There's a kind of rumour going round that it's not very 'good' for women to talk about men all the time. As if it trivialises us. Well, meh. OF COURSE we talk about other things: like Brexit, the threat of Donald Trump, and how would you genetically engineer a unicorn?.. but you couldn't stop me talking about men with my friends if you paid me.
It is. SO. MUCH. FUN. And it's so much less about the men themselves than it is about having fun and being girls. I love obsessing. I love analyzing. Especially over other people's predicaments: SO much of the photo album on my phone is taken up by screenshots of other people's text conversations.
It's even fun when it's awful. There was a particularly bleak period for myself and my best friend back in the winter, when we were both seeing these dreadful men. Dreadful as in, moderately attractive but very charasmatic men who were both quite horrible to us. (Unfortunately I think this is the only reason we liked them).
'He wrote on another girl's wall saying she was beautiful, just after he had sex with you?' 'Yea, but maybe he's doing it to make me jealous?'.
'That's too many layers of thought. He's a fucktard'.
For about a fortnight, we would call each other at 1am, me after a gig and she after cashing up at work, and talk about all the terrible but LOLsome things these men had done. These conversations often went the following way: Friend 1 would say the bad thing, Friend 2 would say, 'you must block this man on all social platforms and never speak to him ever again', and Friend 1 would reply, 'yes, I will do that' (with absolutely no intention of doing that). Friend 1 then calls up the next day with the exact same story, and Friend 2 of course passes no judgement, does not say 'I told you so', and insists it is of course all the awful man's fault and remember, it's for the best because it had to end sometime and isn't it better sooner rather than later and anyway remember you don't want to marry someone who has droopy balls.
We'd take it in turns giving each other totally ridiculous but fun-to-believe pieces of advice. My friend said she'd read in a magazine that there was this thing called the 30-day-rule, where if you ignore a man for 30 days, then he's yours. 'Does it work?' I asked. 'I don't know, I've never been patient enough'.
We both knew we weren't in lasting courtships:
'He hasn't noticed that you've removed him from Facebook? That means he doesn't even Facebook stalk you. Which means he probably wouldn't care if you died'.
'I know. But he's really good at sex'.
But we still had so much fun talking about silly, insignificant things. And after the courtships ended, as trivial courtships are wont to do, not with tears but with excessive and hyperbolic sad face smilies, I did not miss this man remotely.. but my God did I miss those nightly calls with my best friend.
It was like being 12 again and sitting on the cordless phone for ages after school discussing who had said what on MSN, and when are you going to kiss William for the first time and should it be behind the Year 7 Music Room or in the park after the bell and can we all watch?
These are precious times between single friends. I love being someone my friends can call when they have boy troubles, and I feel privileged that they would do the same for me. Less amusing, but still great, is when it's positive - how fun it was to see this friend again recently and drink beers and talk about this guy she really likes and how he's done all of these nice things and why did we ever waste all that time talking about those awful men when there are so many better good ones out there whose texts we can analyse?
Oh yea - because it was actually really fun. And I treasure these times while I can, because when your girlfriends have boyfriends there is less cause to obsess and analyse, because there is not as immediate a risk of heart trauma. These friends don't need the 2am phonecalls so much.
And what's more, no one wants to see private material about someone's actual boyfriend. When you, as I have, seen a dick pic taken from a lower angle so that it makes the penis look like a giant alien coming to attack the body of a naked man, and then you have to have dinner with this man loads because he is now your best mate's boyfriend... you learn the limits of liaison sharing.