January 15th, 2004

gasoline

if the fone doesn't ring, it's me

Somebody made a comment in the context of another discussion on somebody else's blog, to the effect that when Drama Happens, at worst you lose a friend that wasn't really a friend. I keep thinking about that as being so true. It doesn't just apply to LJ drama or Internet drama, it applies to everything. Real friends are always able to work out whatever it is. (If they don't fix it in this life because they can't, they'll fix it in the next if the feelings are strong enough.) Those people who I can't/won't/don't want to work it out with, or who conversely don't want to work it out with me, weren't my friends. They weren't nuthin', not even a sandwich. With many (though not all) of them, I have to admit I felt a secret sense of relief when they left the building and I suspect they felt the same.

There are people in this world who aren't bad folks at all, but they just get on my nerves in a big way because they remind me of ways I don't want to be, people I don't want to be like, obstacles I worked very hard to overcome. It's sort of like how Elvis would never wear jeans because they reminded him of being poor. There's nothing wrong with jeans. Lots of people wear jeans and look great. Young, un-fat Elvis would have looked swell in jeans. He could have even ordered fancy jeans that cost a mint of money. But he didn't want them around him because they reminded him of being poor. I too am very susceptible to bad reminders.

In my opinion, a lot of people are very weird about wanting to be liked. There are very few people I want to like me. It's not that I want them to hate me, I just don't care to be dependent on anyone's approval unless I'm getting paid. I've never liked the way I've felt when I wanted someone, some guy or some really cool female, to like me. It feels dependent, like I'm not in control of my own existence. It also feels subservient, like why the hell should I go around begging for you to like or love me? I'm above that and I don't need anybody that way, not even people I genuinely do love. So if we like each other and want to be friends, fine. If one of us doesn't like the other and it doesn't work out, fine. It's not a big deal either way, especially if we didn't spend vast amounts of time getting to know each other (which tells you something right there).

One thing I truly dislike about LiveJournal is the feeling that we're all sort of on "tryout" as each other's potential friends. I've seriously considered deleting the vast majority of people off my f(r)iends list because I hate that setup so bad, but some folks would be bound to take it as dislike, or just be annoyed by the administrative whosis of being dropped, and logistically it would be harder to read everybody's journal if I didn't keep up the list. There is one person currently on my list who deletes his whole friends list from time to time and I have to say I dig that even though I'm not 100 per cent sure of the reasons why (don't take that as me asking for a reason if you read this).

Sometimes it hurts a little when you thought somebody was something and they turned out to be nuthin', but I guess that's the risk of dealing with people. It's like the risk of playing the stock market. They say if you want to play the market, then write $5,000 on a piece of paper, then tear it up and flush it and think how you'd feel if that was a real $5,000 and if it upsets you to do that, stay out of the market. For me, that would be writing the names of three people I really care about on a piece of paper and flushing that down the toilet and pretend it's really them, and if I start getting upset then I know I should stay away from close friendships with people for another year. The other thing is that some people are legitimately a little weird in how they handle their relations with others and it can be hard to separate the wheat (nice people who are just kinda weird) from the chaff (not-so-nice people who are actually jerking me around) sometimes. I've tried to minimize my issues with that by seeking out mostly low-stress low-drama friends and only keeping a couple of "troublesome" ones. That seems to be working out pretty well.