All Hail The Emperor Of The Friendzone
Striding down his carpet made of good intentions and inappropriate bouquets he offered you for holidays and milestones, here comes the Emperor of the hallowed Land of the Perpetual Friend. He stands a decent 6’1, but with his permanent slouch and uncomfortable shuffling, onlookers would put him at around 5’10, max. As he works his way up to the microphone to ask his subjects how they’re doing, and if they’re busy this weekend, but it’s fine if they are, he totally understands because he’s got some plans with some guy friends anyway. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for.
And what makes him the Emperor? What separates him from the rest of the guys who live, squirming, in the pushed-aside corners of our lives? What makes him the ultimate man referred to, among other things, as “like our brother” and “totally such a nice guy, you don’t even know”? Sure, he feigns deep, sincere friendship with us in the hope that one day it will magically transmute into a Six Flags-esque day pass to our vaginas, but that’s not enough. He is special, and he knew he needed to do more to set himself apart.
Does he pay far too close attention to everything we are doing, staying involved in our personal affairs and appearing, seemingly by magic, at our side when we go through a breakup? Does he listen endlessly to the problems we’ve faced with other guys — other guys who get access to us romantically not because they’re dicks, but because they are not the human equivalent of a hand-crocheted welcome mat from our grandmother’s house? Does he constantly come bearing gifts that seem to come from a genuine desire to make us feel special because we are his good friend, but ultimately are seen as some kind of currency to be cashed out in our underwear? Does he picture his good deeds like tickets at Chuck-E-Cheese’s, hoping to one day amass enough to get that shiny bra at the top shelf of the gift counter?
The Emperor does all of these in spades. He laments the cruelty of the girl whose affection he has yet to win out of relentless servitude and deference, spending his nights on Reddit and 4Chan, explaining his troubles in a veritable echo chamber of “Yeah, man. Girls suck.” His existence has been reduced to that of a 12-year-old boy in a club house, vehemently stating that there are, in fact, no girls allowed — but secretly hoping that one will break the rules and come his way. For if the Emperor stays in a perpetual state of dismissing and admonishing women, his constant rejection will seem more a condition of his own choosing.
He is strong, our new Emperor, steadfast in his determination to treat us like some strange amalgam of a fairy-tale princess and 5-year-old girl. He won’t stop until we eventually cave and sleep with him once, only to regret it immensely the second we realize we’re actually going through with it, or the friendship dissolves out of our inability to maintain “bff” status with someone who is perpetually trying to lick our face. Regardless of the outcome, though, and regardless of whether or not he’ll Swiper No Swipey his way into 10-17 minutes of sweet, sweet friend poon, he is a man of his word. He is totally going to be there for us, posting excessively on our Facebook, asking us about our “asshole boyfriends,” and reminding us that we are the greatest girl ever. By the way, he wants you to know you looked totally sexy the other night in your new skirt. But, like, as a friend, though.
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