If you aren't familiar, there is a saying that goes something like “do not piss on my head and tell me that it is raining.” I am quite familiar with this situation because many times in my 3 decades of life I have had people unzip from above my head and subsequently warn me of coming thunderstorms. One of the most pernicious of these bamboozles is the “we can be friends” lie. For a man, and for most women, being put in the friend zone is the kiss of death; there is absolutely no worse fate than being banished, “It's a Good Life” style, to the Friend Zone. (If you don't get the reference, look it up; it's an excellent episode of the Twilight Zone). Like that episode, being banished to the Friend Zone is a cold, horrifying, soul-crushing event from which there is no return. When you have been sent there once your main goal in life is to never be banished there again. But I, for one reason or another, keep finding myself in that particular cornfield time and time again, each time through another hilariously convoluted series of events.
I believe that I have been sent to the cornfield more times than most, because I have a particular personality trait that predisposes me to leaving myself open to getting “rained” on. I have an impossible to ignore need to fix people. Now don't get me wrong; I'm no Mother Theresa/Jesus figure. I would say it’s more of an ego-syntonic drive to do what it is that I think I do best; resolve people's psychological issues. I think that most people like to do what they do best, and I am a very good psychologist, regardless of what people may say. There's another component to this tragedy that I am not sure if I have complete control over; I have a penchant for meeting women who have recently hit rock bottom in their lives. This is a big reason why I have to fix so many people, because I seem to find so many people who need fixing. I'm not talking abut women who just broke a nail, I'm talking about serious, life threatening issues. Most of the time. Sometimes they are just girls who happen to date the same type of homicidal jerks over and over again but most of the time they are women with legitimate problems in their lives that I have some sort of useful perspective on.
If this is just some random cosmic coincidence then I suppose I can't do much about it. I've tried fighting against the immutable laws of nature before, and have always come out the worse for it. I'm tired of beating my head against a wall of physics. Another, less fantastic hypothesis is that I am subconsciously attracted to “damaged” women, which is a common affliction amongst some men. I have written before about my ”Hero Complex” and how I have a inherent drive to save people. What if there is a part of me that, when there is no one around who is in any acute danger, seeks out women who are broken, damaged, or are in acute danger, and insinuate myself into their lives? What if there is a part of me that looks for emergencies so that I can “save the day” and be the hero? Ask yourself these questions if you have a similar pattern of behavior, especially if you often find yourself banished to the cornfields. There is a direct correlation between befriending damaged people and ending up in the friend zone.
What is this connection? Well, I'll tell you. One of those immutable laws of the universe I spoke of earlier is the he or she who fights the battle never lives to see the fruits of their labor. Despite what 80's movies and video games have told us, if you enter the Castle and fight the Dragon in order to save the princess, chances are in the real world that once you do risk your life and do all those acts of daring do, the princess will then immediately hook up with your unemployed stoner roommate. THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is reality. I have learned that whenever I fix someone, they inevitably run out and sleep with/fall in love with the first person they see that isn't me. I have heard stories from several men and women confirming this from their own experience as well. They have had cases where they have helped people to stop drinking, stop doing drugs, stop dating abusive men, stop dating crazy women, get jobs, go back to school, graduate school, etc. and when they finally help this person achieve their goal, they, as Kanye West said “leave they ass for a White girl”.
What I mean by that is whenever you put your heart and soul into helping someone out in life, the chances are good that when they reach that goal they will leave you for someone else, that is, if they were ever with you in the first place. Only very strong relationships don't break up when one person experiences a large change in life/status such as going from dug user to sober, or from having low self esteem to being a fully self reliant individual. The worst part of the banishing procedure is that the person who does it usually tries to convince you that it's a good thing, which is where the great lie about being rained on begins. Rodgers and Hammerstein could not compose a greater song and dance than these people do when they try to explain to you why the fact that they are essentially ditching you now that they are “better” and giving all their goodies to a complete stranger who had nothing to do with their recovery is, in fact, a positive experience for you. Some of them think that you should even be thanking them for it. They are effusive with their thankfulness. Here is an actual text I received in this situation;
“I adore you, you know that. Just not in the way you want me to. Anyway I think you're amazing and awesome and I hate that now things are probably going to be weird between you and I. I hate to lose you. You're the only guy who I've talked to consistently for a year. And I think that's because we never hooked up.”
And this, this is the part where the trickle of piss becomes a downpour;
“You should be happy, I let you in where other guys never get to go.”
Apparently that place she let me in is everywhere but her vagina. The crazy part is that this is maybe the 20 or 30th time I've heard this speech in my life. I have the unfortunate luck to encounter women who believe that they can only sleep with men who don't care about them, and who they can't care about in return. This is, of course, lunacy. But a surprising number of women think this way. By the way, the above quotes are not doctored or taken out of context in any way. It took me a long time to realize that telling me it's a good thing that “I'm too special to sleep with” is not a good thing. It's piss disguised as rain. It's a sham, and after 3 decades I'm finally learning to grab an umbrella and step out of it. If you care about someone, and they are special to you, you should give them the greatest gift you can, which isn't “friendship”. Besides, what these people consider friendship isn't that, because the relationship is never even. The person doing the fixing never receives the same services in return. That person can never depend on the person they fixed for emotional support. The damaged person, by definition, cannot be a good friend because if they could they would probably possess other life skills that would have prevented them from becoming damaged in the first place. They are inherently selfish, and never ask about the “fixer's” problems. Therefore, the fixer is more of a tool to be used when needed than a true friend. In what way is this a tenable position for anyone? A true friendship is reciprocal, and these relationships are strictly one way. The friend zone is a lonely place, and no one ever has sex there.
So, if you are the type to be a “fixer” and you feel some trickles coming from the sky, ask yourself is this really rain I'm feeling, or something else entirely?