Friday, March 29, 2013

My Best Friend's Boyfriend

Girl Code Rule 37 clearly states: Thou shall not date thy best friend's ex-boyfriend. 

I may have broken that rule. 

I was determined to meet The Unicorn. His writing touched me on a deeper level than I'd felt in a long, long time. He got to a part of my soul that had been sleeping, and he woke it up. He gave me hope in Nice Guys. He restored my faith in men. And in ten seconds flat, that hope was shattered once again. 

The Unicorn is my best friend's boyfriend. 

Ok, well now he's her EX boyfriend, but you get the point. 

Who could have resisted all the amazing things he said to me? Those emails made it all seem so perfect, so ready for the fairy tale ending. If my life was a romantic comedy, we would've thrown a down home wedding in our Victorian house with the wraparound porch that he built for us, taken photos on the double swing at sunset, and served Southern sweet tea to our family and friends while a live band played all our favorite country songs and we danced into the twilight hours. If my life was a romantic comedy, we would've fallen madly in love and lived happily ever after with a few curly haired kids and a rambunctious dog in a huge suburban backyard. If my life was a romantic comedy, we'd speak our own language of love with "remember when" and "can you believe" and memories to last a lifetime. 

But the leading lady here is me and not Meg Ryan. The Unicorn is Sam and not Tom Hanks. And surprisingly, my life is based on a true story. You just can't make this shit up. 

Sam dated my best friend for several months in the Fall. She and I lived together for a while after the hurricane, which is when she introduced me to him. I thought he was a really nice guy (insert irony here!) and we became quite friendly. I didn't think much of it as I'm pretty friendly with everyone I meet, but Sam and I had a lot in common. It made me so happy to think that one of my friends had finally met a great man. I'm so tired of my girlfriends settling for less than they deserve and then I have to be the supportive friend who pretends not to hate that girl's boyfriend. Sam was different. He bought her thoughtful presents. He took her on romantic dates. He made her feel more special than any other man ever had. In short, he cared about her and y'all know me. I'm super enthusiastic for any relationship that looks like it's heading in a happy direction. 

One thing lead to another (as it usually does) and he started getting on her nerves. They had less and less time to see each other. The weather got colder which limits dating options in New York in winter at night (their only time to see each other.) His natural curiosity felt more like the Spanish Inquisition. The more he pushed to get to know her, to get close to her, the further apart they drifted, the more she wanted to run away screaming bloody murder. Those first few months of honeymoon dating had ended and my best friend was at the end of her relationship rope. It was a wonder she didn't kill him while ice skating or stargazing. She'd simply had enough. 

Surprisingly, Sam was the one who broke up with her. He'd felt her pushing him away for quite some time and knew she wasn't happy with their coupledom. He gave her every opportunity during the break up speech to fight the good fight one more time, but they'd both gotten so annoyed with one another, it was better to walk away amicably than try to tough it out and wind up hurt and hating. Since there was no animosity between them, I tried to stay friends with Sam after the break up ... and that was my mistake. 

Sam and I had a lot in common and we got along really well, which prompted him to ask me out a little too quickly after ending things with my BFF. Despite thinking he was (and is) a great guy, I knew she'd be far too hurt for me to date him, so I had to cut him off at the pass. I asked for some space / time / distance / whatever you want to call it, but Sam had to back off. Boyfriends come and go, but girlfriends are forever. Someone I've known for five minutes isn't worth risking a thirty year friendship. It just goes against girl code. Now, I know that if time had gone by and I'd told my friend I had feelings for Sam, eventually she would've said "good luck and God bless" but it was simply too soon. I walked away from him completely. 

That's when the emails from "The Unicorn" started. 

If I'd been paying closer attention, I would've made the connection sooner. I had just met and started dating Jason (more on that later) so I was completely oblivious to the timing of cutting off Sam and the emails from The Unicorn starting up. It took me several months and a lot of soul searching to call Sam out on his alter ego. While well intentioned, he created a totally different persona because (in his own words) he "just wanted to stay in (my) life any way (he) could."

I know that you've all been wondering why I met but did not date The Unicorn so here's the simple truth: In another place and time, I'm not ruling Sam out as an option. He's a sweet guy. He's thoughtful and considerate and very attentive. He's kind and faithful and always puts other people's happiness above his own. He makes me laugh and is super supportive and there's nothing he wouldn't do for a friend. In that regard, we're very much alike. Which is precisely why I cannot date him. 

My best friend hasn't had many boyfriends. One might say she's jaded, bitter, or disillusioned by men. If I dated the one guy she had real feelings for, despite how their relationship ended, that wouldn't make me a very good friend at all. She's been there for me this whole time, holding my hand through the tears, reading every blog, consoling every heartbreak. She came to my Passion Party (Cupcakes & Vibrators!) She came to my I Hate Valentine's Day Party. She came to my stand up show in Manhattan. She's ALL of you rolled into one person, sitting on my couch every Monday night, letting me regale her with shitty / hilarious dating stories while watching The Bachelor and overindulging in cake pops and vodka iced tea. She's who I work all my neuroses out on and she hasn't walked away from me yet although I promise you --- I've only got a handful of girlfriends well equipped to handle my particular brand of crazy. You don't challenge yourself to date half of New York over three years without losing your mind just a little! 

So the one man I'm not allowed to date? Is her ex boyfriend. 

And you know something? I'm ok with that.