I was raised to be a tomboy. Dad always referred to me as the son he never had (much to my brother's dismay). I was into sports, fixing things, climbing trees, and Ninja Turtles. This has echoed into my adult life. As much as I am a lady, you will find me on game day sporting my Red Sox jersey, chugging beer, and yelling at the television. In my mind, this makes me quite the catch. What guy wouldn't want a girl he could watch the game or go fishing with? I've learned the hard way that this is not what makes you the perfect catch; it makes you the perfect friend.
It was Saturday night in dive bar heaven; I met Max through mutual friends. We had always had fun in a group setting and decided to try a date. I was really excited because we got along so well and he was a really fun guy. I knew it was going to be a blast. We decided to go to Pikes Creek Raceway Park to ride go-karts and play at the arcade.
Instead of my standard two hours of pre-date primping, I threw on a t-shirt, flip flops, and shorts and went on my merry way. Max and I arrived at the go-kart track and my overly competitive nature had me gunning it like the roadrunner as soon as the sign said, 'Go' (Meep meep!). I whipped my car around the track like a pro. All that “Mario Kart” training finally paid off!
As luck would have it, I ran out of gas as the finish line was in sight. He sped past me laughing and pointing all the way as he claimed his victory. I pouted a few minutes and justified my loss. We then went into the arcade, where I was determined to win. I dominated him three games to zero in air hockey. In the midst of my obnoxious victory dance, I realized it was probably the most innocent and fun time I've had with a guy in years.
The next day, I was smiling and laughing as I told my girlfriends how much fun I had that night. It felt amazing to just let loose and be myself without all the bells and whistles of the dating game. It came so easy. I realized as I spoke that I had so much fun because the bells and whistles were unnecessary. We were Batman and Robin, not Barbie and Ken. He had confirmed this feeling by texting me and saying he had fun hanging out, but the romantic feeling was just not there.
This relationship had arrived at its final destination, the friend zone. Once the friend zone is entered, escaping it is nearly impossible. It is the black hole of butterflies in your stomach and goodnight kisses. Max and I still hang out now and talk almost daily. I am glad to have made such an amazing friend, but sometimes the girl next door is just destined to be one of the guys.