Girls, however, are much more like Chekhov. A girl can say something that seems straightforward and, in reality, the subtext is something from a completely different planet. That doesn't mean that it's absurd or that it's impossible to figure out, it just takes a lot more time and effort.
As a person, I believe that the best way to do anything is "as the crow flies" -- take the most direct route, for the sake of both efficiency and logic. This is the same philosophy I try to use for communication. Unfortunately, it seems that my attempts at clarity do not make up for the fact that I have ovaries. I don't know if it's because I, as a woman, am incapable of being blatantly honest, or if it's that my male friends are unwilling to be blatantly honest with me out of some sense of... I don't know, emotional chivalry.
Whatever the case, the main issue seems to come up when we are Dealing With Feelings.
There's a quote from a film I saw, Magnolia, that's delivered by a character played by William H. Macy: "I really do I have love to give; I just don't know where to put it." This is, I think, my tragic flaw. Sometimes the love I've got for someone is romantic, sometimes it's platonic, sometimes it's maternal or sisterly or philosophical. Whatever the case, it's there, just waiting for someone to take hold of it and use it all up. And when I love somebody (regardless of context), I try to be up front about it. As far as I'm concerned, telling someone I love them is never meant to be hurtful or threatening or indicative of expectations. It's just a statement about how I feel.
In the past six years -- so, from 2006 right on through today -- I have had a grand total of nine male friends with whom I was exceptionally close. As of this moment, I can confidently say that I am still friends with 1.5 of them.
That's a 16% retention rate.
The only thing these boys all have in common is that I told them, at some point, that I loved them -- which I would consider Points for Hannah in the "direct communication" category. But apparently Feelings are the one thing that men prefer not to converse about, period, even in a friendly or familial sense. I guess this is is where my ovaries start to influence my interpersonal skills, because the determination not to deal with feelings doesn't make any sense to me. We're already experiencing them all the time, and not talking about them doesn't make them go away, you know?
Okkervil River, a band I like, has an album entitled Don't Fall in Love with Everyone You See. Maybe that's the direction I should be heading. If I don't love anyone, I won't feel the need to tell people I love them, and then nobody will get uncomfortable, and maybe that's the key to Being Friends with Boys.
Sadly, I don't think I'll ever be able to do that. I'm a transcendentalist -- "...I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own, / And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers, / And that a kelson of the creation is love." I'm sure that album title would be very good advice to take, if it were philosophically possible.