I have one best male pal and he is gay.
I realise this conforms to all manner of stereotypes (I can live with the Carrie and Stamford a la SATC one quite comfortably thanks) but this is just the way it is.
The question is, can you ever truly have a close – and when I mean close, I’m talking someone you can pick your nose in front of, cry in front of, hold hands without feeling weird and call at 3am to discuss the merits of Maltesers – straight male best friend?
When I first drunkenly encountered Mr B at a work summer party fuelled by free Pimms, we instantly hit it off like long lost buddies but there was a slight spanner in the works in that I was, at the time, ahem, engaged to another chap. No, no, no, I told my friends (and the fiancée of the time), it was all fine and dandy because Mr B was just a friend. No strings, no winking, no naughtiness, just friends.
My friends eyed me suspiciously, unable to fathom the concept that I had met a guy who I thought was luverly, who was, as I like to quote Kath & Kim, “a great big hunk of spunk” but to whom I had nooo interest in whatsoever other than nattering about our musical tastes and sharing our Northern and Southern escapades.
I really wanted this person to exist in my world because it should be possible shouldn’t it? Why not? But I think deep deep down, unless you’ve grown up with this person from the word dot to the point where paddling pool sharing and co-existing during puberty has made this male friend a brother from another mother and too weird to be anything but, I reckon there is always going to be some spark of attraction to Mr Straight Best Buddy that could make platonic bed sharing on drunken nights out a bit of a no-go zone.
Needless to say, after a few more nights out on purely friendly fact-finding missions with Mr B, we eventually ended up married and parents to our mini person, proving my friends and their unconvinced eyebrow raising, right.
It’s all worked out for the best of course – Russy (Best Male Pal) and I enjoy the world that Mr B feigns dutiful husband interest in but instead would rather swap for a cosy night in with his Mac and a blog about fonts – we queue up outside Les Miserables with all the other lunatic autograph-hunters, we invite each other to dinner knowing that this will comprise of crisps, garlic bread and Quorn sausages with baked beans, we fast forward Moulin Rouge to the end once *spoiler* (you haven't seen it?!) Satine starts dying and we have a list of “MUST-do” adventures which include going to Harry Potter land, a weekend jaunt in Paree and watching Cats. And we talk to each other whilst having a pee.
Now which gorgeous, straight sane male would want to do any of that on a regular basis? Thought not.