Art by: snatti89
“Is Carol from management starting to get on your nerves? Is Dave asking you to go snowboarding again even though you got frostbite on the last slope? Is Janet not getting you that cardigan you’ve been requesting for your birthday since 8th grade?
Well, worry no longer because I’ve got you covered! I just happen to carry a set of standards so absurd all your friends will finally leave you alone. Because they’ll finally get the hint. That you’re insane”
The theme for this entire series has been about the absurdity and or the ridiculous. Absurdity in everything really: from people being ridiculously presumptuous to curbing the temptation of falsifying delusional narratives formed by other people. When we get right down to it, life is just one ridiculous mess, isn’t it?
But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s take it back a notch.
I understand how absurd everything is when you take a closer look, but today I wanted to focus on myself. What, you thought I couldn’t run a self-introspection session? I know I can be ridiculous, difficult to peg. We’re all human, we’re all flawed in some way or another. But you know what, I don’t care. I’ll never settle when it comes to friendships because one: I’m stubborn and two I’m an idiot – some would even go as far as calling me an a**hole but hey, there’s no need for that language here dear sir/madame 🙂
The thing is, I see every relationship I bridge as a chosen struggle. It doesn’t matter which one it is; they’re all the same. Better to have no friends if you know you can’t deal with that crap on a daily, because guess what, everyone and their grandma are bringing baggage.
I realize the absurdity of the situation I’m putting forward here because I’m not perfect either. But here’s the loop, I’m perfect for me because I’m all I’ve got. I came into this world alone and I will die alone. I’m not being negative; I’m just giving you a spoiler.
Getting side-tracked again …
I’m so bad at keeping friends that the ones I had, I started calling family; it was the only way I could put order to the chaos I had started. The numbers were dwindling so fast. The kind of stuff that happens after you get an existential crisis from taking too much [redacted], really reflecting over why you keep certain people in your life despite them bringing nothing.
Family can be a pain, but there’s something of a bond there. They can p*ss you off but at the end of the day they are still your family (doesn’t exempt them from being cut off though), don’t judge me; that failsafe is necessary in case anyone gets too excited.
I have run through many meditation cycles and all of them conclude that by traditional standards, I am a terrible friend. Oh so terrible, and I agree.
I can forget your birthday, I can afford not to talk to you for months or even years, I don’t share my personal life with you, I don’t want you near my house, I don’t want to come anywhere near yours, I’ll forget the names of your other friends as fast as you tell them to me. And if I have a wedding (strong IF) I probably won’t invite you. In my defence, I won’t invite anyone – because, reasons.
My ‘problem’ (if you’re feeling so judgy) is that because I’ve formed a value system for myself that needs so little to keep me distracted (notice I said distracted and not happy) I somewhat expect others to have worked on themselves just as deeply. But of course, people are different, I know that. To be ‘happy’, some people want to go out with their friends, some want you to listen to their problems and assure them that everything will be fine. Some want a “happy birthday” message as soon as midnight hits. Some want a hug and a men’s or ladies night sprinkled in there somewhere.
All of them are things that if you want, you should look for and find. We all seek different things, I just happen to demand a lot more. And maybe I do that because I don’t want anyone close, maybe by setting such a high bar, I prepare myself for disappointment. Or maybe, just maybe, I find people extremely annoying but at the same time pivotal in the formation of blog content.
The truth is, it could be any one of these things, but let’s not linger on the little details.
Art by: snatti89
So I’ve made a list. A list of things that, if understood, should allow every one of my real-life friendships to go swimmingly. I’ve mixed genuine factors with those that carry satire. Apologies, ill-intenders, but this is far from being the fact-free party you wish it would have been. Truth is, if you know me well enough, telling apart the bits that are true and those which aren’t shouldn’t be too difficult.
I realize there’s no way anyone can adhere to all of them and stay sane. But heck, let’s do this:
- If you start a fight, physical or otherwise, I will watch you get beaten (okay, maybe not watch – It’s not like I’ll enjoy it – but I won’t get involved). The only favour I owe you? Intervening when your life is at risk, I obviously don’t want you to die. But I will not be reeled into your battles, especially when they can easily be avoided.
- Sometimes group-think is mistaken for harmony. I will put no effort into being a part of it, especially if it’s the former.
- I’m a writer, words carry weight. If you are reckless in their use, you might not care but I will. What you do with them in your free time is none of my business, but overstep my boundaries and you’ll get to hear exactly what you need.
- My vocabulary is expansive. Occupational hazard associated with writing and reading plenty. Don’t change up and be pretentious, trying to flex words you don’t otherwise use. No, it won’t impress me and yes, I’ll notice.
- I believe in two people being similar but never the same. With that said, don’t copy me. It doesn’t make me feel safe or understood. If anything, it makes me feel like I have two shadows.
- Don’t give me artificial pressure based on trivial things that serve to benefit you. Learn to take “no” for an answer.
- Don’t change who you are in the company of your love interest or other friends; especially at my expense. I will not be the brunt of your jokes and I will not adapt to your flimsy identity. Better luck in Improv theatre though.
- I have a peculiar sense of humour. It’s easy to think all jokes are intended for an audience or a willing listener; especially if that’s how you function. But don’t mistake my jokes as being for you. They’re for me first, if anyone else happens to laugh, well, that’s just collateral damage.
- I want you as a friend. I won’t allow myself to settle for needing you as one.
- I don’t trust anyone. It may hurt hearing that but better to rip that band-aid before anyone gets too comfortable.
- We don’t have to agree on everything to get along. I welcome perspective.
- I don’t like inconsequential confrontations. Takes more energy to show you why you’re wrong than it does to mute your sound giving space for my imagination to run wild.
- Don’t lie. Not even when you think it’s for my own good. Especially when you think it’s for my own good. I won’t see it that way.
- I don’t cut people off with the snipping efficiency of a ribbon-cutting ceremony. I’m not a monster, outside of Tuesdays anyways. But, if you’re curious, keep doing what I ask you not to do and it shouldn’t take you long to find out.
- You are not my responsibility (and vice versa). I’ve heard people say “good friends call each other out on their bullsh*t” and to that, I say, “Good friends don’t lie”. Except on someone’s wedding day, “Yes, Fred. You don’t look like you’re freaking out” “Yes, Fred. You are making the right decision”.
- Your birthday is important to you; because of that, I’ll do my best to remember it. You can forget mine though. I mean, my birthday is special, for sure, but I don’t need presents or people to remember it to make it so.
- It doesn’t matter how special you think you are; you’ll never get the n-word pass with me (you’d be surprised how often this is a problem)
- Don’t provoke me. We’re not in a zoo. Although, anyone who willingly provokes me probably belongs in one.
- You don’t know me more than I do. To put what I’m saying into perspective, that’s like saying you know yourself more than I do, but you just so happen to know more about me as well. Adjust your ambitions accordingly.
- Don’t make what I write about you.
- I’m not secretive. I’ve just come to realize no one person can cater to every topic I wish to discuss with much-needed consistency. No one knows everything. But there are people who are better equipped to handle certain conversations. So if you hear nothing about my love life, well, you’re just not the first person I think of when I wish to talk about it.
- I don’t think I’m smarter than you, you do.
- Don’t worry about me feeling excluded. Chances are I’ll love the alone time. I’m extremely good at minding my own business.
Art by: snatti89
If you are out there being a friend to those that constantly require love and attention. I salute you. And please, keep doing what you’re doing; because without you, they won’t have many friends they can rely on and you wouldn’t want them to be stuck with someone like me, would you? Wouldn’t last a day.
The only people I can probably call friends are here. Those that share their experience with me through this medium. We haven’t met in real life and we probably never will, and that’s fine; perfect even. Because what you show me of yourselves is enough; I don’t need to delve deeper, you’re not a coal mine in the 60s.
This might be the last piece for this series. We’ll see …
Talk later. Much love.
– O.D. ©2020