Before I get started with the swearing and the fuck-thising, a bit of context: my son, who I have thought many very unkind things about today that I will not repeat in this space, decided to come in and wake my wife and I up at four o’clock in the fucking morning because he wanted to sleep in our bed with us. There was no particular reason for this; he woke up in his bed and decided he wanted to be in ours instead, so he woke both of us up.
This was perhaps not reacted to as compassionately as it should have been and he was dispatched back to his own bed. I never got back to sleep, meaning that it’s currently 9:20 in the morning, I’m a quarter of the way through my morning coffee, and I have been awake for almost five and a half fucking hours.
It is already not going to be a good day.
Have you ever hated a song so much that you memorized it out of pure spite? I’m going to assume that you have and that this is not an experience unique to me. I have a number of Taylor Swift songs that I have completely memorized, and the main reason I have them memorized is that I hate them. Similarly, a song which I have just learned is called Friends by a pair of idiots named Anne-Marie and Marshmello. Marshmello apparently regularly appears in public with a fucking bucket on his head.
This fucking song ran through my head for hours last night while I was trying to get back to sleep. While it was running through my head, I was mentally composing this blog post, which I’ve been trying to avoid writing since I first heard this fucking song eighteen thousand years ago. Or maybe it’s just a few weeks; fuck, I don’t know.
Point is I almost got up and wrote this at 4:30 in the fucking morning because I realized sleep was not happening and at least maybe I could get something done.
So I initially wasn’t even going to write about the first reason why I hate this song: the godawful fucking obnoxious accent that Anne-Marie is putting on. I generally don’t like making fun of people for the way they sound or talk, but now that I’ve seen a picture of white-ass blonde-ass whitey-white Anne-Marie? Fuck you, that’s an affectation, and when she says so doan you looka me wif dat look in yo eye, or tries to spell “friends” and slurs it so badly that it comes out as effar aiyee endee ezzsh, to the point where I wasn’t actually sure she was spelling it right until she bothers to enunciate later in the song the first time I heard it, she is absolutely just being an asshole. No goddamn white girl grows up sounding like this in the UK. She’s doing it on purpose. Fuck her.
Now let’s talk about the friend zone. And let me be clear here: this is something that I absolutely fell prey to when I was younger and stupider. The difference is that now that I’m grown I know better, and I’m not super keen on letting current younger men get away with the same horseshit that I did when I was a kid. Y’all need to be better, goddammit. Men need to improve, and one of the first things we need to do is to let go of this stupid fucking idea that there are any women anywhere who owe us anything. And that, ultimately, is what the so-called “friend zone” is about. It’s about feeling entitled to women and their bodies and feeling like it’s okay to just hang around being unwelcome until they, I dunno, realize that they’re actually attracted to us after all instead of the men they’re dating (men, for the record, who they are attracted to) and fall into our arms.
Nah. This is bullshit. The friend zone is bullshit. And if you’re being this asshole, stop. If you think you’re in love with someone, you tell her rather than hanging around like a fucking angry puppy, and if she says no, that’s your answer and you fuck off. You decide what level of relationship you’re able to have with that person, whoever she is, and if your Deep Feelings are just Too Serious to maintain an actual friendship, and not a fake sham of a friendship where you’re constantly looking for a fucking moment of weakness so you can get your stupid dick wet?
You fuck off. And you stay fucked off.
My coffee’s gone, by the way.
All that said, there’s some other shit going on in this song that probably needs to be addressed, and at this point I’m addressing women. Lemme copy-paste some lyrics here, in more-or-less conventional English rather than the bullshit-ass white girl’s fake urban accent she’s putting on:
You say you love me, I say you crazy
We’re nothing more than friends
You’re not my lover, more like a brother
I known you since we were like ten, yeah
…and, see, it’s at this point where I go back to not wanting to write this, because there’s a point at which I’m punching down. If you are not already aware of this, you should be: the thing men are most afraid of in relationships is that they will be rejected by women. The thing women are most afraid of in relationships is that they will be killed by men. So I can’t act like it’s all fine and good to say things like you need to stop humoring these assholes when not humoring the assholes might result in the assholes turning violent. But can we maybe not treat relationships like this like they’re family? Because given the rest of the song, I really don’t get describing this person as “more like a brother.” The order of relationships here goes dating –> friendship –> family. Your friends are, or at least should be, more important than whoever you’re fucking at the moment. And your family, at least ideally (I am aware that families can be toxic, obviously) should be more important than your friends. This is one of the things that never made any sense to me– the “just” in “just friends.” Friends is better.
Have you got no shame? You looking insane
Turning up at my door
It’s two in the morning, the rain is pouring
Haven’t we been here before?
Don’t mess it up, talking that shit
Only gonna push me away, that’s it!
Have you got no shame? You looking insane
Here we go again
So don’t go look at me with that look in your eye
You really ain’t going away without a fight
You can’t be reasoned with, I’m done being polite
I’ve told you one, two, three, four, five, six thousand times
I think it needs to be made clearer, to young women in particular, precisely the demographic that this top-40 pop song is targeted to, that this is not how friends behave. And I say that as someone who has spent a career working with adolescents and has had a couple of classes that were composed entirely of girls in that time. Songs that take behavior like this and phrase it as how friends act are not helping.
None of this shit is how friends behave. None of this shit is normal. And if someone in your life is acting this way, that is not the behavior of someone who is your friend. That is the behavior of a stalker. This person is dangerous. He is not your friend and this is not normal. And maybe the most fucked-up thing about this song is that it’s portraying legitimately crazy behavior as something that your “friends” do. And I am telling you if you don’t already know that there are far too many young women who do not know this is fucked up because we have normalized male entitlement so fucking much in this culture.
Men, boys, stop fucking being like this. And again I’m not in a position to get all high-and-mighty about how women should behave when they have a legitimate showing-up-at-two-AM crazy fucker in their lives, but hey how about we don’t write songs about how those people are our friends? Because fuck the hell out of that idea. It’s bullshit and this song is bullshit and I hate it and I don’t want to hear it any more.
Especially at four o’clock in the fucking morning when all I want to do is sleep.