I Love My Friends, But…

…sometimes I want to choke a bitch. Let’s be honest, everyone gets irritated with their friends, but there are times when the best remedy is just to be as far from them as possible, or to not spend four days with them at a stretch (which is why I totally forgot to post on Thursday).

But then I thought about why I was feeling this way and I came up with an answer right away. My friends are bitches. Not all of them, mind you, but just a few. And it’s the most terrible thing — I become the same way when I get around them. Am I succumbing to peer pressure, or is it just another side of me that I normally repress? Either one is completely possible. Or is it the only way to survive in that group?

My mind pointed me to one purposeful decision I made a few years ago, and the reasons I made this decision. Most people don’t know that I want to be a writer or that I’ve published anything at all. Several of those close to me know, but the friends I spend the most time with do not. Why? Why wouldn’t I tell these people I genuinely love and care about?

Because they are bitches. They can be the most supportive, wonderful people on the planet. When I almost died and was out of work for 6 weeks, they visited me in the hospital, looked after me, and gave me moral support. But they are also critical, sometimes to the point where it’s better just to not mention things. I tell these friends only what it is safe for them to know, that which I can handle having thrown in my face before long, usually as an amusing rip on me. We all do it to each other. It happens. We’re friends. But sometimes there is just an unrelenting Tidal Wave of Bitch that it simply becomes distasteful.

Why, then, would I tell them about a big achievement and a goal I’ve met? I already subject myself to the disdain and criticism of those out there, of anyone who wants to pick up their Kindle and order my novel or the two short stories I’ve had published. The actual critics who critique this genre have been incredibly kind to me. I learned to deal with the bile of publishing through what was…we shall be polite and say…a challenging editing run, and had to learn it more within the first two days of publication. I’m almost thankful that happened, because it toughened up my skin right away and taught me that I can only do my best (or what I’m willing to do).

But to tell your friends and have them come after you? Fuck that. It would be good humored. I doubt it would ever be truly or purposefully vicious. It would be aimed at my lack of writing since then (hmmmm…maybe I SHOULD tell them) or the genre or whatever. Critics online are one thing. Your friends being bitches in your face would end in a few maimings, a screaming match, a criminal trial, and an attempted exorcism. I came to this conclusion a few years ago when we were all carving pumpkins for Halloween and the fun banter turned vicious-funny. It’s all in jest, but two people were going at each other and I just thought to myself that these bitches would never know by my hand or lips that I have published so much as a single sentence.

I have no doubt that they would love me, support me, be proud of me, encourage me, read it, and tell me their honest opinions. I’m pretty proud of what I’ve written. I think it would be a beautiful, affirming experience. But that one time someone would think of something funny and I would be under their claws with one of the few parts that is sensitive (to them, anyway). So, I don’t give them that power.

I love them…and I keep them in the dark. And for now, I’m okay with that.

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~ by Darren Endymion on November 2, 2015.

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