Smoke and Mirrors vs. Even Keel

Have you ever had a conversation over a few drinks where you start at a logical topic, wander off to several new topics via a couple of moderately random transitions, just to hopefully stumble upon the point you were trying to make in the first place.  Well, I just had a relatively long conversation over a few beers.  The topic we started with is the one I am going to ramble about today.  Having said this, the conversation was a few hours ago, and I have, myself, transitioned from beer to Captain Morgan, so I am going to try and stay on topic the best I can.  As an additional bonus, I will post without a sober edit.

I have a dear friend who, I feel is on the same intellectual plain as I am.  We talked about that very topic.  I simply stated, “Most people don’t really like me because I tend to have the bad habit of saying what I want to say, without an over abundance of concern about how it is going to make others feel.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I will pre-empt what I am going to say with, “I hope I am not offending you but” or, “don’t take this personally,” but that is about as far as my filter goes.  I am brutally honest.  This is why I don’t have a lot of friends, but I have a very few very best friends.  My friend said to me that it is hard to be friends with people you can’t talk to.  I have to agree.  He then re-iterated by saying, it’s hard to be friends with people who, when talking to them, it’s obvious that they haven’t the slightest idea what they think they are talking about.  This got me thinking about people I have talked to in the past about politics, religion, ethics, or any of the multitude of important things out there to talk about.  Many of them, while intelligent, aren’t attuned to the things that they decide to talk to me about.  If you go back to my very first blog (I think) where I mentioned an individual who supported Obama in 2008, but couldn’t intelligently discern the policies that where Obama’s verses the ones that were touted by What’s-his-name, you will understand what I am talking about.  Anyways, that was the first failed attempt to stay on topic.  I will start a new paragraph now to try and get back on track.

I don’t care how smart you are.  I don’t care how smart I am.  I just want you to be yourself.  I have a very wonderful friend who is not exactly a brain.  He is a prison guard who struggled in high school, but went to college on a wrestling scholarship. During college he was involved in a terrible car accident which ruined his wrestling career and forced him to enter the blue collar work force.  I know that I am more knowledgable in regards to the world than he is.  The thing is, if I asked him, “Hey, what do you think about what the president said during the State of the Union Address?”  He would say, “I didn’t watch it” or, “I dunno.”  He doesn’t try to fake it.

My friend (the one I was having this slightly drunken conversation with) is an exterminator and came over to give me quote to manage my pest control.  He started asking me questions and seeing what exactly I wanted done (as we anticipate a significant wasp problem), and I said, “I trust you man, I don’t know anything about pest control.”  That is the level of honesty people need to accept.  The problem is, people are so hung up on their egos that they refuse to acknowledge that they don’t know everything!

I like not knowing everything!  That means, there is still plenty for me to learn.  I am a bit of a city slicker living in the country.  I am very happy to have friends who understand this about me and who accept me for my shortcomings and my strengths.  The reason; I don’t fake it!  I can honestly say I have 6 true friends (outside of my wife and family).  They accept the fact that I am an obnoxious ass.  They accept the fact that many people see me as pretentious, but do not see me that way themselves.  They just see me as an intellectual guy with a chip on my shoulder.  They like me for it, and I think it is one of my most valuable traits.  Moral courage.  I say what I mean and what I want.  I think more people should be that way.

Well, I lived up to my word.  I rambled about something that is unimportant.  Well, I think it’s unimportant because it’s a non-issue.  Like I said, my friends are my friends for a reason, and it certainly isn’t because I’m a real nice guy.  Nice guys are usually spineless liars.  It takes a little bit of the asshole gene to be a well rounded person who can be trusted.

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