Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm Saying This As Your Friend...

My friends tend to say the same stuff to me, over and over again.

"Hey, that's my beer!"

"You know that's not strictly food, right?"

"Let me reach that down for you."

"You are too much!" (Really? I tend to think that I'm just enough.)

"You do realize you're a teeny little white girl from Woodbridge, right? And this can only end in a shanking?"

"Pants buddies for life!"

However, no sentence is more popular than, "I'm saying this as your friend." "I'm saying this as your friend," means, "Your motivations and behavior make no sense to me whatsoever, but, because I care, I am going to be honest with you about how ridiculous you're being."

Here are a few (paraphrased) versions I've heard in the last week:

"I'm saying this as your friend, you really need to let go of your weird loathing for canoes."

"I'm saying this as your friend, you spend a lot of time obsessing over the insignificant."

"I'm saying this as your friend, you really need to stop discussing things like fetish videos and skin cancer on the first date."

I can draw a few conclusions. The main one is that I require A LOT of adult supervision.

The next is that I have wonderfully honest friends who will confront me if I'm headed for trouble. (Even better, they'll support me even when they don't agree with me, which is the truest test of friendship.)

The final conclusion is the most vexing, because it's something I'll need to decide:

At what point does the sensible gathering of information and advice morph into the gutless crowdsourcing of your very existence?

I let my friends weigh in on everything from whether I should move (yes! but no! but yes!) to what color my hair should be (red! brunette! red! brunette!). Most of the time, I listen carefully, give a contemplative nod, then do whatever I'd made up my mind to do in the first place. More rarely, I take all of the advice to heart, sift through it for the wisest parts, and make an informed decision. Other times, my brain gets so filled with packing peanuts, rattling noises and static that I just wind up doing whatever the last person I spoke with told me to do.

I don't know when I wound up both stubborn and indecisive, but at least I'm self-aware enough to realize when I'm bullheadedly dithering for days at a stretch. The next step will be knowing when to listen to my inner drummer, and when to pummel him into submission and do whatever Foggy tells me to do.

In the comments, tell me something as my friend. Or, ask for everyone's advice on something absurdly insignificant that you've decided must be The Most Important Thing Ever.


HomeImprovementNinja said...

As your friend, I think you should talk about whatever you want on a date (including NSFW videos and cancer). If you are cool with talking about anything, then someone will appreciate that individual spark in you. If someone doesn't appreciate that, then it probably won't work out anyway, so say what you feel.

However, again as your friend, maybe you should wait for the second or third date before you impose the full weight of your quirkiness on them. Think of it like putting the frog in the pot of boiling water vs putting the frog in the pot of tepid water and turing up the crazy a little bit at a time.

FoggyDew said...

Huh? What? Wait a minute...how did I end up in the middle of this? Oh, yeah, it had something to do with drinks after Hard Boiled back in '95. As for my question: Does keeping my hair short really hide the grey?

Shannon said...

Ninja - I've attempted moderating the crazy, all that does is tamp it down until it explodes into a full-on freakout. Usually, about canoes or artificial sweeteners.

Foggy - Yes, yes it does. However, if you'd like to experiment with your haircolor, I'd be happy to help out. We can have everyone vote on your perfect shade!

Shannon said...

Foggy - Also, I met you at a screening of The Professional in spring 1995.

Brando said...

As your friend, I think most of your life's difficulties could be solved with a helper monkey. And as your friend, I think you should not assume that I only want you to get a helper monkey so I can borrow him for parties.

FoggyDew said...

Well then, if you haven't seen the John Woo's classic of Hong Kong cop thriller that includes a shootout in a maternity ward, we'll have to remedy that situation asap. Either way, both are good movies.

Shannon said...

Brando - My last helper monkey drank all the gin and started mooning people. Hence the need for more pants buddies in my life.

Foggy - Guns? Violence? Does it at least end with some fluffy bunnies?

bh said...

As your friend, I had to look up crowdsourcing on wiki, so you've educated at least one person today.

Also, as long as you learn from your mistakes (eventually) it's all gravy.

Unfortunately, the hair thinning gene is beginning to catch up with me. Take a shot at Rogain, or just go bald gracefully (and by gracefully, I mean comb over)?

Zipcode said...

I have to say you are an amazing friend to deal with my teary eyed mess last night. Thank you!
I love you and you rock.

Shannon said...

bh - Big no to the combover...it just sorta looks like a giant thumb with a growth on top.

Zip - As your friend...you're welcome!

Anonymous said...

"you really need to stop discussing things like fetish videos and skin cancer on the first date."

How else are you supposed to get to know someone if you don't discuss such matters?

Shannon said...

justjp - So, where do YOU stand on skin cancer and fetish videos? I'm con on both, but am willing to consider other views.

f.B said...

Never let go of the canoe thing. Keep loathing. Actually, loathe kayaks, also.


And the word "kayaks."

Shannon said...

f.B - Exactly! What's so wrong with hating canoes? It's not like I hate pie, or America, or the Osmonds.

lacochran said...

As your friend, I think you should start appreciating who you are just as you are.

(Boring and borderline creepy but that's who I am.)

Dmbosstone said...

This kinda reminds me, wasn't there a contestant on the show Big Brother that was dubbed, "America's Player?"

He had to do what people at home voted him to do. Things like start a showmance to get into a fight.

Ya don't become like that but if you do start a reality show.

Shannon said...

Lacochran - I do! The problem is that other people try to change me.

Dmbosstone - If I had my own reality show, would anyone watch?

Titania said...

As your friend, I think we need to go drink a bottle of red wine. Also, as your friend, there is nothing wrong with loathing canoes, now if we are talking bikes...

I want to do something with my hair... cut it short again? dye it of some color? hmmm

Anonymous said...

interesting post. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did anyone know that some chinese hacker had busted twitter yesterday again.