Friday, February 05, 2010

Are you a friend or an acquaintance?

I have a best friend. It's my wife. But I used to have this other best friend. In fact, I've probably had a few over my lifetime so far.

Some moved when we were young. Some we had very stupid adolescent fights, as stupid adolescents, and went our different ways (which I look back on and regret because the fights were so completely and insanely ridiculous!). Some we thought would be BFFs but for some reason, usually the other person's fault, it just didn't work out that way.

Truly, like Genie sings,
You ain't never had a friend, never had a friend
You ain't never had a friend, never had a friend
You ain't never had a friend like me
You ain't never had a friend like me, hah!
That's just the way I am. Now I can't give riches but I can give undeniable, unsurpassable, loyalty with this friendship and I will help in anyway I can, if I can. I've pretty much always been that way. It's the way I was brought up and it's the way I think people should be. It also doesn't help that my children have made me more conscientious and broadened my moral fiber.

This doesn't come for free though. It doesn't have a monetary cost (although it could have a monetary value) but it does have a cost. All I ask is that I am treated with the same level of friendship. Now, this powerful friendship isn't for everyone that I know either. I don't expect my level from every friend and no one should.

I guess you could say I have levels of friends. Without actually thinking about it, there are those that I hang out with but wouldn't really invite them to a family get together or let them meet the wife and kids. We know each other. We just don't/won't enter another level of friendship because of whatever reason. Maybe the other person I have known since childhood and we've always been friends but they took a different path in adulthood and it just doesn't gel well with my path. I still consider them a friend but I can't jeopardize what I've built with whatever reason keeps us from hitting that next level whether it be drug or alcohol abuse or the company they keep outside of our friendship.

I think you can get the picture because I really don't have the time to think it fully through right now. I'm kind of typing this while at work, multitasking and I want to get to the point of the post. So...

I had this friend, let's call him SR. We've known each other since junior high, became better friends in high school, and became really good friends shortly after he graduated HS and attended college for almost two years. He's a year younger than me in age and in high school graduation.

Without getting into a lot of history, let's just say that our friendship has benefited him way more than it ever has me. I don't mean to count tit for tat but I don't think it can be described any better way. I'm not in a friendship because of what the other person can do for me monetarily or similarly-wise. I'm in it because I like the person, their personality, their friendship, the camaraderie, the similar likes and not-so-similar likes. But when the effort I put out is not reciprocated and it becomes a chore to maintain a relationship that is destined to fail, it's time to step away and reflect on why we are friends in the first place.

Again, not to count tits or tats, but my friend got a job at his current employer some 10+ years ago because of my wife. At the time, she worked in a department, told him about a job opening, edited his resume, prepped him and he applied with no experience and a long list of too-short-with job history. She was on the hiring/interviewing panel and pushed for others to give him a chance because even without experience he is quite trainable and likable and he would do a good job. He got the job (a very cush job) and he's been there ever since about 1996. This job came with tuition benefits as it was at a university whose benefits included free tuition for the employee (100% for undergrad up to a certain hours limit). It kind of makes up for the lower salary a university pays versus corporate America. Anyway, he was able to finish his undergrad degree over a few years' time.

In 1998, I got a job at the same university but in a different department on campus, the MBA admissions office, as an information systems guy. I got this on my own without anyone's help but my wife's, she did my resume.

Fast forward about 8 years. I gave my "friend" the inside track on when to apply for the Professional MBA (part-time) program. For anyone interested, it's the Spring term because it's tougher and a shorter recruitment time after seating a Fall term class. He needed the inside knowledge. He made something like a 460 on the GMAT. A 460 would get you into the University of Phoenix, maybe the University of Texas at Dallas or University of Dallas (I don't know for sure). The PMBA Admissions Director just happens to be my "hunting" buddy. So, to say that he got in on my recommendation wouldn't be far fetched. In fact, it would be right on fucking target! She told me that he's a nice guy but he's getting in strictly because I told her that he would be a good student even though he sucked ass on the GMAT. Anyway, even though SR hasn't done anything with his MBA he did complete it in the summer of 2008.

He kind of bailed on our friendship once his now wife got her hooks in him when they lived together as roommates. He'd make excuses all the time when he lived about 15-20 minutes away that he couldn't make it or had to break plans because she was/is uber needy. She wanted to trap his sorry ass and that's what she did but not trapped in the sense that she got pregnant. She just somehow got him suckered into her nasty web and has never let go. All of his friends see/saw it. In fact, his other best man (I was 1/2) told him straight up that he was settling and she is ugly now and she won't get any prettier over the years. LOL! Harsh, I know but way true. Anyway, we sporadically would do things. More like, he would come over (with the ball and chain) if it benefited him (basically, if I was grilling/cooking the food, he'd bring himself!).I got tired of that bullshit and nipped it in the bud quickly. I don't mind giving but I don't like being totally used either.

So anyway, to make a long post shorter, to show his awesome friendship, SR calls my cell phone three days before New Year's Eve 2009 and leaves a message saying something like this, "Hey dude, whatcha doin'? I was calling to see if you wanted to go to the Rock Opera at [inaudible] on New Year's Eve. I've got two tickets if you were interested in going. They aren't free of course. They are $80 each. You can go to the web site [blah, blah blah] to check it out. Anyway, the people that were going originally had something come up and now they can't go. We (he and his wife) thought of you guys (me and my wife) first. Give me a call and let me know."

I chuckled, got irritated, let the wife hear the message a few hours later and then sent him a text because I didn't feel like talking to him. I texted, "You should know me, bitch. Free maybe. $80 a piece. I don't think so! Thanks for the offer though." He replied, "I understand. But thought I'd ask." What a fuck stick!

Fast forward to approximately 6pm on December 31st, New Year's Eve. I get a text from SR, "Hey man, the tickets are free now if you are interested."

WTF?! Are you shitting me!? Are you really fucking serious?!

First of all, I have two kids. It's not like I can say, "Hey kids, Dad and Mom are going out on a last-minute notice on New Year's Eve to hang with their shitty friends where there will be tons of drunks out and about." Get real!

It was sort of sweet justification when he and I talked about a week later during a lunch outing. He said that they had to absorb the $160. Ha! The couple that was supposed to go offered to pay for the tickets anyway but SR thought he'd be able to recoup the money on his own telling his 'friend' that it's okay. WTF!? It's okay for this guy that he's known for about 3-4 years (he was also in the PMBA program the same time as SR).

SR can be cordial to this person but not to his so-called long-time friend Jay? Asshole!

Anyway, I was a gracious lunch guest. I told him what a dip shit he was thinking I'd pay $160 for those tickets when I find it hard pressed to spend that kind of dough on shit I like to do such as attend Stars or the occasional Mavs games. And he should know that.

After typing this, I had a thought about his wife. He and I are Facebook friends. His wife is on FB as I see her comment on our mutual FB friends statuses. She knows I am his and others FB friends and yet she has never sent me a friend request. I don't really care because I know some things she has done while they were dating and while they've been married. I don't approve of her actions and if he wasn't a dick before I would have probably informed him of these things. Funny thing is that he knows one thing she did about a year before they got married because he sort of walked in on it while it was happening and at some point felt compelled to tell me and the wife about it. Why I don't know as he still ended up marrying her.

People are just weird.

So, that's my story. It's got a lot of holes but I just don't have the time and energy right now to fully disclose. I mainly wanted to just share what an asshole he was leading up to New Year's Eve.

We've had a lot of good times and then he went stupid on us. Therefore, SR is now just an acquaintance instead of a friend. His loss, trust me.

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