Reality Show Girl Crush

 It was awesome when she was in front of the judges’ table for the semifinals she didn’t even mention Dale’s oversight of leaving the pork belly out. She could have pulled out that card and started pointing fingers for not having won the challenge, but no one in America doubts she could give Richard a run for his money. It’s true she’s only won one quickfire challenge, but she and Richard have dominated the elimination challenges. She sees the big picture. She has vision with her menus. She keeps her cool AND she doesn’t burn bridges. Lisa’s done a great job making enemies. And did you see her at the end of the semifinals? She barked at the other two finalists for not congratulating her quickly enough. What about their congratulations, bucko? They made the finals, too. Where are their props? 

It’s going to come down to Stephanie and Richard. Lisa’s only there as a prop, a Carrie Ingalls; though I think Carrie Ingalls could probably win over Lisa in the personality department. Richard is an exceptional chef; Stephanie is phenomenal. Richard is innovative and clever; Stephanie is steady and her food is consistently delicious (as if I’ve eaten it before). Stephanie’s opening of her team’s restaurant in the restaurant wars episode was beyond impressive. Stephanie is my age; I’ve already imagined us becoming friends. See, I wouldn’t even make her cook gourmet meals whenever she’d come over to hang out. I’d make her kettle corn, and she’d ask for my recipe. I’d ask her about Chicago and she wouldn’t even act like she won Top Chef.  Then we’d probably go to a water park with the rest of the cast, even Lisa, and anybody else who wants to come along. She and Richard would tease each other about who should have won the finale, and Lisa might be pouting in a corner somewhere, or playing in the kiddie pool. Then, I’d invite Stephanie to church, then on our walk from the subway to the church building we’d run into Abandon and Goblins. And for some reason, Sameer Mishra would be walking along with his family, spelling random hard words, and I’d yell out “numnah!” because I couldn’t help it. Then Stephanie would invite everyone over and offer to cook dinner. Then I’d chatter about the whole experience at the next testimony meeting at church. Susan and Tim would bear their testimonies, too.

I like Richard as well. I’d be okay if he won. But, I’m rooting for Stephanie.

Couching It

Most of my friends know of the hats I wear. While being lighthearted and goofy is probably what I do best, sometimes I need to quiet down and be serious. That is probably what I used to do best. I did snide and serious pretty well once upon a time. Not at the same time, of course. Sometimes my friends struggle and need someone to talk to without their issues being made light of. Sometimes they just need someone to listen while they talk through what’s troubling them. Sometimes I have trouble distinguishing what my friends need from me. More often than not I assume they want help working through a situation, so instead of attentively listening, I ask questions that could be annoying: What about this? Have you thought about this? Have you considered this perspective? And sometimes they’re too nice to tell me to shut my maw; they’re not looking for an answer, they just want to work through the emotions by talking it out. My therapist was really, really good at offering suggestions for change and then listening and reminding me of talk therapy’s purpose. I’ve had some opportunities to put on my listener’s hat a few times in the past few weeks. I’m not a super talky person; I won’t always come home and decompress verbally. I usually come to LiveJournal to do that. I used to pay someone twice a month to talk about things I won’t mention here or to my friends. Sometimes all I want is to be alone with my thoughts. Sorting and meditating. A few times I’ve been worked up enough about something to request friends’ attention or opinions. I do my best to reciprocate their friendship and validation, and I try to be as humble as they are when they approach me with different topics. 

Changing voice here. Generalized you:

I want to be a good friend. But I want to be able to understand you. I can’t make any assumptions, which is why I’ll keep asking you what some things you say mean. When I hear the word dangerous, I need to know what that means, because I’ve seen the extremes of that word played out. I’ve been right in front of a friend as she kept swallowing Tylenol, one pill at a time, and she wouldn’t let anyone near her until she bottomed up the last of the bottle and another friend and I had to rush her to the emergency room to have her stomach pumped and have the psych ward admit her. I was there when a friend took a knife from a kitchen drawer and ran upstairs to the bathroom to try hurting herself. I’ve been in some pretty rocky relationships where I was the desperate codependent, where all I wanted was more and more and more attention, and the more attention I demanded, the more distant people became. I understand there is a spiritual danger, that slippery slope that seems to appear when you’ve stopped praying or reading scriptures or going to church, but there is another place, a darker place, a truly dangerous place where no one deserves to go. So please don’t assume I know what you mean when you say dangerous, because while I don’t want to assume the worst, I will automatically assume this other danger, and I won’t hesitate to call the police or the hospital or my own therapist, if I have to. At the same time, do not ignore the issue; do not frill it up or write it off to be No Big Deal. I can recognize passive aggression and I will counter it with directness because YOUR WELL-BEING is at stake. If I come across as too intervening, it’s because I’d rather do too much than not enough. I love you very, very much, and I want to protect you, and I’m sorry if this is overly dramatic, but I can’t help it: my abilities of a friend have been tried beyond what I could have imagined, and there was and is a purpose to it all. I’m a better friend because of it; better, because I want to understand.