“You Gotta Change Your Approach”

Last night I had a conversation with my best friend Brandon.  We’ll talk for a good hour or so once a month during his commute home from work.  Having families of our own means that we have priorities and sometimes you need a minute and someone else to be your outlet.  That’s my man 100 grand.  We talk mostly about our kids, but it’s the time to get advice and be entertained by your boy’s problems instead of your own (Don’t worry, Cheryl nothing ill is said about you).  By the time you get home from your commute, you gotta be family man and be there for everyone else.

I called Brandon on Friday to tell him an entertaining story that had happened to me earlier that day.  He was taking his three year old son out to dinner, so he said he’d get back to me.  When he called back I told him a fairly hilarious story of someone trying to creep up out of the friend zone.  I said to him “Aren’t you glad you don’t have to deal with this anymore?”  He said yeah and talked about what he needs to work on in his marriage.  Knowing how he is I definitely agreed with him.

He asked me how things had been going with a friend of mine that he’s become a fan of.  I told him about how we’d kinda got into it a couple of days before that.  It was definitely my fault.  I said to him “You know how I am.  I’m sarcastic.  I don’t say things to be scathing or snide, I just talk shit.”  He agreed that I do.  I told Brandon how I’d responded to my friend and gave it to him in the tone of voice that the text message was delivered with.  The tone lightened up what I really said, but it just being words does make me come off like a jerk.  Most people use sarcasm to make a point while I use it to lighten up the mood and ease tension…It takes a little getting used to before you realize its just “Chad being Chad.”

He said “You gotta change your approach.”  Brandon was always my friend who would say a simple sentence like that but it was as if he said paragraphs.  I knew exactly what he meant and I agreed with him.  I either sugarcoat things too much or I’m incredibly blunt.  We’ll either float in a sea of gray areas because I’m trying to keep one’s feelings in mind or I keep it too real and completely disregard said feelings.  I told Brandon jokingly how whenever I’d try to do any of those with Timile I wound up losing. This of course leads to option number three that I almost always opt for: I say nothing at all. I say not a word about how I feel our what I think and let it just sit there until a straw breaks the camel’s back. I’m never upset about one infraction but several.

I told Brandon that I think I’m pretty unfair to my friend.  They really do try.  I’ve failed them with my words.  The truth is I do have many reasons to justify them; but it doesn’t and shouldn’t matter.  I shouldn’t be focused on where they’ve fallen short. In 1st Corinthians ifs says that love keeps no record of wrong. That’s how I need to remember to look at things.

Brandon then said “She seems like she’s cool.”  That was his way of saying “I like this one…don’t fuck it up.” (not that fucking things up are my forte, but a good friend will let one know that one needs to get out of their own way so that they don’t)

So to my friend: I apologize.  I’ve been really unfair to you.  I don’t make promises because I’m a man of my word; but I promise this is something I will work on.  If I fall short of this, let me know and I will rectify accordingly.

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