All The Queen’s Men

Reni was excited! She was engaged to the man of her dreams and her wedding was in 3 months. Tell me, what more could a girl ask for?

Err, bridesmaids actually. This girl needed bridesmaids!

What a dilemma, as she couldn’t figure out which female in her circle could grace the proverbial bridal train. Worse, she heard that 4 was the minimum! Perhaps she should ask the wedding planner about hiring a number for the day… Strange, isn’t it? While some brides had too many friends and were usually at a loss of who to not ‘offend’, Reni might have to put up an ad for ‘friends’. Maybe get 2 for the price of 1, she laughed

This was the trend from Reni’s childhood. She wasn’t a tomboy but somehow, she couldn’t keep girlfriends. The drama that came with that phenomenon was waaaay too much for her to handle. Boys were much simpler. Yep, she thought, as she took a trip down memory lane. Mujib was her high school buddy… they had fun at both chess and basketball. They laughed at each other’s jokes and always raced home after school. You can trust that she never lost! Andrew was a whiz at JAMB lessons and could dance up a storm. Reni took pleasure in being his ‘manager’ and filtering all the babes that were sending him signals and passing their numbers. People thought they were a couple but that never even came up.

Reni wondered what Sola and Nnamdi were up to these days. They were the 3 musketeers in university, with her being the Queen of the Crew. Boy, could they party till 1am, make 7am class and still ace tests! She made a mental note to buzz them. Her dad thought that OG was the one she would marry for sure, but she never liked him in that way. Sure, they shared a deep love for creative writing and podcasts but he understood that her heart was with someone else. Their friendship was strong, yet platonic. She considered him a brother from another mother and vice versa. In fact, she was thinking to ask him to be her ‘best man’ as Kunle her fiancé also liked him a lot and was secure about their relationship.

She wasn’t so sure how OG’s girlfriend would take it though. “That babe’s emotional tentacles always seemed to be up whenever she even got a whiff of my name, not to talk of my presence!” Some people just couldn’t understand the connection that was possible between a guy and girl, without sexual parameters. Couldn’t you be close friends with a brother in the choir or a boss at work without crossing the line? “I guess I’m particularly graced for it, as none of them have ever tried anything suspicious”, Reni thought to herself. I hear it’s hard to have philia between the two genders without one or both parties catching feelings over a period of time.

This delicate balance is best achieved through wisdom and tact – not giving out the wrong signals. Reni was careful about her body language when with her padis and tried her best to keep jokes and conversations on point. Those were efforts on her part and yes, men may pick up unintentional cues as a friendship progresses and people get familiar but what was also key, Reni thought, was to clarify expectations from the onset.

It’s vital to state perspectives and intentions at the very beginning. She also learnt to be sensitive to discern if the relationship was taking an unwelcome turn. There, we had to either buckle up or ties are gently severed with no hard feelings. You could say that was the only form of drama she faced and it happened just once, with Charles. But there was about to be real drama when she told her mom that she would have bridesmen on her train! Somebody say #naijamomchronicles 😜

Anybody have ‘friendzone’ stories to share? Have you ever developed a crush on a male bestie or had to turn one down? Or do you have more tips to add to Reni’s? Looking forward to your comments! Have a great #WomanWednesday

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