So – Did I ever tell you about a funny little incident that occurred right after my twelve year old son moved to New Mexico to live with his dad?
My son – I’ll call him Graden here – was happy and settling in to his new digs, and I was going berserk. So I flew out to visit my son, using his “back to school night” event at school as the excuse.
I knew it would go over like a lead balloon – Just when Graden thought he’d gotten rid of me, and was fast on his way to living a happy bachelor existence with his dad, there I was to make sure he remembered what it felt like to have a mom around.
So, I decided to keep it a surprise. His dad picked me up at the airport, and we were on our way to Graden’s school to meet up with him. It was also to be my grand entrance into the life of Graden’s new teachers. Now they were all going to know that – yes – my son has a mom – and yes – she still cares.
As we approached the school, Graden’s dad (my ex-husband) called him to arrange a place to meet. Graden apparently said he was hanging out with Tanya.
“Who’s Tanya?” my ex asked. “Is that your new girlfriend?”
All I could hear was the sound of my son’s voice, and my ex’s reply, “Friends with benefits?! What does THAT mean?” he roared, laughingly.
Thus began the lengthy conversation about what it really does mean to have “friends with benefits” in the eyes and psyche of a twelve year old boy.
He of course said that it didn’t mean anything except to hang out and call each other all the time, and spend time together. That they could say they were “hanging out” and not “boyfriend / girlfriend,” “dating” or “going steady.”
Okay. I have to pause here and say that first of all, I am not an idiot. I think my son really DOES know in his head what it means to be “friends with benefits” – at least in terms of in society and in the media. If you hear that phrase referred to in a movie or television, you know these two people are screwing around, with no commitment. I get the sense that my son is pretty savvy that way.
But Graden’s explanation sounded awfully familiar to dating among my own peer group. I can’t tell you how many thirty-something friends of mine STILL avoid the “D” word (dating) or the “BF/GF” i.d. and say “yeah, we’ve been hanging out.”
Had I heard that about seven or so years ago – just after my divorce, I would have reacted far differently – probably worried that my son wasn’t learning how to be solid, or committed or caring. Not so now. I found my son’s comment quite funny, and was proud that he could be so open about himself and his life.
Now, here is where I am going to get a little controversial.
I know. You’re thinking, ‘Ms. Cheevious? Controversial?’ I admit, it’s a stretch.
But I’ve always thought I was cut from a different cloth than most girls. I think having friends with benefits is quite healthy. As a matter of fact, I have always taken that line of thinking further than most. For instance, when I was married, I use to tell my husband I wouldn’t mind if he had an affair. And I meant it. I just always believed very strongly that men needed more in their lifetime. They can certainly CHOOSE to be with one woman, but that is another matter. Men are just different.
Okay now. All you players out there – I don’t want to receive any HATE MAIL, or HATE POSTS for that matter, from your girlfriends or wives. My observations and beliefs about male/female relationships are NOT a source of ammunition. They are just my own personal beliefs and preferences.
Let me break it down for you:
I love to be treasured. I think men like to be treasured as well.
There is a distinct difference between treasure and possession. I don’t have any interest in possessing – and I certainly cannot be possessed. But I also can’t be with someone if I am not respected or cherished – if I am not longed for, or in the heart, or on the mind of that special someone. There is nothing like that feeling when you care for someone, and they reciprocate.
But I am my own person too. I love what I do, and I love becoming the “me” that I am from day to day. I don’t need to feel that my man is all mine.
The fact is, many women are NOT built that way. I suspect my son’s friend Tanya had NO real idea what she was agreeing to (I’d be happy to be wrong, here). In her mind, it probably just sounded cool, or made her sound cool to all the other cool kids.
The truth of the matter is, most of my lovely girlfriends are very possessive about their men. And that is OKAY. It’s what they want! They want their man, and they want him to want them – in a Wuthering Heights, romantic sort of way. I don’t blame my girlfriends. I love them and respect them in all their dreams for their lives! Hey – I love to be showered with affection and attention, and I love to bestow it! Who doesn’t?
We humans all start out young and vibrant, then we age, and grow older and wiser, and we hopefully learn to appreciate beauty when we see and experience it. But don’t forget, all things do come to an end. None of us gets out of this life alive. If that doesn’t put an end to something, I don’t know what will!
On the Friends with Benefits note: I’ve been there, done that. It was fun and adventurous while it lasted. Then it ran its course and ended. I am still friends with that guy (or guys), but we’ve evolved to being just that – friends. Like all “things” that must come to an end, so ended our friends with benefits “thing.”
My philosophy? I love just enjoying every single moment. Enjoy the people you know, and let them enjoy you.
Okay – whew! That’s it for now folks. How was that for a walk through the philosophical musings of Ms. Cheevious?! Who would have thought a harmless comment by my twelve year old son would take me down this path?! Kids are amazing.
Tune in next time when I tell you about the Pirates Who Pillaged Las Vegas! Talk about Treasure! ARRGH!
Have a great weekend everyone! And LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH!
Love you people!
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Blog content copyright 2008, LISA JEY DAVIS a.k.a. Ms. Cheevious
Wow! That is quite a revelation Cheevious… and I do beg to differ. Any man that wants to be with me, better give me 100%, or chance loosing his nads 😉
Been there done that, have the freaking t-shirt too. And it ain’t an option, it is a requirement!
Well Blueyess: I suppose you fall into that category of my girlfriends who also differ with me. Good for you! But let me clarify something. I too expect 100%. It’s a state of mind. Believe me, if my man isn’t giving me 100% there is no way he can cherish and treasure me. How can he give me 100% and ever be with someone else? That’s his responsibility. But I also know that men are human. I love them for it, and I don’t expect anything other than that. As a matter of fact, I celebrate who they are. AND – I don’t write these things thinking everyone will agree, that’s for sure!
I must admit, your view is a surprise to me. You really have changed over the years. Or maybe you were always (secretively) this way and never felt you could express it. Hmmm . . .
I agree with Blueyese though. 100% or nothing for me. Thankfully, I found a 100% man!
Its hard to find a woman who thinks this way. Usually, both parties start off saying they are friends with benefits…but- after a while someone ends up wanting more.
or so I think.
Maven: You are right. It wasn’t something I shouted from the mountain tops at Sunday Church Service. But my ex and I knew it. He never chose to go there, but that was how it was. 🙂 Glad you are with your man… He’s a keeper for sure!
Matt: Well – my experience with the evolution of “friends with benefits” has been just friends now – no benefits… We evolved, because one or the other’s situration changed. No hard feelings, just good memories, and good friends! 🙂
Yeah – most women don’t think like me, or they don’t like to admit it. And I must admit, this kind of free thinking is very unusual, but it can only work if both people are very secure and very communicative.
Whether it’s friends with benefits, a booty call partner, or a lover – I think having a regular partner for sex is pretty great.
Nothing wrong with a gf/bf or spouse. But when you’re in between relationships, FWB’s keep you sane.
btw – I have a 12 year old, and I hope the FWB terminology doesn’t creep into his vocabulary. What’s good for me isn’t necessarily good for him!
Dadshouse – I agree wholeheartedly! Sex is ALWAYS good! Ha ha.
I tell ya, it was interesting and frightful all at once hearing it from my son. This story hits the blog over a year after it happened, so it’s easy to say now how proud I am that he was free to express himself. In the moment I was a little freaked out. But you know – if our kids can’t be free at home, where do they learn to be free?