5 Ways to Embrace the Suck: Part 3
It’s no Matlock mystery most people choose to spend their time with those, who at the most, they love, and at the least, they can tolerate. Simple concept really, I’ll look at a person and ask myself the following questions:
Do they like caramel gelato as much as I do (this isn’t a deal breaker), will they under most circumstances let me run in front of them as they go at a slower pace so either A) a rapist will get them first or B) I don’t feel like such a fat ass when we go on jogs. Also, will they let me wash my underwear with their clothes in the same washing machine, and most importantly, will they turn a crappy situation into a good one, simply because they’re there?
My friends pretty much meet all or most of these requirements.
But what if you’re forced to endure a bad situation around people who make you daydream about various ways of making their untimely death look like an accident?
I know this third tactic in Embracing the Suck may be a hard one, but it’s critical:
Make Your Love Limitless
This applies to both people you’re fond of, as well as those who make you want to punch newborn koala bears. Um, have you seen a newborn koala bear, I’d probably smother one to death with my love.
Now, I know it’s not cool to use the term “battle buddy” when referring to a friend who is also in the military with you. It’s pretty stupid actually, but I don’t care. That’s what my best friend, Inniger, is to me.
I met Inniger in 2007 when my Army unit was training up for a deployment. I’m pretty sure the first day we ever really spoke, I forked over 300 bucks so she could buy a digital camera; taking her word she would pay me back.
She has been paying me back ever since.
The Army is like that though when it comes to making friends. Inevitably, you’re standing next to a stranger in a line waiting, not waiting for anything in particular, just waiting because you saw a line and figured you’d better get in it, and the next you’re giving each other throat punches, because that’s what friends do.
On one of my few days off in Iraq, I planned on sleeping in, when to high and holy hell, I was startled awake by Inniger’s face right next to mine and she was shaking my arm. Obviously I was on the top bunk, because yeah, it totally makes sense to put the shortest person, in the Army ever…on the top bunk.
I opened my blurry eyes and said, “What…what do you want, what time is it?”
“Hey, I’m going to Dominoes to get some food, you want to come, it’s nine,” she said.
I probably stared at her for a good 60 seconds, trying to focus my eyes. Then I instantly became enraged.
“You must be out your godtdamnt mind,” I yelled at her. “NO, no, just no, I’m going back to sleep.”
There she stood though, looking at me. Another 30 seconds went by in silence as I squinted at her.
Then I whispered, “will you get me a sandwich?”
Yeah, this seems like a dumb example of friendship, I could’ve talked about being with her when the base was hit with IDF’s, or when I was with her the night she found out she was going to be a mom, or the night my grandma died, when she drove to my house to scrape my drunk body from the floor and put me to bed.
The Dominoes story though, cements our friendship for me. For me to get out of bed when I don’t have to, man that’s true love. I’m actually meaner to my boyfriend when he wakes me up than when Inniger does.
The thing is, when the rain is pouring; and you’re cold, numb and hungry, when you’re marching and you are sure you can not put your foot one more step ahead, you will feel that person pushing and shoving you from behind, shouldering your weight up the hill. It’s your friends that will make it all bearable.
You would go even hungrier and more tired and colder, if it meant you wouldn’t be alone.
I can count on one hand how many times I’ve cried in front of Inniger. Is it because I’m too embarrassed, no, it’s because when she’s around, I don’t want to cry.
On the opposite end of the table, there are those moments you’re stuck with someone you dislike, and there’s no avoiding them. Let’s say they’re not actively trying to make your life hard and they’re not abusing you, but you just cringe when you think of them. For me, I have an intense dislike for people who watch the Bachelor or Bachelorette, (sorry mom, you get a pass though, I like you) I’m also suspicious of people who don’t like Meryl Steep.
MERYL IS A SAINT!!!!!!!
There’s always going to be the weird, loud creeper in the mix. To embrace the suck though, you have to try to extend that love of your friends further to anyone that needs it, including annoying people. I know it’s hard, it’s something I struggle with all the time.
But why love someone you don’t even like, you ask.
Why not, I ask?
I’m not saying you have to take selfies together or anything.
Look, I’m sure no one ever looked back and thought, I’m so glad I was a douchebag to that person just because they were annoying, it made me feel so much better. I mean, there are probably people out there like that, but they’re called Housewives of Atlanta and Kanye West, and we don’t want to be like them now, do we?
I’m not sure anyone ever regretted loving, though. Yes, you can regret what someone did with your love, but you don’t regret you gave it.
So, when you make your love limitless in shitty situations, you make more allies than you know what to do with. You love them purely because they are enduring what you are; that shared misery leads to admiration, admiration leads to affection, affection leads to an emotional bond, and before you know it, you’re in love.
There may come a painful time, when you’re on bloodied knees, devoid of any more heart to give the matter, and that person you disliked gets down right with you into the sharp rocks, and you can say to them,
“I love your dumb face.”