The Way I See It, Isn't Necessarily The Way You See It, or Perspective is a Bitch
Perspective is having understanding, it's enchanting and entertaining, it's what's twirling the universe. Perspective is the whole caboodle. I used to think I wanted empathetic people around me, people who when I got sick brought me sweet corn soup and 'care baskets' like I do for those I love. But what I've learned is while empathy is a quality I look for in my friends, more important than an empathetic person is a person that can see multitudes of perspectives. I'll explain since you know I always do: A group of my friends and I went out on the town this one night. The four of us piled inÂ my one friend's black four-door, blasting reggae music, (which over time I've taken a liking to) and small talk. Reggae music trumps my usual 'woe is me' over Marie Digby and Colbie Cailliat, (like the emo I am) and music definitely affects my mood. I'd never been to this place, but it was nice enough, no better or worse than any others. I had a cool time, on a fun scale maybe a 6.5, 7, he however, didn't. For his sake I'll call him John. My homegirl and I danced, we sipped, we laughed, I mingled, met some guy who played drums, another was a designer. I even had a heart to heart with the bar tender there, his curly long hairâ€”his eyes a light color I can't recall because it was dark. What can I say I'm a people person. I even spoke to the lady passing out hand towels in the bathroom. Wha? It's just me. The aforementioned tender accidentally put a pen in my bestie's drink. Like, a black pen instead of a black straw. As I flitted about I threw out ''You uhm, you put a pen in my friend's drink, instead of a straw, I mean that's sorta not a good look' 'Accidents happen, very sorry' we went on talking for a bit, then I let it go. The night progressed. I ordered one sweet red cocktail. The rest of the night I drank cranberry juice on the rocks, it's my preferred method of drinking. Everyone says I have a natural high. I was working the floor. I danced a bit more, which was great under the moon - the night air, the little lights decorating the patio. I wore my favorite black boots, a grey skirt, and a flimsy three-tiered black top. Simple. I waved to the girl with me from a few feet away and she waved back as we danced with two guys that might've been friends. Off to the side John wasn't dancing. John I've known for over 15 years, nice enough. Funny, obnoxious personality, there isn't a time I've ever been around him when he didn't make me laugh. Like stomach muscles shaking-aching laughter. But he didn't seem to be having a good time. Twenty minutes to closing I'd met some cool girls in the bathroom, one of them I knew from undergrad school, but not well. [Some random details redacted here us making jokes about guys in the bathroom, cool females. John comes to tell me he's ready to go. I continue on dancing because, well, it's almost over, and I would always, always take other people into consideration if I were the driver, there's no way he wouldn't do the same. I wave to him a flailing yea yea yea, and he disappears off. The next time he confronts me, demanding that he's ready to leave. I again, ignore it, and say this.: 'I'm ok, go 'head, if you can't wait I'll catch a taxi, it's cool.' He responds back with 'I need to go to work, Lalanii' In my head, I understood his work priorities. I have them as well. He'd invited me out, after all. I didn't see the urgency in not being able to wait fifteen more minutes, but he demanded yet again, and then he grabbed at my shoulder interrupting my dance and finger snapping with some haughty stranger. He pulls at me and takes my arm as though he were a jealous boyfriend, and starts a scene. And boy does it. Security rushes over. I end up in a match of clashed perspectives. He was ready to leave, I was not. I offered alternatives, he did not agree. Add lack of empathy, and there you have my decision not to answer one of my best friend's phone calls. In my head, I just knew he'd hang on for a bit and wait until everyone in his party was ready to go. Since it was four in our party, I suppose the guys were ready the girls were not. I ended up dashing out of the gathering and crashing a ride with the gals I'd seen in the bathroom. The one girl lived near me. I told her I felt irritated by my friend and I was having a good night that went awry, and she responded with 'I've totally been there, get in girl' I hopped in the car, I was home in fifteen. Again, two things I look for in friends. Empathy and Perspective.
In retrospect, the lack of perspective is what made me so pissed. Sometimes, one might not be able to 'be empathetic' to a situation they've never experienced. If he's never been having a cool time at a place, and not been the driver then he wouldn't understand the wordsâ€”'It's cool, I'll catch a taxi,' but moreover, the idea of him failing to see things from an opposing perspective and consider all factors prevalent was what bothered me most, it was thoughtless and empty. I treat people respectfully; I generally don't demand things, unless I'm speaking to my 11-year old. I don't expect to not be treated respectfully, and I don't stand for it. When I think back the entire ride home as I stared out of the window of the stranger's car I thought of the scenario with the bar tender and how he accidentally placed that pen in my friend's drink. The way I conversed with the tender before everything went to h*ll that night. The way I felt I was speaking up for him (John) - who quickly dismissed that something so unprofessional happened to him. The way when he got ready to leave, all that mattered was that he was ready to go. Never if anyone else was. The way maybe his night hadn't been going quite so well, but as friends, he lacked consideration, and when presented with the opt out of 'leave me here,' he resorted to physically grabbing me. Wow. Many times I've gone to events with friends and confusion has occurred and we've worked through it, hysterically laughed everything off. Once a guy drank my drink by accident, I've had a woman anger with me because she saw her man talking to me, I've even had a guy offer to take me to his castle because he was convinced I was Cinderella. $#%! Crazy, lol. I've had my homegirl fall into a crack bumping her head on the hydrant, I've taken my pretty heels off to rub my aching toesies plenty-a-many times, and at a marketing event once my co-worker was told that a guy she just met was going to marry her. Nights out are generally pretty fun, and definitely something to talk about the next morning, laugh at the fun we had, even if things don't go flawlessly. Because what ever goes right all of the time? It's always how you come through it. But always and in all ways have my friends been able to consider alternate perspectives. I thought it was empathy I looked for in friendships, but I've found that it's not just empathy, but also the ability to see where someone else is coming from. Even today, I'm still not ok with what happened because he let me down. I'd rather he have eaten my last piece of cheesecake. The cheesecake with the muddled strawberry topping, ahhh, that crust, yea, my last piece ... really.
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