I like orange; therefore, I'm a harlot.
I grew up with boys. My childhood best friend was a male. My college best friend was a male. My best dog was male. As was my fish. As was my rabbit. The relationships were always platonic. (Except for with my goldfish. Gill totally had the hots for me, but he was koi about it.)
So when my male friend wanted me to get coffee with his new girlfriend, I knew the drill. I'm a connoisseur in new-couple insecurities. A ninja in nuanced new-girlfriend chitchat. I'm an icebreaker, not a relationship-breaker, and it usually doesn't take too long for a new girlfriend to realize this.
Now that I am married with young children, the learning curve of the new girlfriends has quickened. But when we meet for the first time, they still have their questions, and to alleviate any concerns, I'm happy to answer honestly:
They want to know how their newly beloved and I met ("jail"), how long we have been friends ("we met this morning but are really hitting it off") and whether there was ever romance between us ("no romance, just sex").
Usually, the jokes put the new girls at ease — especially if my husband is there to laugh along with us — and we can move past the interrogation phase of our relationship. And though I don't particularly enjoy being assessed as a potential threat, I get it.
We all grew up with the same romantic comedies. Harry met Sally and then asserted that there is no such thing as platonic friendship between a heterosexual man and a heterosexual woman. Julia Roberts kissed the groom in "My Best Friend's Wedding." "Some Kind of Wonderful" proved that even "one of the guys" is crush-worthy. "Just Friends" should have been called "Just Kidding, We're in Love." And yes, the consummate besties, Harry and Sally get married at the end of the flick. But I have spent my entire life proving that though the movie's diner scene may be true for me — both in how I order food and in my ability to assert joy for ... pie — the rest of the theme is not.
How is this still up for debate? Does the age-old question about the validity and possibility of male-female friendships truly carry on?
Yes. Yes, it does.
During our one-on-one coffee date, my male friend's girlfriend asked me what my favorite color is.
Her face twitched. "Of course it is."
"Why? What's wrong with orange?" I asked.
"It's the second chakra."
"Yeah, I don't know what that means."
She then explained that the chakras are along your spine and indicate different strengths and weakness. "Your favorite color indicates the place you get your strength from."
"So where is the orange chakra?" I asked.
"Let's just say it's not surprising. It's in your pelvic region."
And that's when I realized I was being color slut-shamed. The Crayola crayon of condemnation.
Every fear and insecurity she had regarding me was confirmed by my affection for the color of sunsets. And as ridiculous as that seemed initially, suddenly everything started to make sense. Things that are orange or are attracted to the color orange truly cannot be trusted.
Rabbits are known for rapidly reproducing. What do rabbits love? Carrots. What color are carrots? Orange! Don't you see? The color preference is causing the behavior. If rabbits preferred eating something green, such as broccoli, they would partake in cuddling over procreating.
You know what else is orange? Cheese — for example, Kraft Singles. Well, isn't that convenient? The singles of cheeses are orange. Certainly puts a specific message out there when those Kraft Singles are taking cheesy selfies of themselves for their OkCupid profiles. Oh, who am I kidding? Kraft Singles are totally on Tinder.
Basketballs are always being courted, yet they bounce from one hoop to the next. Orange basketballs never show loyalty to a single hoop. Garfield would absolutely cheat on any lasagna with a different lasagna. Freckles are known to multiply. And pumpkins are just here to squash the dreams of any fruit looking for fidelity. Come to think of it, my lusty, lovesick cyprinoid, Gill, was orange. No wonder he couldn't keep his affections hidden underwater.
The moral: Men and women can be friends — unless one of them has an affinity for orange juice.
I'm pretty sure I got that right.
Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. To find out more about Katiedid Langrock and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: Chris Hoare