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To Drill or Not to Drill

Submitted by Pierce Nahigyan on May 20, 2010 – 8:42 pmComments

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duck-couple-resting-on-watersideI was at a party last week sans girlfriend when a buddy of mine brought up the age old riddle of men, women, friendship, and the land of yeah right. Sing, Muses, of the rhyme of men and women (ditch Reason—she’s bringin’ everybody down).

I ask you this, can men and women be friends without, as Harry so eloquently told Sally, “the sex getting in the way”? And can a 21st century choister really admit to an answer as manichean as yes or no? The choister is daily assaulted by an ark of circumstances: each one, like part of Noah’s menagerie, purported to come in pairs. We live in a quantum age where each decision we make seems to rattle us off the chain of destiny in an infinite series of permutations. And then the universe has to go and ask us the sex question.

Sex appeal is like oil. And like a leaking rig off the coast of Louisiana it can wreak havoc on an ecosystem. Yet its price is variable, its value is subjective, and we’re all choking on its pollution, even as it sustains life. An overwrought metaphor perhaps, but think of its disastrous consequences. There are friends, friends with benefits, best friends, friends who occasionally sleep together, friends who aren’t friends anymore because her friends told his friends who his real friends were, etc. This is an ongoing discussion.

But the truth is it’s hard enough talking to girls when you’re trying to make them like you. Much harder is making conversation with the hope you have something meaningful to say. And because a sweet smile and a charming laugh are things too many of us lack in our daily lives, establishing a long-term friendship against a short-term joy requires a circumvention of destiny. Oysters go bad if you leave them out too long, and where lies the benefit in passing up a delicacy? At this stage in our lives twenty-somethings run the gamut of coyness when it comes to defining just what exactly “hooking-up” entails. Personally I’ve heard it used for making out, everything but, and the living end itself. Some can make a friendship out of that. For others, it’s the swan song—or even more crudely, seen as something owed at the end of a platonic relationship.

So how do we maintain the delicate balance? It’s my suspicion that men and women get along better when there’s a hint of sexual tension in the air. But then again…

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  • LaMarEstaba

    I'd say that men and women can be friends. I spent half of high school solely with my guy friends...maybe even more than that. I'm not the cheerleader stereotype who plays with every boy; I was actually friends with them because of peculiar circumstances. I'm in college and I wish that it didn't creep up now. Life was a lot simpler when guys could just talk to me and it wouldn't mean anything sexual at all.

  • Ina

    Beautifully written! I never thought about how the tension positively affects friendships between men and women and that it's not as black and white as Harry made it sound! (But if I had to choose, I'd have to say that men and women CAN'T be friends!) :)

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