Old Friends

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I was never a person to have lots of friends. To have lots of friends, you have to cultivate them. To cultivate them, you have to see some purpose in their cultivation. I have seen that most people who have lots of friends tend to do little else except cultivate friends. They throw parties. They join organizations. They're available.


I like to have one friend for any activity. So I like to have a golf friend and we get together and play golf. The golf friend also tends to be a party friend, since golf and partying go together like marriage and sinecure. Hey that's pretty good. I did my best to piss off everybody at the end of golf season last year. I was so angry at the world for what it had done. Damn enabling world. How do you live with yourself?


So when I have a girlfriend, I make her the center of my world, since the activity I have girlfriends for is at the center of everything, the prime motivator, and I was trying to distance myself from everyone so I could make myself suitable to a girlfriend. I found a girl, woman, willing to undertake me as a project.


Our early conversations were quite enjoyable since we can both talk, and she'd been a counselor and I'd been a painter-therapist. On our second phone date, she told me that she'd been about to invite me to come live with her in California after our first conversation. I told her how glad I was that she didn't ask me, because I would have had to decline. I'd already obligated myself in my present living situation.


My telling her that I would have refused kinda of weirded her out, since she'd gotten the sense that I was kinda desperate for it, having a girlfriend with all of the strings and things attached, but as we talked more I realized that she had taken other guys in and had cleaned them up and then released them, her own version of a capture, neuter, and release program was what I heard. I could tell that she had no idea what she was dealing with in me. I tell these stories because they're what the world does to people like me, not because I have an issue with the world. I'm fine with the world, I just don't like the enabling. The enabling is going to make this a living hell for a while, and then it will just become something else. I'll adapt.


Anyway, when she realized that I wasn't as desperate as I seemed, and she'd helped me deal with my main issue, anger, through the hours and hours of talks and experimentation, she didn't want me anymore and stopped answering my calls. It might have bothered somebody less actualized than I am. I had too much to do.


I wasn't going to play golf until I'd figure out some things, and the first was a new exercise for my back, I found a ball, didn't know what to do with it, so I sat on it and viola. My mind is much clearer now and I realized that last year my putting efficiency declined by half, and I don't think it was the partying, because I've always partied like a high-schooler on spring break when I play golf, so I didn't take clubs to the club, just my putter and almost as soon as I made a few adjustments, my putting was better.


One old friend showed up immediately and we just took up where we'd left off, but he now has his own place, and a new job, and is looking older because of it. Now he knows my other old golf friend, the guy I started playing golf with, and he showed up after my first friend told me I was expected to apologize for my terrible behavior at the end of last year. Upon seeing my old friend, I went to apologize, and he wouldn't hear of it. He told me I had nothing to apologize for, which was a total lie. I really did have things to apologize for. An entire slew of things, but we hugged, like dudes, nothing queer, and played golf.


It's like this, in life sometimes you meet people who you know you have to get away from if you are to have any chance at happiness, and then when you get away from them you realize that you were misguided. They were just an excuse for your own failures. And when they come back into your life, if you've really changed, you don't see them the same way, and they don't see you the same way, and you do the same things you always did together, but differently. As I said to my young golf buddy last time I was leaving the club, "This is going to be a most beautiful year of golf between the three of us." And it snowed the next day so we won't be seeing each other for at least a week. Best to take this slow, in small doses. Old habits die just as hard as old friends.     




mark henry smith Added Mar 8, 2018 - 4:06pm
Yeah, he had a joint and I've decided it's okay to be social, like not be antisocial when it's offered. I know some people say it's a slippery slope, one time and you're back in the saddle riding high, but I really don't like it in the same way I used to. It doesn't eclipse anything anymore. All that happens is I don't sleep as well and my lungs feel congested, but while I'm there, being part of the festivities, it's fine. When in Rome. And a week should be enough time for the THC to get out of my system so I can pass the drug test for the new job. Or am I wrong about that too?     
Pardero Added Mar 8, 2018 - 4:29pm
I knew a guy that failed a UA after a month. He was on some vitamin store flush program and was drinking incredible amounts of water.
I am far from an expert, but it may depend on your metabolism, body fat, or myriad factors I have no idea of.
I recommend a white lie about finishing a project or something so you don't get offered the job and the test before it leaves your system. I believe that I would allow a month. 
Pardero Added Mar 8, 2018 - 4:54pm
I am the very last person that you should consider taking advice on relationships from. Don't think for a minute, that it will stop me.
Consider that a man's self esteem is most affected by his job and his mate. Without a job that provides some minimal security, the mate can be hard to find. 
Let the yearning for a mate motivate you to find a job/career that can at least provide minimal essentials.
While all that communication can seem like a good thing, I don't recommend it. If there isn't a flicker of warmth, spiritual and physical, back out immediately. We weren't necessarily designed to have long conversations about metaphysics. We were designed for mating. 
Never ever be a junior partner. Full equals is the farthest you should ever go. In some cases, you will have responsibilties that will require to be a bit above 'equal' and must have the character and gravitas to pull that off.
Pardero Added Mar 8, 2018 - 5:08pm
There are an above average amount of fine attractive ladies in PA. Furthermore, the demographics in your age range are favorable to you.
Get squared away. Then look for a nice lady that is passionate about something that really matters. Something that money won't buy. There are highly intelligent and thoughtful ladies that fit the bill right here at WB.
You need one close to home. 
You will become a provider. Maybe you will only snare a rabbit or small bird compared to some other guy slaying an aurochs. You will still be a provider. After your provider duties are fulfilled, then your mate can be the center of your life. If they don't understand, back out of there. 
Pardero Added Mar 8, 2018 - 5:18pm
We were designed to be paired up. Just spend some time with your prospect. Enjoy life. See what happens. Remember the song 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun'. If it isn't working out, grab your boots and shaving kit, walk out the door, and don't ever look back.
After you are squared away, here's my pro tip:
If you decide against church being your best hunting grounds:
Master Gardener class from your county extension. You will be mind boggled by the favorable demographics. They will all be passionate about something that really matters. It is simply a good way to meet a good crowd.
Sorry for the sermon but you remind me of someone. 
Please keep me updated on your adventures.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 8, 2018 - 10:00pm
He lives! Good to hear you're ok, Marko
Relationships are over rated. By that I mean the quantity over quality thing. You got a thousand friends on FB! Great! How many of those are bots?
You only need a few good ones, if any, and to have those requires effort. Sometimes effort that exceeds what you would put forth in your work, or a hobby, at which point it is no longer a relationship. It becomes a chore.  
If you are with someone where it constantly requires effort in order to get along? No. It's not supposed to be that hard. If it is then you just don't belong together.  
But that's my experience. Best advice? Don't ever be afraid to say NO
mark henry smith Added Mar 9, 2018 - 12:00pm
Padre and Burghal, thanks.
I'm so much slower now, like a sloth. I was going to get up this morning and do something, but I was having the most freaking amazing dream about the ex,, so I went back to sleep and holy-moly, it was like I was seeing the second season.
This is definitely the biggest change in my life, the way I'm dreaming at night, unbelievably satisfying. I attribute it to the bed, pure comfort.
So I was always one of those guys who rushes in. One kiss and I'm moving in. Now, I'm going to just observe for a while. See where she can take me, or not. Padre, I have almost no body fat, all muscle from my sloth-like workouts, so I can't imagine one or two hits of pot will stay in my system for much longer than a couple of days, and I drink lots of coffee. Anyway, medical is legal now and I can make up a story of how someone must have accidentally slipped their meds into my coffee.
Wait, that won't work, the job is a at a medical facility and they'll know that the law in Pa bans any of the psycho-active substances from being in the meds. But will they check that far? Now I'm eager to find out.
Anyway, it was nice to find out that my old friends would still consent to fun and games at the golf course.
In the dream, the ex and I were making all kinds of confessions to one another. It felt healthy.    
Pardero Added Mar 9, 2018 - 12:14pm
I hope you get the job and it gets you closer to where you want to be. You sound more contented and that may just help you have an outstanding interview. 
Pardero Added Mar 9, 2018 - 12:32pm
Just my luck, I had a random UA , years ago, after I attended a music festival. At first, I was worried because I seemed to be getting a little high and feared the possibility of a random. I was having such a good time, I forgot all about it until the terror set in from the random.
The first random was inconclusive and I passed the second one. Some of my more easy-going friends understand that my job depends on passing UAs but I am still fanatical about getting into places that could risk that. I last succumbed to peer pressure, or 'bonding' in 1982.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 9, 2018 - 1:06pm
TBH asks: You got a thousand friends on FB! Great! How many of those are bots?-Moreover, how many of those "friends" will come over and help you mend a fence or move?
Pardero Added Mar 9, 2018 - 2:09pm
Jeff Michka,
Good point. I don't do Facebook. I do know that some real life friends can get scarce when you are down on your luck. I am doing alright and have all the friends I can really handle at the moment. Fair weather or not, you don't know until you face some adversity.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 9, 2018 - 9:55pm
Pard sez: Good point. I don't do Facebook. I do know that some real life friends can get scarce-I don't FB either.  But I do have friends "getting scarce" when things got a little bumpy is part of being someone's friend, IMO.  Aren't willing to be there if/when things get tough?  Don't act like you care "before the fact." 
Pardero Added Mar 10, 2018 - 11:16am
Jeff Michka,
We agree on that, Jeff. 
I have had people be astounded before when I showed up to help. They had assumed that it was just empty words. Kinda sad if friends get used to empty words.
mark henry smith Added Mar 10, 2018 - 12:19pm
What is a friend? Can we lump them all together?
Some friends are like matzo balls
and some friends are like dumplings.
Some friends like their privacy
and some want it all exposed.
Facebook is just a device
where people can exchange whatever
they feel needs exchanging.
I exchange work.
And only once did I decline to help someone move
when asked. It was a friend of the ex
who'd been dissing me
and then had the audacity to ask me to help.
I just didn't show up.
If you don't want the friendship anymore
that's all you have to do.
And I didn't care about friends in the past.
I'd been shafted too many times
so I made associations
that could be easily broken,
like time share arrangements.
Love to both of you, from Marko (C) 2018
Pardero Added Mar 10, 2018 - 12:27pm
I very much like your term "associations." 
mark henry smith Added Mar 10, 2018 - 12:34pm
That's actually what most people have in this world, but they call it friendship. I had an association with the ex. If we'd been friends we would have shared a lot more information. Friends share the information needed to make  stronger bond beyond the immediate activity. Associations remain limited to the activity, or activities, in my observations. 
Jeff Michka Added Mar 10, 2018 - 12:41pm
Pard sez: Kinda sad if friends get used to empty words.I have had people be astounded before when I showed up to help. They had assumed that it was just empty words.-Agreed.  If you showed up, helped out and didn't expect anything in return, then you've been a true friend.  People's expectations of returns for everything they do will always lead to eventual disappointment in just the "process" of friendship or human relations, IMO.
mark henry smith Added Mar 11, 2018 - 1:23pm
Very well said, Jeff,
But few people get to that point, IMO. We're taught to expect a return beyond the learning experience of the process. As one of my golf buddies always says, "Things happen for a reason," and when you can't seem to escape from each other maybe the reason is you're supposed to be friends and perhaps get to the point of helping each other be better human beings.
Friends help friends be better human beings because they want to be better human beings and good friends make that easier, IMO. I believe I've become a much better friend, but I'm still poor.