Thursday, September 2, 2010

Friends... How Many of Us Have Them?

Friends... how many of us have them? Because I know what it feels like to stand alone, I work to be a great friend. I don't always succeed, but it's something I take seriously. Sometimes, it isn't always reciprocated. There are some folks you call "friends" because that's what Facebook calls them and your mom told you if you don't have anything nice to say... Anyway, I've got new titles for you to use for these friends. Read on.

This is the friend you can depend on to bring you down, right when you're happiest. You call them because you're excited about some great news, a new guy/girl you've met, or an opportunity at work. Their response: "Mmm. I don't know. She looks funny to me. I wouldn't talk to her." Or they hit you with: "Anybody could have gotten that job. No surprise there." Well... geeeeeeez.

This is the friend that you can count on to always "one-up" you. You say, "I used to be a cheerleader." And they go, "That's cute. My high school team won the all-state championship 3 years in a row, and I was captain." Really?!!? Who cares! Let someone else be great sometimes.

He or she has no real reason for not hearing what you say. They just choose not to listen. Your "conversations" are actually them talking, and then waiting for your mouth to stop moving so they can talk again.

You: Yeah, I think I'm going to break up with my girlfriend.
Deaf One: Wonder what I'm going to eat for lunch....
You: ... yeah, so about my girlfriend. I think she's cheating on me. And she's been coming home extra late from work. I love her though, this really hurts.
Deaf One: mmmm.. have you had Ray's crabcakes?

I know most people complain about friends that aren't there when they need them. But what about friends that aren't there for the good stuff? That's an overlooked area. I know some people who will be happy to listen when I'm crying, upset, or going through a crisis. It's almost like they thrive in hearing bad news. However, the second I invite them to a happy celebration, a graduation, or something positive, they can't be found. It's great to have friends around in your time of need, but the special moments in your life are made all the more special by friends willing to share them with you.

This is the person you loan something to, who returns it broken, worn, dirty, or dog-eared. And they never say anything! They just slide you the mangled flatiron as if you gave it to them with the broken screen. Whatever happened to giving people their things back better than when you found it? The Abuser is a cousin to The Person Who Doesn't Pay You or Give the Loaned Item Back Until You Bring It Up. (What part of the game is that?!?) I have dozens of physical books, at least 250 books between my storage unit, my house, and other people's bookshelves. If you borrow my copy of Kite Runner, Freakonomics, or Souls of Black Folk, I'm happy. I love it when my friends read and we can all talk about it. But give it back! (And this is why I have an ereader. you can't borrow books on my Nook! Ha!)

Ah, this one might be my least favorite. This is the person that puts food on your tab, or assumes that you're ok with whatever it is, and doesn't say a single word. "Oh, I left my debit at home, so I'll just go to lunch with Crystal, she got it." And then.... they don't even say THANK YOU! There are few words more powerful than "please, thank you, and "I appreciate you."
Anybody have "friends" like these? Are you guilty of being any of the described folks?