My family can’t keep track of my friends. They make fun of me that I have friends in every city. And a friend mentioned today that I travel a lot. Except I was sad I was doing so little traveling this year. Ha. I take for granted never staying in one place, always having someone in the next port.
And I have been in a relative (to me) slump, and lots of people called, texted, emailed, or came by plane, train, or car to help me out. Not because I asked, or not necessarily just to see me, but that’s how my friends are. They’ll take a 4 hour bus trip to see me when I am in a town nearby. And I will do the same. And you might not think that’s weird, but I think most people do. Because a lot of people won’t even pick you up at the airport 15 mins from their house. And my friends will. Because they are super, super awesome.
And I am not the easiest person to help. As my friend Grace said, “You are the most independent person I know.” I take that as an extreme compliment, but I am realizing it’s also a bad thing. Or it can be. My favorite movie is Showgirls, and though people ridicule it (as do I), there’s a scene where the main character (who runs out of every scene rather than deal with anything) is told:
“You got your arms straight out, saying, ‘Back off, motherfucker.'”
“Yeah, you got that down. BACK OFF, MOTHERFUCKER!”
It’s my nature to have my hands straight out yelling, “Back off, motherfucker.” (Hereafter referred to as BOMF). I don’t need your help, why won’t you just let me do it by myself? It’s a hereditary stubbornness, combined with an upbringing where I could never do anything alone. I am hardwired to do things for myself, by myself, and I am not comfortable with asking for help or even realizing when people are offering it. Asking for help feels like conning a mark to me. But my friends are awesome, because they help anyway. They self-correct for my BOMFy tendencies. And that’s good. I know a few other BOMFy people and I think sometimes we just have to be sat down (literally or metaphorically) by our friends and told to accept help.
So, thanks everyone. You rule. Whether you force me to leave the house, listen to my late-night calls, take my ims, offer advice, realize when I am roundaboutly asking for help because you know it’s hard for me to ask directly, or get out of the way when I am yelling, “Back off, motherfucker!” you are helping. And I am trying to put my hands down and shut up more often.
Everything you need to know you can learn from Showgirls, in my opinion. In the future, all writing will prove that.