Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Me worry?

Paul and I were at a Hallowe'en party this weekend hosted by a pair of newlywed eccentrics who announced they would conclude the night with a screening of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), which was cue for us to leave. As we were layering coats and scarves, a friend of his tip-toed her way over to wave us off at the door. She was tipsily reciting niceties when she was reminded of another party she had attended with him where the guests were memorably mean.

"One of them had a crush on him," she said. "Paul's coworkers from ..." she trailed off.

The name she mentioned was not foreign to me as I'd met the woman on quite a few occasions. I remember distinctly enjoying her company and sharing a lot of laughs. In the past, I've shared my thoughts about Paul's numerous female friends and I've taken part in surveys defending cross-gender friendships. And to be perfectly honest, Paul's a wonderful boyfriend, so it would be absurd if I'd been proven to be the only one to have ever spotted his potential as an awesome mate.

Here's what bothers me though: some of these women act like he's a surrogate boyfriend.

For instance: Paul welcomed his friend H from Saskatchewan at the airport and drove her, her luggage, her colleague, and her colleague's daughter to wherever they needed to go. The next time we saw H, she had decided to move to Toronto for school and expected Paul to pick her up from the airport, show her city attractions, and do errands with her without really considering whether Paul had other responsibilities to which to tend or the funds to accompany her.

Another one, M, required Paul's assistance to book train tickets (which I ended up doing) and failed to make any living arrangements in Toronto, assuming Paul would have a place for her to stay. Due to her poor planning upon a second return, she ended up wandering the streets for six hours before knocking on his door at 7 a.m. for a place to sleep.

Then there are the women who are just a smidge too affectionate in their written communications, voicing how they "love" him, "miss" him, and "can't wait to see him" again. These are, albeit, strictly platonic friends, but I'm getting a little weary.

In my defense, not once have I ever harboured any jealousy; Paul is utterly devoted and smitten (and vice versa). It's the collective neediness that annoys me (as some of these women already have boyfriends and others came out of the woodwork).

Granted, Paul is the sensitive sort who also says what's on his mind so clearly, that's a great combo. But c'mon! Text messages at all hours of the night asking for help about this and his opinion about that? I mean, yeesh! We're trying to sleep here! He now habitually puts his phone on airplane mode to prevent the dings! from waking us.

What's perplexing is that we receive plenty of comments, some from these very same women, describing us as being well-matched, compatible, and effortlessly happy together. Funny thing is, Paul, in turn, suggests to them that if they have any romantic enquiries, they should talk to me as I have casually counselled countless women on the matter.

Maybe Paul is more like a surrogate brother to them? I know I've morphed into a little kid when I've visited my older cousin in the past. But mid-twenties? That's a little much.

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