Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Five Toxic Friends...RUN!!!!!
My Dad: I'm going back to school...I shouldn't have left college. I'm headed out to register in a bit, why don't you come with me.
Curtis: Man, that's some dumb sh*t...for what?
I remember Curtis fondly...my Dad is a college grad. Point made and end of story.
Nostalgia is the only thing you have left. If every conversation you have starts with a "Remember that time we..." but fails to pick up sometime in the present (or near future), you may have a bit of a problem. This story could be my own as I'm a person who enjoys reminiscing. There's something about recounting past hilarity that makes it even funnier, wittier, perfecter than day to day life. The problem with this is failing to live in the present sets you up for unrealistic expectations. Consider this: the reason the stories about past (mis)adventures seem somehow more entertaining is that they've had the opportunity to be edited for best possible effect. The meals taste better, the jokes were funnier, the outfit fit better and the guy that hit on you looked just like Lance Gross (with more muscles and whiter teeth and...). This is not to say that enjoying a history with your friend should be frowned upon, but when one fails to plan for the future, one's future plans fail. Another dangerous aspect of the "nostalgic friendship" is closely aligned with the lack of common goals. If we have nothing in common, we reach back instead of looking forward. A few entries prior to this one is a detailed outing I enjoyed with a great friend of mine and if I spent the next ten years enjoying that one day, I don't think I could continue to call her my friend. I'm looking forward to the next time sushi sounds her clarion call...In fact, I may just shoot her a text and see if her weekend is free. We probably won't do the same things we did last time. We're headed somewhere new...the future.
Neither of you are ever wrong. I'm stubborn. (Admit it while no one is listening...so are you. Go ahead, I'll wait.) When I'm convinced of an idea, I'm seldom wrong (...in my head). One of the most significant people in my life is the EXACT same way. It's a thrill ride. (Ooops, did I drop my sarcasm...) The thing that binds us is our ability to wave the red flag and admit we can both be wrong...frequently. Likewise, I've had one sided friendships where I began to think, "You're Wrong" was my middle name. So much so, I began to question myself on unmitigated truths like, the sky is blue and toenails grow after death. And this is the problem with a one sided friendship. At some point, you'll begin to question yourself, your life, your decisions and at some point, your sanity. And who needs that? Trust me, a true friend can toss caution (and ego) to the wind and admit to being wrong and they know that when you're wrong...it's not an open wound to place a salt lick in. It's gentle correction, not denigration, flagellation or constant agitation.
Forgive me, I seem to have lapsed into a Jesse Jackson moment...
I had a friend named, Woe. When I asked about her day, I got the following rundown: her alarm didn't go off, the shower was too hot, her outfit was wrinkled, her breakfast was bland, she hit the dog pulling out of the driveway, got stuck in traffic, faced a mountain of paperwork, the boss yelled at her, she forgot her lunch, she left work late, ran into traffic, hit the cat on the way into the driveway, her favorite show got cancelled, cable went out, got a fishbone caught in her throat and fell asleep on a lumpy bed. EVERYDAY! (She's wanted by PETA to this day...).
Frustrated, I responded,
"Sounds like you had a rough month...did anything go right?"
I remember her blank stare fondly.