I fell into the trap. When I noticed Sylvia was spending a lot of her social networking time chatting with a boy, I assumed that it was a boyfriend. She insisted he wasn't, and I'm ashamed of myself for not believing her at first.
Then I remembered my own life. From second grade, I had a best male friend. That year, it was Jesse, and it started a trend of always having male (straight) friends.
There seem to be a lot of people who have trouble with the concept of men and women being friends without being romantically involved. And I loved When Harry Met Sally as much as the next person. But here's the thing: it was a movie! It wasn't real life!
I don't try to have male friends, I just do. Sometimes, it just works. And for whatever reason, if I look back at any time in my life, there's always a connection to a male friend that meant the world to me.
Sylvia told me that she hates it when people assume there's something going on, and tease her about some of her friends. Riley chimed in, too, and said it has even cost her a friendship with a boy who hated being teased for being friends with her, so he started treating her horribly to try and combat the rumors.
So silly. So sad.
Sure enough, we just happened to mention to someone that we met a mother and her son recently, and this someone turns to my daughter with that "knowing" smile: "Is he cute?" Sylvia and I both shook our heads and rolled our eyes. That wasn't the point!
It's been over 20 years since When Harry Met Sally, and it still might take another 200 before people can start appreciating males and females not "just" being friends, but having a meaningful and valuable friendship...that has nothing do with romance or lust.