"Falzon’s accessible and jokey paraphrasing, complete with footnotes that alternate between informative and comedic (though sometimes both) makes the Bible's inglorious parts impossible to ignore." -- The Front Page Online
We've been friends for a long time. I spend most of my time listening to you. Please, for once in your life, for a change, for the novelty, listen to me, now.
I don't mind being your dumping ground, I really don't. It shows that you trust me with your problems and seek my council, and I appreciate our friendship. But can't you tell me anything NICE that's happening in your life? And aren't you even remotely interested in what's happening in mine? Can you at least PRETEND to be interested? Where's MY dumping ground when I need it? I need an outlet, too.
I don't want to get a call at 1am from a police officer on your phone, telling me that you're so blind-drunk that you need to be picked up and taken home. Aside from it being really, really inconvenient, you're special to me, and it hurts me more than you know to see you in that condition. I'm sick of getting these calls, but I love you too much to leave you to fend for yourself, so up I get to collect your stumbling self and take you home. I resent it more and more each time, knowing full well that the reason I'm the one you call is because you know that no matter what, I'll always drop everything to ensure your safety. I resent that, too.
I don't want to be told that you've liked me from the moment you met me, that you feel so comfortable around me, that you like having me near you, only to be told the next day that your on-again, off-again boyfriend is coming back to town, and then you stop taking my calls. This is behaviour that some may call "rude."
I don't want you to express interest, if such interest is primarily the alcohol running through your veins at that moment. If I'm interested in you, it's because I find you interesting. Having a couple of drinks to lower inhibitions is perfectly fine, but if you find yourself attracted to a man to whom you would not otherwise be attracted, you've probably had a few too many. Consider orange juice, sans vodka, for your next glass, then go home and sleep it off.
If we make a plan to meet, don't stand me up, and then tell me a week later that you had lost your phone. If we spend a few evenings together, don't then go off the radar for three months, only to resurface on the arm of another man, and tell me you've been "really busy." I don't believe you. You're lying to my face, with a smile on yours. I don't abide liars. I've never lied to you. Not once.
I don't want to watch you, my friend, get so hammered over drinks at my place that you have literally no recollection of where you are or who I am. After I tuck you into my own bed, for me to sleep on the couch and for you to enter a 15-hour coma in comfort, I don't want to then have to clean your vomit up off my sheets, quilt, and polished-wood floor. I shouldn't have to hold your hair back as you hurl into the toilet. This is not the kind of friend I want, especially when you have absolutely no recollection of my staying up until 9am, watching over your restless, snorting body, to make sure you don't drown in a mouthful of your own puke.
If I comment on your Facebook post, or on my own wall, disagreeing with you, don't take it as a personal attack. Understand that disagreeing with you doesn't mean I don't like or respect you. It also doesn't mean I'm attempting to "force my will" on you and it doesn't mean I'm claiming to have a "monopoly on truth." My line of work involves getting into subjects that many find sensitive, though I don't personally find them so. If I take the time to write a few paragraphs on your wall, consider that I'm doing it to engage, not to belittle. If you do make a factual error, I will correct it, of course; I would hope that you'd do the same.
I don't want to only hear from you when you break up with your boyfriend, particularly if this only ever happens at 3am. Of course I'll be there for you in your time of need, but I also want to have conversations with you that don't involve you making unintelligible utterances between sobs. I can't help you if I can't understand you. And if I offer to meet you somewhere, don't say no and then keep me on the phone for two hours anyway.
If you're attracted to me enough to call me whenever you're drunk and lonely, you should be attracted to me enough to mention it when you're sober. If I don't feel the same way, I'll still appreciate the affection and the honesty. But I'll never respond to your drunken booty calls. The same goes for out-of-the-blue emails or Skype calls that just happen to coincide with your most recent break-up, after a year or two of zero contact with me. I'm not your rebound guy, either.
And if you make a commitment to me -- a big, life-altering commitment to be somewhere or do something crucial for me -- please, please, please don't let me down.
How much of this would you bother tolerating from one of your friends? I only ask that you practice the Golden Rule ... and cut back on drinking, honey. Tipsy is fun. Sloshed is not. The fact that I'm prepared to be your dumping ground doesn't mean I like to be surrounded by trash.
I know I'm not perfect. I know that. But I've never vomited on you. And I've never lied to you. And I've never needed carrying home. And for all the women in my life for whom I've always been there, I can honestly and lamentably say that I don't think I have someone in my life on whom I know I can definitely depend. And that makes me a little bit sad.
Just think about it, okay?