Thursday, 29 September 2011
Should Old Acquaintance be Forgot?
In some cases, damn right it should.
In closing, I do want to say that by contrast, I most definitely appreciate those relationships that have had endurance and are more valuable than ever. Friendships, where we discover as time goes on, something new about the other, new, yes, but somehow with that irreplaceable familiarity attached to it that we can still tap into and see flashes of who we used to be; shining moments without doubt that don’t need words from someone who loves you for all your idiosyncrasy, someone who gives as much effort as they demand of you yourself, and therefore none at all - that, my friends, is priceless.
I don’t like to have a lot of friends; I can only commit so much of my precious time that I’ve always liked to spend on my own to other people - despite the fact that I have an abundance of it.
No, I genuinely love being immersed within my own thought process - much to people’s amazement, for most can’t comprehend a solitary existence; secretly thinking I only say that because I have no friends. But I don’t, because you see, I lie least of all to myself. And anyway, I do have friends - in the real sense of the word. But that’s indicative of why I love to say I hate people – although I hasten to add what I mean by that is, more the predictability of the human race.
This is why I love to write; my imagination under-appreciated in the real world, it’s a huge escape for me and provides all the company I need. What would be the alternative? Talking to myself perhaps? Sometimes I can’t help but think if I did that, I might just fit in better.
No, knowing too many people would be as cumbersome and exhausting for me as much as it reenergises others. But then, I am a quintessential introvert, peace and quiet rejuvenating me so that I can briefly be the life and soul on some another occasion.
I’m extremely loyal to the hilt to those friends that I do have though, and I enjoy them greatly. Sadly, only one or two of those would be able to say the same about their relationship with me and so therefore, and the point of this blog, most people I’ve ever known have now been kicked into touch. And I don’t regret it one bit.
I think a lot of people who’ve been BFFs; old friends if you will, are actually nothing more than old habits actually; neither really enjoying the other’s company if they were to be honest, some misguided sense of duty keeping them together but all a bit of a chore really.
People do come and go from your life, yes; we all hear that, and yes, I believe that everybody deposits something with everybody else, a lesson learned somehow or other. But that’s all it was meant to be. So why not just let go when the suggestion box is obviously full?
Most people change, go through different life phases, becoming more sophisticated versions of them, while others never change at all, or if they do; seem to regress even. But what fit snugly last year may no longer fit, and as far as I’m concerned, neither do they have to. We throw away underwear as we get a bit of a midriff going, so why not people in your life? But then this is why people find me strange; consider I’m too philosophical, too honest, even for being able to say that if relationship no longer works, its as useless as broken knicker elastic.
Now that might seem a bit harsh so I should justify by way of saying that I do try to stitch up the gaping hole between me and some of the people who’ve been in my life for a long time before I mop the floor with them. I do of course explain how I feel; e.g. that we’re no longer kids; I don’t want to hang out in the pub all the time; enjoying a sophisticated evening talking about such things as the latest wine that someone recommended, far preferable. Unfortunately, it didn’t work like that for me; sick to my yellowing back teeth of listening to the same old negativity and dealing with consistent propensity for problem finding in absolutely everything, becoming increasingly weary of giving the same advice over and over again and them doing nothing to rectify their issues, which, I’m positive, they wouldn’t actually be happy without. It gets completely tedious. No, these relationships can be likened to that over-familiarity that we tend to display with our adult siblings, oftentimes otherwise mature adults who, by the very act of coming together regardless of how long they haven’t seen each other for, reverting back to being the kids that they once where; petty arguments ensuing all over the place, when in actual fact, for the most part they’ve become relative strangers; blood, incidentally, not having to bind you together forever either, I’ve found – but then perhaps I have a good excuse for that; being estranged as kids, as we were.
What I hate most is that the essential ingredient of loyalty is too often taken for granted - and perhaps so it should be, but never should it be unappreciated. I will try to help in any way I can when a friend needs it, to me, that’s an integral part of friendship; it goes without saying. I never make a person feel beholden, my generosity always big, selfless, unconditional. But then, I question if that’s the very thing responsible for my downfall; people become expectant, entitled, when you deliver friendship seamlessly; it’s my fault that I’ve become simply a resource; they know they can contact good old reliable me any time they like to borrow money, my car or my level-headed approach to life. And that’s fine, but only getting in touch when they do need these things, choosing not to invite you out for a night, round to dinner or a BBQ or include you in the festivities when people are in town or at Christmas or other occasions, and when they do, have obviously already bad-mouthed you, but the visitor, doing their best to snub you, unworthy of you anyway if they can’t judge a person by their actual merit. And they never accept your invitations either, your suggestions of what to do, where to go, always, always only on their terms.
Despite the fact that I’ve forewarned many people of our friendship’s impending doom, gave seismic warnings about actually; mentioning how things need to change, they don’t seem to want to make any effort to help stitch up that old pair of knickers at all. So, I guess they don’t really know who I am, and always have been, for they all know that if I say anything, I mean it; I will see it through even if it’s to my detriment; well known for being a person of my word and one who retains a great sense of pride and honesty. They know too, that I’d rather have no friends than half of one, but somehow, when it comes to old friendships, they think all will be forgiven, forgotten, and we’ll carry on as we’ve done for over twenty years; even thinking, perhaps, that because it has been so long and we’ve been through so much, that I can’t live without them. Wrong, but sadly, for them it’s not true of the reverse - as they’ve come to find out. In all honesty, the knicker elastic snapped long, long ago, beyond repair, and I was simply relieved not to have to try and get those tatty old things past my knees anymore (and for the literalists, I don’t wear extra-large knickers, I wear a nice designer boxer in large, which is really only medium in Vancouver; clothes sizes related to the large Asian population and their miniscule sizing.)
I’m a smart person, smarter than most when it comes to seeing life and people for who they are, and I feel things deeply if I, or someone close to me has been betrayed. I’m a friendly person, amicable, sure, in normal situations, but my so called friends have seen me look blankly right through some people we know as if they don’t exist (and usually for their benefit, because I don’t allow myself to get into ridiculous situations such as theirs) yet they go on to betray me themselves, shockingly thinking that they can pull the wool over my eyes. Do they really not realise that after all this time I can read them like a comic book? Do they really think that I can be used as a doormat (granted a very well worn one)? Sadly, the answer is no, they don’t know me one iota. They didn’t take a blind bit of notice that my tolerance levels were thinning rapidly, the message on my welcome mat so faded I had to get a new one with quite a different message - in fact, the same as the one that one such ex-friend actually had on his for real that read; “Fuck Off’ - you might have seen those. We thought it was very funny at the time, but he certainly doesn’t find it funny now that that’s what greets him, and others, at my address; he can’t, for he still insists on trying to be the friend I wanted him to be for years, trying to engage me now, but too little too late. No, him and others like him, no longer have the me that I once was to them, realising only now that they don’t have it, what it was I brought into their lives. They have to; I’ve had a begging letter saying my absence is like a death in their family; I've had to ignore numerous phone messages and contend with other not so devious ploys by them trying to get back into my life – or my wallet, my hospitality, my mind. But it’s over, well and truly - for their efforts never last. A chameleon like me, can feign spots, but a leopard can never change its.
Apart from the material things, I feel that I brought vision, ideas, encouragement and excitement to some of these people, unable or just too lazy to think for themselves. I’m a person who loves to learn, always have been, chic geek, I like to call myself, for I don’t look nerdy, quite the opposite, and for that I’ve been accused of being boring – which I simply laugh at, for I know the people who say this are actually the uninteresting ones themselves; believing that anything intellectual or that stimulates the brain is in fact dreary because its too much like hard work. No, it’s only when they no longer have my particular brand of friendship do these people realise just what it was they abused; nobody else quite willing to deliver it as quietly and as generously as I had always done. And yet they still blame me, my fault, cos I got ‘all weird’ about it. But par for the course, and simply another reason they’ve been binned; their drama always has been due to external factors.
I’m actually a person who reinvents himself regularly while most people remain static, I do change with every year, have an abundance of interests, have a thirst for knowledge, but at the same time I realise that I don’t need to come across as a know-it-all. Yet when they tap into that mind of information instead of them making the effort to go look it up, crossed between being impressed and resentment because I did know something, I’m called a snob, snooty, piss elegant, standoffish and any number of other things behind my back. Crap, that’s what friendship is, unconditional. I also often get accused of judging them when I never actually have - which is something that is simply due to their own inferiority complex kicking in, but my fault, somehow, that they feel stupid for not knowing anything themselves, the boring stuff, and coming to resent the very thing that they’ve always tapped into and in the end biting the hand that’s fed them for years by getting downright nasty and two-faced. But truth will always out; I can read people you see, even if their other (disloyal) relationships didn’t tell me about it first.
I fully resent hearing that people think I am judgmental; this is simply the perception of an ignorant mind, of someone's who can’t possibly understand a complex one like mine. I have people from all walks of life in my own, from those who are as thick as two, maybe ten, short planks, to intellectual types. I simply don’t care what education you’ve had, what your bank balance is, what you look like, how you dress, where you came from or what you do for a living, age sex or any of the rest of it. Individuality is what floats my boat. God knows I came from the gutter myself, but if I find you interesting, then that’s good enough for me – as I expect in return. But you know what, if I’m gonna be tarred with a brush, then I am the kind of person that will want to live up to it, and how. So... I did come to judge in the end; and I judged that these old friends weren't good enough for me, not anymore. The truth of it is, that those who talk behind other people’s backs, who are just plain nasty and bitter, yes, those are the people with the problem, not me, what they’re doing is judging me by their own standards, society's even, but by their own petty, mediocre, ignorant state of minds.
I’ve long since said that I have to get better friends – something not quite as easy as it once was, something about the people from your youth that is irreplaceable - despite all. So therefore, it might not be possible to forget old acquaintance, no, but in my opinion, these days, as I become curmudgeonly, it can certainly be dismissed as easily as a fly to a swatter.
You’re such a mediocre ‘friend’
You fake two-faced ignorant dumpling
I really can’t quite comprehend
How I thought we might've had something
You simply got worse as the years went by
Your pie face increasingly uninteresting
Redeeming traits... uh... hel-lo... long gone aw-ry
Gawd… what the fuck was I thinking?