Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Vestige of a Friendship

Recently, I made a decision to evaluate the relationships in my life with a great deal more scrutiny than I had ever previously applied. By relationships, I mean family, friends and whatever passes for romance these days. The decision to make this change was spurred by the growing realization that despite a great deal of effort over the years, all my best and worst moments are inevitably enjoyed and endured alone. The people in my life were not, in a practical sense, in my life. When things went badly, I suffered alone and when things went well...let's just say that I've had a bottle of Moet in the fridge for two years, dying to be shared.

My family problems I've spoken about at length: my mom is domineering, manipulative, limited and cold while my dad is well-intentioned, but distant and avoidant. I don't trust them and they don't know what to do with me. Over the years, the best strategy for either side, has been a civil, "don't ask, don't tell" policy that maintains the peace.

Romantically, it's been a tale of two Basils: one Basil meets someone he likes, he becomes nice to them forgetting all about his snarky persona, his dim view of humanity and his utter disregard of any form of optimism. Quicker than you can say "boring sex", the girl makes off like a shot in the dark. Basil number two, meanwhile, meets a woman he's got nothing in common with, he turns on the one-liners and the 'fuck the world, let's have some drinks' attitude, before you know it's donkey punch time (again). All I can say is that women aren't searching for sincerity in this world.

And then comes friendship, a term I always thought I understood but, as it turns out, I haven't an inkling what it means. Wikipedia makes a game effort to define it but the short answer is that it's the desire of two people to spend time together, with their clothes on. You could make your arguments about trust and connection and admiration and respect and, frankly, all that crap, but none of it holds water.

I don't trust any of my guy friends, because guys don't trust each other. Guys screw each other over money all the time...and it's expected. As for women, guys trust each other even less over that. Remember the old adage about guys thinking with their dicks? Women know it, never mind other men who actually have dicks. I'd be CRAZY to trust a guy friend around my girl. No exceptions.

Girls. I've only ever been really good friends with three girls. I mean, girls that I've known for years and wouldn't have hesitated to classify them as buddies. One of them lives in Egypt, two of them lives here.

The girl in Egypt has a boyfriend who's isolated her from her friends (now there's a man who knows how to keep a woman) and they've been together for three years now, happy as can be. I talk to her occasionally and love her to bits because she's sweet but I don't consider her a close friend anymore, because I don't see her. Seven thousand miles and a jealous, possessive boyfriend will do that.

The one who lives in the States is also as sweet as can be: solid, dependable, real and with enough humanity to populate another planet. I also don't trust that she has the tools to be my friend: the consistent presence in my life, the balls to tell me the truth about things and the ability (desire?) to share in my highs and lows. I love her to bits but I have doubts about how she sees me, and in the absence of her presence to reassure me, I have nothing to fall back on but my mistrust.

The other girl who also lives here, came on to me only long enough for me to fall for her, then kicked me in the motherfucking balls.

Of course, I have other friends who are girls and I like them all a good deal (why would I spend time with them if I didn't?)...but to actually trust someone. That's tough. Why offer up something that important without feeling they've earned this trust? I mean, why is the default to trust the people you like? It's even counter-intuitive. Trust is earned, I think, built up slowly over time, not handed over, lock, stock and barrel..until something happens to compromise it.

Here's the irony: guys are not to be trusted in the sense that they'll try and take what's yours if it becomes in their good interest to do that; girls are generally more trust-worthy in that regard. But a girl can't be trusted to tell you the truth about things, as a general rule, while a guy will give you the bitter truth without batting an eyelid, if you're good enough friends.

Don't waste your time telling me it isn't true.

Ask your guy and argue with him.

So there you have it, peons. Where it's at, the Basil Fawlty edition. Honest, unabashed misogyny (funny how there's no equivalent word for women who hate men) on demand. Not that talking was the point of this change of direction, this reassessment of the kind of relationships I need in my life. The point was to genuinely make sure I'm getting what I need from the people I'm involved with: family, friends and fools-who-hook-up-with-me.

And it wasn't an easy decision to make. Mainly because I've never been any good at all three and who's to say I couldn't make things worse? When you're a mediocre putter (to use a lamentable golf analogy), the reticence that keeps you from adjusting your swing is driven by the fear of descending from being mediocre to becoming downright diabolical.

But if it isn't working, change is all you have and that's what you've got to do. Whether you fear it or not, to channel Deadwood, falls under the domain of fucking irrelevancy.


Anonymous robert said...

Yes...at times u need to scrutinize friendships or any relation on this earth except parents...every relation should be put under test of time and then will u know how much value they deserve in ur life...want any tips on friendly stuffs....my blog awaits u :)

7:44 AM  

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