The ROI on friendship

Moral support is a way of giving support to a person or cause, or to one side in a conflict, without making any contribution beyond the emotional or psychological value of the encouragement. ~ Wikipedia.

I’ve started wondering what the measurement tool would be to deem the behaviour from some of your nearest and dearest as ludicrous. It’s important to note the context of the relationship because someone close to Lindsay Lohan for example, wouldn’t find the comings and goings at 4am during a slumber party, odd. That would be the drug dealer delivering more cocaine. Close pals of a Catholic Cardinal wouldn’t find his catalogued collection of Playgirl magazines odd either. That would be the Cardinal’s dedication to infiltrating the dark world of homosexuality so that he may rub off his own intimate perspective among these wayward men.

But another kind of mate? A close chum? Someone you had spent years growing up with? Because you spend a lot of time with someone, you’re bound to form a bond and do your bit to have their back, right? Wrong. I am a terrible judge of character and seem to be having trouble with the lesson on the rarity when it comes to the return on investment (ROI) with people. It’s a constant surprise to me that when I am drunk and make nine new best friends at a bar while buying them shooters all night and nodding politely as they tell me how amazing I am, never translates into a scurry of enthusiastic calls the next day by these new members of my harem.

I am getting better though. The last time I fell for that one was a few months or days ago. All in all, these jokers will never be my real friends. A real friend is someone who doesn’t let you eat sauceless spaghetti or stand within kicking distance of an Ostrich. And when a friend asks for a little moral support, it’s really not the hardest thing to do. I have done it. Kept schtum, shown respect and had a few backs in my time. Has it made me any wiser in choosing members for my own circle of trust? No, clearly. Will it make me any less willing to continue to wear my heart on my sleeve with friends old and new? No. Clearly.

The next time that I hope certain friends will like my life-changing Facebook comment to show their moral support of things I may be going through, I’ll do it in Russian. After all, moral support is about the morals you have and some of the folks I know appear to be guest stars from Moscow, drinking way too much of their own kool aid (read extremist persuasion here). I haven’t fully learnt Russian yet, so until then: идти ебать себя.

Looking back on the how ludicrous this farce has been, I’d have to cede that my morals have been in question too, or maybe my judge of character or even just my eyesight. In my defense, if it looks like a friend and sounds like a friend, it usually is a friend. But is this always the case?




© Dylan Balkind

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