Thursday, March 31, 2005


Health warning: This is going to be a gripe-ridden, whingy, whiny, humourless piece. I've been friends with F for a long time. Its been completely platonic, although we are both gay men of "a certain age" - as the French put it, with diplomatic savoir faire. I've been through many things with F and I'd like to think that I've been a fairly good friend through it all. So has he. Till recently, things have been good. All of this seems to have changed earlier this year. F acquired a new lover. OK. The lover is not one of "us", but I have made every effort to be sociable and understanding. So far so good. The Lover lives in another city so that has meant long absences from home. OK. Not a problem. We all have long distance involvements at some time or the other- I wonder if the airlines have discovered "Frequent Lover Miles" as a marketing gimmick yet.
The problem has arisen in the cavalier treatment I feel F is dishing out to me. It may sound petty, but it is really begining to piss me off. Each time I invite F I am fobbed off with some absurd excuse. This usually has its roots in the Lover being present in town or - more usually - in his inability to wake up in time to get here for lunch. On one occasion he arrived for five minutes and then took off with one of my guests. On another he called at 5 pm to apologise for not showing up for his lunch invitation. Last sunday he called at 7 pm to apologise for not waking up in time for lunch - this despite six missed calls and as many text messages.
At the risk of sounding like a Cosmo quiz, I have a limited number of options. (A) : I continue to co exist in this situation. He's too good a friend to lose. (B) Not everyone has my refined sense of etiquette. (C) Speak to him. I have. It doesn't work. (D) Do nothing. Right now I'm in D mode, but I have no idea how long it will last. This sleeping dog has lain around for long enough.
Ok, I know I said this would not be a humourless piece. But getting all this negative karma out of my system (and into yours!) has reminded me of the wonderful Alicia Silverstone piece in Clueless - guess who's not coming to dinner!
"So like, right now for example. The Haitians need to come to America. But some people are all, "What about the strain on our resources?" Well it's like when I had this garden party for my father's birthday, right? I put R.S.V.P. 'cause it was a sit-down dinner. But some people came that like did not R.S.V.P. I was like totally buggin'. I had to haul ass to the kitchen, redistribute the food, and squish in extra place settings. But by the end of the day it was, like, the more the merrier. And so if the government could just get to the kitchen, rearrange some things, we could certainly party with the Haitians. And in conclusion may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty. Thank you very much. "


Blogger Sin said...

You know, it's not too much of you to expect a certain amount of courtesty from your friends, no matter how long or well you know them. I don't presume to know the depth of your friendship with F, but from what you've written, his attitude seems to be fairly packed with bullshit: You're willing to put up with his taking you for granted, and in turn he continues to so do.

I would even have argued that he's not conscious of his behaviour, but given that you've spoken to him about this, I'd say that the simple (unpleasant) truth is that he doesn't give a shit. You most certainly have a broader weltanschauung than I do, but in this particular instance, I think that F is fobbing you off because he figures that you'll be around later on, and because you're too civilised to really call him out about his behaviour in any way other than with gentle reprimands.

I'm sorry, it really is an awful thing to happen, and you're not being petty at all. It's happened to me, substantially, this past year and I understand where you're coming from.

4:58 pm  
Blogger Uber Homme said...

Thanks Sin. What you say makes sense. Much sense. There is so little time in life to really do the things we want to do. And when someone stands you up on "quality time" it is important to reassess the situation. I guess you live and learn ...if you don't learn fast, though, you don't live too long :)

1:05 pm  

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