Every time Ben says he’s going to call, I prepare myself for him not to call. I spend hours reminding myself that we’re not in a relationship and he is a man who is getting what he needs from someone else now, so why would he call? Just when I’ve hit rock bottom, fully believing that the phone is not going to ring until sometime next month when he’s done with whatever current fascination, it rings. It’s him! We talk, we laugh, we make tentative plans and 30 minutes later, I am feeling like my old self again.
When my roommate asked me tonight if Ben called, and I responded with “yes! shockingly!” she asked me “Why is that shocking? He said he would call you. He always calls when he says he will.” You know what? She’s right. It’s so simple, it’s genius! If he says he will call, he will. How come it never occurs to me to believe him when he says he’ll call me?
My roommate believes that I’ve been scarred by American men not calling when they say they will. American men who have no respect for a woman’s feelings and don’t even have the decency to remember saying that they will call. She’s right. American men in their 20’s and early 30’s are the worst.
Still, I can’t get over how novel this feeling is. Just as I was admitting to my mom on the phone that I feel like I’m losing my friendship with Ben,
but that my feeling in this matter is completely unfounded and self-inflicted, the phone rings. And it’s not a courtesy call just because we used to have sex. It’s a real conversation! I am astonished at his stand-up-ness, at his human decency, and at his consideration to remember telling me that he would call and then to actually follow through. Why can’t all men be a real man like Ben?
Once, Ben and I had a pretty heavy conversation about my fear that he was going to get involved with someone seriously and disappear (poof! gone!) out of my life. I’m programmed to believe that men only want you (me) for sex and while I want to believe that this isn’t true of everyone, it’s hard to convince myself otherwise even when the physical proof of a real friendship is there right in front of me.You would think I would stop having sex because of this fear. No. Sex is too important to me; it’s worth the risk. …I know, my crazy is starting to show.
Anyway, during this conversation, Ben said to me, “Joan, that is not going to happen. We are friends and that is that. Don’t worry.” I believed him. I think I mostly still do. I’m wary that he might not give me the benefit of the doubt to believe that we can hang out without having sex or sexual tension (I am rather insatiable when it comes to him – it’s just so good!) between us. But, I am a grown woman and I can put aside my obscene desires if my friend is happy in a new relationship. I wouldn’t want to lose the friend and the sex in one blow.
So, the moral of this story is that not all men are cut from the same cloth. Every now and then, when you find a man who will say he’ll call and then actually go the extra mile to pick up the phone, you (I) should be able to rest assured that you are more than just someone to sleep with. So, why is it so hard to believe that it’s true?