After a long day of looking at my computer lovingly infected with the virus all the kids are talking about, I stepped down to Gully’s, to see Claudio the Rock Star play drums for some rap-live drumming reality contest/ show for Showtime. Being that this is hip and Claudio put some funk on his outfit, there were some questions about getting in. And so, we talked about music and had a discussion with the Two Boots girls.
Which apparently went the wrong way. Not too many customers in the place, they were sitting behind the counter drinking shakes the color of the Incredible Hulk and laying back at the end of an evening. I was leaning on the rounded counter, talking to Ninja Squirrel and Drunken ‘Drea, absentmindedly scanning the VHS titles, talking about that wondrous movie Birth of a Nation which features the Klan and blackface.
Ah, but the good part. Gully took exception to the earlier (this weekend) phrases—
Nick said: "i love you... as a friend".
Drunken Drea said: "see? we're bonding... in a non-sexual way"
when there is no cause for the addendums.
It is hard to understand, perhaps it is a guy thing. But “I like you as a friend” and “you’re so nice” are the kind of “compliments” that marginalize you as non-dick material – which, of course, is the main issue here. The friend word is a dirty word. No one wants to be told they’re out of the race, or that they have no one to run with. Naturally, not everyone wants to get with each other. But these things don’t need to be said if you’re not even hitting on the “compliment” giver. That’s what makes the aforementioned comments bizarre. If someone is hanging out with me, I tend to assume they like me, as in enjoy my presence.
On the other hand, it is good to make things clear between friends. Especially when one or both friends are not confident about how to act when NOT drunk or how to act towards someone who is your acquaintance, not yet their bosom buddy. So to speak.
For my part, said comments (especially “you’re so nice.” That would be my least favorite.) are still unnecessary because, well, these are flat and boring comments. Neither Gully nor I have known these kids for so long that these comments mean much of anything; we are not close friends. They are closer to filler; mixing the “I am only getting to know you” with “I don’t know you well enough to say anything unique and specific.” And what kind of friendship is that? Not very deep, not very close. But my friends can say that, because they add nuance, past history, tone, life to flat phrases. Even if, Samantha, we don’t see each other enough.