A few weeks ago Mary Anne Sue, a close female friend, had some problems with her boyfriend. I wasn’t there during the acute phase (welling of tears and throwing of breakable objects), but I was there during the subacute phase (no more tears left to cry–for the day). Now with Mary Anne Sue I have taken on a role I don’t take with other people–that of a girlfriend. I’ve been a girlfriend to her when she found looove, lending my listening ear to the squishy and the saccharine, so I knew I should take that role now that things have come full circle, when the squishy and saccharine have turned dour and dreadful. So that night of the breakup, along with The Daw, I’ve transmogrified once again into… a girlfriend.
I was doing the job fantastically, if I may say so myself. I was able to strike the perfect balance between just listening in with nodding effects and saying something that was fitting to that rather precarious time of emotional instability. You couldn’t say something too bad about the dude–she might still love him for all we know, and for all we know they could be getting back together right that moment through text. You couldn’t say something too good either–what if she’s been feeling so wronged in the whole situation and you sound like you’re siding with him? The facial expressions count, I surmised. I couldn’t put on my default listening ear facial expression–because the default is listening to someone cry how heartbreaking it is to have cancer. I couldn’t put on a very neutral facial expression either–because what the heck we’re not talking about bland coffee, this is relationship crumbling down (who raised you?!) So after all these analyses I had my girlfriend demeanor on. Saying the right nuggets of stuff of things.
The next day I chanced upon Mary Anne Sue having dinner this time with Queen Mum and Frichmond. I joined them. To my fascination Queen Mum and Frichmond gave their INSIGHTS. And the INSIGHTS were really INSIGHTS, something Mary Anne Sue could really think about, something she could REALLY USE. They were SOUND INSIGHTS, not fucking SOUND BITES. They had analytic opinions on the various sides of the story. And on the angles of the sides of the surface of. I was aghast. All this time I thought I was being the perfect girlfriend, when in fact I was churning… cliches.
Because it has suddenly dawned on me how craptastically craptastic the sound bites I’ve counseled Mary Anne Sue with were. Specially now that I’m typing them. Because you know what I told her that night?
COUNSEL 1: Don’t worry, things will unfold.
COUNSEL 2: It is what it is.
Anyone for a girlfriend?