Last week, Snoopy and I hung out at a bar then went to the hookah bar together. We caught up with each other, talking about life, love, family and social issues. We had a lot of laughs and got on really well.
Especially given that we’re not really friends.
It’s not that we’re mortal enemies, but we’re more acquaintances than actual friends. And it’s not because we don’t click, or have an issue with each other, but Snoopy is Tinker’s unofficial fiancée after dating for several years, even longer than Tinker and my friendship! Tinker and I met in the Spring Semester of 2012 when we were grouped together in a Foods and Nutrition class for a project on GMO’s. I believe that Tinker and Snoopy met each other via mutual friends early in her college years (We met during our Senior Years).
Snoopy and I always got along and were able to joke with each other, but it’s always been in the presence of Tinker and more often in a party or get-together environment. The weekend previous, we had a short conversation about guns, with me drilling him on why he hadn’t gotten his Concealed Weapons Permit yet. Our conversations usually were short, informative sound bites that quickly gets extinguished by excusable reasons, like looking for Tinker, needing a cigarette or getting thirsty for some alcohol.
But when I had arrived at their place the previous weekend, I was thrown off by Snoopy asking if I was going to be in town on the following Wednesday. Suspiciously, I answered that I was and wondered why. He replied that he was heading up to town for work and had nothing to do after his business on Wednesday, and if I’d want to hang out. With what seemed to be reluctance and shove-off, but really with surprise and uncertainty, I said I was available and was down to hang.
Afraid that my reaction might’ve came off rude, I kept reiterating throughout my stay at Tinker and Snoopy’s house about hanging Wednesday. I added that Joey would probably be willing to hangout too, because usually if I was nice enough to let Joey to come with me to Tinker’s, I’d hang with Tinker as Joey hung out with Snoopy. Joey and Snoopy had the hetero-masculine male personas that clicked well together that I still lacked, despite my non-femme, anti-homotypical personality.
The week went on and I asked Joey if he was willing to hangout with Snoopy on Wednesday, and Joey enthusiastically answered an uncommitted ‘sure.’ I was almost relieved to hear Joey will join, as a cushion for the silences I knew would come between Snoopy and I. As Wednesday drew closer, I wasn’t sure who was supposed to put on the first move, as if I were trying to prevent a dating faux pas. I’m really a planner, and I like to know when he will be in town, when he has available to hang, where he would want to go and if he’d want to stay out late. I ended up texting him at 8AM Wenesday morning the following:
Hey Snoopy! What time do you think you’ll be done with your work today? Give me around-abouts when you have an idea!
Snoopy ended up getting done early, which conflicted a bit with Joey’s coming-home routine so Snoopy headed to his hotel for us to pick him up on the way to where ever we decided to go. However, dad decided to work on the car with Joey before us leaving, which led me to fend for myself for the start of this gathering. A one-on-one with Snoopy until my brother can make it out to meet us.
But I breathed in. Breathed out. The following thoughts came rapidly in my head, ultimately calming me:
I’ve known Snoopy for over 3 years through Tinker, and Tinker is one of two of my closest friends I have (Boob being the other). If I can’t make a simple hangout with either of their beaus work, what sort of Plastic best friend am I? I can do this. It’ll be fine. I mean, he’s the one that asked me to hangout, not the other way around. He wants to hang and he doesn’t think it’s weird to hang out with a gay guy. This is good. We’ll get through this. Fuck. Now I’m making it out like a date. Stop thinking. Impromptu style this bitch. Okay. Calming. Goosfraba goosfraba.
I went to pick him up from his hotel, instantly apologizing for Joey not being able to make it. We went over to a local downtown bar away from campus to grab Snoopy some food and some beers. We chatted about each other’s relationships, family, past schooling, Joey and his pending marriage and his health, and pretty much every topic under the sun. At first, Snoopy wanted to wait for Joey to join to get food, but after an hour of waiting, we decided to just order. After 2.5 hours, we decided we needed a change of venue.
I started to think Joey wasn’t coming. But honestly, it started to feel easy without him. After about 15 minutes of hanging with him, I though myself as silly to have thought any of the previous bullshit. I shouldn’t’ve even invited Joey, because technically Snoopy is my friend and I shouldn’t’ve depended on my buffer brother. We went to the Egyptian Hookah lounge after the downtown bar and hung out there, talking mostly about accents, linguistics, and travel. At around 10:30PM, we (being 26 years old and feeling 40) decided it’s time to call it a night and head back home. It was really the first experience I had hanging out with one of my friends’ boyfriends without the actual friend. Obviously, I’ve had many straight guy friends but hanging out with my friends’ friends, romantic or otherwise, makes me feel like I’m cheating on them. Like when Monica went shopping with Julie when Rachel was still in love with Ross.
But with Tinker and Boob, I definitely must be able to feel comfortable with every aspect of their lives. I’m practically honorary members of their families, like an adopted FOB Asian in a Swedish family. I should be able to be able to do things 1-on-1 with their beaus, whether it’s brunch, going to the bars, or even standing in for Tinker or Boob when they can’t make their wedding dance lessons. I don’t think I’d be able to pull off a hangout night with anyone else’s boyfriends beside theirs’.
Hanging out with a friend’s friend is odd because you don’t want to tell them something they ought not to know, or share more than you had shared with the initial friend or else they’d believe that you’re closer to latter. Most people probably don’t think about these things, but then it’s brought into the spotlight when it occurs on their favorite reality TV shows like The Real Housewives or Laguna Beach. It usually is labeled as “The One With The Backstabbing.”
I’m glad that Snoopy was comfortable hanging with me. His security with himself made my insecurities melt and allowed us to hangout as friends. Getting to know and be comfortable around Snoopy actually let me feel closer to Tinker.