I remember a friend used to tell me that she always takes all her friends as lock, stock and barrel. For better or worse, she said, her friends will always be her friends. It befuddled me because I find the company she was with is full of flaws.
For instant, one of the friends she always hang out with, always owe her money. Even when her own financial is tight as she is a single mother with two children, she would willingly fork out money every time whenever they go out and sometimes, she doesn’t even remember that this person pays her back. As usual, this friend would “conveniently” forget his wallet at every occasion whenever we go out.
Sometimes, I see her doing a lot of things without getting any appreciation. She would meticulously plan a birthday party for a person – doing everything including sorting out invitations and marinating the chicken for BBQ to cleaning up after the party. Yet, the friend she threw party for did not even acknowledge her effort. The moment this friend found new love, she would take the back seat as if she never existed at the first place.
Then another friend from Penang who is a big creep. Every time he came to visit, they would go out for supper, he won’t even offer to pay at least ONCE when she brought along her children for a glass of teh tarik and some roti canai. Talk about being such a cheapskate! It’s not fine dining! And this creep expects her to fetch him from the bus stop to the hotel whenever he comes to KL to visit her.
I was pissed whenever she relay such incidences to me. I find that she was being used. She would laugh; seeing me in utter wrath and said, “Never mind. They are still my friends. Remember.. I take my friends as lock, stock and barrel.”
I told her as a matter of fact, she doesn’t need these friends. It would be best to remain alone than to have friends to live off you or taking you for granted. Of course, not all her friends are bad. I just hope that she would be more selective in befriending people and not to let people walk over her just because she is just too nice!
I attended a friend’s wedding recently. It was weird that he has not many friends despite his funny and friendly demeanor. So I was lucky to be one of his very few friends. His best friend – some guy I dreaded to meet simply because he talks too loud and sometimes, could be embarrassing to be seen with him in public, came to the wedding as the emcee as well as the best man.
They knew each other for over 20 years and despite both of them not being perfect (they bitched to me about each other), they still remain tight as brothers till today. It was touching to see a best friend giving speech about you in the wedding, such once in a lifetime occasion and be part of the memory that would last forever.
Then I came to reassess the friends that I am mingling with now. Some are very insensitive and say most hurtful things (I know I am one too!), some may try to piss me off for no apparent reason, some simply are too gullible and subject themselves to mercy of other friends, some are overly blinded by love to even think that their friends still exist, some are manic depressive, some taking me for granted, some trying to please me all the time (this type I like! Haha!), etc.
As I am listing down the “flaws” of my hapless friends, I came to realize that, I myself am not a perfect friend; so why would I impose such perfections on my friends? I don’t even try to “shorten” the amount of time of me bearing grudges. EVERYBODY knows that I bear grudges for the longest time, probably for life!
I could still remember once a housemate and I quarreled over some matters. I avoided bumping into her for a few days because I was pissed mad. After a few days of silence, I came home from college and saw her coming out from the kitchen. Our eyes met and suddenly, she just shoved a banana to my face and said, “Lei Oi Yak Jiu Mou?” (Cantonese: Do you want to eat banana?)
I struggled hard to remain stone cold, trying not to respond to her amusing break-the-ice remark. But that day, I was glad that I checked my ego outside before I came into the house and Boy! We laughed! Then, we made a promise not to get upset over small, petty problems anymore and vowed to be best friends forever.
I firmly believe one need not many friends in this life. It would be adequate to have just a handful of good quality friends that could see you through the ups and downs in life.
That is why from now onwards, I will try my best to eat the humble pie before I pass judgment on someone else.
I surely hope when friendships turn sour because of one’s hurtful words or actions, I would be the one to take initiative to apologize, regardless if I am right or wrong to make things right. Despite my shortcomings, I certainly hope my friends would be kind enough to take me as lock, stock and barrel.
PS. But don’t expect the “eat banana” phrase could be used under ALL circumstances. It depends on how much affection I have for you. LOL!