Hello, Friend

I’ve noticed that a few females I know have started using “friend” as a way to address me (e.g., “I agree, friend,” “Oh friend, it was awful,” “That’s good stuff, friend”). It strikes me as weird. One reason is because it sounds awkward. If we were performing Shakespeare in the park or reenacting a scene from a Western, I wouldn’t think a thing of it. But it’s not how people talk nowadays and the anachronism just feels odd. I mean, I don’t wear a toga or a duster – not on a daily basis at least, and rarely together as part of the same outfit. Another reason is because they don’t seem to address anyone else that way. So it seems targeted, and the odd choice of words seems to be intentional. My attempts to decipher the message have yielded a variety of results. Here are a few of them:

  • “I don’t want to call you ‘dude’ or ‘buddy’, so ‘friend’ seemed like a reasonable alternative.”
  • “I’m very selective when using the word ‘friend’, and I want you to know I appreciate you.”
  • “I’m calling attention to the current state of our relationship for no particular reason. I might need medication.”
  • “I’m calling attention to the current state of our relationship because I’m in very high sexual demand and it helps me categorize.”
  • “This is my passive-aggressive way of letting you know that you’re never going to have sex with me. I assume everyone wants to have sex with me. Also, I’m a narcissist.”
  • “I’m hoping my awkward references will start a conversation. I’d like to address the current state of our relationship and possibly elevate it, but I don’t quite understand how direct and open communication works. “
  • “My significant other exhibits psychotic levels of jealousy and controlling behaviors, and I say ‘friend’ in an attempt to avoid huge fights. It rarely works, hence my constant mention of them during our conversations.”

Decoding efforts are ongoing.