"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

May 5, 2008

20 Years Ago on Jerry Springer...

My best friend throughout most of high school was a boy. I suppose we gravitated to each other because we were pretty much the only two in the school who had similar tastes in music. 80's synthpop like Duran Duran and the Pet Shop Boys had mostly fallen off the Top 40 charts by then and the mild alternative bands like The Smiths and Joy Division we liked weren't very well-known by most people. He made the perfect concert buddy. But his personality and sense of humor were great too. Intelligent, arrogant, and sarcastic, he was a sharp departure from my elementary school friends, mostly conservative girls who worried about who was the most popular and wondered who was the prettiest. (I wasn't concerned. I knew I lost that game horribly.) And not really like the metal head and punk kids I hung around with in high school.

Anyway, sometime during our friendship, he had befriended a boy a couple years younger than us. One day, Best Friend piped up, "Go out with him. He's shy and he's never been out with a girl."
"Um, what? No."
"Oh, come on..."
"Ewww, no."
"But he's got a mother who pushes him all the time in school so that he can become a lawyer. His life sucks."
"Ick. No."
After 20 minutes of listening to him plead with me, I gave in. "Fine."

He wasn't terrible looking. He wasn't unpleasant. I'm sure some other 15 year-old girl would've gone all swoony over him. But cliques were Very Important Things in high school and I was deeply entrenched in the alt-rock clique. He was, eww, preppy. From now on, we'll call him Pity Boyfriend. Because I'm slightly mean at times.

A few days later, I met Best Friend and Pity Boyfriend to go shopping. Sometime during our trip, Pity Boyfriend shyly asked, "Would you like to go together?" I looked at him, said, "Sure," and died a little inside. Now understand that he wasn't asking me out on a date. We had weird terminology in high school. 'Going together' was kind of the equivalent of going steady then. Dates were for older people. This was just saying that you were boyfriend and girlfriend. I made my escape then and went home, never once touching him.

A week later, Best Friend, Pity Boyfriend, and I were sitting in Best Friend's house chatting. All of a sudden, Best Friend spoke up, "Kiss each other!" and Pity Boyfriend looked at me expectantly. We stared at each other neither of us moving. Best Friend pranced over to the stereo, put Kajagoogoo's "Too Shy" in, and lip-synced along to the song. After a few minutes of me and Pity Boyfriend making excuses of why we really couldn't, Best Friend rolled his eyes and said, "Fine."

A few days later:
Pity Boyfriend: So, do you think we should break up?
Me: (*thinking 'Ohthankgodthishellisfinallyover'*) Okay.

And it was done. Or so I thought.

Two weeks later, me and Best Friend were sitting in McDonald's chatting. All of a sudden, Best Friend looked uncomfortable and fell silent. While I was trying to think up something to say to fill the void, he spoke again. "Umm, I slept with Pity Boyfriend."

I laughed for the next five minutes straight. I'd already known for months that Best Friend was gay. I had no problem with that. But, throughout the rest of the day, I kept thinking, 'My gay best friend stole my boyfriend,' and I'd start laughing again.

I've told that story to various people throughout my life and some of them have asked, "But, weren't you mad?" Well, no. I had no feelings for him. Best Friend knew I had no feelings for him. Hell, I'm pretty sure Pity Boyfriend knew I had no feelings for him. "But, it's the principle of the thing!" one of them replied. Okay, I can see that but the hilarity of "My gay best friend stole my boyfriend," trumps that every time.

A few years later, Best Friend and I were on our way to a concert in Milwaukee and we were in a car with two other friends. One of them was saying something about a girl stealing her best friend's boyfriend. Me and Best Friend looked at each other and laughed hysterically.


Gianna said...

that's a great story and a great telling of it

Lori said...

That's hysterical! What a great story. I'm glad to have found you on the blogosphere. Your story definitely trumps all!

The Fearless Blog said...

You are a great storyteller. I started reading your post and could not stop. Having read some of your previous posts, I had a feeling you would provide a twist at the end. :)

franscud said...

I think BF definitely had ulterior motives throughout ... maybe he knew the pain of the breakup would propel PBF into his arms. Ah, young love :).

ps ... why the trademark on Very Important Things?

Jillian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jillian said...

OK... so Blogger didn't get my first comment. BOO!

Anyways, I said it was a great story and that I, too, was curious about the trademark on Very Important Things.

This comment isn't nearly as good as the original one :-(

Nadine said...

Too funny. Was Pity Boyfriend gay or experimenting?

Berryvox said...

Gianna, Lori, & TFB - I'm pretty sure I'll be telling that story for the next 20 years. :)

Francis - Maybe! He could be a crafty boy. :)

Hmm, I should probably delete that. It's an old inside joke between friends (who don't even read this!). Basically, we'd throw in the trademark symbol after things that seemed important at one time or things that seemed important to other people that we didn't care about. It's hard to explain.

Jillian - They never are. :( Bad Blogspot!

Nadine - I'm pretty sure he was experimenting.

goldmourn said...

Hands down, you've become my favourite blogger.

mudge said...

Great story!