I pride myself on the ability to get along with almost everyone. People who are annoying, overly dramatic, and pessimistic don’t really bother me. I have one friend who does nothing but complain about her smorgasbord of anti-anxiety medications. I have another who does nothing but grumble about her unruly son, whom she keeps bailing out of jail. And I have a bona fide crazy friend. I’m especially thankful for her because—you know the rule—if you don’t have any crazy friends, then you ARE the crazy friend.
All craziness aside, I really do accept my friends for who they are, Xanax-infused and all.
Now, I didn’t say I found it easy to get along with almost everyone. Sometimes it poses a challenge. For example, one of my friends is my neighbor. She’s one of those in-your-business neighbors. She acts as the irritating general contractor for all of my home improvements. “So, when are you going to finish painting the eaves? You know, this board on your deck really needs to be replaced soon or it will cave in. Your house would sure stay warmer if you’d caulk the windows.”
I bought my house from the bank so, admittedly, it needs work. I do most of the home improvements myself and it takes time. I thought her interventions would subside after a while. Two years later, I’m still dealing with her pestering. Yesterday, she even had the audacity to give me a five-gallon bucket of paint so I could paint my fence “at my convenience.” I smiled, took a deep breath and tried to be nice. I gave her the benefit of the doubt because that’s what I do.
This morning, she braved her way over the tattered board on my porch so she could show me the new guy she met on Match.com. Once on the computer, she pulled up her profile and told me she didn’t want any dumb guys to contact her, so she made her screen name “Urbane-Kay” to fend off those who lacked in the IQ department. She said, “If they don’t know what urbane means, I don’t want anything to do with them.”
Without hesitation, I replied, “Why Kay, what a good idea, no one wants to hang out with some dimwit!”
There was a problem, though; I had no idea what the word meant. I’m surprised she didn’t quiz me indirectly, forcing me to swim at the bottom of the gene pool with the other ridiculous, dumb men on the Internet. I could just imagine the annoyance I would have to deal with for the next couple of decades. “Did you ever get that vocabulary book I suggested? I’ll let you borrow this old dictionary that is lying around. You know, the college is offering a new Fundamentals of Language class.”
Ultimately, I’ve decided my vocabulary is just fine. Also, I’m in no hurry to paint my fence; let her scrutinize the chipped surface for a while longer. I resolved to see just how urbane “Urbane-Kay” really is. After all, those dimwits on Match.com have the right to know!