There are many things that I believe a good friend should possess and embody. This litmus test differs from person to person. You may have your own kooky way of telling when someone has officially passed off-shore processing and allowed into BFF territory as a
permanent resident. For me, a strange way that I am able to tell when I’ve reached that threshold with an individual is if, in the duration of us spending time together on a particular day, either one of us can fall asleep and the other not be offended by it. Is it rude? In general context, probably. In fact, most definitely, but the quality of the relationship between two people who can, on occasion (if this happens majority of the time, you might be in trouble, or friends with a deceased person), spend time together in silence and two people who need to speak incessantly to fill awkward gaps speaks for itself. Also, I really like sleep, I’m over 18, I do what I like.
The other night I was at dinner with two friends from work Mo’Nique and Khap. Admittedly I am closer to Khap than Mo’Nique (hint: this is important, you know, for later). We had fell into the unfortunate trap of talking about work, with workmates, when not at work. It’s like a strange drug that you can’t help taking, bitching about work to colleagues is up there on the Weird Satisfactions List, below popping pimples and above multiple sneezes in a row. I became a little sick of the work talk. It stressed me enough to work there, and we were talking about the potential of a certain douchebag being promoted to Assistant Manager. I wanted to think about it as little as possible because my will to live had already been especially low (this is a joke, please do not report me to Tumblr).
I put a non-religious, oriental fatwa on the work talk, so of course we had to talk about our personal lives. I decided to regale Khap and Mo’Nique with the current issues I was having with my parents. The issue itself was already in a semi-resolved state, but at the time it effected my relationship with my parents a great deal. Having explained the situation in
great, specific and fair dramatic detail, I waited for their response. My pity and sympathy receptors were ready, but instead Khap just said, ‘interesting.’
I suddenly withdrew from the position that I was in (that is, arms open, ready for embrace) and asked him what he meant. He said something along the lines that I was being too self-absorbed and making the situation all about myself, not considering my parents point of view. When I went to rebut his point he just stopped me.
“You’ve already said your part, I’m just saying what I think.”
It hit me like a brick wall, and the next minute or so was pretty awkward. I almost wished we weren’t at a restaurant so that I could assume my basic slumber position, but even I have limits on these kind of things. Khap isn’t the kind of guy that you argue with, and I couldn’t deny that I had perhaps embellished to make me seem more blame free. I still didn’t agree with his quick judgement, and immediately after the dinner I arranged to meet up with another friend in order to get validation that I was completely correct in how I felt. I was later nominated for Most Mature Moment by the Academy of Sarcasm and Disdain.
My other friend happens to have crazy parents, she immediately sympathized and went over board with how to fix things with my parents. Her methods were perhaps better suited to a child preparing to escape Fritzl’s dungeon, but I appreciated her sentiment. I left the cafe feeling worse than before. Khap was definitely more in tune with the situation than her, and I hated him for saying anything at all.
I gave Mo’Nique a lift home the next day, she brought up the awkward minute that I wished I was asleep and asked if everything was okay. I said sure, why not, everything was fine, like apples and bees and other pleasant sounding phrases. To be honest, I already knew why I was mad at Khap, and it wasn’t really a valid reason either. Instead of being a player in my pity party, he simply pointed out a different point of view, and forced me to consider it. Mo’Nique said while he didn’t know what it was like in my shoes he wouldn’t have bothered saying anything if he didn’t think I could take it, or care about me in the first place. I could definitely see Khap blithely agreeing with people he hated that going into crocodile infested waters covered in an array of raw meats was a good idea.
I felt better about it, but I wasn’t sure if I could handle a friendship that was all about being honest about flaws. While the honest truth can help you think about a situation differently and better yourself as a person, shit, I need lying to sometimes. If this was his litmus test, did this mean that I would constantly be called out on my immaturity? There’s honesty and then there’s honesty. I didn’t know if Khap knew the difference, until a week later I was responding to his text dilemma about someone else in a calculative and logical manner to which he responded
“Dammit, sometimes I just need you to tell me I’m right and that I deserve better”
Guess we’re on the same page after all.