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Only Friendly With The Same Sex

| Working | October 5, 2013

(I am working with my mother at her hardware store, and helping one of the employees with a remodel. The night before, I’d gone to a local bar with my male best friend. I’m female.)

Employee: “By the way, I saw you with your husband last night. Why haven’t you ever introduced us to him?”

(I am blank faced, wondering if my boyfriend had come down from Las Vegas and I had somehow magically forgotten.)

Me: “Husband?”

Mom: “[Employee], she’s not married.”

Employee: “But you were sitting at a bar with that man! Why were you at a bar with a man who’s not your husband?”

Me: “Oh! You mean [Best Friend]. We’d just gone to a movie and didn’t want to go home yet, so—”

Employee: “Why are you going to movies with someone who’s not your husband?”

Me: “Because he’s my best friend?”

Employee: “But your husband!”

Me: “I don’t have a husband.”

Employee: “Yes you do! You’re 23; you have to be married by now. Why are you going to bars with men you’re not married to?”

Mom: “I think you need to leave now, [Employee]. My daughter’s relationships are none of your business.”

Employee: “But don’t you worry about her going out with strange men?”

Mom: “[Best Friend] is not a strange man; he’s practically my son and he’s been my daughter’s best friend for almost 20 years.”

Employee: “Men and women can’t be friends!”

Me: “I’ve got 20 years of history that begs to differ.”

(The employee eventually ends up getting fired, and my best friend and I now joke about being in an incestuous marriage.)

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