Monday, January 15, 2007

Get Bent

I watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the first time all the way through today.

People call this a happy, uplifting movie, and I suppose it is…only problem is it got me thinking and just depressed the hell out of me.

Ever heard of the term “Buying friends?”

This is something I do all the time, not on purpose mind you, just because of the way I am.

I like to think of myself as a nice guy. I do a lot for people, I help out, give things when I can. For me that’s friendship. If you’re a friend, need something, and it’s in my power to give it, that’s what I’ll do.

Just it seems that for me, this shit is a one way street. I have too many so-called “friends” who I’ll spend a week working on something for them, hand it over with a smile…and then I either don’t hear from them until the next time they need something from me, or if I ask a favor they quote me a price.

For people who’ve not seen the movie, the story of “It’s a Wonderful Life” is simple. Guy feels like he’s “trapped” in a small town, never gets to do what he wants and is forced to give up his own dreams and ambitions to help others.

Then towards the end of the movie, he gets in deep trouble and is ready to kill himself. He’s visited by an angel and tells the angel he thinks the world would be better off without him and wishes he’d never been born.

Then, of course, the angel shows him what the world would be like if he hadn’t been born. He sees all the lives he’s touched and the happiness he’s created…and then we get to the sickly-sweet ending where he realizes that although he’s not rich or the big-shot he wanted to be, he’s truly “rich” because of his friends.

This is all very nice, including the ending, when hearing about the trouble he’s in, all these friends gather round and help him out.

This is where Mr. Bailey and I differ.

I’m sick to death of the people who are my best friends when they want or need something. But are “Pauli who?” when they either don’t need anything from me, or it’s my turn to ask a favor. The people who act like I don’t exist, that I never hear from, but don’t hesitate to contact me when they need something and then suddenly we’re best friends again…until they get what they need and *poof* I’m off their radar.

So to these people, a simple message:

If I’m not important enough for you to want to talk to or be around unless you’re angling for something you want from me…you can just fuck right off. I don’t want or need that kind of “friendship”.

The thing is I'm not doing things for people so I can get things back. I don't keep a record of favors given and favors owed. All I ask is that if you call yourself a friend, actually act like one. It's not hard to say hello and chat for a bit when you see me.

The truth is, I don't need to be a nice guy, I don't need to be so free with my time and favors. I could be just like every other selfish asshole out there, who's only out for himself.

So here's the deal. If you find my company so unbearable that you can't stand a few minutes conversation with me, I'm completely and totally fine with that...just don't expect anything from me when you find yourself in trouble or need something again...and expect to get shot down in flames the next time we're "best buddies" again because you need something.


OzzyC said...

Hmmmm.... I see a movie coming on here. We could call it "It's a Cynical Life" (Copyright 2007, OzzyC Enterprises, all rights reserved)

It's the story of Paulius Bailey, unemployed Brit who lives next to the Building and Loan. Paulius is free with his time and most people genuinely enjoy his company.

This one time in particular, a pseudo-friend of Mr. Bailey's needs a little computer work done. The pseudo-friend offers to pay for the work and stiffs our hero.

Paulius decides to vent his frustration by killing mice in his back yard with a BB gun. There's a horrible accident and Mr. Bailey accidentally shoots himself in the foot, breaking the skin and lodging the BB just under the surface.

While spewing forth enough profanity to make a sailor proud, Paulius exclaims "I wish I had never helped any of these punk-ass one-way pseudo-friends."

Cue the cutover to black and white, as our hero's guardian angel comes to earth. Here's the twist... In the alternate reality, the friends are all screwed over as they're seen for who they really are, and Paulius is rich and famous.

Paulius likes this alternate reality and keeps it. Over time, he turns into a pseudo-friend, and the pseudo-friend has a similar set of circumstances. The movie ends when this next guy's guardian angel shows up, leaving a slightly ominous ending with room for a sequel.

Paulius said...

Good idea. I'm behind the project as long as Richard Price agrees to co-star.

Seriously tho, my little rant isn't about getting stiffed. IE I've become my both step-son's unofficial tech support but they're both really nice guys and I don't want or expect ANY form of payment from them.

It just really pisses me off that over the past few months I've had 5 or 6 "pseudo-friends" as you call them, pop up ask me for help with stuff, then vanish off the radar as soon as I'm done...and it's a repeating pattern.

Not trying to be whiny "woe is me" emo...I've got a good few REAL friends...just got really PO'd with the assholes

OzzyC said...

I know where you were coming from... I get that it wasn't an issue about getting stiffed. As a fellow geek-in-PCs, I know all too well how the pseudo-friends work. They're only around at their convenience. The story is only loosely based on your life, with a bit of George Bailey tossed in for good measure.

Saffyre said...

I hope and pray(or I would pray if I was the type) that you NEVER think I am like that.

You know i'm right here for you with a supply of Hula Hoops and (if necessary) Crunchies bars!
Failing that - i'm ALWAYS availablw to talk favours required in return...Just cos I love and Sunny both!!

Paulius said...

Course not Saffy, you DEFINATELY fall under the "Real Friend" category.