Me, I’m a self-proclaimed fag hag. It certainly feels like in every episode of my life, there was a bading in the picture — either sipping Margaritas and taking long drags out of designer cigarettes with me in some chi-chi bar while listening to the latest development of my psychedelic love life; or palengkera-parlorista style, cackling wickedly while eating turon and dissecting in delicious detail the men who have broken our hearts and whose hearts we have broken. I love them all, these beautiful queens.
But it’s true that much has already been said about the fag-faghag tandem. The “gUrlfriend” relationship has been extensively discussed as well, in movies like “Beaches” and the “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”.
Golda asserted correctly that the most underrated human relationship is that between a girl and her boy (space) friend. Movies made about this kind of relationship always end up with the girl and the boy friend becoming girlfriend and boyfriend. Like Jolina and Marvin. Or, of more recent vintage, John Lloyd and Bea. As though a platonic relationship between boy and girl is not good enough if it isn’t a prelude to, you know, true love and sweaty groping. Was I the only one who was (very faintly) bothered when Winona Ryder kissed Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites and said “I’m ending our friendship”?
Over the past several years, I’ve managed to build rich, lasting platonic friendships with a handful of wonderful and funny heterosexual men . These are the type of people who you can talk about ANYTHING with, without the complications of sex and gender getting in the way. (Well, almost anything. They can’t talk about the latest fashion accessory, and they know zilch about local showbiz unless it’s about Katrina Halili). And some of the pieces of advice that have tended to stick in my head and will probably remain there forever come from them.
Example from an actual conversation with an actual Boy Friend, who happens to be a very intelligent law professor: Wag ka kasi makipag-breakup ng gabi. Iset mo ng lunch. Yung sa venue na maraming tao. Chocolate Kiss, ganun.
None of the guys you date will ever be good enough for the Boy Friend (unless of course, the guy happens to be one of his buddies and he brought the both of you together — in which case he’ll make fun of you even more. Hi Bobby!) and when you’re newly in love, expect maybe one or two occasions wherein he’ll do stupid imitations of of starry-eyed cloud-nine you. But if the relationship did not work out and it was your heart that got bludgeoned into pieces, he’ll be by your side, San Mig bucket and kalderetang kambing in tow, alternately holding you while you cry (helpful), and offering to beat up your guy with a dos por dos “wasak kung wasak” (not helpful.)
And another thing: when they tell you you’re hot, you’re more sure you’re hot than if say, a girlfriend or a gay friend told you the same thing. With your guy friends, it’s like, you can “test-drive” how you look and what reactions you can expect to generate from the opposite sex, without necessarily venturing into the dark and murky thicket of non-platonic male-female entanglements. It’s fun: you actually see them give an involuntary start, manifested more often than not in a twitch or in a gulp. And then they go, “ang seksi mo ‘tol, ah.”
If you’re lucky enough to have a particularly nice Boy Friend, he’d do stuff for you and help you get away with scrapes you get yourself into. Studying for the bar, I decided to live on campus to better concentrate on my review (we all know how that turned out!). My blockmate and Boy Friend Francis and I decided to share a room to cut down on expenses. One night, I happened to destroy a certain piece of furniture — I’m keeping the details of this story as sketchy as possible — and, well, let’s just say, he helped me squirm out of that mess. He’s the Boy Friend of all the girls in our block. He’s funny when you need funny. Serious when you need serious. Present, always and forever.
And then there’s yet another Boy Friend, whose existence in my life refutes the notion that a male-female platonic relationship is low-maintenance: you know, like a beige rug that blends with the furniture and is hassle-free, but can be warm and comfy when your toes get cold. Nope, we’re not like that. Well, it’s warm and comfy sometimes, but it definitely is not hassle-free. We fight maybe once every forty eight hours and get on each other’s nerves maybe once a week. Over the pettiest of things. However, when the dust settles, and it does every time, I still like what I have. And I like that I know what I do know now: that solid unconditional friendships can bring “perfect days” too. 😉
Sure, sometimes, friendships of the platonic sort develop into relationships. And I suppose there are girls and boys who wait for that to happen. Tamang ‘Ive loved you for so long you are a friend of mine’. Oh, and there are also kabarkadas of the “non-couple” who wait for that to happen, like kibitzers on the side or bettors in a casino. But really, these friendships should be celebrated for what they are. Along, of course, with the men behind these friendships — for they who make other girls’ hearts go giddy-yap are also they who keep yours happy, safe, sane and working in tandem with your head.