This friend of mine runs and does pull-ups while I race walk and lift weights. We did this the other evening and then drank wine on the porch, having the odd conversation we have each year: his fantasy is to have a Friend With Benefits, and of course we know that friend would be quien esto escribe.
I am only interested in Affairs and Relationships, not Half Measures. Catholic, this Friend finds my attitude odd. An Affair is far more immoral than a Half Measure with a Friend, says he. If a Half Measure with a Friend would not Feel Right, how could an Affair? If an Affair is better than a Half Measure with a Friend, does that not mean Nice Men Lose?
My view of the matter is that this Friend is not as virtuous as he believes: he wants availability on demand, and strictly on his terms, which is not really all that Nice. As far as I am concerned, Affairs win over Half Measures with Friends because there is more in them, for one thing. There can also be far more mutuality in them – even in Affairs with Rakes – than in a Half Measure with an officially Nice but Reticent Person.
I have told this Friend that I know him too well to conduct a fantasy-like affair, that it would take energy I do not have to keep switching from Affair to Friendship and back again, and that I am simply not interested in Half Measures With Friends. Being Nice, he accepts these dicta, but being from – his planet of entitlement, I suppose – he does not understand them.
So far I am too polite to say to this Friend that what he wants is something he would have to buy, although this is what I think. He does not understand how it is that I had an Affair and a Relationship, each with someone less balanced and friendly than himself, but (as I keep pointing out) also far less stingy romantically. I am half tempted to say I will trade sex for something like electrical work: he rewires my house, I emit 3,000 volts.
But I am told my point of view is odd. Do you, then, know of anyone who would be interested in sharing what this Friend offers – or as I see it, in donating what he asks for? I am perplexed because I have been told I do not make sense and I am turning down someone Nice.
I think I make as much sense as is necessary, but that yet more sense could be made of this. That is to say, I think there are object lessons in this story on several political topics, and that these may be worth drawing out.