On last week’s Modern Family (also known as the best new show that isn’t Glee…if you aren’t watching, you should be), fabulous gay couple Cam and Mitchell invited their adopted daughter Lily’s pediatrician over for brunch. Cam thinks he’s made a bold move (“She said no patient had ever done it before”) whereas Mitch sees that she’s none too thrilled (“Yeah, subtext: ‘This is weird,’”). While watching, it occurred to me that there are limits to who I can consider for potential BFFship.
The whole Mitch-Cam-Doctor encounter brought to mind, specifically, an ongoing internal battle regarding my waxer. I really love Lagena. She’s funny and chatty and knows how to work a tweezer. Every time I’m lying on the table (or is it a bed?) I wonder how I should go about asking her to lunch. And then I remember just how much of me she’s….seen. And then I don’t ask her to lunch at all. I think her intimate contact with… me… precludes her from BFF consideration.
And what if I looked past the nature of our “professional” relationship and we did go out and it was awkward? Lagena is a really, really good waxer. Would I have to find someone else? Would the new girl be as painless with the bikini line or conscious of my brow shape? These are important considerations, not to be taken lightly.
My aunt told me that once upon a time, it was customary for parents to invite their kids’ teachers over for dinner. This too seems like a boundary crosser, but perhaps that’s because I know enough teachers to believe that the last thing they want to see over wine and pasta are their crazy little terrors.
Does anyone have a hard-and-fast rule for this? Perhaps the safe bet is this: If you require a service from said person — the swine flu vaccine, a clean look in a bathing suit, a child’s literacy– then she’s off-limits.
But then again, some of the most fascinating relationships are those with people we weren’t “supposed to” be involved with in the first place. Like Angela and Rayanne. Or Tarra and Bella. Or even Edward and Bella, if we’re going to go there.
For the time being, I’m keeping Lagena on the “not now but maybe when things get desperate” list. But if things get desperate before bathing suit season is behind me? I’ll deal with that later.
7 responses to “Is Anyone Off Limits?”
Rachel – your articles/blog are amazing! I can completely identify with this right now…I’ve been in NYC for a year and a half and, despite all of the lovely people I’ve met here and all of my lovely friends from college, I don’t have a BFF. Mostly, I don’t have time for one, but I’ve really noticed that there is quite the divide between single people and coupled people. Like you, I’m the BFF-type. But the single girls at our age seem to want to get together and go out and meet guys, while the coupled girls appear to want to spend all of their time with their man. I can’t seem to find a girl who is in a similar in-between life situation – someone who is desperately trying to juggle long hours at work, a live-in boyfriend and a thriving social life (but someone who actually WANTS a thriving social life). In addition, being a “go-to” is generally a reciprocal relationship — and who wants a go-to who works 80 hours a week? Long story short, I have been lamenting this issue for too long (in fact, I had a LONG IM conversation with Larnelle about this a few weeks ago and about an hour later he received your first article from Matt and forwarded it to me…kismet!), and I’m trying my best to do something about it (in what few hours of the week I have). (Blog idea for you: when you work long hours, the best place to start looking is probably the office…but how to go about it?)
OK so I actually did have a comment on this post! My waxer in St. Louis, Judith, is TOTALLY friend material. She is fun, has tons of personality and appears to be friends with a lot of her clients. We never quite crossed into the “friend” realm, but had I been looking for friends at the time, I would absolutely have felt comfortable asking her “out.” I think the thing to note about this is, even though she’s down “there,” you spend that awkward/uncomfortable 30 minutes dishing about your life. In fact, my waxer knows what’s going on in my life better than most of my best friends these days. If you and your waxer are comfortable enough chatting about boys/pop culture/deep thoughts, etc. while you’re laying spread eagle and half-naked on a waxing table, you’re already past the awkward stage. What better person to forge a friendship with?
So, my waxer here is like a 40-year-old Brazilian lady with grandchildren, not I’m not sure we have all that much in common. But I DID recently have the good fortune to wander into a salon in LES a few weeks ago for a haircut, where a cute, heavily-tattooed blonde stylist and I had major BFF-style chemistry — she’s from the Midwest (Wilmette!), same taste in music (very important to me) and even the same cult film changed both of our lives (I have yet to find another female – or person, really – whose approach to life was transformed by Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a punk rock musical about a cheeky transsexual German immigrant). Anyway, she Facebooked me and we vaguely made plans to “go to a show,” but of course, I have no time to do this…and she hasn’t followed up, either. I still intend to try her again, but I’m bumping up against an insecurity that’s somewhat slowing me down…she’s WAY too cool for me. She’s an actress and singer, she’s in a few rock bands, and she’s all awesome and thrift-store stylish. I’m a boring lawyer who has fallen way out of touch with anything remotely related. So how do I get up the courage?
There you go…like 8 blog post ideas for you! Ready, go!
Great post Rachel! Cori’s comment cracked me up! I tried making friends with my personal trainer once. Big mistake! We had great convo in the gym inbetween her whipping me into shape. I thought she’d be the perfect BFF outside the gym too… Not so much. Although when we hung out the convo was still great, she really kept me in check about what I was eating and drinking in relation to my fitness goals. Unsolicited! On girls nights! It got to be too much after a while. Who wants to be told they have to do 100 sit-ups for each G&T they have? That’s a line I won’t cross again!
It would be like the television best friendship from “Coupling.” Susan’s best friend, Sally, is also her aesthetician.
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I absolutely love that you made a “my so-called life” reference…