Everyone’s got a red line
Do you remember when I gave you that three-step PSA on how to apologize?
- The words: “I’m sorry.”
- Some manifestation of contrition: “I feel awful about what I did; there’s no excuse.”
- Some overt act to try make things right again: “I’ll make it up to you. Let’s go to counseling.”
Think about Michel Scott from The Office: He’s lonely because he regularly hurts people but he can’t seem to do Steps 2 or 3. He can barely do 1.
The actress that played Pam said that she broke down twice while filming the episode where you saw why Michael was Michael.
[Michael is] asked what he wants to be when he grows up and he says, ‘I want to be married and have 100 kids, so I can have 100 friends and no one can say no to being my friend.’…This is when I had to turn off the episode.
I get it. I always make excuses for other people’s shitty behaviour.
But I submit that a lotta lonely people are the ones that don’t understand that apologies are a three-step process.
And the loneliest ones are the ones that not only don’t understand this, they’re the ones that double-down; they make the situation worse, so that there’s no coming back.
As much as possible, I make this blog about me. But screw it, I’m in a writing mood for reasons I’ll tell you about tomorrow. Lemme tell you about something on my mind lately.
I have an acquaintance that does Step 1: He apologizes for things, but that’s it. He never feels bad about what he did (Step 2), and, not only doesn’t do Step 3 either – try to make it better – he always doubles-down.
For example, he was always talking about his female “best friend.” While I know the girlfriend, I finally met the “best friend” at a party one night and she told me, “We’re not best friends, we barely talk. He’s just always been infatuated with me.”
The thing is, she might’ve once legitimately’ve been a close friend. But that stopped when he got jealous one day and bailed on her in a foreign country.
Two years later, he ran into her and did Step 3 – by pretending everything was fine – but never he did steps 1 and 2. The thing is, he caused an injury to that relationship that never healed. And now, never will. Too much time has passed.
Full disclosure – the best friend was honestly quite nice. And oblivious that the acquaintance was going around town calling her his best friend.
But it was only after we finally met that I realized that her being his best friend was all just a ruse; he told everyone that because he just wanted an excuse to be around her, even when he was dating other people, just in case an opportunity arose for him.
The opportunity actually happened – after a decade – when he got drunk and made a sloppy pass at his best friend at this party.
With his girlfriend there.
And the best friend’s boyfriend there as well.
The girlfriend demanded that he finally admit that they weren’t best friends and to defriend all the rando women that he kept picking up. That’s a whole different story.
Not only did he not apologize and not defriend anyone, he doubled-down and broke up with her.
How’s that for a kick in the head?
I guess everyone – him, his girlfriend, the mythical best friend, and everyone that saw him make this drunken pass at the party – finally knew what only he knew: He didn’t love his girlfriend and had been holding a torch for his supposed best friend the entire time. Ten years.
Why do I care? Well, I hate injustice.
But I also hate this whole situation because it goes against everything I know to be true; men and women can – and should – be friends. But people like this screw it up for the rest of us.
I feel bad for his ex, she wasted three years of her life with him. She loved him completely, and her life story would break your heart.
See, she actually supported the dude while he was a struggling student and one day, he won this prize. Instead of giving it to her, he ended up giving it to this random girl he met just a few weeks earlier.
Even when the girlfriend found out about the prize, she still stayed with him because he had an admittedly rough life, just like Michael Scott.
And she was madly in love with him. He literally bragged to people that he went on this date with this girl. It was hilarious to him. He showed me a text where he wrote his best friend, “At least I squeezed in two dates before I got caught.”
Like I said, he never apologizes and can’t help but double-down.
It’s a goddamn shame.
I mean, she’s an idiot, but it’s still a goddamn shame. That kind of loyalty and love is rare; if you’re lucky enough to find someone that’s always on your side, you should protect it with all you got.
Education’s expensive though. At least she finally learned and moved on. To quote one of my exes, Everyone’s got a red line.
This is getting super long, so I’ll finish it up tomorrow. I got a lotta time on my hands to think. And write.
Speaking of female friends, I just finished writing this when KG Betty wrote me.
We’ve known each other a decade as well. I crashed at her place a buncha times and she at mine. Never kissed her or anything ever. I just don’t get how other people live. For serious.
Cause, my relationship with KG Betty is valuable to me, I won’t jeopardize that for something stupid.
Her: Finally! I heard you got sick, I was worried about you.
Me: It’s good to hear from you. How’s life in Korea?
Her: (laughing) Much better than where you are, Logan. You guys are in trouble.
Podcast Version: Doubling-Down, Pt 1
Location: yesterday, riding past my possible pasts
Music: What a shame, we coulda had a good thing (Spotify)
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