I learned something new today. There is no such thing as a female wingman. I did not know this. How I could have gone 38 years without knowing this is beyond me. However, I do take some consolation in the fact that none of my female friends knew this. And I'm a little ticked off that all of my male friends knew this.
Since Saturday night, I have been under the impression that I was acting as a female wingman. I felt pretty damn proud of myself, actually. I am so frickin' cool! I am one of the guys! I am the one they call when they need to rid themselves of an unwanted presence for the night. The female wingman! Wing-gal! or Wing Grrrl. Or Wingy-bitch! I don't care what you call me, just call me! I'm there for you. The female wingman.
However, at lunch today, my friend Don decided to burst my bubble. I was relaying the story of the frantic phone call and subsequent flurry of text messages that lead me to the bar.
"Oh" he said, "Sounds like somebody needed an instant girlfriend for the night."
"Well, yeah." I said
"He had a clinger he needed to get rid of?"
"Something like that." (A posse of homosexual clingers, actually, but that's a story for another day)
"And he called you to come save him."
"Yup!" I answered proudly, "I was his wingman!"
Don gave me a look of bemused pity. "Oh, honey; you weren't his wingman. You were his girlfriend for the night. There is a huge difference. And there are no female wingmen."
I looked around the staff room. All of my male coworkers were nodding. All of my female coworkers looked confused.
"Wait!" I countered. "What do you mean there are no female wingmen? Have you ever heard of that?"
I wasn't addressing anyone in particular. Again, all of my male coworkers were nodding while all my female coworkers shook their heads.
"Is this common knowledge? I mean, have YOU ever called in an instant girlfriend for the night?"
There was a collective "Oh, yeah!" from the testosterone gallery.
"Why have I never heard of this?"
"Well," Don said, "we're guys. We don't talk about this stuff. As a matter of fact, there may be serious repercussions for my even talking to you."
As I was trying to digest this, Don dealt the final blow. "Oh, and you have to make sure to set boundaries when you're an instant girlfriend for the night. If you don't, you automatically become a part-time girlfriend."
"He'll only call you when he wants something."
You know what? I think I'm okay with that.