People are like songs to me. A majority are crappy, derivative and have no melody. Some are fun little ditties that you barely remember after listening to them. Almost all of them are dumbed down for mass appeal and have nothing to say. Cynical? Probably, but experience says no. Just realistic.
However, every once in a while a song comes along that makes me smile and gives me hope. Maybe I relate to the lyrics or just enjoy the musicianship or it's attempting something that hasn't been tried before. Or maybe it's just a great song. I'm not intelligent or coherent enough to put into words why some songs are better than others. They just are. I get a physical reaction to really good songs. Almost like a chill. Some recent examples: Blonde Redhead's 'Spring and By Summer Fall', Alkaline Trio's 'Buried', Futurehead's 'Area', The Pony's '1209 Seminary'
Like my music, I am very particular about my friends. There is no rhyme or reason behind who I've somehow managed to forge a bond with. Considering my sarcasm, low tolerance for bullshit and idiocy, and just general annoyance at every day behavior, it's a miracle I even leave the house. But I do. And in the process of avoiding social landmines and trying not to murder the imbeciles that litter the world, I've actually managed to make nice with some people.
One of the more perplexing friendships I have is with a lovely young lady who I refer to as dumbass in this space. That I refer to her as such and she understands it as a term of endearment just makes me like her all the more. I call our relationship 'perplexing' for several reasons.
1: She is 26 and I am 40. It's not the old man and his young thing cliche going on here, either. There is nothing sexual in our relationship. I may need to state this many more times because of #2.
2: She is beautiful. Not just the standard definition of beautiful, either. Let's just say she stands out in a crowd. I try not to say this too often to her because I don't want her ego going out of control. Probably too late anyway.
3: Because of reasons 1 and 2, wifey does not want me to be friends with dumbass. She gamely gave it a try for a while, but it fell apart rather quickly and wifey has since become obsessive and psychotic about her. So, officially, I am not friends with her any longer. We really don't talk much or see each other at all. Confused? Welcome to my world.
4: I really get nothing out of this friendship. She gets all my music, I lend her books and used to fetch her coffee and lunch. When we worked together she would pilfer half my box of Junior Mints. For fuck sake, this blog was started to keep her entertained at work!
Many people have asked me why we're friends or have inferred that there must be something going on for us to be so chummy. I can understand that on the surface it really doesn't make sense. But, just like her, looks can be deceiving. Once you truly get to know her, it really does make perfect sense. At the risk of inflating her ego to Hindenburg proportions, below are reasons why.
1: Nobody has made me consistently laugh out loud more than her over the past year and a half. I have fun with her. Simple as that. Meeting her for coffee for 15 minutes would provide me a day's worth of laughs. On the flip side, I love making her laugh. She has one of those infectious, unselfconscious laughs when she finds something funny.
2: She knows more about me than anyone. While that's sad and boring for her, I like that she doesn't judge or scold me for past transgressions. Or even current ones for that matter. She probably does judge me, but I appreciate her keeping it to herself.
3: Much smarter than she lets on. I compare her intelligence to a lion. She hides it behind her blond haired, blue eyed, innocent beauty, letting it sit idly until she needs it. Only then does it pounce completely startling and ravaging the innocent bystander. Poor bastard would stagger away dazed, never understanding he never stood a chance. When you see it in person, it's immensely entertaining. I love that initial, confused look of 'Wait, aren't you supposed to be a dumb blond?' when she lets it loose. One of these days I'm getting a picture.
4: She takes shit from nobody. Sure, she's great at give and taking in a good natured way, but if someone crosses her, watch out. Christ, she even managed to get her own boss fired and facing jail time because he stole a box of her cannolis!
5: She's a master manipulator. I don't say this as an insult or slight to her character. I deeply admire it. Due to her good looks and innocent demeanor (she can pull it off when she needs to), she can get people (when I say people, I mean men) to do what she wants. While that's no new trick for women, she manages to make it seem like it was their idea in the first place. It is truly amazing. There have been a few occasions where I even knew the game plan she was working on. Not only did she pull it off, but even predicted when and how he would react. This wasn't some sort of breakup or get even scheme, either. This was a long, convoluted, 'everything must go right for this to work' plan that she finished with a flourish.
6: Those of you thinking that I'm a sucker for that same manipulation are dead wrong. She just comes out and asks me for shit. She doesn't bother wasting time manipulating me when all she has to do is email me with 'Hey, I think you need to bring me coffee today' or 'when am I getting new music?' Yes, this is a reason we are friends. We don't pull punches with each other. If I'm being a dick, she tells me. If she's being irrational, I tell her. There is no bullshit or games between us. How many of you can say that about any of your relationships?
7: We think alike. It's scary at times. Neither one of us likes idiots, even though we wade through them every day. We don't take ourselves seriously and have a mean streak in our humor.
8: She makes me feel better when I need it. When I was going through a rough spot last summer, she would meet me for coffee (my treat of course) to cheer me up and make light of things. I never told her before, but I appreciated that more than anything else she has done or said. It was exactly what I needed and she managed to keep me sane.
In the end, isn't that what friends are for? Someone to give you want you need, when you need it and not complain or preach to you in the process. I wanted to be that for her when I learned of her mother's illness, but don't think I helped much. Besides feeling sick to my stomach for two days and sending stupid jokes, there wasn't much to do. I never even got a chance to give her a hug or tell her how sorry I was about the news because we were interrupted by a lost elderly man, then a coworker before any conversation could start. She did get another free coffee out of it, though. Damn her. Fortunately, mother is doing well now and dumbass seems to have a great support system in place.
Considering all the extenuating circumstances (wifey's psychosis, for one) I can only hope we'll be friends for a long time. New friends, new responsibilities, threat of castration, change of employment and living area may relegate us to minor parts of each other's lives, but I will fight that eventuality to the death.
What DA doesn't realize is when I consider you my friend, it's for life. And I know she just thought 'great' very sarcastically when she read that.
Today's distraction: Enjoy 2003's DumbAss Corporate Lawsuits. Sure they're old news, but when Wal-Mart sues K-Mart over a Lazy Susan how can you not enjoy the insanity.