He has been my best buddy for several years. We met in college and now we’ve been pals for nearly two decades. And, I’ve been in and out of love several times, but he’s not. He came out to me about five years ago, and I said, “Why do I never get to meet your boyfriends?”, and he laughed and moved along to talk about something else. So, this time, I’m getting married, and my fiancée says to me, “You know why Satish never brings anyone to meet you? Because you’re the person he’s been in love with all these years.” And, suddenly, I wondered whether I had been shortchanging my friend all these years. I mean, if he is in love with me, what good has it done him? I’m not gay and I don’t want to even try that kind of thing, not even for my friend. And, then, it occurred to me that perhaps my fiancée was telling me I should get rid of my buddy because she might be jealous. I am very confused and conflicted. What do I do?
Gosh, it is a difficult case. We have a one-word answer. Okay, two words. Okay, four words. Do nothing, you twit. For the following reasons.
-Your best friend may be gay. But, this does not mean he is in love with you. He may just not be sure of the reception his ‘boyfriends’— as you so charmingly put it — will get from you.
-Your best friend may be gay and may be in love with you. But, he hasn’t said so. And, that means he is happy being your best friend and is happy with the situation. Why should you be getting all pear-shaped when he isn’t?
-Your fiancée may be wrong.
-Your fiancée may be right. But, even if she is right, proceed as in 2. Which means, he hasn’t said or done anything to indicate this, as far as we can see, so why should you be concerned?
-Finally, if your fiancée wanted you to get rid of your best friend, wouldn’t she say so? And, if she hasn’t said so, why are you saying so?
-And, maybe, just maybe, all this rises out of some conceited notion that you’re so hot that everyone just melts into a pheromonal puddle at the sight of you. Get real. They’re probably not that into you anyway.
I’ve just joined a new office and I went out with everyone, and, then, this colleague’s husband turned up and said he would drive her home because she was too drunk to drive. And, since I was going their way, he asked me whether I’d like a lift. I agreed, and, when we got to the car, he whacked her because she couldn’t find the keys. I mean, he didn’t hit her with his fist, it was more of a backhanded smack, more sound than anything else. But, I felt very odd and said I’d forgotten I was going somewhere else and vamoosed. I wonder if I should broach it.
The oldest trick in the book is to recite to yourself the old phrases and excuses: that it’s none of your business, that every husband and wife makes their own rules and that she has not asked for your help. But, you saw what you saw and you should be doing something about it. In other words, you should go up to her and say, “You do know that what your husband did to you is unacceptable, right? And, that you should draw the line and make sure he never touches you in anger again, right? And, if he does, you should leave him?” And, perhaps you could give her the names and numbers of some women’s organisations that help in cases like this? But, do not say, “If you need anything, just give me a call” unless you mean it. Meanwhile, go in there and get it off your chest before something happens that will make you regret your silence. This is your version of the Bell Bajao campaign.
I left my mobile phone at home one day and when I got home she says, “Oh, you got four messages, but three of them were spam and one was your Mom.” I said with a laugh, “You reading my messages?”, and she said, “Yes, you got something to hide?”, and so I was on the backfoot and let it go. But, is this kosher? Can she do this?
No, she can’t. You don’t get to read her messages, she doesn’t get to read yours. That was the way it was back when your Mummy-Daddy had only pen and inland letters. That’s the way it is now with WhatsApp and Whatsnotapplicable. Pretty simple, really.