Friends are great. They make you laugh, sure, but they also hold up a mirror and show you things you cannot see. Like "that dress is awesome on you." "Maybe bangs are not your best look." "You are a star, forget the rest of the world..."
A friend of mine got a huge career break. At first I retracted the word "break" because I do not want to insinuate in anyway that luck had anything to do with it. I just slammed it back into print because it is a break in the sense that she did it, she worked so hard for years and finally broke through.
I see so many things in her that I am not.
She is assertive.
She is so specific about what she wants.
She takes her thoughts and translates them into words so clearly. (Flowery me-speak for, she speaks her mind.)
"This is not right!" she says.
She never takes jabs at herself.
She is her strongest advocate.
Ask her what she does for a living, or about herself, and she'll tell you, boldly, without blushing or stammering or wincing at the thought of self-promotion. She's never too humble for her own good.
...Recently a man yelled at me at the Long Island Railroad station in town.
I was picking someone up there and was pulled over to the side in the parking lot, so mindful of blocking anyone in that I kept looking to my right to make sure no car was trying to get out from that side.
A man was trying to back out from the left, and I did not see him.
And the next thing I knew he slammed on his horn, got out of his car and came over to my open car window and he yelled at me in my face: "CAN YOU MOVE SO I CAN GET HOME????!!!" He was flapping his arms like you guys do when you see a bird. He was sweaty and orange and wearing a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off. If Forrest Gump were there, he would've said "you taste like cigarettes."
I wanted to cry.
"I'm sorry. . . I'm sorry. . ." I cowered, and I drove away in a panic, thinking in a world where you're always expected to be perfect, "I'm sorry" doesn't mean anything any more.
What would my friend have done?
People are different in this world, babies. Some people yell at strangers. Some people are mean (see Taylor Swift, strumming her ukulele, singing "why you gotta be so mean?"). Some people are bold. Some sit wide-eyed like a strange lizard that wanders up to your hotel room on vacation, and you wonder what the hell it is thinking.
(Maybe it wants a cracker?)
The problem is not that we're different, it's that we never stop expecting people to be the same. A non-yeller finds herself appalled at the train station, saying "but I would never do that??" A yeller drives home in a huff calling someone he doesn't know, and never will, a curse word.
Maybe this is the point of people. Together we all balance each other out.