“Appointed by the masses as the Commander-In-Chief of the SayNoToFriendzone campaign”, so reads my Twitter Bio. I would like to believe that everybody is familiar with Twitter, and I chose the word ‘believe’ instead of ‘assume’ because I know we live in the age where information is ubiquitous like God, or so we are duped into believing. But I am deviating from the point of this piece: Friend zone.
What is friend zone and why have I been so vocal on this particular subject? The simple definition is when an individual, in most cases a male figure (let us call him Bobo) approaching his female counterpart (and we shall call her Palesa), in a hope to initiate a romantic relationship. But instead of Palesa declining or accepting Bobo’s proposal, she opts for the third option; stringing him along, in a process creating an illusion in Bobo’s head that he stands a chance. “I am sorry but I am currently in a relationship”, a famous line that is likely to get thrown in his face, and with a manipulative smile that can be deciphered to suggest that “I actually like you. You should try harder”; making Bobo buy into the illusion. Ensuring that she has indeed cast a spell on Bobo, the alluring Palesa (beauty is after all in the eyes of the beer-holder, I mean the beholder assuming that Bobo was sober when he decided to act out on his emotional desires) might agree to giving out her number or an invitation from Facebook might not hurt; after all this the Age of Information. To seal the deal or to stamp that he has been officially friend zoned, Palesa kisses Bobo on the cheek or gives him the notorious church hug. I must say gentlemen if you get that church hug you have been officially deported to the vile Republic of Friend Zone, you cannot be rescued.
Now poor Bobo with a cloud of delusion hanging around his head (and sad enough, he is not aware of this), he runs around town, jumping up and down like a man who has just won Powerball when he supposed to be ashamed of himself. When he meets his buddies for a drink or two, he tries hard to conceal his excitement. Trust me when I say it is hard because I have been in Bobo’s shoes, and some of my friends whose names I won’t mention also have quite a rich experience of being citizens of this horrible republic. Or more like hostages because you actually do not have a say in the matter. It is a torture.
After accepting his invitation on Mark Zuckerberg’s revolutionary invention or finally answering her phone after an infinite number of missed calls and numerous messages, Palesa pulls the ‘I actually care, do not give up’ maneuver on the waning patience of Bobo. She gives him a long awaited assuring call or message declaring in pretentious and deceitful tone rosy days ahead; a clear-cut plan to resurrect the hopes of the hopeless Bobo, depending on how good she is at this ‘game’.
Bobo’s friends might have been happy for their friend thinking that he has finally realised that like a fool he was being taken for a ride. But the sudden phone call or message from Palesa, something that could be seen as a counter to his waning patience immediately neutralises Bobo’s anger and he would not dare listen to his friends’ advice. The lioness pounces on her prey, and like the wild beast of the Serengeti she sinks her claws deep in; not to consume but to preserve, remembering the dark days just in case hunger strikes. Now Bobo is hooked; he is forever in a friend zone and if so much as a slight of light simmers through, seeking to remove the veil that is blinding him, his captor will again reinforce her spell. Now my argument is we cannot have men in friend zone. They do not make sober decisions. I certainly cannot pay attention to a man covered in a veil of illusion.
Ladies, I am on my knees, begging and pleading with you to do away with this vile trend of friend zone. It destroys a man’s self-confidence. You are actually destroying him for the next lady. Friend zone breeds nothing but bitterness. Set the record straight; it is either yes or no. A switch is either on or off. A one or a zero, the electrical engineering students will often say. As for the guys who beg for friend zone, gentlemen you are robbing the world of real men. Quit with the Uncle Tom house Negro mentality. On that note I hope I have made my point crystal clear on this matter and in the beautiful African gesture signifying peace I wish to conclude. Kgotsong!