You must be wondering what this will be about. Another piece mourning the sinking of the Titanic maybe? Or I could be offering a helpful tip or two for when you’re taking your dingy out for a sail (duck when the boom comes around, don’t drink and boat, but bring sandwiches). But now, for you see this is all about friendships. Oh, yes.
See, I’ve been pondering this particular topic for a while, comparing my own friends to the ones on TV. Honestly? Television friends win. Always. In any show that depicts a gang or crew, hell even a posse, those friends are so stuck together that it verges on marriage. And what’s more impressive is that they keep it up for however long the show is going. Always sticking by each other and all that crap. Sure they fight, but they always make up sooner or later. Sure, maybe cause hiring new actors is a pain, but STILL. A real life friendship will never be able to come close to a television friendship.
TV friends always seem to know when something’s bothering you. They have some sort of super sense that tells them when “Leave me alone” means just that, and when it means “Just sit here with me quietly”. Real life friends might be able to tell something’s bothering you after you were all maudlin all day (especially near a Well), and ask you what’s wrong. Then they give you advice that doesn’t really help and they go back to thinking of themselves. Cause they have their own damn problems.
Real people are selfish, you see. All of us are. Even the people who help the poor or teach blind kids or something like that do it for themselves as much as for anybody else. Maybe it’s for (self)fulfillment, maybe it helps them take their minds of their own crappy lives, or help ease that guilt they feel for NOT helping. Maybe they’re pulling some stunt to get famous.
That’s another thing that TV gets wrong. On TV, in the movies, there are usually good guys and bad guys. But here in the real world, everybody has a mix of hero and villain. Won’t bother elaborating on that, you know it’s true. We’re all morally grey as much as we’d like to think otherwise. Maybe hundreds of years ago, it was easier to tell right from wrong. Or at least tell the white hats from the black ones. “Are they from here? No? They must be destroyed.” But now that the world is bleeding together, all the black and while mixes to coat us all with sticky, sticky, grey. Sure, there are morally grey characters on TV. But that’s the morally grey that’s entertaining. They’re the characters that have to decide to kill one to save hundreds, or something like that. Not like us regular people. We have to decide whether to run that red light so we’re not late to work.
That’s another reason why TV friendships will never be real. Like I said, we’re all selfish. We don’t sacrifice everything we have for somebody else. Not unless we’re about to die, anyway. Cause on TV, the characters don’t have anything else to worry about. Outside the show, they’re just flickering lights on our screens. Flickering lights can afford to give selflessly. But not us. We have jobs and responsibilities and crap like that and playing by aaaaaaaallllll the rules has never gotten anybody anywhere. So if you think you can be there for a friend ‘no matter what’, try deciding between going to that meeting that’ll get you a big promotion if you go, or picking up your friend when he’s gotten himself arrested or something. We can’t blame anybody for thinking of themselves though. We’re only human, after all.
So that is why, among many other reasons, you will lose friends from time to time. And there’s nothing you can do about it. They might stick around for a while after they stop caring, out of lingering loyalty or respect or something. But sooner or later, you’ll be alone. Again. Then you find new friends. And it’s not like some definite cycle so you can see them off with a speech and teary eyes. They just kind of… fade away. And you can hardly tell things are different until they are. Every friend you make has an expiry date, and when you have a lot of friends, it’s harder to notice when they up and leave. But on the bright side, you do it to other people too. So there’s that.
But hey, if you think you’re an exception… go ahead. Prove me wrong.