Sometimes I sit in bed and wonder: why do so many good people date board certified assh*les and think that’s the best they deserve? Every friend group has that one dear pal who somehow has it in her or his mind that their Jeff (prick) or Jackie (total monster) is actually a misunderstood “great person.” How many times have you sat through a multiple Bloody Mary-Brunch hearing your misguided friend trying to normalize and validate why they’re dating this ass-creature? Oh, you don’t really know Jeff the way I do. I wish you would see him when he’s not on drugs. Oh, Jeff is actually a mellow person; he just hates cars, trees and sidewalks.
And of course it’s not just women validating their horrible men. Plenty of dudes drink the Kool-Aid their nasty women dole out. Jen is having a rally hard time at work. She normally doesn’t tear into busboys with racists rants or make fun of my sister.
What’s worse, sometimes you are drawn snack into it: Jen is very upset that you only thanked her four times for that cup of coffee. She is just so profoundly sensitive. I guess that’s why I love her.
You stare back in disbelief. Is this really the best my friend can do? Depressed, you begin sucking the ice cubes from your finished Bloody Mary and licking the outside of the glass. Your friend, so close to you yet so far from reality goes on: but that’s just Jeff around people. At home he is a totally different guy.
Really, friend? That works for you? Being in a relationship with someone who is only equipped to stay at home? Isn’t that what plants and house cats are for? Boyfriends and girlfriends are supposed to be mobile. I promise you, look at the tag hanging off 97% of adults. It doesn’t say, WARNING: flammable jerk off. Exposure to other humans dangerous. Keep away from daily life and reasonable expectations.
But you don’t say that. Because perhaps it’s still considered meddling or judgmental –unless they role up with a black eye or worse. Often they will resent you if you try some Oprah-esque intervention. You’re dating a Neanderthal and he’s turning you into a brain washed droid. They’re either incapable or unwilling to smell the objective coffee – being too used to sipping the toxic blend that got them into this mess.
So your buddy keeps on keeping on with their Jeff or Jackie. Making endless excuses for their boyfriend or girlfriend and setting the bar for both of them so low, you nearly trip on it when you guys all hang out. Wasn’t Jen fun tonight? Your buddy asks you. NO she wasn’t fun; she just didn’t verbally degrade you more than twice. That’s called fun?
At the end of the day we resign to do what all good friend should do. Be there for our pal, but respect where they’re at and follow their lead. Can that be cringey and disingenuous? Maybe, at times. But I suppose we should have faith in our friends. Faith that with enough support they’ll come around; faith that the rope of sanity is still within their reach and with enough time they’ll be able to read the tea leaves and get the F out.