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Living & Learning 
11th-Mar-2009 09:32 am
There's a funny thing about friends. The real ones, the ones who appreciate your relationships with them and work to maintain them understand that it's not really difficult to make friends - it's keeping them that involves the hard work. Those who aren't really your friends invariably reveal themselves by their intentions and/or failure of standards one way or another.

It's kind of sad to realize that some folks just want to be friends without ever really doing the work it takes to maintain the relationship. They want all the benefits, but cannot be bothered to earn them. I find it sad because I see evidence of this in so many areas of life with things like respect, love, even in material things. People are stupid and think that just because they WANT something that means they should just HAVE it. I'm sure you know the type, you might even recognize it in yourselves from time to time. Forget earning it on merit, forget that it takes a lot of work from A to B sometimes, just give me what I want and I won't make a fuss... Just be who I want you to be, and we don't have a problem... Do what I want you to do without question, and we're aces... I love you, just do me a favor and edit out the parts of yourself that I don't like, and I'll accept you as you are... We're cool, as long as you don't expect me to stick to my principles and standards every time it becomes hard to do, I deserve to have special privileges - because I want them and think I should have them... Understand that you need to explain and justify X, Y, & Z to me but I don't owe you explanation for anything I do - so don't you call me out on anything, ever...

My friends are the people who keep me going. They sustain me and celebrate me and take care of me when I need to be taken care of. They let me take care of them when they need to be taken care of. We've made ourselves a family and hold one another with a sense of love, reverence, and respect that is not only remarkable, but extremely rare. We've spent years (decades, even) working really hard for this, and that is how we know we've earned one another as a part of this collective.

Sometimes I want others to be a part of it, at least on the periphery, hoping that eventually they will mesh well with us and our ideals. Sometimes it's someone from my past that I've been looking for as I haven't seen them in years, and I'm filled with hope once we reconnect. That usually goes one of two ways. You come to understand one another as you are now in this time, and begin wondering how you managed to get through all this time without them. That's when you win. Then there are those times when all the hope in the world for a person to just 'get it' results in a lot of lessons learned, but a big no-show in the areas you initially hoped they might fit into.

It isn't easy to accept that not everyone plays fair, and not everyone has to. People get to decide who they're going to be in this world, and sadly, you find that sometimes who that might be is really completely incompatible with who you are in fundamental ways. Depending on how that comes down it can leave you sad, angry, or just feeling like you've been robbed. That's where you're wrong, actually. The reason is because you learn a great deal about who you are and who you've chosen to be or not to be in the process of all that. In my most recent experience with this process I was left conflicted by all three of those things temporarily, but now I just feel an overwhelming sense of how pathetic and petty some people can really be - but that's on them and I am not responsible for that.

It sucks, but you have to accept people as they are and decide for yourself if who they are gels with who you are. It's okay to be sad and/or angry for a while about that, but don't dwell on it for too long. Doing that takes your focus, love, time, and energy away from the ones who actually deserve those things.

In conclusion, internets - serious business.
11th-Mar-2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
I admit that sometimes I don't want to put in the work. I have this fear that people also won't want to put in the work, a fear that has been confirmed enough times over the years. And, so, I don't always bother. It becomes a matter of the chicken and the egg, at that point, because I can't differentiate between the lack of effort on my part and the lack of effort on anyone else's part.
11th-Mar-2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
I remember feeling that way for much of my life having been burned so many times, I understand where you may be coming from!
11th-Mar-2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
Well said. My friends so support me (both in real life and virtually) when things are shitty and do what I can to support them. Some friends just don't click very well and they fade away (can't expect everyone you meet as someone who will be your friend). It's the friends that matter that deserve your attention and time. Dwelling on the friend who does not reciprocate real friendship is a dead end.

Hmmm..., so what triggered these deep thoughts?
11th-Mar-2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
I think I misjudged someone, or at least discovered that they weren't who I was hoping they would be. It ended up really hurting my feelings initially and that quickly turned to anger once I got hip to what was really going on.

Long story short, I was asked to censor myself because some of the things I post have 'filthy words' in them and not only did they not wish to see these words, their kids use their computer and that was a huge issue.

No trying to discuss this rationally or anything, forget that it's not my job to make anyone else comfortable with me and it is REALLY not my job to raise someone else's kid. What it came down to is that it wasn't just a matter of disagreement, my friendship was apparently a disposable thing and not important enough to even hear me out, let alone discuss the matter. His choice dictated mine - I got nothin' for that kind of bullshit.
11th-Mar-2009 04:23 pm (UTC)
There are plenty of tools here on LJ to manage content from reaching sensitive ears. It's the parents responsibility to make sure they use those tools. If they use them right, it will prevent such issues. That's their problem--not yours. The Internet is not an all friendly place and parents need to monitor for that stuff.

With all of the posts you've made over the years, I know you never apologize for your content here on LJ (no one should). It's your journal. You already know this, though. However, I'm sure it's a sensitive topic with you since you seem to get challenged by it all of the time for some damn reason. I think it does speak volumes when people do bring it up though.

It's interesting when I see posts like this from you I start thinking to myself of what I may have done. Did I not reply enough? Is he talking about people like me? I don't know why I get so paranoid and it's silly. I just get so busy and have to put LJ on hold sometimes, but I still feel bad when I can't at least be there or acknowledge a major event someone posted on LJ.

Ok, this babbling brook will now stop. :)
11th-Mar-2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
This particular incident happened on Facebook actually, but the same applies - if you log out after you visit the site, then it's really not an issue and not only are you taking responsibility for yourself and your child, you're preventing them from seeing those particular words on that particular page and can go about pretending they're not going to see worse elsewhere on the internet, in movies, video games, television, in school, and in all other areas of real life.

If it was worth shredding a friendship for, then it couldn't have meant too much to him and I'm glad to know it now. That way I know not to invest myself.
11th-Mar-2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
that's just what I was thinking today

I'm having surious problems, though, with the dwelling part..
I dwell. I pine. I hope. I stalk. I try again.
I don't know why.
11th-Mar-2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
I'm trying really hard not to dwell/pine/hope myself, but it's not like feelings for people come with an on/off switch for some of us. I draw the line at stalking!

I'll go on record as saying that anyone who doesn't see how much better THEIR life is made by your presence in it is not only lacking, they're worse for that ignorance.
11th-Mar-2009 05:07 pm (UTC)

*and MAYBE stalking is too harsh a word.....

.....and maybe not.*
11th-Mar-2009 04:04 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, maintaining a friendship is hard work... but it isn't the UNPLEASANT kind of hard work if you are the right "combination". At list this is how it is for me. :)
11th-Mar-2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
I could not agree with you more on that point - but unfortunately, some people are just repellent to doing that kind of work because they only want what is easy and what doesn't require much from them.
11th-Mar-2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
I guess some people assume you only have to work hard in maintaining relationships (spouse/partner) and friendships don't count as much?

We know better, but I need to act more on my friendships. Granted I met some wonderful on my recent road trip last week, but I don't do a good job at maintaining local friends.
11th-Mar-2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
I think that it was more a case of not wanting to take responsibility for certain things in an adult way - and when it didn't go the way he wanted it (that being me censoring myself for the sake of his comfort) he decided to pack up his ball and go home. All you can do for that is say "Get the hell on, then."

Life stuff prevents you from doing all you want to do, but yes - you still have to make effort when possible.
11th-Mar-2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
Why is it that some people claim to care and yet never listen to a damn word you have to say? Nothing that matters to you is important to them and they just keep trying to turn you into whatever it is they want you to be. I don't understand that. Sorry for the personal rant, but what you said really hit something I'm dealing with.
11th-Mar-2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
Some people just refuse to accept you as you are, or at least as you choose to be. At a certain point, the responsibility is on you to accept it and no longer invest in them. It's really hard sometimes, but necessary. In my case I had a friend who wasn't willing to let his own self righteousness take a seat to his own responsibilities that he chose to place the blame on - and I couldn't be accommodated in any way in this equation, I guess that was too much to ask for. That's fine, but I don't cotton to that kind of shit from anyone, ever.
11th-Mar-2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
Very good post. I agree with you all the way.

It's all a very delicate balancing act too.
11th-Mar-2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
It can be, but really - it shouldn't be, the rewards far outweigh the difficulties.
11th-Mar-2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
Having had a few friendship issues over the last two weeks, I definitely understand where you're coming from.

For me, it's hard not censoring my friends if I know some are going to be hurt or upset by what other say--and yet I know that if my journal is going to keep being open to all my friends, I have to stand back and let them either fight each other, or exchange high-fives of agreement. It may be "my house," but it's also a place where my friends gather. I don't make them follow Miss Manners' rules, and in return, I want the same consideration given when I post.

I got involved in a bad situation just once--a person on my friendslist linked to another post written by someone on the list, and excoriated them for a comment. I joined in the discussion because I thought some good points had been made. Poster B found Poster A's post, thought I'd deliberately pointed B her way, and defriended me. After that, I let the rest of my friendslist know that if they had a problem with something I'd written, or with me in general, to have the courtesy to let me know.

Now it seems your friend has had the "courtesy" to let you know that your language "offends" him because his kids might see it. How long have the kids been in existence, by the way--since you've been friends, or longer? Why wasn't this an issue when you two became friends on Facebook? And finally, why is it YOUR job to parent his kids? If you didn't breed 'em, you sure as hell aren't raising 'em.

Finally, {{{{{{{{{{{{{{}}}}}}}}}}}, because losing a friend still sucks no matter how much of a moron they are.
11th-Mar-2009 09:47 pm (UTC) - Truer words have never been spoken.
I lived this for years, without understanding one part of it. One day the light clicked and was like wow, your kidding me right?

Thank you for saying what I have been thinking.. LOL
11th-Mar-2009 10:49 pm (UTC) - Re: Truer words have never been spoken.
Glad that it finally clicked with you, I know you're a better man for it!
12th-Mar-2009 07:49 pm (UTC) - A True...
A True Friend I Have In You

you, the man, who not only comes to town just to help me pack up and leave
but does not scoff when i ask him to use my clothes to pack the dishes in...
you, the man, uses a thong of mine
to wrap around a pot lid.
I've been laughing for days since I discovered it.
A True Friend I Have In You!
Love Ya!
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