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EST. May 2000 (AD)




The Best Friend Solution

By Jennifer Gravel Vanasse

There is a problem with our society and how we women have been programmed to live in it. From birth we are set on a path of dating, marriage, children and then retirement and death. Sadly, divorce is now a very common part of the cycle, clearly a sign that somewhere things have gone awry. Still, we comply as inexorably as geese flying south for the winter. Is this a case of "misery loves company"? Isn't it possible that tradition is leading us astray?

There you are an eligible young woman, out on the town having a great time with your best friend. These are the happiest days of your life. The fun is at its peek. You have no obligations other than to continue working to support your shoe-habit and no attachments other than to your best friend whom you adore more than anyone else in the world. Then, Mr. Right comes along and the pheromones start to fly. You fall deeply, madly in love. The older women in your family will finally be proud of you, having "landed" a man.

Your best friend, who has stood by you through the terror of junior high school and the shame of bad perms, is then tossed to the curb in exchange for some great sex. Pretty soon you have ditched all activities with your best friend in order to dutifully spend every waking and sleeping moment with your man. You twinge with guilt when your best friend leaves you "I miss you" messages on your phone, but since you are never at home anymore, you can't call her back anyway. You spend all of your time at his apartment, ignoring the fact that you have to bring your own toilet paper. It doesn't matter: in your state of bliss, it is enough that the two of you are together.

Now fast forward to one year after the honeymoon when the sex is starting to peter out and now, instead of sunshine, you are walking on his discarded socks and yesterday's newspaper. Pretty soon, instead of being glued to his side, you start making excuses so that you can steal a night out with your best friend. Fortunately, she is willing to let you come crawling back. Fast forward another five years when having sex is a mildly pleasing thing to do, but only on special occasions. You get far more enjoyment from your daily phone calls with your best friend. Finally, fast forward another ten years when you have learned how to avoid sex altogether and you and your best friend have planned a Caribbean cruise, alone.

What is the solution to circumvent this societal-directed path to unhappiness? Instead of confusing lust with love, why not marry your true soul mate, your best friend? Who can make you laugh like no one else can, who elevates your self-esteem unconditionally and in who have you placed your complete and utter trust? With civil marriage between same-sex couples nearly legal, isn't this the solution to our societal trap?

Imagine the perfection of life as you and your best friend pool your resources and buy a house together. Because you have respect for each other with no gender-biased expectations, you will easily and happily share the household duties. And there are other perks too. With all the money you could save by not ordering the sports package on cable, you can afford to pay someone to mow the lawn and shovel the snow. Imagine, no nagging, just a bit of eye candy sweating it out in your backyard while you lounge with you best friend and drink margaritas.

What do you do about sex, you ask? You and your best friend simply make arrangements for conjugal visits from well-intentioned, well-proportioned men. As you get older, you may think these men will be harder to find, but being a cougar is chic these days. Besides, sooner or later, you just won't care about the sex anymore and companionship will be sufficient. Do you want children? If you do, adopt, or better yet, be a Big Sister or a doting aunt. You'll be a better person for it.

In the end, the miserable may sneer, but you and your best friend will have a long and happy life together, without divorce, infidelity or raised toilet seats.

© 2005 Jennifer Gravel Vanasse


Jennifer has been writing all her life, though for the past 17 years it has been in the course of her employment with a highly successful law firm in Ottawa. She has had articles published in the Ottawa Association of Law Clerks Newsletter and friends, family and acquaintances seek after her original and customized poetry. Jennifer's goal is to branch out from making judges cry and to enter the world of mainstream fiction. She currently lives in Ottawa with her husband Randy and stepson Nick and their huge dog, a Lab-Newf mix named Zucchini.



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