#TFZ- all caps (Guest blog by Zoë Ngombane)

The Friend Zone
noun

a metaphorical place that two people are in when there is no possibility of romance between them.

Nah, there’s no chance. We’re in the friend zone.

verb – transitive

to inform or show another person that they’re such a good friend that there is no possibility of romance.

She friend zoned me.

I have seen, for years now, a lot of this word on the World Wide Web and it always expresses one thing, a complaint from those in this supposed friend zone. Some are funny and some are actually really sad, much like the friend zone itself. Here’s a blow-by-blow of how I think this thing works in the victims’ minds:

 

1. The beginning. Welcome to the friend zone.

The person – the evil user, tells you everything, including stories about other people of your sex. Gives you bear hugs ONLY. Goes on and on about how you’re the nicest person in the world and sometimes maybe throws in, just to torture you, that you’d be perfect for a certain friend. Calls you over when in need of a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on, then sends you on your way afterwards because alone time is needed to just sit and think, but thanks for being such a great person. Guess what? Yes, you guessed it. Welcome to the friend zone.

2. It’s a cold dark room. Brace yourself.

Yep. It’s like limbo and you aren’t even dead – although it’s arguable in this situation that you are a poor lost soul. Everything becomes related to it; it’s all you think about. It finds you at the movies, in class, while you’re listening to music… “Next up, we give you Michael Jackson in his suave hit, You Rock My Friend Zone”. That bad.

 

3. Keep telling yourself its better than nothing.

You have options. There are always options. You could choose to stay in the friend zone, wait it out or concede defeat. Eek. You could tell yourself that having her as a friend is better than nothing. But be warned, the friend zone is not for the faint hearted. In two words, pain and awkwardness. You’re bound to slip up. You’ll be fooled into answering when she says something stupid like “Oh, I wish there were more nice guys like you…” with a “But, I’m a nice guy like me…”. AWKWARD. Does the friend zone have any perks? Yeah, sure, absolutely. If you have no intention of indulging in sexual intercourse with that person. Ever. What do you think this is? You know each other too well now, genius. Weaknesses, sensitivities, seen each other at your worst… there’s no way you can date now, buddy. That’s not how those heartbreakingly heart-warming things we call relationships start. That is how they end. 

 

4. Girls get friend zoned too

 

It happens a lot actually. Women have BEEN in the friend zone. It’s more indirect for us, more of a late reaction. We get into the friend zone and realise two years down the line that, ‘Wait I don’t belong here!’. And then we’re doomed because we’re strong enough to carry the burden of friend to lover. Especially given the fact that we can’t explicitly express our eagerness to leave the zone. We’re stuck with coy hints like, “Oh wow, that was nice. We should have dinner out more. Maybe just the two of us next time.” Instead of bold statements like, “Oh wow, this was cool. The two of us should have dinner out more. Or in, it doesn’t matter. Then proceed to make babies, minus the actual babies,” while using your sexy power stare. This is because we know that with the latter you might end up in the pain and awkwardness zone. The former is as forward as it is safe to go. 

 

5. And the sad part. You can’t just snap your fingers and be rid of the ‘friend zone’.

 

Buckle up. You might be stuck here for a while. Or be the clever jackal and remove yourself from the situation. People that friend zone other people are somewhat serial sadists, and having a person at their beck and call just feeds their god complex. You can’t drive an hour to go take someone ice-cream, come on. You’ve already been compromised, soldier. Abort. Leave. It maybe just work in your favour. Or not. You might just lose someone that might have really been an awesome friend for years to come to the greed of your carnal cravings. Because people aren’t just things you can put kindness/niceguy coins in and get a shag in return. See? You’re stuck.

6. Or you probably put yourself there so, only you can take you out.

 

I have one thing to say about this… You know the friend zone exists. You know what gets you in there. If you know what’s good for you and you feel uncomfortable about being platonic friends with the opposite sex, keep your distance.

That said, the friend zone – whether in reality or in your head – can never be defeated. It was there before you were born, it will be there long after you’re dead so happy friend zoning boys and girls.
If you’re trying to get friendly with Zoë here is where you can find her: Thefunimalscribe.wordpress.com

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Naivety and Light (by Awa Gabrielle Magagula)

The valley that we met inDid the water flow?

Did every particle drift towards 

Each other

Always bumping shoulders 

Destined to collide 

Like I smashed into you? 

The valley we met in

Was the grass greener on the other side? 

I can’t recall

All I have is the image of your brown specked eyes, turned hazel in the sunlight. 

All I remember is your about to be kissed lips, turned the color pink from you licking your lips. 
The valley we met in

Did the air have static electricity? 

Because the moment you touched me 

I became a flame 

Suddenly on fire 

Soul an inferno 
The valley we met in….

Can we go back? 

Because I find myself in the river now

Unable to breathe 

Drowning in an us 

That never should have been an us 

We should have stayed 

In the valley we met in.

Alcohol colored glasses 

Stained with the intent 

To see me as yours

So you lead me on

And I follow 

Trip, slip, dip

Straight into your trap
Usually I don’t fall 

I stand tall 

I’m a warrior 

A beast 

Confident in my roar 

Confident in my strut 

My tempting lips curled into a smile 

Boy, you know I’m confident 
But then you walk in

Color black draping your body 

Color black draping your spirit 

Color black stealing my light 

Color black stealing my confidence 

Stealing my essence 

Stealing my curled lip smile 

Stealing me 

Stealing me 

Stealing me
I lose myself in you

In your darkness 

Your undecidedness 

I’m blind 

In the dark 

Stuck in the crooks of your soul
Naive 
Basically unborn 

You trapped me 

And I find myself 

Becoming 

The color black.

That’s it…

Patience: The IG Paradigm

imagesGood Evening to all you wonderful people out there, living chaotic lives which you ever so desperately try to structure

Hello to the women out there whose hearts were given away at dinner

What’s up to boys acting like pros but constantly exposing themselves as beginners

I say good evening to each and every one of you looking for love and to each one of you feeling betrayed by the various institutions you ever so desperately longed to join. I have very little to say to those with rings on: they’re doing far better than me, simply because they had the conviction to pick a person to spend their life with and did something about it. Regardless of whether you ended up a divorcee (forgive the lack of the accent aigu, the keyboard and I are at odds these days), I commend your ability to act on your impulses (after significant thought has turned them to strategic decisions), pair them with discipline (because you must have plenty of that to manage yourself and another person) and finally your forgiving heart (for not murdering or leaving your partner after you caught them straying, or killing them over more minor irritations and general emotional maladies which plague those within relationships).

I have decided I desire to one day join this class of everyday heroes: see, I am no longer as jaded by the experiences I have gained from the “dating game”  and this is not due to a desire to marry the fictional character ( I say this as my perception of the people around me deviates quite intensely from who people tend to attempt to present over a time span: ultimately resulting in a fictional character as the go-between) I am currently infatuated with. I want to be married to truly acquire patience, understanding, discipline and selflessness. I am beginning to think, more and more, that the reason why these beautiful character traits and these old school institutions are disappearing are tied to the “IG” tendencies we are surrounded by. I do not mean the social network, I mean Instant Gratification. This is the disease that plagues us, the epidemic that has been filtered into daily life and has jumped the pace and pressure in our lives up by a thousand notches.

So now imagine if I said IG, FB and all the other acronyms had contributed to this degeneration? The question would have to be: How does he blame instant messaging and social media for something so unrelated to the institution of marriage? Well mainly by admitting that the ways of social media have helped lessen the integrity of the social fabric which each and every one of us is swaddled in. We grew up without having to exercise much patience, in fact the older we get the faster our transactions become, so why on earth would we need any patience? And as a result we haven’t the patience to get to know our partners anymore, we haven’t got the patience to wait for letters declaring our interest in a female to be delivered and most of all we haven’t got the time to waste writing one or waiting for a reply. We truly lack patience and by the same sad extension of ideas that means we have pretty much lost romance.

When, guys, was the last time you took a woman to coffee rather than drinks simply because you wanted to see her and chat and enjoy her company without any expectation you might get to tap in the immediate future? Ladies when was the last time a man truly chased you? I’m not talking about flattery and a date or two; I’m not talking about a drink and longing stares; I mean when was the last time a man cooked you a meal or packed you a picnic and made you feel loved through all the little things?

I think though the best question is, how many of us have the time or the patience for such things any more? Are we not so consumed by the 9-5 that we get home too exhausted to even begin focusing on something other than ourselves, before attempting to put something that can just barely qualify as food on the table and giving those around us the bare minimum amount of attention they need to know we are even there… well that is all before we either slink into studies to finish the fiscal projections, complete the near overdue academic assignments or maybe climb the, everlastingly long, staircase, standing between you and the bed, in order to catch the first real shut-eye you’ve seen in weeks. Whose lives are these? Who ever dreamt of being chained to a desk, driving the corporate machine from a dead end job? Who ever wanted not to be free to attend ballet recitals, their daughters and sons had been training for all year? Who ever wanted the strain of their absence to break their relationship? Very few of us can answer the in the affirmative, however, the capitalist dream requires this of us, social media spurs us forwards on this materialistic dream chase; using the very things we are likely to lose as the motivation for our progress down that very road. We seek to provide an amazing standard of living for our loved ones yet it ultimately results in us balancing on a knife’s edge, hardly living, merely existing. For what? to reach forty and suffer a midlife crisis after a panic attack brought on by an existential episode and look back at all you’ve done and realize you missed your children growing up?

I think ultimately what I mean to say is, nothing is worth missing the moments that count, no amount of life experience should spoil your prospects for the future, and impatience and other such vices are never worth their negative effects. So then why do we let such be part of our social fabric? Why do we let ourselves get sucked into a lifestyle we cannot afford to try live with our short life spans? I think I want to reach ninety knowing the person I love is next to me and we lived full lives and our children had all that they needed, even if we weren’t the most wealthy family (as long as we didn’t struggle too much, poverty is another struggle altogether).

Grab Each Every Moment