Point to remember before and after you finish reading: Whatever you believe in or observe, there will always be exceptions. And in this particular case also, I know people who are exceptions. So, I would request you not to take this personally.
I have always had more guy friends than girl friends. Not because, I hated girls or anything, but I have been more comfortable around guys. I was never the girlish type. And also, I have always believed that guys can be better friends than girls could be (And I blame guys for that. We could discuss that someday later. *wink* ).
Well, there were exceptions there too. In short what I am trying to say is, I have had very good friends who were guys. At least I believed that way before I got married.
Things changed once I got married. It is funny when I think about it. I remember the first time I realized how things were. I had been calling people inviting friends, colleagues and family to attend my marriage.
There was one guy who I had called up and when I told him, "I am getting married on 17th Feb, this year. Do you think you could make it?"
Instead of congratulating me, the first thing he said was, "Ab tumse baat karke kya fayada?" (What is the point of talking to you anymore?)
For a while I couldn't say a word. And then I laughed. And that was the first time I realized that things are changing. I talked about this with my husband.
And he said to me, "Men are not comfortable around married women. One of the reasons is that husbands usually do not like their wives to be friends with other men. And men usually stay around women (though not all of them but many), because they have that one teeny tiny hope that maybe she would start falling in love with them sometime. Men are pretty selfish."
He had laughed. I didn't believe him then. Not quite. But yes it got me thinking.
I got married. Happily married, and am still happily married for the last one and a half years. Over this period of time, there are only few men friend of mine, who did not change. They still talk to me the same way they always have, they still call me as frequently as they used to. But except those very few, everybody else changed. The first noticeable change was that they stopped calling.
So, when I asked them, they said, "You are married now. You must be busy. We cannot call you whenever we want to."
I genuinely appreciated their concern.
So, I told them, "Hey, don’t worry. Even though I am married, you still are the same people and the same friends. You can still call me just like you used to. And in case I am busy with something, I can tell you and call you back later."
The next argument they gave was, "And what if your husband doesn’t like it?"
"He is not the typical jealous type. He knew about all my friends before he married me and he is okay with all of it."
"Really? Then it’s great. Now I won’t think so much before calling you up again."
“Happy Ending!” I thought. It’s just that they didn’t change and most of them stopped calling. All my husband did was laugh, and his eyes twinkled that said, "Wait and watch."
I remember this one guy. He was a good friend. We used to talk for hours on the phone. We stayed in the same city. We would sometimes meet up, have a cup of coffee at the CCD. We went out for lunch sometimes. After my marriage, he never called. Not even once. He congratulated me on my Facebook wedding album, and communication from his side ended there. I called him up a few times, and then stopped. From then on, I wish him on his birthdays, and he doesn't even bother to reciprocate that on my birthday.
The other guy, we were the best of friends. He came down to my city once and proposed to me as soon as he went back. I had told him that I am marrying Manish and that I don’t have any such feelings for him. He almost cried. He said, he could make me happier. I told him that if he wanted a break and stop being friends in order to get over me, I would understand. In return he told me, "Please, never ever stop talking to me. You are my best friend and I don’t want to lose my best friend over this. Let’s stay friends."
I didn't break our friendship thinking that he meant it. I stayed normal around him. He was a very good friend of mine, and he assured me that he would be okay staying friends. My husband was not happy with the idea.
He reminded me once, “Men keep having that teeny tiny hope that someday she will fall in love.”
But he trusted me and he never had the habit of imposing his decisions and wishes on me and so, was okay with it eventually. This friend was okay till the time I was not (yet) married. He would call me the way he used to, and talk to me very normally. Things seemed good. Then I told him that I am marrying on so and so date. He smsed me back saying that he needs to get some fresh air. Then that evening I got a huge mail from him, which mostly said, that till now he had that one hope that maybe I would leave my fiancee and land up with him. I was surprised. I asked him not to hope since that is not going to happen. And in return he said, I have the right to do whatever I want, and he has the right to keep hoping till the night I get married. And when that happens, he will make peace with himself, and we will be good then. And I still believed him.
After my marriage, he all of a sudden became a sarcastic retard. Everything I said, he had a sarcastic reply ready. In the beginning, I didn't mind much. I tried to give him time to settle down things. But his sense of sarcasm went beyond my ability to handle. I told him that on his face (the straightforward person that I am), he agreed and said, that it won’t happen again. Ever since that day, he stopped calling. He came to my city and didn't inform me. It was odd because, remember we were great friends. But I guess I understand his erratic behavior. What I did not understand, was when he blamed me for all this. How was it my fault, I could never fathom?
Another funny guy was a man from my college. I won’t explain much about him because his girlfriend is on Facebook and his girlfriend's friends are all over my Facebook friend list and I don’t want him to be pin pointed (That is my goodness speaking. The evil side of me wants to tell everyone the name of that guy. *wink*). So, let it be that he was a funny guy, and there have been incidents about him, that made him stand out from the other boys in class. We were good friends once, he joked about proposing me now and then. He then found the love of his life. And because his girlfriend was the jealous types and did not like me much and that was made clear to me, I didn't mind when he preferred not to be seen with me much. He had asked me to accompany him to get a gift for his girlfriend. I went, and things were good. Eventually we lost contact.
One day (after my marriage of course), I saw him online. With the intention of a friendly chat,( the kind when you meet after a long time in a, say, departmental store and stop to chat a little), I pinged him, asking him how he was doing, what about his girlfriend, when do they plan to get married, so on and so forth. He replied to all of these and in such a gentlemanly fashion, that it surprised me how he had changed.
So, I said, "Yaar
, tu to bada sharif ho
gaya hai. *smile face*" (You have become a gentleman)
He replied, "Kaise?" (How so?)
"Pehle teri har baat majak se shuru hoti thi. Kabhi kisi ko seedhe muh jawab nahi deta tha. Ab dekh bilkul tameez se baat kar raha hai." (Earlier, all you said were mostly jokes, you never made a straight answer for anything that was asked to you. And look at you now. All gentlemanly. )
"Tum shaadi shuda ho. Tumko ab aise nahi bolna chahiye." (You are married now. You should not say such things.)
For a moment I did not know what to write. And finally I asked him, which of my above sentences sounded offensive since it was coming out of a married woman's mouth? He somehow managed a "Nahi nahi, majak kar raha tha" (Was joking).
I never tried to talk to this person again. He kind of disgusted me.
When I shared these experiences with my husband, he would first laugh hard, then hug me and say, "Welcome to the Men's world dear!"
What I find odd is, (I realized) most of them were actually not my friends. Because, if they were we could have stayed that way. And I cannot think this is normal, because I do have a friend who is a man and he has not changed one bit. We still are the same friends we always were. And he does not even make my husband uncomfortable with his friendliness.
I am not sure what I am trying to get at by posting this on blog. I guess I just wanted these out of my system. And to all those who had tried to warn me that most men cannot be good friends with women, I am sorry I did not believe you then. *grin*
P.S. Remember the "Point to remember" in the beginning? *grin*