Idle Friends, Gawky Roommates, and the Nap Dream

by A Lady

Last New Year’s Eve, a drunken me revealed to a friend (we’ll call her Janice) that I thought a guy was really cute (we’ll call him Chandler). The next day Janice and her sister made a huge point of informing me that Janice had been interested in Chandler for a while now and knew him since their college days, and blah blah blah, and implied dibs without ever really calling them. Girls are so passive like that. Anyway, I was a nice person and a good friend. I said, “Oh, you should totally go for it! I don’t see him very often, I just think he’s cute,” which was basically true, except that I know that Janice is all wrong for Chandler even if she doesn’t see it. She is not his Monica. But whatever.

Fast forward almost a year. As she herself frequently puts it, Janice is a chicken shit idiot and can’t/won’t initiate hardly any conversations with him, let alone flirtations because, despite being in her mid 20s, she is a 13-year-old girl. Meanwhile, on the rare opportunities I get, I really want to get my flirt on with Chandler but am reduced to normal conversations because I am a nice person and a good friend. I need to know two things: a) is there a statute of limitations on gals calling dibs on guys? and b) is it horrible to make a move when she hasn’t yet? Would I have to talk to her about it beforehand, and be all like “bitch, your time is long past up, I’mma go flirt now?” Help!

When did ‘calling dibs’ become a thing? Is it even a thing? I mean, I get it. Friend groups (I’m assuming you and Janice and Chandler are all part of the same larger circle) are a delicate ecosystem and sometimes it becomes necessary to let your ladyfriends know you’re into someone and would like the chance to pursue that someone without interference, but that isn’t a forever thing — dudes (Dudes?) are people, too! BUT! Before I give you my blessing to go forth and flirt, I have a few questions you have to ask yourself.

1. How close are you to Janice? If she’s a friend-acquaintance (I’m going to let you interpret these social taxonometric definitions as you choose) you don’t feel especially close to, that’s one thing, but if she’s someone you’d call in an emergency or invite home for holidays, or she’s been honest with you about a lipstick color that looks terrible on you BUT IN A NICE WAY, it may be worth casting a wider net and writing Chandler off. Basically, are you prepared to lose her as a friend? Because based on your description of her as a 13-ish-year-old girl, it sounds like that’s a possibility.

2. ‘Get my flirt on’ is a nebulous term! Do you want to take Chandler back to your impossible-to-afford-on-a-twentysomething-salary apartment and have your way with him, or do you think this could turn into something serious? Again, if it’s strictly fun you’re looking for, it may be wiser to look elsewhere, especially if your circle is tight enough that details (details) might get back to her.

If you can answer those questions in a truthful and satisfying factor, feel free to sit next to Chandler at the coffee place I assume you guys hang out at all day instead of going to actual jobs.

I’m a girl and I have two roommates, a lady and a man. I get along very well with both of them, but I have problems with man roommate. Despite the fact that he is super messy, I think he is quite funny and smart and I appreciate his friendship. However, I am feeling more and more uncomfortable with the way he pays attention to me. He has a tendency to stand too close and touch me when it is not necessary. I am a very affectionate person — with some people. I have a lot of male friends, and I am touchy with several of them, but it’s not sexual and it makes neither party uncomfortable. I think he might see the way I am with them and want to have that kind of relationship with me.

If he wants me to move, rather than use his words or tap me on the shoulder, he will sort of squeeze my waist or the small of my back and I don’t like it! My whole body tenses up, and somehow he doesn’t read my body language at all. He scratches the top of my head when he walks by me and if I’m lying on the other roommate’s bed and he wants to come talk to us (which of course is fine), he will move stuff out of his way and then put it on me in what I can only liken to grade-school flirtation. He is not great with women in the romantic sense, and he has been a jerk to male friends of mine more than once. He is nice and funny, but sort of confrontational with other men if they come off as cocky or confident with women. He doesn’t have a lot of friends, and most of his are girls, but he’s only like this with me from what I’ve seen.

I am a pretty private person, and I also work in customer service, so I am talking to people all day. When I get home, I generally like to be alone for a while and I close my room door. He knocks, comes in, flops down on my bed and complains that he is bored, and then expects to be entertained or something, when I just want him to respect my personal space.

The thing is, I am worried that he has a crush on me. If he does, and I ever have to deal with it, it will be bad/awkward, and I hope I’m wrong and it never happens. If he doesn’t have a crush on me, then why does he touch me so much? It’s possible he just doesn’t know how to interact with women but why is it all funneled toward me? How do I get him to stop without making a big uncomfortable cloud in the house, when the three of us are really good right now? Ideas?

Here is a fact about me, A Lady — I have never lived with a non-familial Dude! Part of this is because I went to a school without them, and part of it is because my dad told me they would end up hitting on me, and even though I think that’s silly it’s an idea that stuck!

Okay, what are we going to do about this!? You talk about not wanting to make the living situation uncomfortable, but it sounds like it already is uncomfortable for you, and that’s all I need to know to say that this has to be addressed. Usually I would tell you to get your other roommate (which, does she feel the same way about Dude Roommate?) to drop some sort of hint during morning kaffeklatsch, but I think this is a situation in which passive-aggression will only make things worse in the long run. Next time he comes into your room uninvited, tell him politely but firmly that you’d rather be alone. Next time he touches you in a way you don’t like, tell him politely but firmly that you’d rather not be touched in whatever way he’s touching you. Any Dude that gets actively upset about those things is probably not that great, as a friend! Also, this way if he does drop the crush bomb on you, you’ve got a conversational trail of not sending mixed messages.

I know this is hard and scary, but remember that even when roommates become friends and friends become roommates, you’re not here (here meaning the home where you pay rent and utilities, because you are an adult who can handle adult conversations) to make friends.

So I’m not sure this is an appropriate ask the lady question, but I don’t know who else I would ask (if I were a dude, I wouldn’t have this question!). I am a single 23-year-old female who lives by herself in a suburb of DC (decent apartment building complete with families with children). It is a safe area, but this last weekend a man in a uniform knocked on my apartment and said he was there to “winterize and secure the unit.” I will add that I was hungover, so not thinking my clearest, but was very confused why he was there. I called my management company who has no record of any work order/ever requesting service, and they said if he comes by again call the police.

My question is, should I have not answered the door? He said he was ready to change the locks, and looking through the peephole only showed a man in a service uniform, so I had no idea why he was there. Obviously if he comes again, I won’t open the door/will call the police, but I am a bit freaked out? Like, was he casing my apartment (not that I have anything of value … but please don’t steal my cats!)? Basically, I’m a little freaked out by this, and was wondering what other females who live by themselves would do.

First and foremost, good for you for calling your management company to check things out. You were obviously right to trust your gut on that one, and also to be with-it enough to think, ‘hmm, have I scheduled this? Is this person supposed to be here?’

As for the opening the door thing, I wouldn’t find fault with yourself. I am a habitual reader of crime novels and watcher of the various Laws and Order, and so a big part of me wants to scream “never open the door, ever, even if it’s someone you know!”, but at the same time I think it’s important to recognize that you’re an adult woman who lives on her own in a big city and that you are capable of making safe and smart decisions (calling to check) but also not being afraid to open your door. It’s a hard balance to strike, you know?

I just want to know, are wet dreams common among ladies, a lady? Because I am a lady who has these dreams and they are amazing and I wish to discuss these things.

Oh, you call them wet dreams? I call them nap orgasms!

Which is to say, yes, they are common, which is to say, yes, I have them, too! A survey of friends and the Internet (don’t image search ‘female wet dream’ at work or school, BTW) says it’s hyper-regular and totally unpredictable — some ladies have them every time they drift off, others say it only happens once in a while, and also based on this highly scientific survey they don’t seem to be tied to how many awake orgasms you may or may not be having!

Really though, I think we don’t talk about this because different ladies call it different names, and female sexual arousal is so unique to the individual and sometimes it doesn’t, um, come to a conclusion and you wake up sweaty and confused and heart-poundy, symptoms which at the very least should make you think about Victorian literature in a different light (seriously, Victorian ladies are always waking up with nap orgasm symptoms in the middle of the night or the morning).

Previously: Namesakes and the Air Force.

A Lady is one of several rotating ladies who know everything. Do you have any questions for A Lady?

Photo by Elzbieta Sekowska, via Shutterstock