Comedy

Comedy Editorial : R U OK HUN?

‘We should put more romance into our friendship and more friendship into our romances.’ Dolly Alderton on The High Low Podcast

As much as I love Dolly Alderton and want her to be my friend (and lover) I have to say I disagree with this statement. I put more romance into my friendships when I was 17, when I was going through a phase of snogging all my female mates at sixth form college.

All it did was get me bad A-Level results.

I romanced them, not to cement my female friendships but to solidify my romantic relationships with boys. It was before the age of Tinder, when the only way to get a guy you fancied attention was to tongue your best mate Vicky in Bracknell’s Oceana to the dulcet tones of, Khia’s ‘my neck, my back’ and/or R-Kelly’s ignition.

Eat your heart out Neil Strauss. You may have the tricks of ‘The Game’ to pick up women but us girls have the age old trick of ‘lets pretend we’re lesbians’ to get men.

More friendship in your romances is overrated too. Most wedding speeches, involve a typsy groom smugly blithering down the mic, ‘Carly’s my best friend, I’ve married my best friend’.
All that means is you fart in front of each other and never have sex.

However, back to putting more romance into our friendships. That’s creepy. As a woman I find my female friendships intense enough as it is. A friend thats a little too into you is weird. I know this because I have a friend that’s a bit to into me and it’s weird.

I don’t mean to humble brag but she is obsessed with me. So much so that her phone screensaver is a photo of me and in every single room of her house are photos of me.
That’s why I’m trying to get some distance from her at the moment. It’s difficult because she calls me all the time and acts incredibly needy, like I’m the most important thing in her life or something.

I know she’s my Mum and everything but still.

One of the great things about being a woman is you have such close and intense female friendships but also the worst thing about being a woman is that you have such close and intense female friendships.
Don’t get me wrong I think it’s important to be close to your friends. Who else am I going to drink my own body weight in prosecco with or pillow fight with in my p-jays? I’ve never done the latter but I feel we need to keep this cliche going, it’s so wholesome.

In truth, I love it all; the closeness, the camaraderie and the crying (so much crying). I think Female friendship are the tits but I’m fully aware it can go from Carrie’s Sex and the City to Carrie in well… Carrie, very quickly.

One minute your sipping cocktails and the next you’re dealing with blood in the shower. For example, when I was 12 my BFF thought she’d started her period in the shower. She saw blood trickling down her leg and screamed for me to come in and help. Turns out it was her ‘Wella Wash In Wash Out Raven Raspberry’ hair dye running down her leg and not the lining of her uterus. Yet, in that intimate moment I saw just how horrifically traumatising female friendships can get. Its not all bunny rabbits and fluffy kittens.

Male friendships don’t seem to have this intimacy probably because men don’t have periods and so don’t get as close. With the exception of Ant and Dec. They don’t menstruate (although that would have been a great episode of Byker Grove) but they are close. Their friendship is like a marriage. They’re like Richard and Judy. Dec is the raging alcoholic and Ant is the one desperately clinging onto their ITV contract by pretending everything is fine.

This male closeness is rare though. So rare that we call it a ‘bromance’. There is no female equivalent of a bromance because a girl having an intense female friendship is the norm. I think thats why women fall out with their friends more because of this romantic like closeness.

You only have to look at the friendships between Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian to realise that intense friendships and their intense fallouts are not a male issue but a Paris Hilton issue. Wait, what? I mean a female issue.

Never trust Paris Hilton. Never trust anyone who wears no underwear while they’re getting hammered. Well, except Jesus.

 

I’m now afraid to let new female friendships into my life and let myself get emotionally vulnerable because I’ve been so scarred in the past. Not just from witnessing my friend have a fake period in the shower or the fact that my Mum is too up in my grille but because I’m scared if I let a new female friendship into my life, she’s going to come on too strong and ask me to do stuff that I’m not ready to commit to. I mean I don’t think I’m ready to be someone’s bridesmaid again. I don’t think I’m ‘there’ yet. I’m a commitment phobe. This level of intimacy in a friendship scares the hell out of me.

Being a bridesmaid for a girl involves more commitment than the groom marrying her. At least the groom has consented to the wedding. I am not complicit in any of it. I just have to do what I’m told. I have no choice; no autonomy.

Is it weird that one of my #MeToo stories involves being forced to wear a dress that exposed way too much cleavage than I was comfortable revealing? While wearing it, I was forced to touch my friend inappropriately -we couldn’t get her backfat zipped into a Size 14 Tiffany Rose. Give me Azis Ansari getting a bit over zealous and coming in his pants on a first date any day. I can’t ever unsee the horror of a bride screaming and crying like Dim Kartrashian because her Groupon body wrap turned out more Gemma Collins than Michelle Collins. She made me leg it to the nearest M ‘n’ S to panic buy body con underwear, 30 minutes before the ceremony.

What ever happened to girls just wanting to have fun? Why do we have to take our relationships with our friends so seriously? Why do we give them the same gravitas as our romantic relationships? Sod Romance. We should put more fun and frivolity into our female friendships. Treat them with the breeze of a summer fling. More pillow fights less pillow talk. Less ‘RU OK Hun?’ more ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.’

Zahra Barri is performing at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, everyday, 2nd -26th August, Cabaret Voltaire, Cinema Room at 3:15pm.
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