Does The Code even exist anymore? Okay, did it ever?

I’ve committed to the “code” since junior high. You know the one.  If your friend likes or dates a guy, he’s forever stricken from the okay to date category.  I’ve wondered over the years though, if perhaps I took this “code” too much to heart?  It started in the seventh grade when coincidentally every boy I developed a crush on, my “BFF” suddenly liked him too.  It was so weird!!  I’d start chatting with some boy in a class, start to think he was cute or funny or whatever, tell my best friend (because that’s what you do) and lo and behold… within 24 hours, my BFF would have this “dilemma”.  Gosh Kay, I’ve been meaning to tell you for a few days now that I like so-and-so.

Ahhhhh well crap….  He’s off the list.  Can’t crush on him…must avoid all flirtation.  This crazy coincidence started to get a little suspicious about our junior year of high school.  It was just too BIZARRE…every single guy I even thought about liking, my BFF always confessed she’d been crushing on him since the day or two before me!!!  Uncanny for all those years, huh?! There were two crushes in four years whom “M” (my BFF) hadn’t crushed on just before me.  One went to a different school than we and “M” had never met him and the other always called “M” a fat cow or something equally as mean or harsh.  In fact those two actually had a physical altercation once; they hated each other so much!  I had to play referee so many times between these two and always felt guilty that he was so mean to my BFF, but shamefully happy that finally I liked someone my BFF didn’t like first. 

This chronic coincidence just flabbergasted me for years!  I had suspicions, but always denied them.  Until I moved out of state my senior year and less than a month later, my BFF was dating the guy I had dated…the one whom she had fought with all the time.

Okay, yeah….so it takes me awhile sometimes to see the writing on the wall.  In hindsight I realize this was a fun game for my BFF.  It simply raised the stakes and created a bigger challenge for her in the crush department to coincidentally like the same guy as I.

This has been a repetitive occurrence in my life in one way or another and over the many, many years of betrayals and coincidences, I realize that I just might be the only female I know living by the unofficial credo of friendship…but, it’s never been a huge choice for me.  Friends always come first; guys were a dime a dozen.  Ohhhh…you kinda like that one?  Ohh and that other one flirted with you last monthAhh geesh…okay, I’m out then.  I see no need to compete with friends for guys.  Okay honey, you have him….and I’m on to something or someone else.  No big.  There is no competition because I refuse to engage.  In fact, I usually start looking around for a lovely silver platter to hand whatever guy over to them.

Ahhh the stories I could tell!  However, there’s really only one of these experiences which is pertinent at the moment.

I’ve been friends with “Jane” for about seven years or so now.  We go back and forth between inseparable for a bit to just lunch once a week depending on our life happenings at any given time.  Jane is totally different from me and I’m okay with that.  Jane is a major partier and has looser standards sexually than I tend toward, but I’ve kinda thought these differences made our friendship work even better.  We sound things off to each other and get entirely different perspectives.  I like to think that she pulls me a little more to the spontaneous and crazy side and maybe I pull her somewhat to the more responsible side….a nice balance for the most part.

The only real challenge here is that since I’ve become friends with Jane, it’s become increasingly difficult to meet any male (or female) with whom Jane has not had sexual relations. Two major episodes:

I meet cute military guy four years ago.  I was undecided about anything big with him, but I liked him and was at least interested in seeing where I might want it to go.  I wasn’t blabbing about him to my friends because I wasn’t sure if I wanted as much of a commitment as MG expressed he wanted. We had been seeing each other for only a month or so when he returned to his base in Kansas City. …Commence the chronic texting and phone calls.  I was enjoying this and starting to like him more and more.  After he left for base, Military guy would get frustrated when I was out with friends and my phone would die.  So one night in the midst of a huge texting session with MG while I was out with Jane, I say, Hey, put this number in your phone so that when my phone dies, MG won’t get mad at me that I just suddenly disappeared and stopped texting.  She says, Oh, I have that number already.  And knowing Jane as I do, I immediately knew exactly what she meant.  I was a little bummed, but waited till the next day to ask MG about this… Yeah, she and MG had had a sexual fling a few years back which had lasted a week or two.  Well, given that my interest in MG was only slightly above mild at this point, I decided to end it.  MG was pissed and hates me to this day for this but whatever…  It just feels too awkward for me to date a guy my friend has been intimate with and holds the number in her phone as a booty call.  Not interested.  No thanks.

Three years ago, I ran into a guy whom I’d met years ago on the beach.  We had been beach buddies years earlier but never super close otherwise.  So I run into him randomly after it had been a while.  He asks me out to dinner and I agree to go and over the next few months, we started actually dating. One night I couldn’t go to a concert with him because I had plans with Jane. He says, Ahh, I know Jane!  Yeah, of course you do. Ohhh shit…  I ask him about the nature of their association.  He’s very blunt in that they had gone to dinner once seven years earlier, had a nice time, but neither was romantically interested in the other (they just hadn’t “clicked) so they had decided not to go out again, but to be friends…and not with sexual benefits…just friends. Well more like acquaintances since they didn’t really hang out together, but just would chat if they ran into each other.

Soon after this conversation,  I tell Jane that I’ve been seeing him and that I might actually like him.  This is critical to say to her at this point because since Love of My Life Guy and I had split, I really hadn’t even entertainedmuch thought of developing anything truly serious with anyone.  I rarely even could agree to go on a date with anyone for quite some time after the split.  Jane knew all about this and how I had struggled to meet anyone I liked enough to seriously date and consider committing to since that horrific experience.  Thus, it was important that I actually tell Jane where I stood about this guy. And she’s all, That’s great!  He’s such a nice guy Kay!  I’m so glad to see you giving someone a chance finally…etc, etc, etc…

So it got a little weird when she started calling me from the deck of his beach house and inviting me over to “join them” for cookouts and whatnot.  I was totally thrown!  What is going on?  I’m actually dating him and this feels awkward.  She’s inviting ME over to MY boyfriend’s house?  And, why is she over there without me anyway?  No one mentioned a cookout to me!?  They’ve known each other over seven years and never hung out at his house!  Why would they now that I’m dating him?  After the third of these “invites”, I couldn’t shake the weirdness.  Jane’s a pretty woman and I just guessed that somehow maybe being mutual friends with me had reconnected them and he had decided he actually was interested in her… and obviously more than me…

This one bummed me out a little more than Military Guy, but hey, this is my friend…whatever…  If he likes her and vice-versa, then I’m out.  I just stopped taking Beach Guy’s calls because it all seemed too creepy.  I temporarily distanced myself from Jane too because I was a little hurt over this, but we remained friends and I just never said anything about any of it to her…or him.  C’est la vie.  Bygones.

A year ago, I randomly run into Beach Guy who interrogates me as to why I blew him off.  I’m honest and say, Jane was hanging out at your house a lot inviting me over and it felt weird so I accepted that you changed your mind and decided you wanted to date her.  I wasn’t going to make a big fuss.  She’s my friend, you’re a great guy…I want both of you to find happiness.  It’s all good. And he looks bewildered….  He says, WHAT?!  Kay, I really liked you…I thought we had something pretty cool going and you just blew me off completely.  After the first time you brought Jane over with you, she just started showing up at my house with groceries wanting to cook out.  I would assume you must be meeting her here or something..it was just so weird..and when I’d ask her where’s Kay, she’d always say, Let’s call her and invite her over.

I might sound stupid and that could be accurate, but after much discussion, Beach Guy and I figured out that this wasn’t a very nice thing Jane did to me…and ultimately to him either.  I believe that BG had no clue what the hell kind of game Jane was playing.  He was trying to be gracious to her because she was my friend.  By the time he figured out what was probably going on, I had stopped taking his calls and he thought I just wasn’t interested in him anymore. 

This kinda sucked and I began questioning Jane’s friendship and perhaps even the ability of a totally promiscuous kinda chick like her even being capable of real friendship with another girl. Around this time, Jane had kinda disappeared from my life anyway, so nothing needed to be addressed; I just let it go.

When Jane shows back in my life, she’s all excited that she’s been dating some really young guy and it’s getting serious!  That’s why she’d stayed away for so long…totally preoccupied with this new young guy…and she talked at length about how young he was, as if that in itself was some medal of honor or achievement.  I was so excited for her! He sounds like a terrific guy and maybe just what she needed to settle it down a little.  I met him soon after and realized he really WAS a terrific guy.  I was very happy for them both when they got engaged and moved in together.

She didn’t stop her sexual roll though.  That continued and she’d brag to me about how he would always forgive her.  She just had to tell him how drunk she was when the indiscretions occurred and he’d let it go.  I was sad for him, but happy for her that he was such a passive forgiving guy…perfect for her…just the kind she needed!

I felt more and more badly for him though as I witnessed personally how often she got drunk and messed around on him….with his friends, with strangers, with ex-lovers…started to seem like anyone would do to cheat on this innocent, nice guy. But, hell, if he was okay with that, who was I to think it was sad or wrong?  Anyway,  I wasn’t totally surprised when a few weeks after I moved to Vegas, she called to tell me she was breaking up with him because she wasn’t going to stop the cheating… Ohhhh AND she’d met an even younger guy and they were having some serious fun.  She and her ex-fiancé Jay would remain friends though. Awwww…how absolutely delightful for him!  Poor guy…

Then, a week after I returned to Michigan, I invited Jane over one evening late.  I had a guy friend here with me.  I’d known this guy for years, but we’d never dated or had anything together…  I did have a little crush on him.  I’d never told him or anyone about that though.  Jane drags ex-fiance  Jay over with her and we’re all hanging out.  Jane’s flirting outrageously with my guy friend and he is with her too.  It’s late and Jay just goes to bed in the guest room.  I pull Jane aside and say, Hey, I don’t think it’s very cool to do that to Jay and besides, I might sorta like this other guy.  Could you please not be with him?

Yeah, I verbatim said, “Could you please not be with him?”  Oh of course she won’t!  He’s “way too old for her anyway”, she says.  …FYI, he happens to be exactly our age…

To sum up this long as hell story, guess what?  Yeah….I’m sure you see where this situation went!  Jane can’t help herself….and after leaving them alone briefly, I return and yeah, it’s “on” for them.

Ohmyeffingawd… I had just freakin’ had it with this crap!  I told jerk-ball to leave and I was just mad, mad, mad at Jane!  Jay hears the commotion and comes out.  He’s not an idiot.  He gets it of course.  He knows exactly what happened.  He may be way younger than I, but he clearly “’gets” this kinda thing far more quickly than I.  It’s pretty much just a sad and unfortunate scene for all three of us…for different reasons…

So…Saturday night I get together with a group of friends for cards.  Jay is one of them.  I’m so glad he and I might become friends.  He’s just fun and a really terrific person!  We have a great time and he ends up crashing over here on the sofa with me.  Nothing happened!!

The next day after he leaves,  we are texting funny stuff back and forth..both tired and silly after too much fun the night before.  Then, I get this text from him that says, okay, I’m going to get a little weird on you here, but last night when we were curled up on the sofa, I really wanted to kiss you. I didn’t though because we had both been drinking.

OMG…I truly did NOT know what to say!!!  My mind is racing and I’m just speechless.  While I’m thinking through this, Jay sends a few more apology texts:  “Sorry, told you I was going to get weird”, “Sorry, I’m probably still just drunk”, “Sorry I’m a retard who can’t text properly right now”, “Sorry, I really just had to get that off my chest”…

And I’m thinking, OMGOMGOMG….I’d never thought about anything like this before.  I mean, sure he’s sexy and smart…and funny…and all around the kind of guy I’d normally really like…but…but…OMG?!!?!!

So, I text him back with my conscience debating and my heart racing,  Please don’t say you’re sorry.  I kinda wish you had kissed me.  And he responds, Oh good!!!…that long pause scared me!!  But my phone is dying and I’m having drinks with friends so we’ll talk about this later.

Jay and I haven’t discussed this yet.  I really don’t know how I feel about this.  From married guys to my friends’ ex??  It’s just a  mess.  What the hell is the matter with me?!!  I honestly don’t know if I think this would be wrong or not and that in itself scares the hell out of me!!  Is life throwing me these constant curve balls for some freakin’ reason?  Is this all random?  Are these life tests? Character tests??  WTF?!???   Umm…I think I’d better get back to the “safety” of that whole online thing and I’ll be damned if that’s not a contradiction in terms!

I don’t know what’s going to happen here with this recent sitch.  Is it ever okay to break the code?  Am I running through previous history with Jane just to convince myself this might not be totally wrong to do…just in case…?  Anyway, maybe Jay was just drunk and didn’t even know what the hell he was talking about?  Maybe it was just a random spontaneous meaningless notion that will disappear as quickly as it came to him?  No clue.  I am reminded reg ularly though that life has a twisted sense of humor.  AND, I’m beginning to realize too that if this is all just a life test, I just might be running out of the right answers!

4 responses to “Does The Code even exist anymore? Okay, did it ever?

  1. Tough one… My opinion would be that you don’t owe Jane any code-related loyalty after the past experiences you’ve described, but still you need to ask yourself whether you would feel OK about it afterwards if you and Jay did get together. Do you get some comfort from thinking that you’ve always done the right thing by Jane even though she hasn’t reciprocated? Would you miss having that feeling if you went with this?

    • Thanks for your thoughts Matt! Yeah, this is a tough one for me..Jay’s such a terrific guy in so many ways…I’d love to meet and date a guy like him! I kinda agree I don’t really owe her any code of loyalty…and I just don’t really believe in the whole tit-for-tat thing. She dumped him flat after incessant cheating and that doesn’t make it right for me to break my loyalties either, even if I am finished with that level of friendship with her. I still care about her and wish her happiness. I’m not sure she has any loyalties or boundaries, so I can’t know for sure if this would even hurt her or not..? Yeah, I’m probably safer to just avoid this whole situation just in case it would.
      Ughh….this one is definitely my loss!!

  2. I guess I don’t see any issue here? I just don’t. He likes you, you like him…and this isn’t high school. I would say take it slow and see what happens. If you try and not break girl code-which Jane has REPEATEDLY-you won’t be dating ANYONE up there.
    And girl code only works if both sides are willing…

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