.

So…for those of us who are sitting here wringing our hands, wondering what to do next other than be consummed by fear, stop. STOP. Stop the hand wringing. Stop the blaming. It is what it is. And all we can do is come together in an organized fashion to make sure next go around, something like this doesn’t happen again.

I have seen calls to action. Petitions to disband the Electoral College (an idea I am not wholly unopposed to) have already started circulation via email. Groups dedicated to fighting the good fight started during the campaign and now it’s members are pulling together to help us all become more politically active and aware. People are pulling together, declaring themselves allies and friends of people of color, of the LGBTQ community, of immigrants, of all of those who will potentially be negatively impacted by any of the political ideology espoused by the new President elect.

So, dear readers, I encourage you to get out there and act. Non-violently, of course. Do your research. Make sure the information you are giving out is not some overblown rhetoric that has been falsified via Facebook or even Wikipedia. Watch ALL the news channels. Find a group of like minded individuals and see whast you can contribute…be it phone calls, letter writing, blogging, interviewing, data compiling, or even just supporting others by being a listening ear. Stand up for those you see being treated unkindly, unfairly, unjustly. Say something to the people who are spewing the hateful words towards marginalized people. Make sure others know you are a safe person to go to, someone they can trust. Show compassion and kindness and don’t be afraid to tell people, if how they are behaving is wrong or discriminatory, that they need to stop and don’t back down until they do.

It is so cliche but it is so true. BE the change you want to see in the world. Put out kindness and compassion and understanding and hopefully, it will help make change. NEVER STOP FIGHTING.

“This loss hurts. But please, never stop believing, that fighting for what’s right is worth it,” ~ Hillary R Clinton, 2016

Praise Nature and Pass the Technology

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

The weekend was pleasant enough, but Sunday was the best day by far. The day was filled with friends, simple entertainment, and nature.

Nature is my church. Nature is where my heart and spirit soar free, flying through the fresh air, dancing in and out through the foliage, splashing in the rushing waters of the rivers and lakes, dashing through the warm fingers of sunlight and the cool shadows of the leaves and trees. Nature is my zen, my happy place, my nirvana. It is in nature that I worship. We spent hours at the park, scrabbling around near the river, walking the paths near the mill, enjoying each other’s company. It was easy to forget the call of the world beyond. It was easy to drown out the unpleasantness from the previous week, letting go of all of the cares of the world and just simply BE.

I did things that frightened me. Not that they were dangerous or risky, unless you call falling in cool water on a hot day a risk. I’m not young anymore. My abilities to balance aren’t what they used to be. We walked an old rock wall near an old mill whose site was turned into a park. (That’s me in the front) I had to have great balance and the butterflies in my stomach were immensely busy fluttering, but I swallowed my fears and walked the wall. And then another. But that time, my husband held my hand, to reassure himself as well as me that I was safe, secure, and looked after.

balancing

This photo was taken by a friend. I’m in the front.

I took pictures of the old train trestle and tracks.

We enjoyed the interesting and colorful urban art that was on the cement stanchions and walls.

I saw my kids run and play and climb and be kids. We had a good time, a good day, and we plan on going back and doing more of the same with other added activities, like kayaking and maybe even a picnic.

Other than the use of my phone to take the pictures, I didn’t post to facebook. I didn’t tweet my photos. I recorded the memories, as I should, and put my phone back in my pocket to enjoy the moment. This time was too precious to miss.

My husband often says, when he is angry and impatient with a business, his time is precious. Truth be told, all of our time is precious. No one’s time is less costly than anothers. And the time we miss with our family and friends, the time we give to facebook and instagram and our phones and texting and tweeting…all of that time is time we will never get back. Technology has become a time-suck, a sneaky villain that wriggles in under the guise of helpfulness and takes bites out of our lives that we barely pay attention to, all the while complaining that there isn’t enough time in the day to do A, B, and C. Yet, the irony is if we paid half as much attention to what we really need to do as we do to our phones and facebook and technology, then we would probably get everything we need to do done.

I still love technology, don’t get me wrong. I love my phone, my tablet, my laptop. They all serve their purposes quite well. They keep me in contact with my friends, family, and coworkers. They help me to stay abreast of news. They entertain me when I am sick in bed, having insomnia, or stuck watching a tv show picked by my kids that makes me want to shove pencils in my eyes. But I am seeing more and more a need to take a step back from it so I can get back to what really matters in life. Because the less attention I pay to the time I spend with technology, the more I am giving up time with friends and loved ones. I have to feed what is important. I have to know when enough technology is enough.

Family is important.

Friends are important.

Worshiping nature is important.

Technology can wait.

“…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”
Vincent van Gogh