In which your heroine gives a damn
Here’s the thing about me: I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what you do for a living. I don’t give a damn if your car costs more than a house. If you can afford to fly to Paris on a whim, good for you. But those things? They aren’t who you are. They’re not the currency that matters to me.
I want to know what makes you smile, when you think you possibly couldn’t. I want to know if you’ll get my Breakfast Club, Princess Bride, and Firefly references. I want to know if you talk in your sleep, and if you can make French toast (because I FAIL at it. I can make crème brulee, but can’t do that. Go figure).
The thing is, I don’t care if you’re different. I don’t care if you’re weird. I don’t care if you’re 24 or 52. I don’t give a damn if you drive a car that parks itself or the one you’ve had since college.
Are you kind? Can you laugh at yourself? Do you drink tequila when you’re fed up with the world? Will you smile at a stranger? Will you reach out to someone just because? Do you hold open a door for the person behind you? Will you burst into song with me, spontaneously, or laugh when I do? Can you say you’re sorry and mean it? Do you listen with everything you have? Do you show up, step up, and give a damn?
These are the things that matter. These are the things that count. I don’t care if you get the mail in your pajamas, eat pop-tarts in bed, or have two left feet. I care about who you are, not what you do. If you’re famous, awesome. You still put on pants, when you actually wear pants, the same way I do: clumsily, one leg at a time. I’m not famous. Sometimes, I will correct your grammar or talk about fricatives and the great vowel shift. I’m a total dork. I hate my nose. I make a lot of dirty jokes. And I never do anything accidentally. I’m never careless with anyone’s heart. And if I’m not chasing you, I’m not interested. I will never laugh at you in a moment of weakness. I will never judge you by your imperfections.
And I’ll never let you sit by yourself. Because, fun fact: I was the kid in middle school who was unhappy. I was the kid in high school who didn’t quite fit in. It is always hard to be different, because when people don’t understand something, they revert to pitchforks and torches (mostly, figurative). And, no matter how chronologically grown up a human is, he/she has the potential to act like a very mean toddler.
I have a lot of friends who live other places. Some I’ve met, and some I haven’t. This doesn’t mean I consider them anything less than a friend. As such, I get pissed off a lot, because people aren’t always nice to my friends. Lately, this is happening too much. I have a Momma Bear complex. You don’t screw with anyone I give a damn about. Ever. It is UNWISE. I am not a terrifying human being, generally speaking, but I take up for my people. Always. In fact, I’m 99% more likely to defend someone else than I am to defend myself. Because, another fun fact: you cannot hurt me if I don’t care – and if I care, my defenses are already down.
A difficult element of geographically challenged friendships is distance. It’s not maintaining the friendship that is ever an issue (for me). It’s the unfathomable parade of despicable humanoids who take an emotional – I can’t think of a delicate word – shit on my friends. Because: NO. Unwise. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. RUN. I’m not going to pull a Sonny and beat you with a baseball bat – but if you hurt someone I care about, I will not sit idly by. I won’t be silent. I won’t let you get away with it. “I swear, by my pretty floral bonnet, I will END you.”
I will verbally rip a new seam in the fabric of your existence, and you will apologize for whatever it is you did. End.of.STORY.
Over the past month, things have happened to my people that read, for all intents in purposes, like a scene out of a movie. A Lifetime movie. And NOT in a good way. It’s like the Scarecrow has escaped from Arkham AsylumAGAIN, and tainted the water with asshole, instead of a hallucinogen. Good people getting hurt, getting ignored, being left out, and being made to feel less. This turns me into Hulk-y Ali, and really – you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Sometimes, I’ll even take a page from the angel handbook…
The truth is, too, that I will never understand malicious behavior like that. I don’t get allowing another human being to feel that kind of donkey kick to the gut that comes along with being ostracized and alone. I will never understand mocking someone because of something they say or do, or simply are – which is out of a person’s control.
Do you like snark? And pie/cake/booze? And being silly? Excellent, darlings. Come sit by me. Let’s be weird together. Because life is too short to suffer fools and small minds. It is too short for dickbags and asshats. It is too damn short to judge and act like someone is somehow not okay, because they are not like you. (Hannibal and killer clowns notwithstanding, because: NO.)
This isn’t a lesson that adults should have to be told, and yet…
So, here’s a promise, ok? If I can help it, you’ll never sit by yourself. You’ll never wonder if our friendship is based on what you could do for me. You’ll never, ever be the only oddball. You’re never be alone. Because, darlings? I’m right here.