Monday, May 01, 2006

A friend's guide to the galaxy?

Kramer: "Alright, that's it. I gotta move in with you Jerry."
Jerry: "I don't know, Kramer. My only concern is that, livng together after a while, we might start to get on each others nerves."
Kramer: "Alright, listen to me. I've got a great idea. You're a heavy sleeper, right? Why don't we switch apartments?"
Jerry: "Or I could sleep in the park. You could knock these walls down, make it an eight room luxury suite."
Kramer: "Jerry, these are load-bearing walls. They're not gonna come down!"


I was over at Little Joe's house a couple of weekends ago, on a Saturday night. A guy who we'll refer to as... Wolfgang was over there. I would consider Wolfgang more of a friend of a friend. Normally, Wolfgang has his wife with him at least 80% of the time when he's around. But not this night. I was just about to ask where she was when he blurted out, "You know I'm getting divorced, right?"

No, obviously I hadn't heard. "Yeah," he continued. "I've been staying here since Wednesday." Apparently, the falling out had just occurred within the past few days. We sat there the better part of the night listening to Wolfgang go on and on about how his wife, we'll call her... Lorena, had gone off the deep end.

This is a precarious situation. I've lived long enough to know that you don't say anything bad about a friend's significant other while they are still in the relationship. Or while there's still a chance they might get back together. No matter what you think of her, how she acts, what type of whorish reputation she might have, or how thick her moustache is.

So while he was calling her everything but a white woman, I knew I had to be careful what I said. So we sat and listened as he went on for a couple of hours. And by listened, I mean, ignored as much as possible. For all we knew, they might be back together by the next day.

Meanwhile, I was thinking about my friend whose house it was. How uncomfortable was this for him? Obviously it would be somewhat inconvenient. How did this come about? How long would Wolfgang stay? What would I do if a friend asked me if they could move in with me indefinitely? Will Laura ever come back to General Hospital?

I don't have all the answers. I guess there really are no rules. It's a real life situation you just sort of figure out, or make up, as you go. This is why I think it would be helpful if we had a Friend Handbook to go by. That way, Little Joe could have gone, "Ah, OK, says here on page 38 that I am required to allow you to stay, if and only if you have no family within a 40 mile radius. And you're only allowed to stay a maximum of one week."

Jerry: "You wanna go with me up to the Bronx and see if there's any flyers on George's car?"
Kramer: "Sure!"
Jerry: "I coulda said just about anything there, couldn't I?"


Here's another situation. A few weeks ago, a friend called me around 9:30 on a weeknight. I was already in my bed clothes. Which, let's face it, I probably would have been in my bed clothes had he called at 4:00 in the afternoon. But that's not the point. He said his girlfriend was dropping him off at an exit on the interstate and he needed a ride home.

Well, I didn't give it a second thought. Immediately put some pants on and got ready to go. I'm quite sure that's what the Friend Handbook would have said. Page 77: "If a friend gets dumped off on the side of the road by a girlfriend/boyfriend/lover/spouse, you go get them."

Apparently, they had gotten into an argument in the car. And she told him they could either talk about it, or she would drop him off and he could call Bone to come get him. He called Bone.

George: "So that's it. All of my darkest fears, and everything I'm capable of. That's me."
Jerry: "Yikes. Well, good look with all that."
George: "Where you going? I thought I could count on you for a little compassion."
Jerry: "I think you scared me straight."


Zoom forward to last week. I'm having dinner with yet another friend. This friend is single, early thirties, etc. He tells me he's dating someone. Fine. Then he decides to drop this bomb on me. "You know, this is the first time I've ever really dated a girl." Do huh? How am I supposed to respond to that? That's not even in the handbook.

As my weekend wound down last night, I found myself over at Little Joe's again. Entirely too late. It was nearing midnight as I was getting ready to leave. This conversation, or something very close to it, ensued:

"Where's Wolfgang?"
"I don't know. He's been gone all day. Do you think I should try to call him?"
"Why?"
"He's been gone for nine or ten hours. I figured he'd be back by now."
"Aww, you're worried about him."
"No. But what if he's in the pokey?"
"The pokey?"
"You don't know what that is?"
"Yeah, I know what it is. But no one calls it the pokey anymore."
"Oh. Well what do you call it?"
"Prison. Jail. Cooler. Slammer. Big house. Lock up. Marriage. But not Pokey."
"Well, excuse me."
"OK, Marshal Dillon. Why would he be in jail?"
"He said he had to go see his ex-wife about something. Last time he went over there, she pulled a gun on him."
"Wow. I'm startin' to worry that my car is gonna get keyed over here or something."
"Why? She likes you."
"No, she did like me. Now she's a completely different person. When you break up with a girl, she turns psycho."
"Really? I don't think I ever experienced that. I guess none of my girlfriends ever liked me that much."
"Well, call him. I wanna see what he says."
"But if I call, it's like I'm checking up on him. I'm not his daddy."
"Hey, he's staying under your roof, he has to live by your rules."
"Eh, he probably just had a booty call, or fell asleep or something."
"Or both. Well, I gotta go. If my car blows up when I start it, call the police."

It was funny listening to my grown male friend agonize over whether or not to call and check up on this other grown man, his new (and hopefully temporary) roomate.

To call or not to call? That is the question. Where's your trusty Friend Handbook when you need it.

"Just three miles from the rest stop, and she slamson the brakes. She says I've tried to be but I'm not. So could you please collect your things..."

18 comments:

  1. "Everything but a 'white woman.'" Is there something wrong with being a white woman? Sorry couldn't resist that.

    Think you know I want a rule book for just about everything, and there aren't any that fit

    Have had the exact same problem more times than I care to remember. You know, in all that time nobody I know has ever killed their soon to be not SO

    Maimed maybe--but nobody ever pulled a Babbit

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  2. Now, Bone, how are you going to blog all that and leave us hanging!? Call Little Joe this afternoon and find out where Wolfgang is!!!
    Yep, we need a handbook. Of course, then would you be a "good" friend if you broke the rules for someone. Would you be a "bad" friend if you didn't consult the handbook at all? We need a handbook for the friend handbook....

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  3. If someone is staying at your house then they should be back to the house at a reasonable hour. Maybe he could call and say "Hey man, I'm about to lock up. You comin' back?" and leave it like that.

    As for chicks dropping their boyfriends at an exit? WTF?? That's retarded. Anyone that immature should have their car taken away.

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  4. This post is hilarious for multiple reasons -
    1.) or how thick her moustache is.

    2.) If a friend gets dumped off on the side of the road by a girlfriend/boyfriend/lover/spouse, you go get them. (Very true, I mean, shouldn't you question WHY they got dumped by the side of the road. I've called my friends out on their shit before and let them think about it! But true, you do go pick them up.

    3.)I guess none of my girlfriends ever liked me that much. (Because if a woman REALLY loves you, she'll turn psycho when you dump her) hahaha..

    Email me: mappyb@gmail.com and I'll forward you my amazing recipe that will change your life forever. (or just your lunch).

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  5. People shouldn't move in with friends during a breakup. If you are breaking up, find a place first, stay at a hotel. My rule is "on your own 2 feet", otherwise the friend is always going to be associated with "the drama". You don't want that, especially if they do make up.

    And yeah, dropping him at the exit? I guess the road was all one way, she would have to go all the way around Central Park West, so he could just carry his skis and gear three blocks. Did he have insurance? Does she need a new hairdo?

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  6. Pia: I think it's actually a million dollar idea. Or at least hundred dollar. The Friend Handbook.

    Groovie: I'll try to get an update and let you know what was going on.

    Lass: I actually suggested that he say something like, "I'm going to bed. I was just wondering if you were coming back over here tonight."

    Augh! I used the wrong lyric on this. I'm gonna change it right now.

    Mappy: 1) Well, it's true sometimes. But you don't dare say it.
    2) Yeah, I wondered what moronic or immature thing he might have said or done to find himself in that situation. But I figured I'd find that out later.
    3) Twisted logic? :)

    Expect an email.

    Dorothy: That was pretty much my feeling. Stay with your family. Or get a hotel room until you can find an apartment.

    I'm sure there was some good reason for her dropping him off. Maybe he had a bad case of BO and it was smelling up her car. You know that BO, it's like an entity.

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  7. After much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that you need a handbook on how not to think too much. But then, there would be no blog. Good stuff.

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  8. Annie Duke ain't got nuttin on Me5/01/2006 04:52:00 PM

    Okay, skeriously, what'd you say to the friend in the early thirties who dropped on you that he had never dated anyone until now????????

    How do you get to your early 30's and not date someone??
    Is he heinously unattractive?
    Does he have gay attributes?
    Was he bedridden for a number of years?
    Is he one of those severely obese people that has grown into the fabric of their couch?

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  9. i think the friend handbook is an excellent idea, but the chapters for those friends whom we all have that are truly unexplainable would be the chapters we'd all like to read the most.. perhaps there should be an ex handbook as well..

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  10. I have learned by the recent events in my life that you should do anything you can for your friends, because you never know when you will need them in return.

    Did you ever find your friend? Is he dead? I guess your car didn't blow up after all, thankfully!!

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  11. Heh! The Pokey! What's so funny about that conversation is that I could imagine my dad and I having a similar conversation in which I bust him for using outdated words.

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  12. Tenacious T: I definitely over-analyze things. But it's fun. Sometimes.

    I hope Annie doesn't read this: Um, I don't remember. It kinda freaked me out. And then I think I said something like "Surely you've dated someone in 30+ years."

    I think it was some sort of defense mechanism for me. Deny, so I don't have to face the truth.

    Alison: OK, I think you should work on the Ex Handbook. I'll take care of the Friend Handbook. I can be a consultant on the Ex Handbook, for like the guy point of view.

    Carnealian: No, I didn't try calling today. Maybe tomorrow. I'm sure if something would have happened, I would have heard. Or seen it on the news. Or Springer.

    Xinh: It was quite funny. Someone told me the dialogue could have been an entire post by itself.

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  13. I agree with Lass about the gal dumping the guy on the side of the road. Too immature for a relationship.

    And I agree with Dorothy about where to do in the breakup stage. Always go to neutral territory.

    I have a friend who's goin threw a big split up and her ex-ish got an appartment. She's really jealous of his appartment 'cuz it's nice and it's away from their kids. But it sounds like they might get back together now. What a mess.

    You like to write anyway...check your blog for archived friend handbook wisdom...compile it and send it to a printer. You'll make tons of money and can retire and maybe attract the gal of your dreams. LOL.

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  14. That is an outrageously long post and anyone who has time to write or read that needs to get a real life! How about doing some studying for me for once?

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  15. Picking the guy up after he was kicked out of the car, that's an unwritten rule between guys.

    The calling the guy, that's not something guys do. Your buddy was right if he did not call him. Sorry, that's just how it is. :)

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  16. Was I the only person who read the line: Then he decides to drop this bomb on me. "You know, this is the first time I've ever really dated a girl."
    to mean that the guy had only ever dated guys? And not, as everyone else seems to think, that he just never dated, period?

    I guess it's because I live in L.A. that my thinking would go that way.

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  17. Renee: I really do think it's a good idea. I should do it. I really should.

    Buzz: Hey, say what you want about me. But don't insult my readers!

    Big Man: Yeah, it kinda felt weird. I wouldn't have done it. Yet I was encouraging him to, just for the sake of making the story funnier.

    Xinh: Haha. Well, hmm, I never thought about it like that either.

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