Monday, October 12, 2015

Rudolph and his existential crisis over the reindeer games.

Is there anyone else who can say they don't have any friends? Am I the only one? Anyone? Bueller........Bueller? Now before you get all sad and weepy for me. I am blessed to have enough acquaintances that if I twirled a cat by its tail. I'd be bound to hit about ten of them on the head. Let's be honest here, a beer with anyone is better than a lonely existence of drinking by yourself.

Rudolph wonders if there anything more meaningful than the silly games reindeer play.

Yep got plenty of drinkin buddies. And sometimes a few will flicker here or there looking like they might become a friendship. But they never do and I end up collecting acquaintances like a hoarder does with useless junk. Piling one acquaintance on top of another. Desperately trying to keep a small path through the clutter for the friendship that may find its way through.

Rudolph finally accepts he doesn't fit in with the other reindeer, maybe Santa will be his friend. It doesn't take long until Rudolph realizes, Santa has a hard time relating to reindeer issues. He starts to wonder if he will ever get to have a meaningful relationship.

When I moved to Portland I decided I would have to be proactive. I figured if I wanted friends, I had to learn how to be a friend. So I looked for my bag of friendship tricks. I finally found it shoved carelessly under the biggest nastiest wall of debris I had. I excitedly rummaged through it and pulled out a dusty little gem I had forgotten about. The gem I yanked out of my bag was active listening. It was the perfect friendship tool and I'd give it a go. I would try to listen with an open heart. I wouldn't jump ahead thinking about what I was going to say. I'd listen until my fucking ears bled if I had to. I wanted some quality in my life damn it.

Rudolph took a deep breath put aside his negative attitude and decided to try again with reindeer, With his heart beating an irregular tempo he walked over and said, "Hi!"

When I decided to truly listen to people something really cool happened, I found out I like hearing about people and their lives. So I continued to listen and tried to be still. But one day it hit me, even with the heavy rotation of people coming in and out of my life. I was still really lonely. I had grown accustomed to listening and I rarely shared. I got a little panicky because someone someday would want to hear from me, right?! It felt like no one cared. So like a two-year-old who does not human well. I'd interrupt with the dumbest shit.

Her-"Yeah, so I said he was going to have to buy me a....."
Me-"I gained weight! Oh and my ferret has a sore on her head.........?"
Awkward pause, "Oh yeah? So anyway he was..."

Hey, guys! Check it out! Did you see how I can kick the ball? Can I play now? Can I huh huh?? It was then Rudolph slipped and fell. The other reindeer pointed and laughed saying to each other, "What a dork!" 

I'm no longer surprised with how people jump into their nitty gritty life story without even asking how I'm doing. If they do ask it goes something like this. "Hey Gree, how yadoinggreatsoIwasthinking."
I sarcastically mumble I just started a new diet that included raw babies, but you didn't hear me.

Our interactions with each other have become a perverse parody of social media. I'm sitting right in front of you frantically hitting the like button only to find out it pissed you off. You had been trying to find the right pose for the perfect selfie. But that's hard to do when you keep getting pop up notifications that I like you. We are so caught up in updating our own status that we have forgotten what friendship means. We don't ask because we don't want to hear it. Instead we Tra la Lala, take endless selfies and roll our eyes at other people's updates.

There is some good that came out of all this. I found out I didn't deserve friends. Any ol chump can write a blog post raging against society and then say, "it's not me, it's you. I tried." It takes a special person who says, "I didn't listen enough. I can do better."

But then one day the unbelievable happens! Rudolph watches as the other reindeer shout out in glee. Excitedly saying to each other,"I want a cool nose like Rudolph's! Hey Rudolph, do you want to hang out with us?" 
Santa had put a picture of him on Instagram with #brighterisbetter which had made his nose the new 'it' thing. Rudolph is confused and a little pissed. With friends like that who needs enemies?

 He sadly starts to walk away.

 I can't say I'll do better because I keep catching glimpses of myself in the mirror. The self-satisfied smirk I see continues to make me stumble. I have a feeling my hoard won't get smaller until I find within myself the ability to be a true friend. I need to learn how to listen even more. Listen until it stops hurting and it doesn't matter if you like my status or not.

It would be nice though if from time to time you hit the like button. I'm not Rudolph, I like a good media slant. After all, I live in the world of Instagram and Facebook. He, on the other hand, lived with a clever fat man and a bunch of asshole reindeer looking to keep the status quo.

"Rudolph, for fuck's sake put down that cigarette and stop glaring at yourself in the mirror. Come on over here and sit down by me. Hey, how you doing? I'm worried about you." 

Like a lightening bolt right to the noggin. Rudolph realized he does have a friend!

A friend who has never been impressed by what Santa had to say. He had always known Rudolph's nose was special. 

It was then that Rudolph's nose lit up like a thousand suns. The other reindeer couldn't help but notice and as they ooohed and aahed they crowded closer. But Rudolph's nose was directed at only one other reindeer and its bright shiny light revealed to the other reindeer. 

The face of a true friend. 


I love you, Bill. Thanks for being my friend when no one else wanted to and for never, no, not even once (not once!!),  flinching when I talked about all sorts of horrid girl stuff.  My wish is that everyone could have a friend as well-intentioned and loving as mine.