Are you a fan of TV sitcoms?
I am. I love shows like Mom, The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Superstore, One Day at a Time, etc.--though I'll admit that sometimes, the characters and/or plots are so outrageous they border on annoying. Occasionally, they cross that border. I used to say, "Nobody in real life would put up with that!" But a recent conversation with a friend made me realize that's not entirely true.
Like Sheldon Cooper, I have my own spot on the couch. Truth be told, most of us have an unofficial seating arrangement, at home and elsewhere. A couple of weeks ago, at church, our pastor commented about the congregation's seating arrangement.
I've known a few Sheldon wannabes in my time. A friend who lived 30-40 miles from us once showed up at our door, unexpected, and the first thing she said, directing her gaze toward the TV was, "Can I turn the channel?"
Seriously? She drove all that way and all she wanted was to change the channel on a show I was watching? Why didn't she just stay home to see whatever it was she wanted to watch?
"No," I told her.
She also had a tendency to have to top everyone at everything. A girl we knew back in high school once said if you told her you ate a shit sandwich, she would say she'd had at least two. And they were delicious!
Then there was the friend who decided she was going to take me to her hairstylist. Okay, I might look like I need it. My hair is not easy to style. It's fine, it's thin, it's stick-straight. I used to spend a lot of time trying to make it look like something it just wasn't. These days, I keep it short (last year, I got a buzz cut--it's finally growing out) because I just don't have the inclination to do all that anymore. Bad hair day? That's what hats and caps are for!
But I found her announcement insulting. My hair, my business. If you don't like what you see, don't look at it. "No you're not," I told her.
"Yes, I am," she insisted.
"No, you're NOT," I told her again.
Her persistence made me angry. We haven't spoken in twelve years.
Another friend showed up one day, having lost her job. She decided she would spend her days at our place so her husband wouldn't know she'd lost her job. I explained that she couldn't do that, as I did my writing when Collin was at work.
"Oh, you can write at night," she said. Wasn't that nice of her to give me permission to write when she didn't need the use of my apartment?
I don't know where she ended up spending her days...or how she explained the absence of a paycheck to her husband.
She didn't get that everything wasn't about her. Not long after that, a friend from church helped us get our stuff from the storage locker and bring it home. We had just finished unloading the truck and trailer. There were boxes everywhere. The unemployed friend showed up at the door before I could even start to unpack.
"This isn't a good time," I told her.
"Oh, that's okay." She stepped past me and navigated her way through the maze of boxes to a chair. I went on about my business, ignoring her. I guess if it wasn't an inconvenience for her, it didn't matter that she was just in my way.
Finally, she took the hint and left.
Do any of you just smile and tolerate unreasonable friends?