DAME’s Friendkeeper shares some sense about second amendment supporters and how to handle the always-vague drama queen.
I live in New York, but being from the Midwest, I have many long-time girlfriends who are gun owners and support the NRA. I am devastated by what is happening in this country, but I can also sympathize with their point-of-view. These are people who took gun safety class right next to me in 7th grade, but our feelings on this core issue have grown in opposite directions. How do we come together (as friends, mothers, and Americans) on such a volatile issue without pretending we aren’t on opposite sides?
Heartbroken in Manhattan
When you’re an adult you generally meet your friends by having something in common—you’ve chosen to live in the same small town, send your kids to the same kind of school, volunteer at the same soup kitchen. As kids you pick your friends for stupid reasons—because they are seated next to you in class or have a Welcome Back, Kotter lunchbox or their mom buys really good snacks. These things don’t tend to have a strong moral bind, and as you grow up and change, being allowed to eat a ton of candy loses some of its cachet. I think many of us have been recently challenged by the fact that our social media friends are more conservative or more liberal than we knew, and it’s annoying to say the least (like when they cheer for some politician who you feel is a complete douche or when they call the person you are supporting a lying bitch”). But the gun issue is different. I have noticed that politicians, even ones I like very much, aren’t coming out strong enough on this issue if they have anything political at stake. They can’t afford to offend the NRA or the Koch(suckers) because they want to get elected. To me it seems like such a no-brainer, but clearly a bunch of other people disagree. And when those people include Joe Jughead from elementary school who has nothing to lose from regulations but just wants to be an asshole and sound off on social media because he has a really small … dachshund, and is pissed about his crummy job, that person gets unfriended. The bottom line here is I have not seen anyone’s mind changed on this major issue because of something someone posts. I mean if a person is aware of the mass shootings and gun deaths in our country and still feels that things shouldn’t change, then b’bye! Really, you don’t have time for it.
I have a friend who seems to think she’s creating an aura of mystery when she is being deliberately vague. Every time I see her, it’s all: “I have to tell you what’s going on with me, but not now. Later.” And then there is no later. Last week, I was hosting a party, and she kept pulling me away, saying, “OMG, there is so much I have to tell you!” I said, “What’s going on?” “So much!!” I begged: “Is it work? Is it marriage? What?” “It’s everything,” she said. But when I follow up with a text the next day to make a drinks date, it’s impossible to pin her down. Do you think she’s just playing me? Hungry for attention? Reveling in her own drama? Or is it all too big to even get into? Whatever it is, I’m just like, Spill already!
Out With It Already!
I saw a funny New Yorker thing about vague Facebook statuses. The “I can’t tell you what’s happening but send luck/prayers/white light my way.” I don’t do this but when I don’t talk to one of my close people for a couple of days I always say, “OMG I HAVE SO MUCH TO TELL YOU!” It’s usually that a check I was waiting for arrived. Or I found Hudson jeans at T.J. Maxx. It’s never that interesting, because when big stuff does happen, I make sure and broadcast it immediately (I tell my mother who tells everyone else). It’s possible your friend is saying that because she feels like she hasn’t talked to you in a while and then when she actually realizes what she wanted to say it’s a big zero and she gets embarrassed. My friend Jancee and I often tell each other we have so much to say but made a rule that we have to give a single word description of each topic, so the other person doesn’t a) worry you have cancer b) worry you were fired c) obsess about what it is. So she’d say, “OMG I have so much to tell you. Keywords: Tiny teeth [I knew who that was], recipe disaster, Marty Balin.” Then it’s all good and I can wait. The next time your friend says it though, don’t get so excited. Imagine it’s a story you don’t want to hear and then you can relax and let her come to you when she’s ready to talk.
Got a platonic problem of your own that could use the Friendkeeper’s advice? Fire away: [email protected]. No situation is too uncomfortable or too small and all details are kept confidential.
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