The obvious and empowering and “you go girl!” answer to the question posed in this post’s title is “Of course not.” I know that that’s the right thing to say, and it’s what I’d like to believe. It is definitely the advice I’d give a reader if she asked.
But it’s not always so easy to take our own advice.
Here’s the deal. There’s this girl in Chicago who I run into every now and then at parties, bars or other social gatherings. Whenever we see each other, it’s friend-love all over again. We chat at length, we laugh a lot and we always, always, do that thing where we say “Why don’t we ever hang out? We have to get dinner. Seriously this time, though. Like, for real. This is getting ridiculous. I mean it this time.”
Then a week or so passes and I get caught up in work and life and my existing friends and I forget to email her, and she doesn’t email me, and we don’t end up getting together. I’m confident we were both sincere when we said it, but the moment passes. Nothing happens. And then a few months later we run into each other at another affair and the whole thing happens over again.
I was thinking about her today. I haven’t seen her in a while, and I really would like for us to hang out. I think we could be best friends. (When I say it so bluntly it sounds silly and childish. But whatever, I really do think that.)
The thing is, we’ve been doing this dance for so long that I almost feel as if we’ve missed our window. That, somehow, the bar banter and the “no, really this time” has become our special thing. Basically, I think it might be too late.
Rationally, as I write this, I realize I’ve got the perfect set-up for a pick-up email. I should just send a note that says “I’m finally making good on our promise to get dinner.” That’s what I did throughout 2010, when I was going on one girl-date a week in search of my new BFF. But somehow, even though I knew this girl last year when I was making it my business to ask girls out, I never mustered up the courage to go there with her.
There was a part of me that was intimidated by her back then. And now there’s a part of me that worries what if we meet and it isn’t the easy, hilarious conversation that sprouts up when we organically run into each other? What would happen at the next birthday party of a mutual friend? Would we get awkward?
Since I know I’d tell any reader of this blog to send that email, I’m going to vow–publicly, right here–to email her. This week. I’ll do it, I swear. But has anyone else ever felt like I do in this situation? Ever met anyone great, and done the whole we-should-be-friends dance so often that it starts to feel like the true friendship window has passed?