Thursday, August 16, 2012

Open the Door, RIchard ~ My Conservative Friend J

A mea culpa to my readers.  I didn't mean to have two posts yesterday.  I have some that are not current which I schedule ahead of time but the weekend was current and this was supposed to be yesterday's only post.  Today's and the next couple of days follow.  And a big woohoo to Paula, who caught the song reference.

My friend J is a conservative when it comes to economics, and middle-of-the-road on social issues.  Which is really the Libertarian point-of-view, if I'm not mistaken.  He's not the hire-your-own-police-force-let-the-poor-die kind of Libertarian, but if someone's not bothering him, he'll very happily not bother them back.

I did some software work for J many years ago, and we've been friends ever since ~ close enough that he is our youngest son's godfather, and our son's Hebrew name was chosen to honour J's father.  J is incredibly bright, always digging for more/better information, and seems to forget nothing.  That last point is important.

As I mentioned, Saturday morning was my mother-in-law's burial, followed by lunch.  Two of my friends, J and P, came to both events.  I haven't seen either in a while, although we often keep in e-touch, with occasional phone calls.  We had some opportunity to talk at lunch, but nothing really of substance (like, what's been going on in my marriage and my "time off").  I did want to speak with each for weeks now.  I remember (not first hand ~ it came out in 1901) the ad for Packard: "ask the man who owns one," and as my marriage got rockier I wanted to speak to my two divorced (one remarried) friends.  I didn't because they're also friends of my wife, and I didn't want them to have to worry about what they said at the luncheon or be uncomfortable and, as I put it "cast a pall over the funeral."

I did arrange to get together with J (sans wives) Sunday morning and P Sunday evening.  My wife had some old friends she wanted to visit with, and my sons wanted to spend time together so everything was covered.

Sunday was my wife's father's family bbq.  This was at 4pm, so I was clear until at least 2pm.
J and I met in a diner around 10.  I had eaten so I had coffee while he had breakfast.  We talked about a number of different things and then I said "and here's what K [my wife] doesn't want me to talk about."  And I told him about the therapy and how that was going and how the marriage was going and how I felt and he related some experiences which were very instructive ~ no advice, except anecdotal.  It also felt good to talk about this, even though I carefully stepped around Meg and any t-issues.  He is, as I said, kind of conservative and he can be a bit judgmental and I didn't want to tarnish a good friendship, even though I would have liked to tell all.

But remember I said he seems to forget nothing?  At one point he said "so what is this community you mentioned once?"  I had told him about meeting friends in Tucson and apparently said I met them through an "online community."  I said "You may not want to know the answers to some of your questions."  He said "I hear a closet door creaking" and I said "there are lots of closets."

So I said "remember what L said about me wearing a dress to the Halloween rally?  It's not the first time I did that."  I told him that it's something I do sometimes, generally when travelling.  He responded by telling me he had a "dead relative he's not supposed to talk about" who did the same thing.

He had no questions.  We spoke of other things, mostly the marriages (mine and his) and I brought up the dressing when it was relevant.  We occupied the table (whoops, he'd definitely object to the "occupy" reference) for three or four hours, I had enough coffee to slosh, and I thanked him for helping me.  He definitely did, in both thoughts about my marriage, happiness (he related a moment of extreme happiness), and in being the absolute first civilian I had come out to.

It felt good.


  1. I am so proud to be your friend! Way to go!

  2. Don't paint all conservatives with the same brush. I'm a card carrying NRA member and a right wing consrvative politically and economiclly but still a CD. I do not feel I'm out of the mainstream and should not be feared by the 'left wing' of the country (but I am).

  3. It's good to talk, I'm glad that this has helped you at what seems to be a continuingly difficult time. It's also good to recall when you were happy, and maybe think about why and what has changed.


My day is brighter when I hear from my friends!