Wednesday, August 22, 2018

On Friendship

A couple of long-simmering thoughts on the topic of Friendship and relationships more generally have come to the forefront of what passes for my brain recently, so I thought I'd share.

Firstly, much as in the novel Fight Club, there are rules to Friendship in real life. The First Rule of Friendship being: "Never Lie". Not too surprisingly to anyone who has been party to pretty much any relationship with another human being, there is the Occasional Corollary to the First Rule which reads: "SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!", which itself has the subsequent Supporting Directive of: "Immediately Change The Subject as compellingly as you can".

Lemme 'splain this last one.

Say your Significant Other asks you: "Does this make me look fat?" (regardless of what "this" is).

Your immediate rejoinder should be something along the lines of: "You and I both know how much thought and effort you put into your diet and fitness, and how much your fashion choices and physical appearance always reflect that. Anyway, you have the ability to make anything look good."

You see how this works? The subsequent fight will be over willingness to accept responsibility (which will be your fault too) rather than your poor (not to mention cruel) judgement. These distinctions matter farther into the future than you may believe (yet).

Unlike the (purely hypothetical, he says) example above, there are those unfortunate situations in real life, when you feel compelled as a friend to abide by Rule 1 even though you know full well that all would be so much more placid in your life if you went with the Occasional Corollary option instead. Should you find yourself in such a circumstance, bide your time until the Placatory Offering tactic becomes acceptable by both (all? who knows these days?) involved (never forgetting the non-involved who have waaay too much to say about not-their-business) parties, then present your best considered offering (and, yes, there's a strategy for getting through this process too :)).

Secondly, the issue of Intra-Species Relationship Courtesies and Considerations has brought itself to my attention - again. Particularly as these involve both genders of the species (look, this issue is complicated enough without trying to slice this particular biological pie any more finely than it comes out of the slot in the usual fashion - don't deliberately make this any harder to live through!).

With no offense intended to Mr. Bill Maher;

New Rule: Anyones personal cell phone, hand bag or wallet is theirs alone, and no one else has any reason for gettin' inside anyone elses!

Now, I understand that the cops claim an exception to this, which basically works out for the rest of us as: "even if you should somehow win this particular segment of the argument, you're still going to lose the rest of the fight, so surrendering as gracefully as you can is usually your best option". Other than the cops though, if it ain't yours, stay out of it!

Look, if my wife/girlfriend/Mother asks me to get her something out of her purse, what's going to happen is I'm going to hand her the entire bag. I don't know what's in there. I don't even want to know what's in there. Should I ever have to ask anyone to hand me my wallet (? it goes in my pocket well before the gun does), I don't think I am at all out of line, or the least bit unreasonable, to expect and insist that all that happens is that the entire wallet - contents unexamined - ends up in my hand. I also don't think it the least bit exceptional to expect such consideration from other's about my or any other cell phone that isn't their personal property (Ok, the exception that proves the rule; if you give your child something like a cell phone, it's a basic term of the transaction that you are only allowing them mutual access to whatever it is - as long as you're paying for it, it's yours too).

If you want to share content from your phone with anyone, Forward it to their email (or whatever) or just show it to them directly. Other than that, nobody has any right to access the contents of your cell phone, handbag, or wallet, and any effort to convince you otherwise should arouse immediate doubt in your mind about the desirability of keeping the person making such an argument quite so closely involved in your life.

Life is a complicated experience, involving an ever-changing matrix of competing influences to impinge upon our decision making process, the result of which often seems to make suicide an option at least briefly worth considering. With Healthy Life Extension scientific research from people like the SENS Research Foundation offering more and better treatments and therapies to consider, it seems a foregone conclusion that we can only expect an even longer time span in which to suffer the consequences of our more poorly chosen actions and statements towards our loved one's. Adherence to a few basic, simple rules should go a long way towards making that extended healthy life a much Happier one too. Never mind the children; think of yourself! 

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