April 29, 2009

With Friends Like These...

...you're the luckiest motherfucker in the world.

The other day, Georgia said something amazing to me. She said, "There isn’t anything you could do that would make me not want to be your friend." (I'm getting a little misty eyed as I type that. I'm such a softee.)

See, she was going to her brother’s wedding, which I, of course, had known about for months. I mean, I knew what dress she was going to wear, had heard the speech she was planning to give, knew who she was not bringing as a date. So the day before the wedding, I asked, "What are you doing this weekend?"

No, really. I asked that.

"I'm going to my brother's wedding," she said. She didn't give me a look. She didn't hit me upside the head and say, "Haven't you been listening to me at all, you effing eejit?" She just said, "I'm. Going. To. My. Brother's. Wedding."

I was mortified. Oh, yeah. Right. The wedding. THE wedding.

So for several hours, I worried that I'd hurt her feelings. When I went back to the store to apologize, she gave me this quizzical look, started laughing, and said, “You worry about the strangest things.” And then she murmured that fabulous statement: "There isn’t anything you could do that would make me not want to be your friend."

You know what? I want that carte blanche in a friendship. I only have this sort of ease with a handful of people, but it’s very, very relaxing. To know that I may put my foot in my mouth—like when I told Eliza something, and I said, “Look, I don’t smoke, I don’t…” blah blah blah, and then remembered that she does smoke. And I worried that I'd hurt her feelings in some way, and she assured me that I hadn't. So maybe carte blanche for a worrier like me is not totally relaxing. Maybe I just lied. But god, it's nice to have the—what?—parachute, soft mattress, something gentle to fall down on when I fuck up.

See, I have good intentions. I don’t mean harm. But I am going to put my foot in my mouth. That's just a fact. Even in my dream last night, I was trying to do something gracefully, fell on my ass, and announced, "I am a klutz."

And there are a slew of people out there who will attack at the first sign of weakness. Who will assume something was done aggressively, or meant meanly, when often mere thoughtlessness is the cause. A mistake. An error. A mental glitch.

I am supremely grateful for the people in my life who understand that. Who forgive and forget. Who laugh at me and say, "You worry about the strangest things."

I'm raising my glass to all of you. (It's got coffee in it. And it's a mug. Not a glass. But you get the idea.)

Ta. Very. Fucking. Much.



Erobintica said...

wish there were more people like that in the world

neve black said...

I heart you. :-)

Cheers! Clinking coffee cups.

Alison Tyler said...

I heart you right back, Neve. And Erobintica, that would be nice, wouldn't it?

But unfortunately there are more people who fall into the opposite category. Like the time I was driving into a Whole Foods. And a man was driving out the "In" way. With a smoothie on the roof of his car.

So I'm pointing to his smoothie, and yelling, "Smoothie on your roof!"

And he rolls down his window and starts to swear at me. He thought I was giving him grief for going out the In. When he says, "Fuck You," and I say, "Smoothie," I start laughing.

He pauses. "What? What did you say?"

"Your smoothie is on your roof."

He went scarlet with embarrassment. And then fell over himself trying to apologize. But I have to say—I see far more of that than the other.


jothemama said...

haaaa stupid fucker!

Erobintica said...

haha - he certainly wasn't a smoothie.

Jeremy Edwards said...

I think we all put our feet in our mouths (wow, that sounds weird in the plural—almost orgiastic), but perhaps only we sensitive types are aware of ourselves having done it. Everyone ought to be understanding about it, imo.

Meanwhile, I really like the sound of "Smoothie on your roof!" I think it would make a great song title, for example, or a good all-purpose greeting. The full version could be used around special occasions ("Happy New Year!" "Thanks! Smoothie on your roof!"), and the abbreviated version might be heard in more casual contexts ("Bye—catch you later!" "Okay. Smoothie!")

Alison Tyler said...

Very well said, JE, but I can't really respond right now. I'm sucking toes.


Roggy said...

lol, I'm also as politically incorrect as one can get. Just recently, no offense to NYers but I found the whole low flying Air Force 1 to be pretty amusing...then realized it's probably not a good thing especially since 9/11 was a tragedy...but it's that kind of initial reaction you have when you see someone fall ass-over-tits or walk into a glass door..and then cringe when you realize they're seriously injured. :P
Good read!

Angell said...

I have a few friends like that and I thank God (or Satan - I'm never sure which) for them every day.

And I am one of those that ALWAYS has her foot in her mouth.

Want to exchange recipes?

jothemama said...

Smnoothie on your roof! Sounds pretty hip hop alright. Nice one :)

Smut Girl said...

georgia is a smart cookie. and you do worry about the strangest things, said the pot...

Cora Zane said...

That is a rare trait these day, I'm sad to say. That, and the live and let live types. ~_~

Smoothie on the roof. Poor guy - he knew he had just been spared by the gods of instant karma. That first red light, his windshield could've been covered with smoothie.

ste said...

I recently told a friend about something that I'd never mentioned before, because I had been worried how she would react. She didn't bat an eyelid (mainly because all this was done through writing letters), and I felt like such a muppet for not realising that there never was anything to worry about ages ago.

So yeah, I raise my glass to all those people too.

Alison Tyler said...

I think what happens is that you get burned. You try to be open and honest and someone judges you so harshly you retreat into your shell. (I mean, that happened when I confessed my spanking fantasies to my beau when I was 18. He was so horrified. It took me years to be brave enough to try that again.)

Luckily, there are some people who will pleasantly surprise you. I hadn't told Kiki about what I write until the day she called me back with her cell phone. (You all know I don't even have a cell phone. I didn't realize she could hit a button and find me so easily.) The phone number I'd called from was my PTP line, so I said, "Pretty Things Press," and she said, "What the fuck?" (Or something like that.)

And I took a breath and told her—and she's been beyond accepting and supportive and fabulous and wonderful.

So sometimes things do work out.

Wow, that was way more than I thought I was going to say!


ste said...

Yes, sometimes things do work out. I was relieved more than surprised with the situation I mentioned, because I should have known better. I won't make that mistake again (with that friend, at least - I'll still be ready to make a dive for my shell otherwise).

that phone call from Kiki sounds like a bit of an earth-please-swallow-me-up moment! I can sort of relate - there's not much you can do except come clean when you're cornered like that, is there?

P.S. Haven said...

Ah, man, I love that smoothie story. I swear I saw something almost identical at the beach this weekend. Dude was pulling out of a parking lot with his towel on his roof. Some teenagers were hollering at him, trying to tell him, and the guy flipped them off and kept driving. Karma, man. Karma.
Great post, Alison. It's nice to have those unconditional friends. The ones that love you even when you're a douche...lol

Sophia said...

Those are important friendships--the ones that are both comfortable and comforting.

Cheers, indeed!

Alison Tyler said...

Oh, Haven, that's fabulous! And I'm cheersing you back, SV, but now I've got wine in my mug. (Yes, it's still a mug.)

Oh, and I have to say, your little ferris wheel icon always makes me happy! I love amusement parks—roller coasters in particular. The neon lights at night have a special sort of matching. (I've been watching The Lost Boys lately, and I'm craving a trip to Santa Cruz.)


cerulean said...

So, yes, Alison, I absolutely know how what it's like to suck my own toes, and foot and...I may have to fight you for Queen status.

I was reading your "fuck-me" jeans story yesterday, or Monday, or whenever, and I went to the link about your old blue cords, and I read..."a perfect size 2" and my first reaction was...

But, surprisingly, the other, more mature, non-size 2 side of me went, "hey, give her a break. you like her. be happy for her she's a size 2!"

And I did.


Alison Tyler said...

You're sweet cerulean. I wouldn't want you to have to taste toes anymore than you actually enjoy.

And in the sake of honesty (I'm doing my best to stay away from those white lies of omission or anything else), I will say that after seven years of having a fairly brutal eating disorder, I realized that I am actually by nature a pretty thin person. Perhaps not as thin as when I didn't eat. It was one of those "who knew?" moments.

Everyone has their own issues. I'm learning this slowly. Day by fucking day. Someone was really rude to me at the post office the other day. And the postmaster (a man I worship) pulled me aside and said, "She's a truly delightful person, but she's going through a medical nightmare right now." It's amazing how one-sided I can be. I mean, I need to make myself stop sometimes and say, "There are two sides to this story. What's the other person's side." Even when on the surface, it seems very obvious to me.