It’s insane how good it feels to be 90% naked. Got my sexy man undies on right now, feeling like a million bucks.
It’s more insane that something as simple a communication can make or break a situation. Saying a sentence to someone could change their whole worldview and perception of prior events. Relationships are placid lakes and the smallest pebble can create a ripple that goes bank to bank. Or in my case, a boulder in a pond. There’s a reason I always seek the source.
That source being my best friend’s girlfriend (remember her). Yes, after some soul searching (and a very long post) I reached out and set up a meeting for this afternoon. It went a lot better than I expected, which isn’t to say I expected doom. And it went better than I expect in a way that’s contrary to such a situation. I’ll spare the details and say that we both got to the root of the issue of last year’s falling out that was never solved. It was a combination of respect, relay, and rising to the occasion. Oh, and sometimes you just have to cut out the middle man, even if that’s your bestest friend in the whole wide world.
My best friend’s girlfriend, who I’ll refer to as Cool Cat, felt I excluded and disrespected her during my stint on their couch last year. Armed with the information from my previous meeting, I understood that was because she likes to be in the mix. But upon recollection, I never updated her on my plans unless I was prompted and that equated to a one or two word response. Not hard to imagine how one would feel slighted in that scenario. Again, not out of malice. I just felt actual results would mean more than “Yeah I had 3 useless interviews for pyramid schemes.” I later find out that it was actually her idea to have me come out and try my luck, it was her idea for the lantern festival, and some of the coolest experiences I had in the first half of 2017 were orchestrated by her. What a ride.
Essentially, my best friend has been indirectly crediting himself for all these experiences by explaining all of these plans and prior situations as though they were of his own creation. And I blindly assumed he was the maestro yet CC was the one pulling the strings. Not knowing that to be the case, I saw her as just an accessory to me and my friend’s plans during my stay instead of an equal partner. I confessed and apologized for behavior on that front. It’s fucked to open your home to someone and it seems as though they couldn’t be bothered to at least give a minor update every now and then. But she also could have phrased her final prodding question better than “I need my space, what the fuck are you doing?” My paraphrase, but the sting was there.
Apparently that’s all she wanted; me to keep her in the loop and give semi-regular updates. Doesn’t sound like much until my personality and disposition is considered. When I get focused, I get focused. And sometimes I shun connections and leave people in the dark because, for me, it’s not important for them to know every move I make. They can surely ask, but I’m not going to sending them a weekly report. You can miss me with that. I was sure grateful for the chance, but I’m going to do it my way. I didn’t owe them any more than what was agreed upon. Yes, I am a prideful bastard.
I poorly explained this to her and I could tell she wasn’t about it, but that’s fine. Differences are okay. The second point of contention was that she admitted that she was the type of person to value all connections, no matter the depth. She is a person that genuinely cares about others’ success and will actively go out on a limb to make sure they hit those goals. All commendable, really. Despite knowing of each other and working together for 7 years, I still did not know her and frankly had no desire to, even after she got with my best friend.
We were cool and that was good enough for me. She also admitted that she had tried multiple times to forge a connection with me and allegedly I wasn’t receptive. To which I retorted she did the same and cited specific examples. People get 2 chances for a legitimate conversation then I put my walls up and cordon them off when I sense “small talk.” I fucking hate small talk.
Come to find out, she genuinely just gives a shit about people, which may include some small talk to get things going. I guess that’s fine. On top of that, she always wants to know why people tick and do the things they do, especially when the object of her affection has a great friend. Her goal was to get a least a taste of the relationship my best friend and I have. A fair aspiration, but I didn’t have a desire to reciprocate based on an outdated image of her and lack of motivation to even get that going.
Most of the close friends I have now were a result of circumstances that forced us to show our hands, then shit panned out because we were holding similar cards. And with her that was never done because of my apathy and my best friend was too busy being in the way when those situations arose. He’s one of the greatest guys I know, but sometimes he’s too overprotective and worries about interaction between people he cares about. Plus, I was listening to his secondhand account of her outlook on life. That will never go over well. Frankly, had we just talked right away last year, we could have avoided a lot of this shit. But such is life.
I was just happy to have the ability to go to the source. To hear from the woman herself, how she felt about shit instead of extrapolating from a shitty and sugarcoated interpretation of events. One thing that stood out to me was that CC kept going back to this notion of us being really good friends, yet realizing it can’t be forced. I could sense conflict, but I didn’t pry. I understand she wants me and her to be best buds because it would be ideal for the three of us, but I don’t share that sentiment completely. I’m willing to be proactive and check-in every now and then, but I like letting things develop as they may.
She did try and sway me with metaphor, bless her heart. She says “when you get a girlfriend, wouldn’t you want her to be really good friends with < my best friend>?” First off, I respect that she has that much confidence in me to find somebody I could give that title to. Second, I said “If they’re best buds, that’s great. If they not, that’s fine too. So long as both were respectful of each other and didn’t make shit awkward when hanging out, I wouldn’t care. The level of their friendship is not a function of my autonomy at all.” She sat there looking a bit puzzled and maybe defeated, but I wasn’t going to lie. Relationships are fluid and unique. That’s their business what they want to do, so long as nobody is fucking the wrong person at the end of the day.
Outside of that impasse, things opened up for the better. And although feelings were bruised in this process, it was 100% positive. I gained new perspective on my flaws, how I operate in the world, and some things I do that I didn’t realize. I also rediscovered a friend that had my back this entire time, despite us having a tenuous relationship prior. As much as I love my best friend, he really needs to shut up sometimes. All in all, we just might end up being 3 peas in a pod after all.
Man, this maturity thing is a real drag on my ego.