Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Everybody Thinks You're Crazy

They do think I'm crazy. My friends, gentle readers. It's not the first time and it certainly won't be the last. Normally I wouldn't mind. "Crazy" is usually a badge of pride. Means forward-thinking, off-center in a cool way. It's just that right now their definition of "crazy" is the kind of crazy that, if knocked up a couple of notches, gets people locked up and on medication for depression.

It's because they see me "suffering" and "miserable," hung up on a girl who-- for one reason or another-- will never return my affection. Dex has fallen and fallen hard and is therefore on his usual trainwreck ride to his special hell. He must therefore be saved from himself, barring having him committed, by means of friendly if exasperated and angry unsolicited advice. Really, it's the Angelica Wars all over again.

Quite a few of them forget that years ago they were also moon-eyed over an uncooperative someone or other. How hard was it to convince them that they had to just let the matter drop and move on like they want me to? It was like wringing blood from a stone, to listen to the accounts of others who tried vainly to dissuade them.

Okay, what's my point? My point is that people deal on different levels, in different ways. And most times, simply telling them what ought to be done hardens them to the idea of it. Some people learn their lessons the hard way. Often the people who are in these messes are so mired that they cannot simply disengage even if they wanted to. What they need is for their friends to be with them whatever happens.

They never got that one reason why the Angelica Wars lasted six whole years was that everyone I'd talked to was doing my thinking for me. Dex, do this. Dex, do that. I just needed time to process my own thoughts, to know that whatever my choices, I would still be able to return to the safe harbor of their regard.

I remember promising only that to two friends of mine playing a courtship tug-of-war. Guy loved girl. Girl didn't like the idea. Guy talked to me. Girl talked to me. I could not take sides (but I was secretly rooting for the guy). I only did three things--

1. I listened.
2. I wished for each of them the best, praying for each as he or she asked.
3. I told each of them I would still be a friend regardless of what happened.

Guy won girl.

So how can this same guy tell me to quit when he didn't? I could have told him the same thing years ago when the girl was giving him a tour of the special hell. No guarantee I'd get the same result of course, but I have to see it through on my own.

There are no words more foul to someone who's had to turn the other cheek on issues important to him when he finally decides he wants something bad enough to take a stand, than the words "move on." He knows why he may have to, but the point is he doesn't want to have to. Not until he's fully convinced himself that the effort is futile. Eventually if the effort is futile, he'll come to accept the need to walk away from a bad situation. But he has to come to it on his own terms or his decision will always feel tainted. He'll never know any peace.

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