The Friend Disclaimer

I've been thinking about and particularly appreciating my friendships lately. Especially the one I have with Melanie. She's always around, she usually gets my big news announcements first, and she's practically part of our family anyhow. And something she said the other day hit me as a little funny. We were talking about meeting for dinner and she said, "Okay, just so you know, I'm dirty." And I replied, "Oh, that's cool. I haven't showered today." "Well," Mel said, "I'm clean, it's just my hair is dirty." This is a typical conversation for us because of course, I rarely bathe (ha) and Melanie's hair is only washed once a year. But it's funny to me because we KNOW that the other person doesn't care. She CAN'T care! I have full confidence that if my sister, the aesthetician, made a terrible mistake and I had to meet her for coffee with one eyebrow and my legs not shaved for months (funny, because that bit is true now) in a holiday turtleneck and capri pants, she wouldn't think twice. And if Melanie woke up one morning and found that she had slept funny and her nose would be directing us all southeast for a few days, I'd run right over, take her picture and post it on Facebook and then proudly walk arm in arm with her down a red carpet. (That is, if Tennessee ever had red carpets. Okay, let's say I'd walk arm in arm with her down the aisle of a bookstore. That's more realistic.)

The thing is, we find ourselves constantly making what I define as The Friend Disclaimer. You warn your friend that you may smell a bit, your skin is flakey from the last chemical peel, your toenails are a bit long, or your hair is a bit poofy and you do this in a way that gives them an out. You say, "Okay, well as long as you know I'm not [insert whatever hygiene issue you've recently neglected because you're not Julia Roberts]." You say it like they might back out on you. But in a way, you know they won't. And that's funny to me. Although, perhaps the reason we make these disclaimers is to show that at least we KNOW, we are AWARE of our coffee breath, our post-workout scent, or our wacky nose hairs. It's not that we think anyone will care, it's just that we want them to know we don't care. (But we do. In the tiniest corner of ourselves. Or else we wouldn't mention it.)

We walk around making all these disclaimers about ourselves, knowing full well the other person would never deem to care a bit. I mean, she might not sit as close to you on the couch, but it doesn't mean she loves you any less or is embarrassed by you. (Although maybe sometimes Mel is, in fact, embarrassed by me and just doesn't have the heart to let me know.) Anyway, it's just something I was thinking about. It must be a silly girl thing. I never hear boys calling each other and saying, [read in deep, gruff, manly voice] " Man, I don't think you wanna come over dude- I've scratched my crotch all afternoon and, uh, dude, I didn't shave this morning." Nope. Nobody cares. And of course, that's the beauty of friendship. Your friend has seen you dressed up and she knows you hate it and are completely uncomfortable. So she welcomes your comfy clothes, even if they're big and unflattering, because then she doesn't have to listen to you complain about how crappy dress clothes are. A good friend will do this anyway. They will accept you on your unshorn days and your down days and the days you just couldn't make it to the shower.
Thanks Mel, for loving me, long leg-hair and all. Mwah!

1 comment:

  1. :) I love you! Thank you for this lovely post. I think it's spot on, for sure. And know that I'm not embarressed by you.. ever. I love you for what makes you you... and that's nothing to be embarressed about.


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