Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Unlikely Friends

There was this guy I became friends with when I was around 13. He was the typical teen who just hit puberty and thought his inappropriate jokes were cool. I found him annoying at times, but overall, I thought he was nice. Then one day, out of the blue, he completely ignored me. Pretended I didn't exist, didn't say hi, didn't reply to messages, avoided me like the pest. I thought it was really strange because we were just friends and nothing had happened. I shrugged and moved on. Boys are complicated, I was told.

Years later, we met again at a social event. By that time, I resented him for ignoring me without explanation. However, he had a guitar and he was not bad at it. The music lover inside of me nudged my ego aside and after a few hours, I broke the ice and we've been friends ever since. Our previous friendship was never mentioned. It was as if we met for the first time. Years later, I learned what really happened. But until then, the elephant in the room was ignored for the sake of making music.

He was not exactly the most charming person either. He was blunt, somewhat pessimistic, and often had little regard for people's emotions. Yet, something about his honesty was intriguing and I thought I'd just wait and see. With time, I learned to appreciate it instead of dread it. With the bluntness taken for granted, talking about anything and everything openly was fair game. We agreed to disagree sometimes. Strangely and unconsciously, we became pretty good friends. I remember being surprised and touched when receiving an email from him when he first moved to Australia, letting us know he got there safe and sound.

I probably became very much like my friend. I tell the truth as it is unless I have a good reason not to, and I guess I expect the same from people. I was addicted with Dr. House partly because of his obsession for the truth. It became even more obvious when, a few years ago, I was almost overjoyed to hear a colleague tell me "You know, the first day I saw you, I thought you were a stuck up bitch. You were all dressed up and looked all pissed off. I thought you were gonna be a nightmare". Most people would probably get a bit defensive but I felt an immediate connection at that moment because this was someone who got it. He knew that I would appreciate the honesty and that we could laugh about those first 5 mins.

Friends like these can sometimes be hard on the ego but they are worth it. The best friendships can sometimes be the unexpected ones. And the battles worth fighting may not always be the obvious ones either.

Now, I have another decision to make. Is this one a worthy the effort? I can deal with ego-crushing bluntness, but I'm not sure what to make of ego-flattering, bent truths that may or may not redeem themselves in the future. I don't know what to make of heartfelt promises that always fall through. I don't know what to make of "I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking". 

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