If you come to me with some incredibly stupid idea (like, say, agreeing to a terrible job or sleeping with the wrong person), I am not the friend who is going to grab you by the shoulders and shout, “What the hell are you thinking!” or “Get a grip!” No. I’m the friend who tilts her head to the side and asks casually, “Are you sure you want to do that?” And when you say yes and list all your poorly thought out reasons why you should take the job that will suck out your soul or sleep with the son of your married boyfriend, I will nod thoughtfully and say something like, “Well, if you’re sure you’ve thought this through…oh, and you’ve got my number, right? Remember, you can call me anytime. Wake me up if you need to.”
“Do you think I’m making a mistake?” you ask.
“Well, I don’t know if it’s a mistake exactly, because you’ve obviously put a lot of thought into it and everything.” I clear my throat and take a sip of my coffee. “But, you never know about these things, and I’m just sayin’–call me if you need to.”
And when you call, I will act surprised. “What? You mean he hasn’t called you back?”
At the end of the conversation I will say, “I’m sorry this happened to you.” And I will mean it.
Maybe this is enabling. I prefer supportive.
So anyway. Why is it when I say to myself, “Self, you shall write a novel and this novel will be about a girl who tells lies and who gets struck by lightning and she will fall in love with a guy with a sexual addiction who lives in a fantastic, crazy house in the woods, and this novel will be well-written, make sense, and people will want to read it!” I don’t follow that announcement with a kindly, “Are you sure you want to do that?” No. While waving my hands in the air, I shout, “Are you effing nuts? What’s wrong with you? You need therapy!”
I fail to understand why I can’t muster up the same show of support I would offer my most mentally imbalanced friends. I guess I’d feel kind of silly calling myself when it all crashes and burns–as if I don’t feel silly enough already.
What do you say when presented with a crazy idea? And does it make a difference if the idea is your own or your friend’s?