This is what I remember: it was June, it was hot and there was a moron on the other side of my coffee table. I couldn’t hear what he was saying because I had concluded that we could never have anything serious. Thus, it was time to bail, and I was trying to say this, but I kept getting distracted by his decision to wear Matrix style sunglasses in the year 2006. Reminding myself that this was no time to be a bitch about his fashion, but, instead, the perfect time to be a bitch about his personality, I started to say, “Hey, this just isn’t going to wo-” when a little, fictional, talking bird flew in through the window, landed on my shoulder and chirped, “Are you sure?”
“Okay,” the bird hopped to my other shoulder, “but have you ever noticed how his muscles are just like eddies of manliness?”
I assessed the moron, with his even, full body tan and capacity to build muscle despite his inexplicable diet of marijuana, marshmallows and HotPockets.
“And those eyes.” The little bird went on, “If there was ever a color for bad manners, smoldering looks and no life plan, his eyes would be called all three.”
“They are kind of sexy.” I conceded.
“And that thing he does.” The bird continued, “It’s so dirty, I think it’s even illegal in Mexico.”
An involuntary, “Mmmmm” escaped my mouth at the memory.
“Really.” The bird whispered back. “I’m not saying you should date Sunglasses, I’m just saying you could dial it back. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind something more casual.”
Then the magical bird disappeared, leaving me alone in my living room with the Chosen One and a breakup speech that had translated into, “Let’s talk about this next week.”
The minute the door shut behind him and the gravity of sleeping with a man while simultaneously shopping for a better man settled in, the feminist inside of me lit up, “Bingo!” She was hollering, “Bingo! Bingo! Bingo!”
“Umm,” My inner prude seemed nervous, “are you talking about a friends with benefits situation?”
“Yes.” The feminist confirmed with a high-five. “Get ready for a great summer, you Slutty Bitch.”
And, thus, the beginning of the only time that I’ve considered such a scenario. My dismissive attitude in the past was always situated by my firm belief that this arrangement was for college girls and the insecure, but with the support of the entire feminist movement, I began to entertain the idea. If my past rejections of the notion were routed in personal pride, then was it not okay to forge ahead now that I could happily play the role of user?
“Fun!” The bird had reappeared and was twittering away. “Fun! Fun! Fun! I love you in the role of user!”
“Me too. But is it wrong to use someone?”
The bird’s eyes got big. She seemed excited. If birds could smile, that’s what she would have been doing. “When you use a person, you can forget about their feelings and their birthday!”
“Isn’t that wrong?”
But it is. Actually. Thus the reason this post is about to get really boring and my dream of being a slutty bitch all summer long was sidelined. A few days after I had the world’s greatest thought, I hung out with the moron, but he still acted like a moron. And because the vagina is sensitive to stupidity the way Irish skin is sensitive to the sun, even a cheap hook up seemed aggravating.
And therein lies the problem with a “friends with benefits” scenario.
I know. I know. It’s 2011. Everyone’s liberated. Women make their own money. People have careers. If everyone wants to bump uglies and call it a day, who am I to criticize? I’m not, BUT, what does it mean to be “friends with benefits”? To me, in a best case scenario it means you are both distracting yourself from meeting someone you might really like with someone you don’t really like. And- in a worst case scenario, it means that one person likes the other person enough to ignore the fact that they are good enough for the night but never good enough for the morning.
In other words, it means you aren’t friends with benefits because you aren’t even really friends.