What is a friend? Webster’s says 1) one attached to another by affection or esteem and 2) one that is not hostile.
What about a good friend? Some may think a good friend comforts you when you’ve had a bad day, or they are always there when you need someone. I think a good friend doesn’t hold anything against you – especially when you say something a little too honest. This month’s story celebrates those friends who forgive us, no matter what we say in the moment.
One of James’ life rules is funny trumps mean. It’s a good thing, too, or I’d be screwed. I try to practice “think before you speak,” but there’s a reason the Freudian slip exists.
A couple of years ago, James and I were browsing the Halloween toys and decorations in the Madison Kroger. We didn’t have plans that night, so we were killing time trying on hats and wigs, and playing with skeleton hands and ghostly figures.
We were looking at socks and tights, and my mind was somewhere else. I’m pretty sure I was trying to decide between yellow and black or pink and black stripes.
James picked up an object and said something – neither of us can remember what it was – but he says it was dumb. Maybe he was right, because I recall not laughing at the joke, and there was an awkward pause.
“Well, I sounded stupid,” James said.
To which I responded, without even looking at him, “Don’t be stupid!”
And I was dead serious. In the middle of Kroger, I demanded my best friend not act stupid, and at that moment, I meant it! Then it hit me. What did I just say?! I accidentally said what I was thinking, and it wasn’t good. James is the smartest person I know, but somewhere in the depths of my mind, I felt differently.
Eyes wide and embarrassed, I looked at James. After a couple of seconds, we both started laughing. I kept apologizing for calling him stupid, and he just laughed and laughed. Funny trumps mean. Thank goodness.
With that said, the best of friends understand when you call them stupid in a public area. They laugh with and at you, and don’t take offense. The best friends know when you slip and don’t get mad, or take you too seriously.
Feel free to share your Freudian slips below!