There they were, my friends; their attention was locked on me. Their attention was so focused because I was about to perform a nifty magic trick, a nice little number from the annals of YouTube. No, I’m not linking to it, because it’s cool and I dreadfully dread sharing. Wait! One among the previously transfixed crowd breaks from the rest and walks over to me. WTF?
Garrett, my friend’s boyfriend at the time, walks over to stand right beside me complete with a smug look. He declares, “Oh! I know this one!! Go ahead dude! I’m going to catch you!” Great, Shitlock Holmes is on the case. “What a jerk,” I thought to myself. Needless to say, I wasn’t going to give this clown the time of day and promptly declined to perform my nifty magic act. It was going to be a doozy, too, but not as much as my trick which makes bra straps and panties to disappear. If you want to know more, simply DM me, kids.
I had to tell Harriet that her guy was the direct offspring of Mr. Douche McBaggerson. I couldn’t quite muster the stones to tell her, though. She needed to hear it though; I fell short as a friend there. She asked, “Well, what did you think of Garrett?” I wanted to tell her that he was an ass-bag; a no good piece of garbage; a microbial piece of bottom feeding scum sucking trash. Instead, I think I said something like, “Oh, Garrett? Uh huh. He, um… Well… Say, you got any more beer in this place or what? Get me one of those and then make me a sandwich!” I never got that sandwich, which was instead replaced with a knuckle BLT to the neck.
A friend, on their best day or even a decent day, tells Harriet that Garrett is a douche nozzle. Their brief affair continued and ended after a drawn out and futile campaign that left my friend confused and hurt.
People need to be loved differently. They just do.
I dated a gal, Joyce, who complained. A lot. If it wasn’t about her job, it was about how she was homesick and how much she missed the things that made her home, her home… She needed tough love; someone to tell her to shut the f*ck up and deal with her situation, which she got herself into in the first place. Instead, being the too nice, guy at that time, I was reassuring, too much so. One day she snapped. “Alex!! I KNOW IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY!!! DON’T EFFING TELL ME THAT!!” She just wanted to rant and for me to listen… or tell her to deal. At that time, I wasn’t able to give that to her.
I’ve a couple friends who are married to one another. Cletus is an awesome guy. He’s great. So is his wife, Shirleen. Often times, Cletus will berate his wife, typically when drunk. He will poke fun at her and call her a “lesbo” or “turf muncher.” Not really kind pet names, they don’t fall under the cute category. Do they? Shirleen smiles and takes it, makes her own jokes. Truly, she’s not offended. Really, though, I think many of us would agree that she needs to reach into her pocket for a 16oz can of ass-whip and beat the tar out of her husband. Or at least to tell him to shut the hell up! Just once. Tough love; it’s not at all easy.
Cletus gets his tough love elsewhere, though. Sometimes I’m the source of this tough love. I’ll say, sometimes, “Dude, you’re an asshole. You should let up on your woman or she’s going to leave your ass.” Or even a shorter and more direct approach: “Man, you’re a cock. I could never deal with you. You realize how lucky you are to be loved at all?”
Cletus got divorced from his first wife and told one of his best friends about it. His friend told him. “Oh my god! I hated that b*tch!” Cletus wondered why his friend never said anything. His friend’s answer, “Bro, look, it doesn’t matter what I think of your wife, it matters how YOU feel about her. If you asked me, I’d have told you. You made the right choice, man.” Many of Cletus’s friends approved of that marriage, but no one spoke up when it took a turn for the lame.
Our lovers, partners and Frak buddies don’t always provide this objective support.
It’s possible to become too cozy doing what we do, because, well, it’s so cozy. Our closest friends and confidants are there to provide this tough love and objective insight when we lack it.
Pushing back is important, it’s how we give love and it’s how we show love. We do it when people blind themselves to the truth; we do it when our friends are too scared to act of their own accord. That’s where the asshole friend is your best friend.
Over the years I’ve become more of a jerk, I think. To the point that I feel some friends don’t come to me as much as they have in the past. I don’t give the same “it’s going to be alright” advice I used to give. My advice teeters on, “well, what did you think was going to happen, idiot?” And “You looking for your first Darwin Award, or what, buddy?” It’s how I show love now. More times than not, I give my love to those that are blinded by “nice love.” It’s the kind of love you’re given when your lover is just smitten with you and you can do no wrong. Is it because I’m bitter? I’d like to think not. YOU probably need someone to tell you that you’re an @sshole; a b*tch; a complete tosser. You need to hear it once in a while because once in a while it’s true, unless you’re like me, then it’s a way of life. =)