Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall… yeah, yeah, yeah…
all you’ve got to do is call (but, just not right now)… (yeah)…
you’ve got a… friend-ish.
I clearly remember thinking once that “friends” were the most important possession one could have, and as such I would never EVER forsake my (then) friends for anyone else (like a wife, siblings, parents, or kids), and that our friendship(s) would likely last until my last remaining breath, right before meeting my (player to be named later – well, I hadn’t figured that part out yet).This was right after a good buddy refused to go out drinking with the boys, citing “a problem” with “his second grader’s homework.” The nerve of that guy, putting family before friends. I know, right?
As a card totin’ certified ‘late schedule maturing adult’, I think I was almost 40 when that brainchild hit me. By then, I had managed to collect and keep a handsome collection of assorted friends and a loyal wife, while sporting zero liabilities… I mean kids. We lived a busy but exciting life, but it wasn’t exactly hassle-free. Staying connected to friends was important to both of us, and we had a contingent of childless like-minded couple friends. Always the man’s man, I managed my guy friends (buddies) with a deft touch, all having been dutifully earned and cultivated throughout different time periods in my life. And dude, I was always there for them at a moments notice. Cheers. (Note: It may be a Darwinian trait for us to heavily imbibe alcoholic beverages among friends at gatherings).
Problem with spouse? No worries mate, let’s go have a beer. Job pressures? Meet me for lunch and we’ll hammer it out. Uh, you told her you didn’t love her anymore after driving home from her birthday dinner and that you wanted a divorce? Hello? …Wha? sitting in the garage? She hit you with what?
OK. Sit tight. Let me check on the next flight to ‘Mozambique’… I’ll be there by Friday night.
Yes, actually the above conversation did take place, and so I dutifully spent about a grand+ to travel (to offender city) that same weekend, then spend 12 hours Saturday loading a full size U-haul, and drive it all day Sunday to Kentucky while listening attentively the-entire-way to my bud’s complaints about (soon to be ex-wife), and how he had been victimized by the whole affair. Right. Check. I see. Oh, and you’ve been having a secretive affair with the next Ms. Right (in Kentucky) for about three months? Got it. He did thank me before we parted ways on Sunday evening, and I left town feeling like a real man and loyal friend.
Unfortunately, almost a year later he blew through my hometown one night (travelling, work related) during a fresh self-inflicted marital crisis of my own. Instead of giving me the blind emotional support I felt I deserved (True, even though I was the offender), as he sat down to our dinner table he spoke with an assumed authority that he had not been granted: “My brother, it is well known that thou reap-est what thou sow-est.” Then, he added something about how I might want to do a gut-check on my guiding principles, or something? I don’t know, because by then I was too dizzy to hear anything.
Red faced and shaking I looked at him incredulously, “No, you didn’t just say that did you…huh? No, you didn’t,” then got up and went to my office to try and calm down before I strangled him. Luckily, after breathing deep I decided not to make a scene and calmly sauntered back to the table and struck up a more positive vibe by talking basketball.
After dinner, (smoking my expensive cigars) he waxed philosophical about how happy he had been since his recent divorce. Though in principle he was right about me, on pure friendship terms he had committed the rare but egregious ‘simultaneous intentional personal and technical fouls’. After 15 years now I haven’t forgiven him for it, nor has he asked forgiveness. In fact we never discussed it. Tilt. (-1)
THE BEST FRIEND COMPETITION
This topic alone could fill an entire book, but I will try to shorten it. As my life progressed with new places and people, changing values and beliefs, and professional and economic status, I realized that ‘best friend’ is at best a relative term. Much like one’s memory of a first lover, it can be hard to shake the impressions a childhood or high school best friend leaves on one’s psyche, even in lieu of overwhelming evidence that life’s meandering ways have left you two once best friends with little in common today. Maybe even directly oppositional in philosophical terms. Even with the effort of a late second half struggle to keep the “oath” relevant, many times it can meet with a resounding… WTF, or just fizzle out. (-½)
Soon though you realize that one can have best friends categorically; as in a best friend from childhood, best from college, best conquering the real world of work, best in mischief, best unknown known (hat tip to Rumsfield), best known unknown, etc. The mighty Christmas card list grows and it becomes a full time job to keep it fresh. It can sometimes become a revolving and relentless golf outing/Vegas/ball game annual boys weekend that seems endless; and it must all be squeezed neatly into an already packed vacation calendar. My ex-wife, god bless her, merely shrugged in complete non-judgment as I friend hopped around the country like an idiot at a fire drill. (I’ve since given up golf, can’t afford gambling, and watch games at home or out with friends).
Of course, no friend post would be complete without the venerable ‘opposite sex’ friend comment. Despite the issues and aside from avoiding ANY wrongdoing, if one is married or in a relationship, my advice is as it has always been, “just don’t go all Freemason” on this situation, and discuss it openly with your partner/mate. As in… a secret friendship does NOT accord with a viable platonic friend. By lying/hiding… anything you say can and will be twisted into impropriety. A good friend becomes, “Friends with penalties”.
In fact, it somewhat pains me to suggest ‘just forget it’ when/if you later become involved in a romantic relationship. It pains me because friends are too dear to forsake them for innocent misunderstandings, but then life is too short to be miserable with the one you love. What’s weird is that when I met my current partner nearly ten years ago I had several platonic girlfriends. In fact, my partner and I were platonic “friends with possibilities” for 2-3 years before becoming romantically involved. Once the romance began the issues over these friends seemed to escalate.
Life it seems, is full of choices. (-5)
I don’t get the “friends with benefits” concept at all. To me the act of making love is maybe the single most important factor in a sustainable happy relationship with a romantic partner, and the act alone involves a heavy emotional investment from both partners for complete enjoyment and satisfaction. It seems like “sport sex” simply cheapens the product to me, but like everything else I understand that everyone doesn’t have to think the same. If you can do it without hurting someone and with a clean conscience, go for it.
For many (men) there can be some life altering shake-ups of monumental proportions as we transition into our late-middle years, and ones that blow the ‘we’ll always be friends’ theory clearly out of the water, and into altered reality status. Afterwards, old friends, new friends, everyone is scrutinized with a “who the fuck is this person” freshness. In the meantime no calls are returned, no messages answered, or doorbells heard. And you, operating within a shadow of your former self, might simply be staring at walls for hours… contentedly. This twisted fog, a mangled mess of mayhem (some call the mid-life crisis) eventually passes, but now its your friends who have begun the slice-and-dice on you. Re-appraisal time from both corners. (-15)
Once one steps away from the BIG LIE buffet of success and begins that inevitable slow melt into the masterpiece (hat tip Leonard Cohen), or much earlier for the family inclined statistically normal folks who marry and have families around their late twenties, a certain ‘friend’ re-evaluation period becomes a born again necessity to you. (-75)
For these latter case upwardly mobile (family types) it likely becomes apparent that life’s (commitments plus time-to-accomplish) have squeezed out all (time potential for fulfillment success) in every 24/hr day, leaving the potential fun bank busted (0/24) and the great pairing down commences. But, as for the former (masterpiece melters) who may also have endured a train wreck of sorts, it simply comes down to a re-factoring of the current value proposition, in which the erosion of (ideals to value system) have been modified over time… enough to red-line at high disparity levels, thus begging the question, “WTF, how/why we saw fit to become ‘friends’ in the first place?”
The second law of thermodynamics spares no one my friend. Entropy always wins at the end of the day.
That disturbingly segues into answering the ‘why have we remained friends’ question, and given the obvious conflict in world-views on so many levels we realize that we’re actually not very fond of some of our supposed friends; an idea that hadn’t occurred to us until (now). At this point the ‘pairing down’ becomes a ‘lopping off’, with the understanding that most friends weren’t actually friends in the first place. Most likely they were ‘acquired’ by a sort of proxy through groups and organizations or circumstances and activities in which you were mutually involved at some earlier point in your respective pasts. And, one that is continuously passing, renewing, eroding, re-configuring, evolving. (-100)
I suspect that Facebook has brought this reality home to roost to many people more than ever, as I am so often perplexed by some of my ’friends’ beliefs, observations, and ideas enough to make me, uh, lol. And while a biting wit and sarcasm does well to satisfy my own sinister cynical derision, it sometimes leaves me with that half-empty feeling that once crept in while listening to some hilarious and cynically funny but darkly laced anecdotes from peers, during their retirement speeches to which I’d been treated.
There was something sadly comical about several of these (old) guys, who had obviously dug up their buried hatchets, after long sitting on their unique personalities, and likely bitten their bottom lip for so long they had almost been forgotten. But now, in their twilight moment they were exposing themselves as the company heretic hiding in the closet. “Finally,” these folks must have reasoned, “the chance to tell-it-like-it-is, and without fear of reprisal. Ain’t holding nothin’ back.” After a few drinks at the head table, I’ve seen some guys I considered eunuchs grow huge balls right before my very eyes and put them on full display. (+5)
I see some real benefit in using Facebook (if only because I really am a nice guy and enjoy hearing of others important moments in life), and perhaps sometimes like to show off my own family pride (without the warts) to the adoring masses, or just to sometimes openly vent about some wrongdoing or situation, and to anyone who’ll listen (all without an encryption filter despite Ed Snowden’s warnings ). Still, I try to maintain a tiny degree of modicum, with highly acute don’t give a rat discretion.
It may be no surprise that (*open honesty) in today’s vernacular actually translates to: ‘subversive anarchist who attempts to discuss reality with those who refuse to listen and wish NOT to know conflicting sides of anything they want to believe in and those who would rather SA just shut up and enjoy FREEDOM in the USA with all its pretensions, rights and vain-glories’. (*Your mileage may vary. Illegal unless otherwise stated herein, Please read the fine print. ( i.e. Either way you’re fucked, bitch).
I do like hearing other’s opinions of the facts, but I have my limitations. First, I must pre-suppose a commenter’s knowledge of subject matter. Please do your homework first. You know, like not saying “there’s no Santa Claus’ cause’ December 25 is Jesus’ birthday,” and shit. Second, leave all war-mongering at the door, or better… leave it with the military industrial complex. They’re doing it well enough without any popular support. Third, when in doubt, it’s time to STFU.
MY FACEBOOK RULES FOR COMMENTING and DISCUSSIONS WORTH NOTING (this is imaginary but who knows?)
The best compliment I ever got on Facebook was from a friend who said, “…that’s what I like about you… you’re abrasive.” That’s me. You can be too. Remember, abrasive, sarcastic, funny, but not repetitive.
Political expression is fine, as long as you can agree to a few things first: 1.There is no such thing as a liberal or conservative or Democrat or Republican, and Libertarian is dying in favor of Authoritarian. And, in truth there is only one party: The Green Authoritarian party. BTW, also that the ‘Party’ is controlled by a short list of well-healed extreme right and extreme left minded criminals who double as honest people, and who use our government and it’s officials as puppets to further their own secretive politico-economic agenda.
Whereby thanks to these fucks, ER + EL does not equate to Extreme Middle statistically, economically, or politically. That’s the place where you use to live, but they burnt it down using play money and THE US Constitution as kindling, thus it no longer exists.
If you agree with the above check YES, otherwise refrain from posting dumbass Fox News clips, or stupid bi-partisan drivel or discussing/arguing Politics and Policy with me. And yes, I have done my homework. Have you?
On my Facebook page please try to: Imagine there’s no heaven, and no hell below us (hat tip J. Lennon). It’s easy if you try. Violators will be consigned to the archives of evangelical lost souls. If you insist on quoting Jesus, only original sources are allowed. By virtue of sticking firmly to this rule, Jesus issues should care of themselves.
Remember, religious worship is a world-wide phenomenon (and IS NOT relegated to yours exclusively), a nefarious idea that alone creates and supports divisive intolerant ignorance, and mostly leaves blood in its wake. You are urged to be mindful and careful when posting this sensitive topic.
Profanity that’s profane is both tolerated and encouraged. Say what you mean and mean what you say, with profanes. Sarcasm is appreciated, but ironically funny wins the day. Double entendre’ is my specialty.
And BTW, this page is a Tin Hat friendly site, but have facts to back up any incredibly unlikely scenarios. And while unlikely is relative it draws closer to likely than ever before.
Above all friends, lighten up and enjoy the moment… try not to over post “share this if you agree” comments, and please turn off those “where you’re having lunch’ notifications. It only notifies me that you’re a tool. But hey, ignorance can be cured… it is stupidity that leaves its indelible mark.
Don’t hate sarcasm or you’ll end up hating me too, and I need ALL the friends I can get. Or, another hole in the head?
Final word. I’m not exactly sure what the definition of a friend is today. There are people I’d like to call my friend, but I’m not sure it is appropriate when we know so little of one another, and there’s little time and not enough beer for that to happen. It’s probablt too late for us. There are some whom I think I know and who know me well… but even then our communication goes silent for long drifts of time. Locally my friends feel more like ‘strong acquaintances’ to me. There’s a connection, but how strong is it? It seems to me that my family have become my friends, and sometimes to my chagrin.
But hey, that’s what makes a real friend a real friend. Someone you can count on (and vice-versa) to hear you out if/when the shit storm hits the fan. Remember, friendships are best served as a two-way dish and lukewarm to the touch.