After All, What Are “Friends” For?

“The true test of friendship is when you are no longer of any help to the other person”

I don’t remember who said, this. For all I know, it might have been me. Regardless, it’s a benchmark that I’ve used for a long time to measure my friendships. Some of you who have been reading my blogs know that my Facebook friends list has been dwindling, and that quote is the reason.

The last NJ Bash that I was involved with was in October of 2010. Shortly after that event, I began to publish my blogs, many of which were written some time ago. They were observations on things that I saw in the fat community that conflicted with my core values. As some of you know, I became increasingly conflicted over the years between my vision of the NJ Bash, and what it actually became.

So here I am a year later, and for many of those who attended my events over the 4 years I was involved, they no longer “need” me, since I am no longer involved with providing them with a venue to get piss drunk, have indiscriminate sex, and engage in other activities that perpetuate the stereotypes of fat people for several days, then go home to wait in anticipation of the next event that will allow them to act in a similar manner.

I mentioned this recently in a forum, and someone I consider a friend took offense to that comment, particularly with regard to what I described as “returning to their miserable lives until the next bash”. She raised some good points, but I stand by my observation that many of the attendees of my parties were there for the activities I described above and nothing else. We disagree on this point, obviously, but there are friendships that transcend disagreements like this. I respect her feelings, and just simply say that we agree to disagree. Friendship intact, case closed.

There’s a difference however, between taking a contrary stance on a particular issue, and a constant barrage attacking the person for virtually everything they utter. To me, that isn’t friendship at all, but a means to an end for the person doing the attack. I suppose it isn’t important WHY those attacks take place from where I stand, but when it happens, one has to question whether that friendship has value to them at that point.

After my first wife and I split up back in ’94, one of my friends felt the need to “counsel” me, which to her represented telling me everything she thought was wrong with me, which was essentially everything. Due to the breakup, I was already in therapy and becoming aware of my shortcomings, the things that help contribute to my divorce. It seemed like no matter what I said or did, there she was behind me, “showing” me the errors in my ways. My parents didn’t raise me in a whirlwind of negativity, and that kind of brow beating is both insulting and hurtful to me. Obviously I ended the friendship.

Years later, I encountered my “friend” again while on business in South Jersey. We chatted for a few minutes, and she asked me to grab lunch with her, and I accepted. It was during lunch that she spilled the beans about why the beatdowns occurred. For her, by breaking me down like that, she felt like she could then be my “savior”, coming in to rescue me from the mess that I was in.

I was amazed! So in essence, she beat me down because she LIKED me!!!!

I don’t know if this happens everywhere in life, but I’ve heard stories from other people in the plus sized community that this happens a lot.

I recently had a birthday, and found many “friends” who were just too busy at the NJ Bash that weekend to take the couple of seconds to type “Happy Birthday” to a person without who there would be no NJ Bash. Again, it proves the point that some people only look at you in a friendly way based on what you can do for them.

To the others, who look beyond the community and see a friend, I thank you for your friendship!

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