“You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that.’” Dave Barry
One of my girlfriends, Dee, and I went to the Blossom Music Center to see “Tommy” towards the middle of summer. It was a great show. Blossom is an outdoor amphitheater in Cuyahoga Falls, about 45 minutes from downtown Cleveland. The pavilion seats about 6,000 people and the sloping lawn seats about 15,000 people. There were lots of people at the show, for sure.
After we parked we had a long hike to get to the general admission lawn. Dee was on her phone every couple of minutes. She finally took her eyes off of it when we went through the turnstile.
“You’ve thinned down,” she said.
“I’ve been walking since spring, all summer, five miles a day. I got up this morning and did my five miles,” I said.
“I’m fat,” she said, and started to cry.
“Don’t cry,” I said. “It helps to watch what you eat and exercise. Why don’t you walk with me?”
I invited her to Lakewood Park, one of the places I walk. She walked with me and we talked about her diet, but every few minutes she stopped to get on her phone.
“You need to step it up, Dee. Put that phone away.”
“I can’t do that,” she said.
“OK,” I said. “You dabble on that phone, do whatever you want. I’m going to keep walking.” I walked away.
The next day she sent me a text.
“It’s not what I eat that makes me fat.”
“Oh, really. What makes you fat?”
“It’s my hormones and my thyroid.”
“What about all those key lime pies? Don’t they make you fat?”
“I only told you about the pies because I need support.”
The next day she sent me a text about hypothyroidism. The day after that she sent me a text about how over-exercising can make you fat. I lost it. You know what, here comes a truth bomb, and a couple of other bombs besides that.
“What the fuck are you doing? You are on the internet trying to find every excuse for eating pies and for not walking. That over-exercising, that’s for triathletes. Neither of us is ever going to over-exercise. I don’t want to hear your stupid excuses. They’re all bullshit and I don’t like bullshit.”
I was sweating as I was texting her. She was making me have a stroke.
“Dang, you didn’t have to go off on me!” she wrote back.
“I kind of do! I’m not going to sit here and listen to you cry and bawl and hate your life. It’s hard to listen to as a friend. It hurts me to see you like that, and then you tell me somebody brought in more cake and you ate it all. But it’s still not the food! Either you watch what you eat and you get up, walk and sweat, get home, take a shower, fix your hair and make-up, otherwise don’t tell me anything, I don’t want to know.”
She didn’t talk to me for a week
“She is reminding me why I hang out with dudes,” I told Brian. “It’s all drama. Oh, my God, sometimes I just hate women.”
Not all of them, of course.
I called Lisa, another one of my girlfriends, who gets me. I hadn’t talked to her in three months, but when I called and asked if she wanted to go to the beach, she said, “Yeah!”
“Perfect,” I said.
I called Dee.
“I called Lisa about going to the beach. Do you want to go?”
“Well, I don’t know. Is Lisa going?”
“Yes, but what the fuck difference does that make? Are you coming?”
“Do you have to go get her?”
“Yeah, you know she doesn’t have a car. Do you have a problem with that?”
Why am I arguing about this, I thought.
Dee didn’t show up. She had her tantrum. You know what, I thought, I’m not dating you. I don’t have to answer to you. I don’t owe you an explanation. I don’t have to put up with your bullshit. You make it into a drama, but I got no time for that.
The next thing I knew I got a nasty horrible message from Lisa, not going to the beach Lisa, but another Lisa, about what nasty horrible friends Brian and I are, that we didn’t plan a 50th birthday party for her.
Even though I take care of a guy living in my basement suite who’s only got half a brain, even though I take care of my mom who has got Alzheimer’s Disease, even though I take care of eight dogs, and even though I work full-time. Even though my plate is full.
I got pissed off.
“Maybe a little head’s up would have been nice, Lisa. I’m turning 50. Let’s do something. Not a problem, let’s plan something.”
“I don’t want to see you guys again,” she said.
Where were you for my 50th?
Where were you for the other Lisa’s 50th?
Where were you for Dee’s 50th?
“I just thought you guys were my close friends,” she said.
“We invited you to all of those birthday parties, but you never showed up,” I said. “You always had your excuses. You never showed up.”
Her big reason to kick me out of her life was her boyfriend, who is an atheist.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to friend you on Facebook,” he said.
“I just don’t believe in God.”
“And I don’t want to offend you.”
“I’m cool with that. It would probably be me who offends you.”
I have no problem going to people with the truth. If they don’t like my truth, which most atheists don’t, they’re not going to offend me. I feel sorry for them that they don’t believe in a loving kind God.
I would rather go through this life believing there is a God and finding out there wasn’t, than the other way around. I’m usually nice, but I’m always truthful. Everything that I said to Lisa and her boyfriend was blunt, but honest.
It didn’t matter She got rid of me because of her boyfriend and her birthday party.
OK, bye, have a great life.
So done, so done.
Click here to see more writing between fiction and non-fiction by Ed Staskus.