The Bitch Slap: People Don’t Come A La Carte

people don't come a la carte bitch slapThey’re the people who only call you when they need a ride to the airport, help moving or something retweeted.

They’re the ex-whatevers who only message you when their Xfriend is out of town or they’re suddenly single.

When you end a relationship, they’re the people who think it’s OK to go from fucking in love to friend in 90 seconds flat.

Here’s a little Bitch Slap for you: people don’t come a la carte.

And it’s not YOUR decision on how you’ll have them in your life. It’s THEIRS.

It’s been a nutty as hell 2010 and I’ve had a litany of friends give me deer in the headlights stories about dickwads who want them on their terms.

No communication for days, but a last-minute text asking for a date in 2 hours. (RUDE)

I call bullshit.

A guy who had my friend, lock stock and barrel but went back to his ex-fiance. And then proceeds to pout because my friend won’t respond to his texts or make travel plans with him for the fall. (Seriously?)

I call bullshit.

A guy friend who’s had something going with a girl for three years, can’t say anything nice about the girl, but yet continues to keep her shit in his garage because she hasn’t found a place yet. (See? There are two sides.)

I call bullshit.

The beauty of relationships – professional, friend, family and romantic – is that they’re an exchange of ideas. Lines of communication. Fabulous ballets of give and take. It’s not for us to decide how someone will interact with us.

It’s for us to earn.

When you buy into a relationship, you’re getting a person in all of their tragic glory. And it is tragic glory. It’s the balance of their good and bad, strengths and weaknesses, dances on kitchen counters and vomiting sick with the flu in bed. You can’t just pick the good stuff.

And you can’t just be in a relationship (or pretend to have one) when it’s convenient for YOU.

I try so hard to reach out to my friends…connect, travel, visit, make time, drink, eat, laugh, listen and cry. It’s the least I can do for all they do for me. Some days I’m more successful at giving than others. Fuck knows, I’m not perfect. But it’s always at the front of my mind. When you invest in others, they’ll invest in you. If a time comes where you need to dissolve your holdings (aka end a relationship), you have to give that relationship time to heal. And sometimes, they never do. You can’t just order people off a menu and get what you want. You get what you get. And sometimes it’s fucking awesome.

If you’re the dickwad (and yes, girls can be dickwads, too) who:

  • Wants a friendship immediately with the person you just dumped
  • Thinks your dates will be available at a moment’s notice
  • Only visits your coworker when you need something done
  • Pings someone online only when you need something promoted
  • Will call 73 people just to get a ride from anyone to the airport
  • Always asks your colleagues for “favors” (i.e. free shit that they charge everyone else for)

Get bent.

Anyone who is there for you on a moment’s notice is one of two things:

  • Someone who loves you, OR
  • Someone too stupid to realize that you’re using them.

Quit treating the people in your life like a dim sum spread. I’m nobody’s condiment. I’m the entire entree – and so are you.

40 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
The Redhead
The Redhead

It's always a delight to have you impart your wisdom from across the pond, Leon :) Loving the catastrophe!

Leon Noone
Leon Noone

G'Day ErikadEntree only Erika? Full debloodygustation menu if you ask me. I do enjoy your posts. Now, on the subject of being used by others or, in true bitch slap idiom, being pissed on by others from a great height.If you really don't like it either buy an umbrella or move out of the wayIf you don't care either way, still buy the umbrella but use it only in emergencies.If you like it......you're beyond any help that my words can offer.I might be a bit blase. I'm 70 years young, have 4 grown children, 6 grandchilden from 17 to 3 years old and I've been married to the same woman for 44 years. As Anthony Quinn, aka Zorba the Greek, observed, "the whole bloody catastrophe." Still, as catastrophes go its pretty darn good.And now I know precisely who to call if I want a lift to the airport! And it seems that I'm the first bloke to leave a comment. Wonder what Mel Gibson's doing..........As an old mentor of mine used to say... "hang loose!"And make sure you have fun.Regards Leon

The Redhead
The Redhead

Thank you for stopping by today and welcome!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Relationships aren't convenient. In fact, I think they're anything but. And therein lies the bliss.

Theninja
Theninja

Woo Hoo! Love this and love the look of the place! Sticking around.

mmangen
mmangen

I'm with you Amber, was getting ready to copy this line above and paste into a text message to a particular someone: And you can’t just be in a relationship (or pretend to have one) when it’s convenient for YOU.

FromTracie
FromTracie

Seriously love this.I am an entire entree.

erinlynn76
erinlynn76

This is phenomenal.#thatisall#youareinspiring

The Redhead
The Redhead

Miss Kramer sends wonderful people my way. Glad you stopped by and welcome!

mochamomma
mochamomma

And THIS? This is why I stopped joking around with my real friends about the 'friends' I lost in the divorce. I don't care that they didn't side with me, hell, I wanted them to be good friends to the BOTH of us and they were incapable. I don't want incapable friends who chastise me about my failing marriage while they are consoling him. Next time one of those asshats contacts me to 'check in about our relationship' I will just post your blog for them to read. Thanks for this. Oh, and the inimitable Shelly Kramer sent me. She's the real deal, that one.

Cali Harris
Cali Harris

You already know that I needed this bitch slap.I concur with Shelly: LOVE!

The Redhead
The Redhead

You guys have EARNED asking for favors :) And I hope AZ is treating you well!

Lisa
Lisa

Great post Erika. Haven't been on your blog for a while, but at least I'm not asking you for favors!Loved this part...The beauty of relationships – professional, friend, family and romantic – is that they’re an exchange of ideas. Lines of communication. Fabulous ballets of give and take. It’s not for us to decide how someone will interact with us....should hang it on my bathroom mirror.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Well, hello Michelle - I do thing it's a ballet. What kind of dance would we have if life were about leaping and no one catching? Only pirouettes? And you caught me on invoicing day :) Hope all is well...

The Redhead
The Redhead

It explains a lot of things :) Thanks for stopping by, Mary!

davinabrewer
davinabrewer

Erika, Sadly sometimes I'm the doormat, she without a spine .. gotta remind myself to snap out of that, tell the dickwads to "Get Bent" more! I've learned to say "No" but not enough. But as I know the door swings both ways, I know I can be as much as a user as the next person, get wrapped up in my own crap and therefore tired of dealing with someone else's. It's the human experience, and you really do get what you get. If you try to micromanage it all, IME.. it'll suck that much harder. Live, learn.. deal. Hmm.. not a dim sum fan, but suddenly craving pot stickers. ;-)

Michelle
Michelle

I love the phrase "Fabulous ballets of give and take." It's my constant lesson in life not to give too much (co-dependency) as well as working on feeling strong enough to take more (control issues). Thanks for the sermon Rev. Red!btw--don't I owe you?

The Redhead
The Redhead

You, lady, are indeed the entire meal :)

The Redhead
The Redhead

Hey, there is nothing like dim sum...it's good stuff. It's just not the basis of good relationships!

maldaly
maldaly

I love the rant -- painfully true -- but don't be harshing on Dim Sum. I love the stuff.

Liz S
Liz S

I love this post. It resonates and makes me want to go out and order from the entire menu - from soup to nuts. 'Cause you know what? I'm not an appetizer or a dessert but a whole meal.

Shauna Stacy
Shauna Stacy

I will drive you to the airport anytime!Thanks for posting this, it rocks!

Shauna Stacy
Shauna Stacy

I will drive you to the airport any time!Thank you for posting this - it rocks!!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Well, at least I know who the queen is :)

The Redhead
The Redhead

Indeed. Hey - can you give me a ride to the airport, Carol? ;-)

The Redhead
The Redhead

Werd, m'dear :) Thanks in advance for the link (hee hee).

Amber Garner
Amber Garner

I have been trying to explain this to my ex for 2 years, and he doesn't get it, no matter how harshly or nicely I speak. I cut him out of my life and he tries to shove his way back in every month or so. Next time I hear from him, he'll be getting a link to this post.

Carol Roth
Carol Roth

Great post, Erika. A relationship is a two-way street that needs to be cultivated. As you said, none of us are perfect, but let people know that you care about them when you don't need something...that will do wonders.

Sandy
Sandy

Yeah, I'm the dickwad. I want the friendship ASAP after I've dumped the guy that isn't my soulmate...there are many redeeming qualities left after the dumpage. I prefer my dates to be available at a moment's notice...spontaneity is the spice of life. I only visit my co-workers when I need something done...they are my co-workers, not my inner sanctum friendships. I ping people when I want something promoted. I have these people in my network. It works both ways. I will call 73 people (not all at once) to get that all important ride to the airport. Let's face it, economy bites the weenie right now. I'll save a $20 wherever I can. I *sometimes* ask for free shit. Why not? All I need is a "yes" or a "no". Never hurts to ask. My friends want to get bent at me for being this way? Go ahead. Love me or leave me. It's a free country. My tried and true love me for being this way and expect the same from me. So I will cherish my new title, Queen of the Dickwads.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Simply beautiful, Toni. I couldn't have said it better. Moments can turn from dim sum to entrees in a heartbeat!

Toni
Toni

"When you invest in others, they'll invest in you." kinda outside the container of this post, I thought, "when I invest in others, I invest in me, too" -- and mainly I just mean that every time I still my hands and brain of distractions, then turn and give ANYONE my full attention (delivery driver, Fed Ex gal, cashier, wigged out mama behind me in line with screaming toddler, ANYONE), I'm investing in ... shite ... that whole human connection thing. I like making each person feel s/he's the most important thing in my world and I have all the TIME in the world for this exchange. The beauty and bounty of making that my practice is at least feeling great and at most having people somehow bloom under that focus. I hear stories I'd never hear, get to hold screaming toddlers and distract them for Mama so she can find the bloody pacifier or pay for the juice, ask Fed Ex gal how the trip to Bali went and hear awesome cool answers. As someone who loves to write (journal), this is major major fab for me. All this also makes me a better listener with those who bloom from humans-in-passing to friends. So even just a small-change interplay with someone? they, and you, and the moment, are still and always the entire entree.

mary
mary

I try to explain this to my daughter, when she can't understand why I am friends with some people. There are annoying things about people and good things. (about me especially) You can't just enjoy the great stuff, because they come as a package. Wait, this explains marriage.

Trackbacks

  1. […] The Bitch Slap: People Don’t Come A La Carte (redheadwriting.com) […]