I can be a bit practical. I try to live my life by rules that I came to develop as I grew up observing other people's relationships. As I'd mentioned in a previous blog, I wasn't one of the pretty girls in my clique of high school home girls. No, sadly I was the fat girl that observed from the sidelines. So while they learned by doing, I learned by watching and hearing them bitch about their problems. Its funny thinking back on it, but at the time, being the girl that men weren't checking for stung like hell. The good thing for me was that even though I wasn't dating, I had plenty of guy friends and my guy friends were kind enough to school me on the ways that men operate.
One of my guy friends was also the boyfriend of one of my best friends. He and I would sit on the phone for hours just talking about life, relationships and the whole bit. I dubbed him my play brother. And my best friend hated it. One day he and I were on the phone for nearly 3 hours. (Stupidly) I called a mutual friend of me and the girlfriend and professed to her that I'd just had an awesome conversation with this guy. In all honesty, it was all love. As I said before I "reeked of virgin" so this guy wouldn't ever put that much time into trying to get with me. But we did have a great bond. When his girl friend found out, she was LIVID. Apparently she and another friend had been on the phone trying to will him to call her (because goodness forbid she call him first) while the whole time he'd been on the phone laughing it up with me. My best friend did what any girl friend would have done and demanded that my friendship with her dude end. By that point he and I had bonded so much that I was heartbroken by the ultimatum. He suggested that we stop talking as much, but remain cool and just not let old girl know that we were still folks. She and he eventually stopped talking for one stupid reason or another and she and I are still best friends over 10 years later.
Anyway, a couple years after that, I had a boyfriend and I was on the other side of the coin. My best friend and my boyfriend became cool. Fast forward 10 years and she and he are friends, she and his baby mama (my sworn enemy- a pill popping crack whore) are best friends. Her best friend, my sworn enemy, told her that we aren't allowed to be friends. A grown ass woman stopped talking to me because her friend was jealous. When the dude I was dating and my (at the time) best friend became buddies I tried to stop it because I knew where it would lead. Jealousy, rumors, speculation, bad looks. He knew I didn't want him to be buddies with my homegirl, so he pursued it just because that's the kind of world class douche bag he is. So the more I wanted them to not be cool, the cooler they became. They are now pretty much extended family.
That and some other things I went through came to led me live my life by a very strict code: friends, my man, my family and my job are to mix in no terms. EVER. By that I mean that my family couldn't hang with my dude and become best friends with him, I'd never work with my man, my friends can't hang with my co-workers. Basically no intermingling of those 4 aspects of my life and I will die or kick ass to keep it from happening.
Don't get me wrong, one of my homegirls can come to the house and chill with me and my son's father any day. Deen once gave my homegirl $20 to pay the last bit of her rent. But if we discovered that they had mutual interests and suddenly she wanted to start hanging over to talk about comic books and the movie "Heavy Metal" I'd quickly nip that shit in the bud. I wouldn't want my sisters calling my dude to talk about their relationship problems. In high school my little sis was in middle school while trying to hang out with MY friends and that took a toll in my house and in my friendships. I was once stupid enough to work with my best friend (yet another chick- its funny how many best friends i've been through- I do have a constant set of friends though). My (former) best friend was a jealous pathelogcial liar that tried her best to get me hired on to try later to get me fired (shit got so bad, I quit). She turned my coworkers against me and to this day most of them still don't talk to me and I don't even know what lie(s) she told them to make them hate me. So because of that I don't want my man, my friends or my family up in my stuff at work.
I know some people think my golden rule is insane and/or paranoid, but I've realized that it really is best to keep everything separate. When folks start mixing things get complicated. I don't want to fall out with someone in one section and expect someone else to be brought into the middle. Loyalty is very important to me and I know how hard it is to be loyal when you've developed a bit of a connection to both parties. So the best thing to do is to make sure that no connection is ever started. Call me what you want, but I know how to keep drama to a minimum.