PFOs be warned
By Mark Polishuk
There sure is a lot of talk about sex in this Sex Issue of
The Gazette. All this focus on sex does a disservice to the
best kind of male-female relation: the platonic friendship.
I’m sure some of you are confused by this, recalling
that speech from When Harry Met Sally when Billy “Sally” Crystal
said that “no man can be friends with a woman that he
finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.”
Please allow me to retort. Some of my best friends are women
and I’ve even occasionally been the heralded token guy
in a group of girls, which is a pretty tough job to get if
you’re a heterosexual male.
Some men might consider these relations to be a waste of time
due to the lack of sex, but that’s not to say that sex
does not play a role in the platonic friendship. Plenty of
friendships have blossomed into love; for a fictional example,
take Chandler and Monica from Friends. As they explained to
womanizing Joey, their friendship served as a foundation for
And even if nothing ever happens between you and your female
pal, you can at least exploit this connection to gain valuable
insight into the womanly mind. For example, one of my gal pals
recently told me that women can now vote in Canada, so immediately
I figured that “Hey, I can meet women at polling stations.
This isn’t to say there aren’t pitfalls. For example,
it’s nice to be notified when a friendship is simply
platonic. It’s never good when you’re out with
a girl on what you had thought was a date and it suddenly dawns
on you that she isn’t romantically interested in you.
Congratulations: you’ve just been abducted by a PFO — Platonic
Friendship Outing — and, unfortunately, there’s
no probing in sight.
But even still, all is not lost. Any man can be platonic friends
with a woman he lusts after; the trick is suppression. Thinking
about baseball is a time-honoured male trick for “calming
things down.” So the next time you’re out on a
PFO with the girl of your dreams, think of former Blue Jays
reliever Jim Acker. Imagine him sitting in front of his locker
after blowing yet another game, clad only in his underwear,
eating a huge sandwich. If that doesn’t put out the fire,
nothing will. I think the Catholic Church is using pictures
of Acker as their new way of keeping priests celibate.
So in summation, there is no shame in having a platonic friendship.
If you’re still looking for a good reason, at least it
sticks it to Billy Crystal. Damn you, Crystal! City Slickers
II was extraneous!