Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Remember When . . .

Warning: This post isn't nostalgic in any light-hearted way. Last night some friends from home stopped by and I cooked them up some dry-aged ribeyes. Good times were had by all. These friends are a rare couple in that 1) they're both my friends and 2) they're both from Blanding. The wife in the family is the sister of a former friend. It is indeed a rare thing indeed that someone makes the move from A-Ring friend to former friend. Her telling of the former friend's (FF) side confirmed that I made a good move in letting him go. Basically, his side of the story is that the only thing he did to merit my disdain was the thing that broke the camel's back. As Dan and I drove in to work together today, we thought of an apt analogy that applies: a friendship as a bank account. With relationships, I'm not the kind of guy that worries about a balance. My basic approach is to try to contribute and avoid taking. In the end, my best friends are those who also contribute and our friendships just get better. FF had a decidedly different approach. He figured that because of our long history (we grew up together) that there was enough in the account that he couldn't ever possibly spend it. I believe he stated it loosely as "I could piss in his face and he'd not only take it, he'd be cool with it." And so rather than contribute, he did his best to make as many withdrawals as possible. He chose to make his withdrawals by doing his best to piss me off just for the sake of pissing me off. Like many who've had their accounts closed, he made his withdrawals to impress others. I'm not talking about the good natured ribbing, I'm talking about comments like: "You say you went for a run? You don't run. You jog. Running means going fast. You jog." Thanks for making sure that I know that I'm slow. That kind of crap went on non-stop for a long time. After a year and a half, his account total was quickly down to zero, but because of our history I gave him a line of credit. He blew through that as fast as he could. A year later and he'd reached the point that I simply had to cut him off. It wasn't that big of a thing that did it, more of a cumulative effect. It just wasn't worth the resources and time to maintain a relationship with someone who had explicitly stated that my only value to him was as someone to mock. Last night, FF's sister noted that FF figured it was his last withdrawal alone that got him cut off. That would be like a situation in which a guy tries to buy something only to have his card declined and then assumes that his last small purchase drained his entire account. Nope, it was a constant series of withdrawals over a period of time without making any contributions. That's how you run an account dry. Anyway, just a confirmation for me that if I hadn't closed the account, FF would have continued to make withdrawals without contributions.


Mr. Flynn said...

My bank gives us a warning when we dip below a preset limit. They send us a friendly warning via email. I believe that FF had several of these. FF blew them off as if the bank was wrong in its accounting.

Anyway, I still bugs me about FF--not on your end so much, just about FF's ability to take any action to replenish the account when the warnings came.

However, since the FF thing happened on my watch so to speak, I do feel some guilt. Not sure why, I mean I must have bitched at him about the whole deal 20 times.

In other news, I am really glad to hear you can get back to training. I will be living through you a bit on your trek to this Ironman deal--cause there is no way in hell I am going to do one for the next few years.

Aaron said...

Come on, man, this is a cycling blog, so let's stick with the cycling analogy we came up with a while back. It's okay to suck a wheel every once in a while as long as you're willing to take your share of pulls. If all you ever do is suck wheels, the dude that's pulling you will eventually drop you.

Either way, at the end of the day, it's a binary system. Either you have an account or you don't. You're in the "peleton", or you're OTB.

By the way, doesn't FF read this? Dang, you don't mess around with the binary system at all. See you tonight, brother.