June 17, 2011

You’ve got friends, right? I’m sure we all do. But don’t we all have friends that do something that just seem to rub you the wrong way? Have you noticed that you are friends with people only because you have been friends with them for so long that you couldn’t really tear yourself away from them? Maybe you have friends who are really “good” people, but others would call them “bad”, mostly because they don’t even really know them. Maybe all your friends look a certain way? Act a certain way? Talk a certain way?

I remember the days when friends were just friends. There wasn’t anything complex. If you wanted to be friends with a person (usually in elementary school or middle school) you would simply have this typical conversation:

Me: Hey, do you want to be friends?

Potential Friend: Yes. Yes I do.

Me: Let’s go play with (fun item)

PF: O.K.

Me: Woo hoo.

New Friend: Woo hoo

:::High Five:::

If my memory serves correct, this was a common and well practiced version of “friending” somebody. Why can’t that happen today?

Today, all that is different (and not because you didn’t have facebook in elementary school). It seems that we have to “know a person” before we’re allowed to know a person. You have to know if you can even affiliate with them. You need to know how they talk, what they like, who they like, and what they do. If at least 3 out of 4 of these things don’t line up with your own views/ideas, then there is no chance for a friendship.

Whatever happened to simple kindness?

I understand that it is important to know whether or not the person you’re approaching for friendship is a serial killer, a terrorist, or a (gasp) dentist. But that’s not a reason to try to alienate everybody that isn’t your friend already. Example:

I was sitting in a resturant with some close friends. We were just eating and enjoying ourselves, we one of my friends looks out the window and sees two approaching customers. He leans over and says, “Look at these two douchebags.” and carries on eating. As the walk in and stand in line, both friends continue to make fun of these people. “Look how cool they think they are.”

As I look more closely, these two “douches” are actually two of my friends (not very close friends, but friends whom I am on good terms with) that I just haven’t seen in a while. I then inform my friends (who I’m sitting with) that these two “d-bag” are in fact, John and Mike, people they know as well.

I’m not sure if they felt bad once they realized that they were trying to make fun of real people that we know. Maybe they didn’t feel bad because they had already made a choice, and just out of spite, they were going to stick with it. Either way, why? Why do you need to sit on judgement on everybody who walks through a door. So what if they look ‘douchy’ (like Honk Man did), maybe they’re actually good people.

Now I’m not saying I’m not guilty of this. But I am saying that I will try to make sure that I don’t find myself guilty of it anymore.

Why not just be nice to everybody?

Yeah, I’m done ranting. For now.


2 Responses to “Friendships”

  1. I would like to spend a few moments gushing over how much I agree with this post:

    1. Yessss…. why did friendship change from an initial “Let’s have fun together,” to “We are currently committing to agreeing with everything each other says and being replicas of each other,”? The cool thing about little kid friendships is that they expect fun with each other. They don’t expect a person’s identity and personhood to drastically change on initiation of friendship.

    2. I admittedly made the comment about Honk Man sucking… and I was totally trying to empathize with you by making a mean comment about someone I don’t know who’s never done anything mean to me. :( Fail.

    3. Being nice to everyone is a brilliant idea.

    • I suppose my rant on Honk Man being followed up with this post is a little contradictory. While I still do not believe that I would be friends with Honk Man, I would be really be kicking myself if I had somehow found out that he was only trying to get to the hospital because his wife was having an emergency surgery. This is likely not the case, so, Honk Man is probably guilty of this as well. He was most defiantly NOT trying to make friends while he was driving his car.

      Hugs, not Horns. (new bumper sticker?)

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