Peculiar title, but this post is truly about creating awkward-free zones through flour, sugar, and eggs. I’m a dude friend magnet, meaning my closet chums are guys while college females are more distant, misunderstood. I don’t mind that girls are bitches—I just find it easier to get along with sweaty boys that obsess over Star Wars and buy me cat socks. From time to time, I am caught in the sticky flytrap of guys that want more than my side hugs can give. It’s no one’s fault; emotions, especially the internalized ones of guys, cannot be helped. Here’s how I friendzoned my penis pals early on, guaranteeing true friendships that weren’t built on one-sided liking. Baking is terribly easy, even if ovens are a 400-degree mystery and knifes are finger homicides waiting to happen. The 21st century is the queen of delight in a box, especially an instructional delight that bakes in 12 minutes. Bakezoning is $3.99 simple and works because guys think it’s 1) too grandma, 2) too wifely, and 3) not sexual enough.
First, I think my baking reminds guys of drooping skin, a fireside knitting sesh, and red lips that bleed onto wrinkles. Baking Grandmothers are stereotypes for a reason, so I arm myself with cook books and measuring cups to dodge the date queries. The Normal Rockwell painting Freedom From Want reminds me of this gray haired logic perfectly. The grandma, bespectacled and unattractive (societally), plunks a twenty-pound turkey in front of her starving bloodline. In this scenario, I am the WWII matriarch with a spotless apron and priest-looking husband. There’s nothing sensual about her food; it’s cutesy and more awww than lemme tap that. I also assemble those goodie bags of cookies, candies, and confetti around holidays that remind boys of elementary school parties. I’m not channeling the sexy Food Network lady (@Giada de Laurentiis)—I’m a hefty Paula Deen girl. Baking for guys serves a dual purpose—it’s more humane than friendzoning in more radical ways (I.e. gushing over other guys, shutting them down, drawing zits on your face). It’s also more cost effective than splurging on baggy clothes that rev up the ugly faction. I recently baked corn muffins for my male friend, and he said “Thanks! I’ll have to bake you brownies from my grandmother’s recipe.” That, my cold-hearted ladies, is how it is done. Guys preach their machismo with muscle shirts and shaving cream, but they melt at grandma’s home cooked food. Girls just have to find that sweet spot of fondness without the sexuality.
Second, guys hate commitment. This applies to any age of male, but college ones are prone to flyby kisses and short term relationships that mean nothing. Even if a steady girlfriend will supply sex and a high quality social media life—no. It’s still the idea of dating monogamy that makes players cringe. Therefore, I use baking as a secret wife weapon. I channel the older female vibe too much, making my cupcakes innocent icing beds from wifey. I’m not a clingy weirdo that bakes Sarah Lee for my guy friends every week; subconsciously, they associate my food with future wedding vow and David’s Bridal. I’m nearing marriageable age (two of my high school acquaintances are engaged), and my guy friends must be seeing those Facebook status changes as well. To freak them even more, I put my baking goods in those lockable Tupperware only their mom uses—crush avoided. Guys find the word “wife” so frightening, like a lifetime partner will decrease their sexual prowess or make them pushovers. It will, but joint income and zero dating complications is worth it. I appeal to this hated diction with brownies, salad, and pastaà foreshadowing their future evenings of Honey, how was work? and Be a darling and fix that goddamn sprinkler. Unfortunately, guys baking food for girls to friendzone them will have a 0% (or negative) success rate. The girl in question will fawn over the cookie, freeze one in perpetuity, and have endless snapchat conversations about how “charming” and “sensitive” the guy is. To friendzone girls, I recommend being honest from the outset and not letting anything platonic slip into a maybe (?).
Finally, “Food is the way to a man’s heart.” For the most part, that adage is 1000% accurate. However, I think that tight jeans, a smooth midriff, and that contoured breast crack is way more convincing than any corn soufflé. My food doesn’t have any sexual overtones—I don’t deliver aphrodisiac oysters or hot dogs to their apartment doors. It’s fact that a slut dressed in nakedness and Urban Decay eye shadow would make any muffin look succulent. But a regular girl with a ponytail braid and a 70% off target outfit (@me)? My banana puddings drop all phallic connotations like a hot potato. I try to be too sweet to bang, too “alter girl” to inspire bralette daydreams. I’m not complaining about male attention; I want my closet friends to be genuine and not concerned with having sex with me. What a phony “friendship” that would be. Those German girls with the Michelangelo busts and braids from heaven are the exact opposite of what to do: don those long sleeve shirts and jeans, and those guy friends will gobble down casserole without bedroom thoughts. Hofbrauhaus = no. Laura Ingles Wilder = hell yes.
I do all of this so friendship doesn’t blur into flirtation. I know what it’s like when a friendship ends because of messy emotions—it fucking sucks. Boys aren’t magical creatures with personalities superior to girls; they’re regular people with a different alignment I’ll never figure out. I use Publix cake batter to safeguard my inside jokes, creative film nights, and trips to barbeque restaurants against petty ruin. It’s not about losing a guy friend. It’s about losing a friend.
Perfect Friendzone Recipes