A brief treatise on why I appreciate my friends

Day 17. 38 pages, 17,300 words.

Not too long ago, I was asked by a friend “why are you even friends with that person?” in reference to another friend.

Not too long before that, I was asked by a different friend “why do you even bother with that person?” in reference to the original friend.

Not too long before that, I was asked by a friend “why are you the only person who doesn’t see that that person is an arsehole?” in reference to another friend.

These are not fabricated examples, they actually happened. Within the past couple of months. If you’re a regular reader and commenter on this blog, you can be reasonably sure that you’ve either been the subject of one such question, or an asker of one such question. Or both. Sometimes you may even have asked the question about yourself.

But don’t worry. You’re not being personally attacked by this relatable content. This is actually such a prevalent thing, I’m not even talking about any of you.

The more I thought about it, the more I realised that I don’t really have many friends who haven’t at some stage or another been called out by one or several of the others as the sort of friend I shouldn’t be bothering with. To which I can only say, “well it’s just as well I make up my own mind about this shit or you’d all be out of luck.”

I have not, to the best of my recollection, ever said this about somebody else’s friend, even if I think they’re a relentless and persistent cunt-and-a-half. Possibly because I have such a wealth of friends in that category. Possibly because I’m not a particularly caring person, and I don’t look out for the wellbeing of my friends who I see are trapped in toxic friendships. Don’t know. I hope it’s not that second one, although I’m sure my friends are just looking out for me.

Anyway, my point is, you’re welcome, ya lousy judgemental ingrates.

Incidentally, I’ve also been asked “why would you expect [consideration / respect / platitudes] from a friend, aren’t we supposed to be beyond that sort of fakeness? If you don’t expect it from a stranger, isn’t it unfair to demand it of someone you love?”

Which always makes me sort of wonder whether one or both of us has misunderstood what it means to be a friend. Because they’re the only ones I would want any of those things from. They’re the only ones from whom it means a goddamn thing – they’re the ones from whom it’s not fake, because they know me.

And in the same way, they’re the only ones from whom insults actually mean anything. Oh yes, I’ll take something personally from a friend when something fifty times worse from an anonymous Internet rando will just roll right off me. Isn’t that … how it’s meant to go?

Maybe I’m the one missing the point. In either case…


– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while sitting in the carpark after work.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy. https://hatboy.blog/2013/12/17/metalude-who-are-creepy-and-hatboy/
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4 Responses to A brief treatise on why I appreciate my friends

  1. Are these quotes or paraphrases? *uncomfortable*

  2. aaronthepatriot says:

    This blog entry has been rattling around in my head so I guess I want to put a few more thoughts here. First, in defense of the however-many friends of yours have asked the various contentious questions above, it is important to note that they are questions seeking an answer. I mean, context is everything, if any of them were just rhetorical statements then obviously they might as well not even be questions. But I “hear” them as a cry to find out something positive about someone they’ve only been seeing in a negative light. Hypothetically, I mean. LOL

    And furthermore, I think among the many things they highlight, in this specific case we’re probably talking about all, or mostly, people on the left asking this of you about other people on the left. Liberals attacking liberals because one of them apparently hadn’t been sufficiently…*whatever*…on particular issues or in particular situations. We need to stop doing that. Yesterday.

    It’s important to be able to recognize and remind yourself who is rowing in your same general direction, and who is not. It can get frustrating, let me just say from personal experience, if you see mostly crabby remarks from someone who punches you in the face (verbally) in most of your online interactions, and that might lead to thoughts such as the questions in your blog. But the punchee, and the puncher, need to remember the subject of this paragraph. And maybe both need to fix their attitude and try to read the other person more charitably as a result.

    Nuff said?

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      Oops not quite, I meant to say getting punched when you’re doing your best to be conciliatory and accepting and non-confrontational. And succeeding at least by subjective standards.

    • stchucky says:

      You’re quite right. Sorry, haven’t got time to give this the attention it deserves. Excellent point about not attacking people who are all basically pulling in the same direction.

      As far as I personally am concerned, this isn’t all left-on-left aggression. I have a … challengingly diverse group of friends and family. And when they ask me why I bother to be friends with someone, it is generally rhetorical. I mean you, Aaron, of course ask your own variants of these questions and they’re not rhetorical, because you want to investigate and learn.

      Most of the time, though, when a friend asks me that about another friend, I trust that they don’t expect me to dignify it with a response. And if they get a response, they might not like it.

      You know, I might write a vaguely menacing blog post saying “you know, a lot of people think you’re a bit of a cunt too, so maybe calm your tits.” For example.

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