Thursday, July 12, 2012

Friends Shouldn’t Let Friends Drive Their Lives

I wanted to let you know about an experience I had many years ago.  I was rising in love with a man named A. R., a man with whom I worked.  We'd get together for meals, go miniature golfing and do other fun activities together, and he'd even take me to visit the homes of various relatives.  One evening after dinner, I asked him if he’d ever take me on a date.  He looked at me as if I’d just asked him to eat a live worm!  Surprised by his reaction, I explained that because we spent so much time together, I felt like I was dating him already.  I explained that I also felt I was deterring other men from asking me out because it energetically as well as physically looked as if something was going on between us.  (Between you and me, at one point I had wondered if he was gay and I was the girl on the arm to convince those around us that he was straight.  Except for one thing, I was never on his arm.  He never even tried to hold my hand!)  Well, he finally scoffed and said, “I really like you a lot, but you’re white.”  I was so confused.  What does my skin color have to do with anything?  So what if he's Mexican and I'm not.  He explained that his family was already giving him a hard time because he had a white friend who was a girl, yet alone if I was his girlfriend.  He explained that he needed a good “Hispanic-Catholic girl who’ll meet with my friend’s and family’s approval."

Boy, you think you know someone when you’ve spent so much time with them.  I thought people who were prejudiced simply wouldn’t associate with a person of that particular color, culture, or heritage.  I had no idea people could have levels where they could be a friend in a limited way, but, ultimately, you weren't good enough in their eyes.  Wow, I figured I must’ve hurt somebody in a similar fashion in a past life and now the same kind of energy must be coming back to me.  But, I couldn’t believe that in the 1990’s there would still be humans out there who’d be willing to offer up this kind of karma.  Don’t people know about community yet?  Humans need to stand together, or we’ll fall. 

I took a deep breath knowing exactly how I felt.  If I wasn’t safe to be with this hater due to my packaging, how was there even a friendship to salvage?  Still, I kicked the feelings I had for him out of my cells, which was a process I could do, and we continued on as working-friends without seeing each other outside of work.  One day, he left that job-site, and we didn’t keep in touch.

A few years later, we found ourselves at a mutual friend’s retirement party.  He sat with me recounting all the wonderful things I’d done.  He finally said, “I don’t know why I can’t find a girl like you.”  I said, “That’s easy.  You’re not going to find someone like me in the outside package you want unless she’s completely Americanized and going to LRT meetings rather than to church.”  I stopped to let him think about that, and I turned to my own thoughts.  Fancy giving friends and family authority over your life!  He missed out on all the gifts we could have had for each other, and, most of all, he missed out on the very real possibility of interest just fading away naturally rather than stamping out a fire because it wouldn’t meet with approval.  What’s life for his future wife going to be like when it’s his friends and family members to whom she’ll really be married?  He is a shell.  They’re the ones dictating how things are to be run in his life.   Boy, was I pleased I found out when I did that I wasn’t good enough for him and that he wasn’t man enough for me.

Still, I couldn’t resist.  I leaned in toward him and said, “I’m single.  If you think I’m so wonderful, we could still go on a date.”  It was possible that in years of searching for a girl like me that he could’ve concluded that maybe we should go on a date, right?  He scoffed again, just like the first time.  “You’re still white.”

Happiness is something only you can embrace.  Community with fellow humans is something only we can create.  Just because an old, longstanding belief and practice was acceptable for our ancestors, it isn’t any reason for us to keep moving it forward into tomorrow.   Friends who insist on driving your life and making you wrong for following your heart and curiosity need to be examined themselves.  Is this person really being a friend?  Is the one you’re throwing away the true friend?  I think about A. R.  He may be married to the right package right now, but how happy is he when the qualities he so loved about me aren’t to be found in his community?  Marriage, as in all relationships, has its smooth sailing and its rough seas.  I can’t even imagine what that must be like when you marry who your friends think is acceptable and you sacrifice the one who interests you.

Just think about some of the complicated issues of our time.  Nano-particulates are raining down on us, intending to change us to a more robotic type of human.  GMO’s are altering our DNA.  Vaccinations are sacrificing our health and lives.  Governments are basically establishing slavery with some of their legislation.  Wouldn't it be nicer to face the struggles of life with the one you love?  Would you rather pass love up because your friend or relative said you should do so?  Friends shouldn't let friends drive their lives.  

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