Friend, Chaperone, Loser

© By Fred Reynolds, 12-15-14

Maybe you know someone like me: That guy that all the ladies like, draping themselves over me like luxuriant silk, baring their souls by breathlessly pouring out their fears and desires and failures and needs and hang-ups, calling at all hours when their fragile egos get shattered, gratuitously hugging and kissing and thanking me for being such a great guy. I’m “that asshole” your girl runs to when you tell her she’s fat or ugly or stupid or lazy or a bad mother.

What guy doesn’t want luscious women coming to him without thought of their state of undress or drunkenness or vulnerability, blindly trusting that their hearts, minds, and virtue are implicitly safe in his protective embrace?

It’s just like being Jack Tripper in Three’s Company – heaping bowls of your favorite candy right there in front of you, so appealing as to almost beg to be eaten whole, living with the knowledge that sampling a bowl’s treats would certainly slam its lid shut, slowly realizing that things are probably better the way they are, loving your lady friends but never able to be in love with them.

“Fredder, dude, you’re like so lucky to hold sway over so many females. You could get any of them you want!” Yeah, right. Like hapless TV stud Jack, the primary reason these females seek me out is their belief that I won’t ever try to get them. I’m safe harbor, a welcoming port in the worst storms, a surrogate lover who makes no demands and has no expectations, forgiver of all the reasons for doing whatever it was she did or said or thought, a shower stall in which to wash away her emotional detritus and fill her need for loving human touch.

Sure, it can have its benefits. I am seen in the company of women of all makes and models. I may be acting as “big brother” or chaperone, my watchful eye focused on her when she’s not glued to my side. It’s an ego-booster when she is mindlessly touchy-feely with me in front of others. I love women and being near them. I like knowing that I’ve helped so many with so many things and helped make their lives better in the process.

There are also detractions. I can touch a little but can’t taste. I can kiss them but not smooch. I can hold but not have. My time is not mine, it’s theirs. I’m needed when they need me, not when it’s convenient for me.

Then there are the relationship costs. No matter how understanding one is about things, it’s human nature to get a little uncomfortable when seeing your lover with so many potential alternate choices. I once had a girlfriend who was like me, somehow instantly recognizable as an emotional Kleenex for people of the opposite sex. It drove me nuts when she would cancel a date in favor of caring for the latest human tragedy to stumble up to her door. I really do understand why some of my lovers have had problems with my “gift.”

I don’t do anything to attract this sort of thing, or at least I don’t think I do. I’ve been told that my problem is that I’m “too damn nice” and won’t ignore people when I oughtta should. Or that I care too much and am too willing to let these women use me. Or that I do too much for them. Or there’s no equity in not getting laid for my trouble.

Yes, I’ve had sex with some of these women. I’ve actually fallen deeply in love a couple of times, ignoring the underlying precept that she didn’t really want me but just my attention. I have also torpedoed mutually satisfying friendships with my penis, forgetting that my own needs and desires and urges are simply not in play, only hers.

What’s the upside? Why do I continue to allow females to employ me as their emotional consort? Some say that the secret of what women want is exactly what I represent to them: An opportunity to be heard without being judged or trying to fix everything or scolding her for being foolish. Everyone wants to be acknowledged and validated for what we feel and think, and some people truly have no source of this in their lives. Everyone wants their own perfect lover.

So your girl comes to me when you fail her. And who am I to reject her, seeing her condition, knowing her secrets, entrusted with her dearest, most sheltered possession: Her true, naked self. Wide open and fully exposed, figuratively and often literally. For a little while, until she feels better, she imbues me with the qualities that she so desperately wishes you would exhibit.

We all need our perfect lover sometimes. It is my privilege to honor her as best I can.


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