Touchdown in the Friendzone

I’ve been trying to get into Tommy’s friendzone for weeks now. It’s not easy navigating the interceptions of feelings and Hail Mary’s of sexual advances, but the reward is worth it. 

The Friendzone is absolute Nirvana. There’s video games, free weed, and hours of uninterrupted bro-time. I do what I do for the bro-time. I’m talking legs sprawled out on the couch, no makeup, ordering half the Taco Bell menu bro-time that can only come when you plop yourself firmly in a dude’s friendzone. I’ve failed to get to the friendzone so many times, but the few times I’ve scored have been worth it.

Tommy’s face lights up when he sees me walk toward him at the bar. I slow my pace, considering my next play: The Greeting. I think about the championships I’ve won over the years and what has been most effective at tackling The Greeting. Then it occurs to me. Fist bump. 

“Yo,” I say to Tommy, extending my fist as far away as my shoulder socket allows. 

“Hey there,” he laughs, pulling me into a hug that lasts three seconds too long. Not even two minutes into the first quarter and he sacked me already. 

I let out a loud, guttural burp in a desperate attempt to gain back some yards. Tommy winces and recoils a bit. Success. 

Getting to a male friend’s Friendzone doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long, tedious process that’s filled with setbacks and penalty kicks. The goal is to make the man believe you would be an absolute nightmare to date, but a joy to have as a friend. I’ve been in the game with Tommy for four weeks now and the Friendzone is only 20 yards away. It’s so close I can smell the six-pack of German beer we’ll drink together during bro-time. 

Tommy is a very skilled player. He’s sturdy, a natural defensive lineman, and he’s determined to guard his friendzone from women he’d like to see naked.

“What would you like to order?” The waitress asked me, reminding me to snap out of it and keep my head in the game.  

“Garlic,” I said flatly.

“Garlic… what?”  she asked looking confused.

“Just garlic, thanks.” I responded, grinning at the dent I was going to make in the field with my clever play. I looked up at Tommy who seemed confused. He didn’t know the garlic was a ploy to make him weaken his defenses and allow me to charge triumphantly into the friendzone.

When the plate of garlic cloves arrived I ate them loudly, my lips smacking and teeth gnashing. I left a piece between my front teeth intentionally and grinned at Tommy. Ha! Another 5-yard play. 

Closing these last 15 yards is going to be difficult. This is usually when a guy turns up his defensive effort as he fears you disappearing into the Friendzone forever. 

So how was your day?” Tommy asked, half because he cared and half because he wanted me to stop eating garlic long enough to answer. 

“It was ok” I said, thinking about my next play while fumbling with the ball. “You know, I ran into Vanessa at a yoga class and it made me wonder why I never thought to set you two up before.” 

Sometimes in your attempts to get to the friendzone you have to hand the ball off to someone else. This shifts the guy’s attention away from you long enough to advance down the field. 

Vanessa…really?” Tommy asked. “I never really thought of her like that, I kind of see her as more of a friend.” Damn you, Vanessa! She has outplayed me already. She’s probably thrusting the Heisman Trophy over her head as we speak.  

I look at Tommy and make a series of intelligent comments on subjects he knows nothing about. I can see this hurting his masculinity and weakening his resolve to keep me out of the friendzone. I pick up another 5 yards. 

We are so close now. Ten more yards and I permanently transform in his eyes from a dating prospect to a goblin-bro. But what other plays do I have? I decide it’s time to roll out my signature move: The Cling-On 5000.

I suddenly grab Tommy’s shoulder and look him deep in the eyes. I inhale and unleash the full power of The Cling- On 5000 in one, garlicky breath.

“You know I’ve been thinking and I’d really like you to meet my parents. ..They’re having a barbecue this weekend and they said I could bring you since I’ve told them all about you! My sister will be there with her fiancee and she said she could give you advice on possible engagement ideas… because I know you’re going to want to ask me eventually. And then after that, I thought maybe we could grab drinks with the girls because Sabrina says she just knows you’ll get along with her boyfriend Patrick and then after that, I booked us reservations at an escape room where they handcuff us together and we have to find a way to break apart! In the dark! Doesn’t that sound fun?”

This whole time I have been lightly pushing Tommy toward the bar’s exit until we are standing directly in front of the door. 

“Woah, stop!” Tommy exclaimed. “I don’t know where all of this is coming from but you know we’re just friends right?”

“Of course,” I say, extending my fist for a fist bump. “Bros.” 

I spike my football into the ground. Pride welling up in my chest. Another successful touchdown in the Friendzone. 

Carrie Pinkard is a writer living in the decrepit basement of the United States: Tampa, Florida. She enjoys attempting to make people laugh by stringing words and letters together.  Twitter: @comedywithcarri

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