Thursday, May 04, 2006

View from the Cheap Seats

I was engaged in the early 90's to a guy that was all wrong for me. It took me a long time (and a bigger world view) to realize this...but I did finally come to my senses. When I called my best girlfriend to tell her that I'd broken the engagement, her response was a deadpan "I was wondering how long that was going to take." I said, "What? You knew this was a bad match??" She laughed, "I think it was when you said you were going to work on his grammar..." Oh. :)

She explained that there was no way she could tell me what she knew...I had to figure it out for myself, and she was sure I would. Then she did what any good friend would do: gathered the girls and took me out for an Un-Bachelorette Party night on the town.

I think about that incident every time I find myself in the cheap seats of a friend's life. What do you do when the air is thick with the smell of train wreck?

My friend's choice in my near-collision was to stay seated (and order a beer, knowing her :) and wait for me to grow the sense to jump out of the way. It's perhaps the most trusting thing to just believe that the one you're fretting over will figure it out....and to know that you'll be there when they do, in case there's any fallout.

But gosh that feels passive to me. I generally prefer to act! do! In my panic, I've leapt off the stands and launched into an opening argument of Very Good Reasons(tm) for him/her to get off the tracks. But then...what if I'm wrong? What if the train detours? What if in making my case I lose my friend? It's not trusting... and as a friend I should at least be that.

At times, my romantic side has prevailed and I've planted my Thelma next to his/her Louise and braced for impact. It's's hurts like hell for everyone involved. Poetic, yes...but a good solution? ...not so much.

This topic has become a recurring theme lately. And mired in my indecision, I'm still glued to my seat....watching...quiet...rooting for the one who's contemplating life on another coast, hopeful for the one taking a big risk for the long term gain, concerned for the one who's pushing too hard, a little sad for the Sisyphaean white knight who's chair sits empty beside me...

...and wondering who's rooted in their chair watching my life the same.

There's no glory in this nosebleed view, but maybe it's as much as a friend can do:


towwas said...

Now I'm all paranoid! Is it my life that's headed for a trainwreck?? I mean, more of a trainwreck?

I Blog, You Blog said...

Psshht...please. You guys are actually pretty stable, non-dramatic people. Don't be alarmed, but I have...tangent friends! :)

Besides, it's less about the actual struggles people are having and more about how to be the best friend when someone does encounter something oogy.

towwas said...

YOU DO NOT! I thought Miss Shirley and me were it! I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

BASSO said...

Wow! Whoever it is, they are in TROUBLE.... And you probably can't really DO anything to stop it, just soften the fall...? We have (and had) friends who you could see crashing from miles away ... they didn't take help (or not well anyway), but appreciated being caught somewhere between there and never. Good Luck.

I Blog, You Blog said...

...or no one's in trouble at all. I mean, part of my thinking on this subject (a part which didn't make it to print) is that maybe the trains are my own projections...and no one's in danger at all, except for my own nervous nelly worrying.

All the more reason to just chill out and hope for the best...

...patience is just not my strongest virtue. :)