The strict rules of honor and manliness that tend to make my life more complicated than I like might be entirely the fault of cowboy movies and fantasy books. Be forewarned that I’m writing this right after a rigorous session at the gym, so my energy supplies are bottoming out. My brain is slowing down word by word. Must hurry!
I have been hung up on the idea of holding your friends to a level of conduct and behavior that I follow myself. If you are judged by the company you keep, then it makes sense to work at helping your friends be less awful. But I am not their parents. I’m not in charge of giving them advice and guiding them through their own stupidity. I don’t even have to categorize some of them as friends. Just because I socialize with a dude and sometimes hang out at his house while doing so, I am not legally obligated to bump his rank up to ‘friend’.
And what a piece of work this particular idiot is. I won’t catalogue the armada of poor, selfish decisions he makes, but trust me when I say that he is a mess. I felt bad leaving him in his own catastrophes, because he has kids and Max enjoys playing with said kids. But I have to remember how resilient the human race is, and how kids have been thriving and excelling far past the hurdles their dumb parents have put in their way since the end of time.
Old movies taught me that you have to respect a man when you’re in his home, but they also taught me that smoking and drinking shots of cheap Hooch are manly as well, so it’s time to rethink their influence on me. Respect doesn’t have to mean you support a guy’s terrible choices or lead them to a more righteous life. In most cases, it means you try to avoid calling him a dullard to his face, and don’t steal anything while you’re there.