Nearly twenty years ago, a friend excitedly told me that he had a gift to give me. It was something his mother had bought for herself, and when he saw it, he ‘stole’ it because it made him think of me right away and it was ‘perfect.’ He kept playing it up for a couple of weeks before we finally managed to get together and he gave it to me. It was a spiral notebook with a fuzzy pink leopard skin print cover. Which is … very not me.
I’ll be honest, it was a bit of a letdown. But I had an idea to make the best of it. This friend kept a quote book, which he once let me read, so I decided I’d put this notebook to the same purpose. I’ve been at it for a long time now, and have amassed quite a collection.
I share some with friends from time-to-time, and they’re usually well-received and sometimes spark interesting discussions, so I thought I’d make it a regular feature on my blog. Here’s hoping that it may introduce someone to a book or movie or song they’ve never heard of before. I’m setting myself a rule, that I’m not allowed to skip any, no matter how cringey they may be or how little I have to say about them.
Let’s get started, shall we?
If one more person tries to blow sunshine up my ass,
I’m going to rent myself out as a skylight.
Sssoooooo … I’d forgotten this was the first quote in the book, and I’m already kind of regretting my not skipping rule. When given the book, I wanted the first quote to be from my friend, and he’d recently said this to me, and I liked it, so in it went.
The problem is, my friend turned out to be kind of a jerk. I mean, I really enjoyed his company. We could carry on a conversation for hours, and he always said he learned a lot from me. But he had a tendency to be dismissive about things that mattered to me, which led to our interactions being very on-and-off.
We’ve been off for a few years now – ever since my friend’s friend took my friend’s phone, pretended to be my friend, and texted me a sexual proposition. (Didja get all that?) That in itself didn’t end our friendship. No, that happened when I asked my friend not to talk to me about his friend anymore. I didn’t think it was a big ask, but my friend spent months bringing up his friend in conversation and laughing when I reminded him of my request.
While I don’t much like my friend anymore, I do still like this quote. It’s not just that it makes me laugh. (Which it does.) It’s also that it reminds me that it’s possible to extricate oneself from a toxic relationship, even when it’s an old one. In this case, I’d spent a good solid 15 years of being told he was learning, when his actions showed otherwise.
Which is why there’s no citation, and I’ve not used his name once.
Maybe every quote in this series won’t have a happy story to go with it. But they all have a story of some kind behind them. In this case, I guess it was a teaching moment. And what I learned is that sometimes walking away is the right decision to make.