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Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

Love, and the Finding of It

Posted by Keen Observer on May 1, 2016

I haven’t written much these days.  It’s not because I don’t have anything to say:  it’s because I’ve either been too busy to write or too focused on more-important things. Like getting married.

After an initially-rocky start in the online-dating scene, I made a lot of progress in a short period of time.  I found a beautiful, sweet, clever woman who fits into my life almost exactly as I pictured it, in an almost entirely-unexpected way.  And I provide for her the emotional connection she sought.  We balance each other.  And in under six months, we’ve gone from that first meeting over coffee to trying to plan a wedding and three (maybe four) different celebrations in three (maybe four) different cities on two continents.  And navigating the migration process for her to come to Canada.  And no, it’s not that kind of wedding:  we’re truly nuts for each other.  Both of us are too old to waste time and money on that stupid game.  This is about being with the other half of our souls.

So, yeah, my attention isn’t exactly here.  Sorry about that.

Peace and love to y’all.


Posted in general, life, love, personal | Comments Off on Love, and the Finding of It

Blue 2

Posted by Keen Observer on October 27, 2015

Sometimes I wish I could turn it off:
Stop thinking, stop feeling, stop caring.
Sometimes I wish i could just stop
living and then it would all stop
and maybe i could feel nOrmAL
and maybe it won’t hurt any more
and then maybe someone might care
that i had a really shitty day
and no one was around to answer
(they all have their own lives and problems and i hate asking for help to begin with for this pussy emotional shit)
my calls for help and to not be
alone and maybe be with me
while i cry, even for a minute
and maybe it won’t hurt any more
because i won’t feel hurt and useless
and unloved and unappreciated
…at least for that minute,
And that might be enough for today.


[Blogger’s note:  I’m not suicidal, but I’m not having a great day.  Just a worse bout of depression than I’ve had in a long time, and this was rolling around in my brain-cage.]

Posted in life, personal, poetry | Comments Off on Blue 2

On Friendship – Part 5

Posted by Keen Observer on July 24, 2015

Well, I seem to be returning to Part 1, though not completely.  This one has nothing to do with my former best friend, but it does have to do with the other friend mentioned therein:  a co-worker with whom I used to have a very close working relationship.  We were a very effective team.  However, I made the mistake of believing that our work rapport could transfer to the personal sphere, and asked her out a couple of weeks after I posted that blog entry.  She rejected that respectful advance very completely, though politely, and it took some time—as it does for me—to recover emotionally from it.

But we were able to keep working together pretty well, including going to an industry convention.  And then about a year or so ago, some professional misunderstandings occurred…mostly my fault, though she never challenged me on my behaviour…which resulted in both personal and professional distance growing between us.  A professional disagreement became intensely personal for her, far out of proportion to the offence.  She blocked me on Facebook, though somehow she still seems to skew my “mutual friends” lists with some people, and we stopped talking to each other.

Then a few months ago, some time after having connected on LinkedIn, I brought up the space between us, and we talked about it.  I apologised, and she seemed to accept it, and I promised to do better.  We moved forward, I thought, and after a conversation last week, it seemed like it might be possible to renew and try to rebuild the friendship we had of old.  The response I got from my attempt to make full peace with a friend I had missed?  Well, I got nuked from orbit.  She doesn’t want to be friends at all and keep only a professional working relationship between us.  Which is fine, except for the mixed signals she gave me last week (sharing confidential plans and opinions of hers, as well as discussing having personal conversations away from work and similar things).  What I can’t figure from this is how she can utterly reject an attempt to restore our friendship and claim that “it’s nothing personal.”  I guess she has completely different concepts of both “personal” and “friendship” than I do.  And how much my perception of that friendship contributed to our effectiveness as a team.

I don’t know her reasons, and I don’t particularly care to.  They’re hers, and they ultimately don’t matter.  But whatever they are, I’m down another friend.  Which, based on this interaction, is probably going to be a good thing.  I’d rather be told this than labour under any delusions.  It’s important to know who your friends really are.  It’s important to treat your friends well and not cavalierly.  It’s important to be truthful with your friends and never betray a trust.  It’s important to be available.  It’s important never to play emotional games or act capriciously.  It’s important to agree on limits and boundaries (if any).  It’s important to be honest with them and yourself.  If these things don’t exist, what value the friendship?

Posted in general, life, personal | Comments Off on On Friendship – Part 5

Heartbreak 3

Posted by Keen Observer on July 23, 2015

I haven’t written much in the past months, mostly for good reasons, some for laziness and a lack of motivation.  I might or might not be starting up again.  This poem is a glimpse into the emotional turmoil I’ve been experiencing since April, and more strongly in the past month.

Fighting with Myself

I do not know
What I am
What I feel
I am both
Full and empty
Paired feelings
Happy and sad
Still and shaken
Calm and afraid
Focused and scattered
Whole and broken
Supported and alone
Love and pain
Appreciated and betrayed
Certain and not
I do not know
How to reconcile
So many dichotomies—
Just that they must be
Or I will never again
Be whole or happy
To love once more
Freely and completely
How I once loved you

Posted in life, love, personal, poetry, stupidity | Comments Off on Heartbreak 3

On Friendship, Part 4

Posted by Keen Observer on February 7, 2015

Well, this is a post I didn’t think I’d be writing.

You may recall earlier posts bearing this same title, and that the subject of them was largely the same person, though others may have been referenced.  This past week changed all that in an instant, and yet it didn’t.

My former best friend–who shall remain nameless but who knows about these posts–explicitly, but without explanation, abandoned our friendship this week.  Not abandoned, really–more like executed it.  After five months of decreasing and then no contact, nor responses to contact attempts, she blocked me on Facebook Wednesday morning.  She was there, and then she was not.  My first reaction was that she had finally deleted her account, since she had mentioned having considered it in one of our last conversations.  But I mentioned it to a friend, and I was told that her profile was still visible.  The shock of that knowledge hit me rather like a bolo to the nuts.

I had accepted that she no longer wanted to communicate with me for whatever reasons, but that was an action I hadn’t anticipated, since it could be considered very aggressive.  And I had come to terms with her lack of response, though I had been working on an email for the past couple of months that would tell her I was confused but would respect her desire not to communicate with me and would wish her well; I hadn’t sent it, because I couldn’t figure out the right words to settle the right tone.  I still might send it, but the tone has become rather more bitter in the last few days.  I mean, I hadn’t heard anything from her since mid-October, despite a few attempts after that–though I gave up in late November–and she had already severely limited what I could see on her wall and profile (all without explanation).  And there are other factors which I learned indirectly (aka. “CG”–her bf-exbf-bf-fiancé) which caused me to believe that I knew why she had limited and then cut off communication with me prior to this, though I found those factors to be both confusing and hurtful.  So, I was settled into accepting that benign neglect would be the way of things, and I had decided about a week or so ago that if nothing happened in the next month (i.e., by the end of February), I would just quietly remove her from my friends list.  And so, she took this entirely unnecessary step without warning, notification, or explanation.  The only functional outcome of this for me is that I can’t see her profile, I can’t see her tags/other public activity, and I can’t send her messages/reply to our ongoing conversation thread, so there was very little point to taking this course of action.  I still have other contact means for her, unless she’s changed them all.  And in that case, she’s got bigger problems than worrying about me.

The worst part about it for me is that she went the “silent” road.  We had had long discussions about my past relationships and certain aspects of them involving silence and marginalisation of me by my ex.  Lack of honesty and communication doomed at least one of those relationships–the most important one–and she knew that.  So this method of going about “separating” from me couldn’t have been more calculated to hurt me than if she had tried (which I don’t think she was trying to do specifically).  So I am hurt and annoyed and frustrated and confused by all this.  The second-worst part was that the “other factors” caused me to start distrusting her–something I would have said was impossible in August.  And because of that distrust, I had to remove her as my emergency contact and change all the passwords I had given her (in a still-sealed envelope, I hope) to be used in the event of my death or incapacitation.  I didn’t think she would do anything with the information–not immediately, at least–but I trust none of the people around her not to do so.  These two “betrayals” poisoned what had been a beautiful friendship, in my opinion.

But to be clear, I do not regret any of it, except mailing her my passwords–I have a hard time remember the crazy number of them that I have, so changing them all was extremely frustrating and annoying…I had some really good ones that I liked.  But her friendship was of incalculable value to me, and she helped me get through some rough emotional patches in my life and deal with a lot of past anger and stress.  I like to think I helped her similarly.  Her friendship served its purpose, and I think I’m better–and a better person–for having known her.  That’s the legacy I want to remember, not the stupidity of how it ended.  In many ways she gave me back my emotional life, and I’ll always be grateful for that.  But that part of my life is apparently now over, unless she decides to contact me, and in that eventuality, I don’t know what I’ll do.  She made her choice, and it was pretty unequivocal.

But the surprising thing for me is also related to friendship:  the reaction.  I put up a post on Wednesday–D-Day, I guess–after I got home and had eaten some supper.  She can’t see it, having blocked me/unfriended me, but since she knows of this blog, I’m not sure I should repeat the words.  But I vague-booked a little and said it sucked to be “stabbed in the heart” by a friend.  The response to that was strangely strong and gratifying.  I got a supportive comment from an old ex, and a few other comments and several likes to the post.   And then I got some side-band communications.  I had two long conversations yesterday with friends, both of whom I’ve known for years, but I had only been close with one of them.  I try to explain the situation as honestly as I can (based on my knowledge), and the responses and support I’ve gotten from everyone have been uniformly positive.  It’s something that almost overwhelmed me in its magnitude and surprised me in terms of who reached out to me and how.  Which just goes to show you that if you pick good friends, they’ll stick by you.

So, I guess the upshot of all this is a new piece of learning for me about friendships:  good friendships can end, but the best ones don’t.  And only time will tell you which one is which.

Posted in general, life, love, personal | Comments Off on On Friendship, Part 4

On Friendship, Part 3

Posted by Keen Observer on July 25, 2014

I was having a discussion with my best friend some days ago, in which she was engaging in some of her trademark obsessive behaviour, while simultaneously fretting about being in this obsessive mode.  This is something I have experienced with her on previous occasions, and it’s not something that bothers me beyond the fact of disliking that she tortures herself like that.  In fact, during this iteration of obsession, I realised a few things:

  1. I like listening to her obsess about things (which may surprise her).
  2. I like being the person to whom she feels she can obsess about these things (which shouldn’t).
  3. I like that these interactions are non-judgemental and entirely reciprocal (she takes her turns absorbing my own outpourings).
    • With the proviso that sometimes judgement is necessary, and is performed in both directions as appropriate.
  4. The connection we have/share is so profoundly deep that any other concepts that do not support these statements are entirely unthinkable.

The last item was kind of the key one in my moment of “Eureka!”  During our conversation, I noted it thusly (with improvements):

You are so much a part of my life, that when you ‘go off the deep end’ [as she put it], I just stand and let it wash over me, the rock on the beach sitting immobile and stable, as the stormy waves crash around it.  I observe and analyse and advise, but ultimately, I am apart from it in such a way that lets me fully accept the action of your storm waves without being drowned by them.  And at the same time, I provide an outlet for you that isn’t damaged by the force of the storm.  But the key is that you and I have such a deep, powerful connection that I can no more turn away from your rage or insanity [her term] or sadness than I can my own.  And so, I exist, and you exist, and we complement and support each other.  Profoundly.

As these words came out of me, I realised them for essential truth.  Or Truth.  I thought on this for some time after and realised that as much as I see myself as her rock, I equally know with certainty that she is mine (and I have also waxed poetical in this vein).  She provides a stable barycentre about which I may revolve, or the heavy storm anchor that keeps my fragile hull from being smashed to flinders, as I am tempest-toss’d by the hurricane of my emotions.  And I am confident in this relationship to the marrow of my bones.  I know her, and she knows me, in profound and complete ways.  We know the other’s flaws, and they don’t matter in the least.  We don’t love each other in spite of those flaws; we just love each other, flaws and all, because those flaws are part of makes us who we are, and we understand this intrinsically.

Though the metaphorical rock acts as an impervious observer to the stormy ocean, in another, very real sense, the solitary rock is enveloped by the calmed ocean, an ocean that surrounds and just…is.  An ocean that is accepting and supportive and tranquil and…there, gently reminding the rock that it is never, ever alone.  The ocean’s presence ebbs and flows, as these things do, but the constant contact between water and basalt echoes how one soul brushes up against and soothes the other, their presence a universal constant.

And as all of these thoughts passed through me, I realised another Truth:  I have little doubt that there are people out there who have never–nor will they ever–have so deep and honest a friendship.  These people I pity with all the strength I can muster, for I have been in that state and am indescribably glad to have escaped it.  Of all the things that exist in my life at this time, she is currently what makes me feel the luckiest, the most valued, the most understood, the most appreciated, the most…well, the list goes on.  I’ve finally gotten over the dazed bafflement at having so wonderful and awesome a friend, but the wonder and awe of her remain.  I have even been so lucky as to have developed other close friendships that I value highly as well, but she’s definitely special, and I believe she has been instrumental in me being able to see and accept these other friendships, to have given me the ability to once again let others see who I truly am.  To risk.

She has been such an incredible gift to me, that I can’t really imagine that life is possible in her absence.   My best friend centres me, stabilises me, gentles me, encourages me beyond my limits.  The reality–the solidity–of the connection we share grounds me so perfectly, that I can no longer feel that I am without also the parallel of she is palpably within me.  I could no more turn against her or hurt her than I can harm myself, because to hurt her would be to hurt myself.  And because of how she gives and supports and loves in return, I know the same holds for her.  The connection is truly soul-to-soul.

And to me, that is the nature of a perfect, true friendship…or as close to it as makes no difference.

Posted in general, life, love, opinion, personal | Comments Off on On Friendship, Part 3

Remembrance of Things Past…

Posted by Keen Observer on November 11, 2013

Nothing to do with anything in this post but the title, but I remember reading some of the above bit of painful prose in the original French. I don’t remember much about it, but I remember reading it, and only vaguely how some things can spawn an “involuntary memory”. The original title is more along the lines of “In Search of Lost Time”, but English editors of French works can be a little pompous and can feel the need to change authorial intent. I was never a fan of Proust, but that little kernel of truth is quite profound, as it relates strongly to interconnectedness.

That aside…

Today was Remembrance Day in Canada and the Commonwealth, and marked in different ways in other countries. Canada uses the day–though not a national, public holiday–to honour its fallen heroes, its war dead, a tradition dating back to the end of World War I. The poppies come out about two weeks before the day. Generally, at no other time during the year is there any mention of such things in the “popular” press, and come the 12th, the poppies disappear from the talking heads on television, and also the public consciousness.

There has been some talk in recent years of a so-called “white” poppy, that’s intended to represent peace, as though the red poppies (there are other colours?) are meant to honour war and killing. People who would believe this tripe are ignorant, stupid, or misled. Or all three. People who think that another type of poppy is needed have no idea what a “Remembrance” poppy represents, and they probably don’t care to learn, either.

War is hell. Period. Some have said it’s the failure of diplomacy, which is probably true enough, but diplomacy is often used just as another military manoeuvre, and is often the opening salvo in the war, or the base causus belli. And sometimes, diplomacy is just another way of saying, “Please turn around, so I can stab you in the back.” Friends close, enemies closer. There are people/entities/national actors in the world with whom diplomacy is impossible, because they are not rational actors. With groups like those, war of some type is inevitable, and it’s harder to fight off, both because they are not rational actors, and because we often give them the means to destroy us.

War is hell. It has a huge cost, beyond military budgets and economic/environmental damage. War kills generations, whether the war is “won” or not. War is a horrible, horrible thing and should be avoided–unless it can’t be. And if it can’t be, that war should be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible, to ensure that your side doesn’t bear the cost of it any more than it has to. It should be as nasty, brutish, and short as possible, and preferably destroy your enemy’s ability to make war again for a very long time. People who have studied war’s history, and the history of wars, understand this, more so if they have military experience. Politicians, as a rule, do not, and they are often eager to increase the cost of a war that they do not personally have to pay.

War veterans understand the hellish nature of war at a bone-deep level we “normal” people can’t possibly understand, and for this we should be grateful, because it means that we have not experienced it. And we “normals” have trouble understanding why anyone would volunteer to go out and kill or die to serve a political or necessary end for people they know nothing about. But they do, and they die. It is this that the poppies represent: their sacrifice, not for a glorification of war. The poem “In Flanders Fields” encapsulated this fairly well, which is why it has stood the test of time. They died, that others might live. They died, that those who started unnecessary wars might be defeated in their goals. They died, that evil might be fought to a standstill and destroyed. They died, that people might say egregiously-stupid things about poppies without being imprisoned. They died, and we live. They died, and we wear poppies once a year.

There is a problem, though, in that as we get further away from the global wars of the past, the memories around them fade. And schools slowly stop teaching about the true causes and costs of war. And the sacrifices of the honoured fallen are gradually pushed to the side, so that generations of people grow up not understanding what happened in the past. Memories fade, and people stop seeing the warning signs of oncoming global conflict, leaving us unprepared in the face of existential threats. Memories fade, and people stop appreciating the freedoms they take for granted every single day, freedoms bought with the blood of young generations, something that today’s young generations don’t want to confront. And they fail to see that the price of those freedoms is eternal vigilance, because there is always someone out there who wants to restrict your freedoms, to control your lives and thoughts. Honouring and supporting a military that is the only bulwark against external threats of that type is about the least you can do. And the simplest way to do that is to wear a red poppy on the left side of your chest for a couple weeks around Hallowe’en. If you feel particularly punchy, you can go for a yellow ribbon as a year-round display. But we must not forget. Or there might come a time when we need the help of the warriors to protect us, but they are not there, and this time, it is we who will die, but there will be no one to remember us.

Posted in general, life, opinion, personal, poetry, politics, stupidity, Writing | Comments Off on Remembrance of Things Past…

Sex Workers’ Rights Day (Friday the 13th)

Posted by Keen Observer on September 16, 2013

Sex work is work, as they say, and sex worker rights are human rights. Per the link below, I’m one who comes at this from the libertarian side, the equal-treatment-under-the-law side, the women-have-the-right-to-choose-how-their-bodies-are-used side, the not-seeing-sex-work-as-immoral side, and the not-treating-working-girls-like-pieces-of-shit side. For the record, I’ve never patronised a sex worker (heh…did you see what I did there?), but trying to make/keep this consensual activity criminal is beyond stupid.

(Her blog is not for the faint of heart or the easily offended, and some is NSFW.)

Read her stuff. Maggie McNeill–a retired escort–articulates things I could never find the words for and describes things far outside of my experience. But society treating sex workers as pariahs is why Robert Pickton got away with murdering women–people who were wives, sisters, daughters–for as long as he did, and why other murderers, abusers, and rapists continue to do. And this is in Canada, a country where prostitution is itself not illegal. I mean, listen to the news: recently, two women were killed in Vancouver almost next door to each other. “High-risk lifestyle” is media/police code for “she’s just a whore”, where missing or murdered women are concerned. More often than not, it even means “drug-addled whore.” That they were connected to sex work should never have made it into the news reports, because at this point in time, it’s fucking irrelevant–and perhaps never relevant. Treat murdered/missing women as murdered/missing women, in the press and elsewhere, and maybe violence against women will decrease. That they were escorts may be a relevant line of investigation, but why publicise it or change how you approach the case?

If you haven’t thought about things like this before, read her well-written blog (she is intelligent, articulate, and thoughtful, though I don’t always agree with her), and you will. However, you might end up feeling a bit gob-smacked from time to time at the things you’ll learn, especially about how whores in America are treated, and how they’re trying to export their misguided morality and control-freak tendencies worldwide, where it’s just not wanted. And you wouldn’t believe some of the stuff that goes on around the world.

I stole someone's picture.

“Nice pussy you have. Shame if something happened to it.”

You may be shocked at how most feminist groups, who should be staunch allies of fully-sexually-actualised, independent businesswomen, routinely fight against efforts to humanise (read, decriminalise) sex work/workers: a woman is allowed to choose, as long as it’s not choosing to take money for sex. Slut it up and fuck whomever you want, just don’t take cash money for it.

So, though this post is now going up a few days late, I don’t think it hurts to remind people that sex workers are people too. Porn stars have sex with multiple partners for money, and they don’t face nearly the same stigmatisation as someone doing a straight-up financial transaction for sex. They also don’t get arrested for their activities; some are lauded and some run for political office. And as Maggie has pointed out a time or two, cops aren’t smart enough to differentiate between hookers and non-hooker females. In some places just having more than a few condoms in your purse is enough to get you nicked, and that’s utterly ridiculous. Other stories are more harrowing, and all are because of demonisation of sex workers and the illegality of sex work in many jurisdictions. Strangely, however, most people can’t tell sex workers apart from “regular” women: they look just like everyone else. And they are just like everyone else: trying to make a living with their native skills.

Posted in American, Canadian, general, life, news & journalism, opinion, politics, religion, stupidity, Uncategorized, World | 1 Comment »

Brief update

Posted by Keen Observer on September 3, 2013

To all those who still follow this collection of my brain farts, I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything in months. I just haven’t felt all that write-y. Nothing has caught my attention with enough intensity to make me want to barf out a post, but I’ve been feeling guilty about being silent for so long. Also, natural disasters, summer, and a busy work environment conspired (and conspire) to keep me occupied, and my adult-education class is starting up again shortly. Perhaps one of these days, I’ll learn some time-management skills.

Anyway, that’s all I really wanted to say.

Carry on.

Posted in general, life | Comments Off on Brief update

On Friendship – Part 2

Posted by Keen Observer on May 21, 2013

I didn’t really plan to write this one, but the basic point I want to make has been rolling around in my brain for a few days, so I thought I’d kick the hornet’s nest and see what roils out. Usually, it’s more than I bargain for.

I used to think, pursuant to some things I had learned in school and elsewhere, that the optimal solution in a relationship was to be the best friend of whomever it is you choose to love. As a result of recent events, both in my life and in others’, I now no longer believe this to be true.

The common wisdom seems to be (to my eye) for a couple to be each other’s best friend, to be the source of all support and validation, the keepers of secrets, the discussers of weighty matters and problems, the accepters of all that makes us…us. This seems to be reasonably sound in theory, but I find that in practice this falls short, and it can, in fact, be somewhat damaging.

In a good relationship, things are usually fine, and this sort of issue generally comes up but rarely or inconsequentially. However, if a relationship is less-idyllic or trending sour–but still has value to both parties–with whom does one confide, if one does not know how to approach some issues with one’s partner? Parents or siblings are sometimes “outs”, or perhaps a clergy member (if you’re into that sort of thing). Some friends can be good friends enough that you feel comfortable talking to them about deeply-personal, potentially-embarrassing problems. But for people who make few friends, and who rarely have casual friendships, this is not a likely situation: private people don’t like sharing such details very much, especially if any of the details may show us in a bad light or create a sense of weakness or humiliation.

This is where a best friend comes in really, really handy. Some wag long ago said that a best friend is someone who knows all about you but loves you anyway. This is partly why I now think that this a critical resource to have outside your relationship. Your best friend–if you are lucky enough to have one–isn’t going to judge you and find you wanting for discussing your embarrassing (or whatever) problems with him/her; a true friend will be what you need him/her to be…listener, advisor, sounding-board, reality-checker, second-opinionator, tell-me-if-I’m-overreacting-er, calming-down-er-er, and so on. Even sometimes just a friendly voice on the other end of the phone call when you’re feeling too frazzled to deal with something just now, and you know you’re not in a stable frame of mind. I think this is a critical component of keeping peace, communicating well, and solving problems effectively in a relationship.

My reasoning is that sometimes, your confrontations with your significant other (SO) can become too emotionally-charged or too heated, and rationality can fly out the window. Stepping back and talking to a friend before saying something you can’t take back can often cool you down enough to make better sense of whatever problem it was that set you off, even if it’s just from the time it takes to step back and call your friend. Most of the time, your friend will support you and validate your position/feelings; many times, he or she will ask a question about the story being told that makes you stop and think about something a little harder than you had. Sometimes, your friend will even be strong enough to say, “I think you’re in the wrong here, bud,” which is a resource beyond price. But you have to be strong enough to accept such criticism. Sometimes, it’s not a heated exchange with your SO: sometimes, you’re just confused as to what to do, or you don’t understand what your SO is saying very well, and you know you’ll both just get frustrated trying to get to the same terms of reference to be able to resolve things without resorting to vases and dinnerware. A best friend can help you navigate those waters better without things blowing up in your face. They still might, but the odds are much lower, and you can go back into that conversation with your mind clear and your emotions more levelled. And as a side benefit, your friendship also grows stronger as a result.

And a best friend can also serve as just a general pressure valve, helping you keep emotionally grounded by talking about things that are just minor things of no real consequence, some of which you know your romantic partner has no interest in hearing about, despite protestations to the contrary. You don’t need to worry about that sort of conflict–or boredom–with your best friend, because you and your best friend are generally on the same page…connected on a very close level, but differently from the one shared by you and your SO. And talking about what’s bothering you can help you decide that you just have to bring some of these peeves to the attention of your SO before they become real problems, or it may turn out that hashing it out with your friend can make you realise something was really No Big Deal after all and set your mind at ease.

Nor is the role of best friend restricted to bad things. A best friend is also the receptacle for all your wondrous news and items of interest that might also bore a lower-quality friend to tears…or fly them into paroxysms of annoyance. These can be crazy fun to discuss, too, depending on the subject matter and level of shared interest…or opportunities for the gentle mockery and teasing that exists between true friends. And one of the reasons for this need is that people are, by their natures, fairly gregarious/social: they must communicate with others; they must have feedback and validation. But the audience capable of true interest in these very personal topics–and worthy of the trust implicit in hearing them–is very, very small. There is no better source for that–and interest come by honestly–than from one’s best friend.

The other side of this is that each person’s SO must acknowledge that there is a best friend that may be hearing very personal details of their relationship, which can create feelings of awkwardness. But I think it’s also important for the SO to buy into this, because it relieves the SO of having to feign interest for some things, and it off-loads some of the drama/stress elsewhere, so that the couple can focus on the issues that are actually important in their relationship, and not “sweat the small stuff”, as the saying goes. This can be a “dangerous” situation, though, if the SO doesn’t buy into it, because the knowledge of someone else knowing what goes on behind closed doors can turn from a chip to a crack to a fissure to a fracture to a rift to a chasm. And we don’t really want that. So, that could be a dangerous shoal to be navigated: only the people involved can judge the correct course.

On the whole, though, I think having a best friend to talk to is an integral part of any successful, romantic relationship. And I think it’s something you don’t automatically think of or realise, until you go through a dying relationship with no one to talk to about humiliating and embarrassing details, because your SO was your best friend and had been for more than a decade. And then you start talking about them with someone who becomes your best friend, and you realise how much more sense it makes to be able to step outside the relationship and get some sober second thought. Or a few wisecracks. Whichever.

Posted in general, life, love, personal | Comments Off on On Friendship – Part 2