Two months ago I went on a quasi-date with "Jeanine." I never thought it a date until she referenced it as such, and so then I went with it. Later, we hung out, and the date came up.
"But you know we're just friends, right?" she said. "That's all I'm looking for."
I had deduced even before our date that Jeanine was a conglomerate of clinginess and hypochondria, so this was fine with me. I had to stop myself from nodding too vigorously to being "just friends" and mentioning she was too manic for me.
However, I run into Jeanine every so often, and this past Friday she invited me to dinner. I thought nothing of it. I brought a bag of spinach to our frozen pizza and chardonnay supper. She tells a story of this guy, "Joey," who she's brought up several times. I got the impression they might have a thing, but I didn't ask because, frankly, I didn't care, and I was afraid if I asked, it would look like I cared. However, Jeanine's roommate joined us and asked pointblank if they were hooking up.
Jeanine: "No, of course not! We're just really close friends. Did you think we were? He has professed his love for me, but I told him I just want to be friends. I know, I should be less cuddly with my guy friends."
She comes to tell us that Joey once texted her asking if she was interested in being more than friends. She told him that she wasn't, but she appreciated his friendship. They continued to hang out. About a month later, while drunk and high at her place, he asked to kiss her. She replied, "We shouldn't, because I won't remember it in the morning."
Fact: If you "know" you won't remember it in the morning, then you most certainly will and don't want to remember it.
Jeanine still let Joey stay the night.
It could be argued that Jeanine is leading Joey on, and I say as much. Jeanine fires back that we are adults; we should be able to be friends with people we like(d) and get over it. Which is true, but emotions have never followed logic. Jeanine's roommate and I advocate a policy of not hanging out solo with the person who likes you for a grace period. Don't make things ambiguous. Don't "Do you want to come watch Netflix with me, but don't get any ideas?" Because saying that plants ideas!
Jeanine: "What, am I supposed to throw his friendship away because he likes me?"
We changed the subject because Jeanine seemed agitated by our advice. She was also clearly drunk at this point. The roommate mentioned she was a vegetarian, so we began discussing why she was vegetarian. Somehow this led to gun rights (Jeanine's tangent), which circled back to whether hunting giraffes should be legal.
Jeanine: "Paying $50 thousand to kill one giraffe and save a hundred is perfectly reasonable."
Me: "I highly doubt $50 thousand is saving a hundred. And if people want to poach giraffes, paying to hunt doesn't stop them."
Jeanine: "C'mon, you're a scientist. Think rationally about this."
Me: "I'm not going to agree with some blanket statement that we hunt giraffes."
The whole thing annoyed me. I was ready to leave. This conversation had also upset Jeanine, because she now sulked in her armchair, and her roommate and I quizzically looked at each other. I debated saying I was going to leave when Jeanine texted me from across the room: "Let's go to my room."
She saw me read the text, and I guess I could've said "I was actually gonna dip," but instead I replied, "Haha okay."
Jeanine promptly announces to her roommate, "Cazey and I are gonna go in my room and snuggle and watch Netflix."
Her roommate leaves us. I am balanced between "Should I leave?" and "Wtf is this cuddling business?" I am not a cuddler. I am unnaturally averse to physical touching unless I'm sedated or interested in you, which this chardonnay had not done the trick and Jeanine had ticked me off.
Jeanine: "Do you want to smoke and then cuddle in my bed?"
Can we just pause here? Someone is bribing me with pot to snuggle with them.
Me: "Well, we do need to watch the last episode of House of Cards together."
Ladies and gentlemen, what is life?
I begin texting my best friends while Jeanine disappears into her room. I have a friend who has gone on several dates with a guy just in hopes that he will get her a free gym membership. She has no attraction to him whatsoever. On their last date, he paid for a $50 meal. No gym pass, though. I have become my friend.
Jeanine emerges: "Are you ready for some marriage-juana?"
Yes, she said that. She called it "marriage-juana."
Me: "Can we not call it that? It sorta kills the vibe."
At some point in all this, Jeanine provides backstory on how she starting smoking weed: She hated college junior year and contemplated dropping out until she met some skater dude. He would visit her, they'd light up, cuddle afterward, and then he'd skate away. "I think I wouldn't have finished college if not for him," Jeanine concluded.
Meanwhile, my friend starts responding to my texts with advice: "Just cuddle and don't talk," "like offer a back massage," "like don't have small talk bc I know you when u feel awk, like don't ask her her GPA, just cuddle and say your skin is soft, and she says she smells good." I cannot keep a straight face so I excuse myself to the bathroom.
When I come out of the bathroom, Jeanine is in her room. "Nice green bedspread," I say. Earlier, we had discussed how my favorite color is green.
Jeanine: "Isn't it nice?" And then, "I think you should go."
Momentary pause. "Oh. Okay."
She doesn't seem mad. I grab my bag of spinach, and she initiates a hug goodbye and says to text when I get home, but then I'm outside thinking, What the hell just happened? Don't get me wrong; I was not upset about getting kicked out. I was over Jeanine at the point where she wanted to hunt giraffes, but why was I so abruptly shoved out the door? Was it because I don't agree with calling it "marriage-juana"?
And poor Joey. No wonder he liked her. If I had had any feelings for Jeanine, I would have felt led on and then trounced. Joey, you need to run far, far away. Never come back.
The next morning I lay in bed when I heard my phone buzzing. I peeked over: Jeanine was calling. I let it go to voicemail. I don't mess with crazy.