Just about the meanest person I know is my best friend. He has his moments of kindness and thoughtfulness, but the mode he operates in the majority of the time is neither of those and his level of self-endearment and selfishness is second only to that of my (terrible, horrible, no good, very bad) birth mother.
It’s not very often that I allow my day to be ruined almost as soon as my feet touch the floor – but today that’s just about exactly what happened. I had an exam for school scheduled for mid-morning, and I awoke early enough to enjoy an enormous volume of coffee, piddle around online briefly AND review some of the test material before I would need to hit the shower and head out. This happened to coincide with his getting out of bed, dressing for work, and leaving for work. As he neared my home’s door to exit he let me know that he would actually be gone only a short while because he was going in for just one client and would then be returning home to then head back out to go to a wedding.
“A wedding?” I asked. “Whose wedding?” “Shawn’s,” he said. “You’re such an asshole” I responded. “What? Why?” “Because you just are” I finally said, shaking my head as I walked away from him. He muttered something like, “ok” and then left. For the next 30 minutes, at least, I was pretty upset. At this point you may be wondering why my best friend going to a wedding would be upsetting. Allow me to provide some background.
He and I have known each other since before we either could drive. In fact, LONG before we either could drive. At this point in our lives, I’m almost proud to say, we’ve known each other longer than we haven’t. For me that means a lot because in any human’s lifespan the number of people who fit that description is usually a very small number – which to me makes these folks real gems. And during this expansive period of human time he and I have seen and been through many dark and wondrous things. On more than one occasion I’ve bailed him out of nastiness that was his own creation. Currently, he’s paying (just about THE lowest) rent to stay in what used to be my home’s temple room – which I was glad to help him with, but which was no easy thing for me to allow.
“Yeah, yeah” you say. What’s that got to do with the price of eggs? Well, for starters I have this apparently ridiculous habit of expecting in return, that which I have given. It works like this: I give you respect, and in return you give the same to me. I give you dedication, and in return you give the same to me. That kinda thing, y’know? This ties directly back to my Best because I’ve been just about the only person in his life who has treated him as I do and helped him as I have. That’s not tooting my own horn, please understand. And on top of all that, I don’t actually – really – expect to receive back all that I have given because I know that he’s not capable.
Still, something in me (ego, perhaps?) thinks it should be natural for a grown person to extend to others the same courtesies they have been afforded. The wedding he planned to attend today was that of a hair client of his, who also works at the gym where my Best works. They’ve known each other well enough to be “friends” for maybe 18 months. And even if it’s twice that long, it still doesn’t compare with the nearly 20 years he and I have been close – in neither duration nor quality of relationship. So many times I’ve asked him to take a day off work to do something together. In virtually every single instance he’s refused flat-out and almost immediately – citing reasons like his boss is a Nazi and wont let him take time off, or there’s not enough time for him to submit the PTO request (even when this was more month in advance!). And yet, to take time off to attend someone’s wedding is no problem.
I’ve asked my Beloved about all of this. He happens to know my Best quite well. His response was that my Best is immature, self-centered, and immensely self-serving and that it should be no wonder that he behaves in the way that he does. I agree, and it makes me feel silly for kind of ignoring the truth about who my Best is. My Beloved has suggested that I tell the Best exactly how I feel about all of this – which is typical for me. But something about these things lately (there’s this and a few other things that have been building up) is keeping me from doing that. Instead, I’ve fond it more manageable to hold my tongue around him and even be a little cold. The Best has remarked once or twice this week that I’ve been “hateful” lately, but as far as I can guess I’m doing him a favor by holding my tongue. People don’t usually enjoy being told about themselves, and those who know me in person can probably attest that if there’s anyone who’ll tell people about themselves, it’s me.
Perhaps going forward I’ll be anyone’s Best, but will refuse having Bests myself until I can do so without certain hopes. I apologize that this post seems to be as much rant as anything, and I’m not entirely certain how much of it ties together well or if I’ve communicated the real point I meant to. At any rate, you can’t get blood from a turnip and I really need to stop trying.
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha