My husband is one of those people with a million friends. Everybody knows him, everybody loves him. I am more of an acquired taste, like olives and blue cheese and Faulty Towers. I know that there are more than a few people who don’t care for my blend of liberalism, feminism and sarcasm… and I am okay with that.
I have a core group of about half a dozen people who I know will be there for me ‘no matter what’ (and who know that I will walk through fire in my bare feet for them). This base is enclosed in a slightly larger pod of ‘wine and night out’ friends that I wouldn’t share my real weight with, but who can still be trusted to keep a secret. After that, there is an outer layer of ‘social occasion’ friends that I run into at Christmas parties, kids birthdays and school events. We talk mostly about weather, gardening, youth sports, and HBO series. I like them (because at my age, I refuse to even have a conversation with someone I don’t inherently find interesting) but I don’t confide in them, or share anything that I wouldn’t be comfortable writing on a blog (ha ha).
I used to feel a bit inferior to my uber-popular hubby. After all… numbers don’t lie. If every person that enters his personal space leaves feeling like they have made a life long connection, I cannot help but feel inferior, knowing that I probably manage to offend at least 25% of the people who meet me. I don’t mean to. I just have a really low threshold for ‘stupid’ and it shows. My husband could be seated beside Vladamir Putin and at the end of the dinner, Vlad would go home and add our family to his Christmas card list. Me… put an idiot with a gas guzzling SUV and a wife named ‘Bambi’ beside me at an event and in 15 minutes he’s heading for the bathroom, never to return. I don’t have to say a word. According to my kids, I have a judgmental aura. My ‘vibe’ will tell him he is an aging, impotent wannabe who will wind up alone in an old folks home while Bambi sucks his RRSPs dry… I have no idea how my aura will convey this message… but it will!
I used to stress about this. It’s part of being a Type A. We want to be the best at everything, including socializing. It bothered me that I wasn’t a ‘tier one’ choice when it came time to choose invitees for the next dinner party. It pissed me off that my husband was out-friending me… leaving me to eat his dust in the popularity contest that is middle-class life.
Then we got Buster the schnauzer. He is a purebred. His lineage is impeccable. He also pees on my hostas and licks his private parts under the table while we are eating dinner and he could care less about public opinion. But you know what? He is a great friend to those who take the time to get to know him. Sure, he’s gonna be a little overwhelming at first; jump on you a bit; bark when you move too quickly. But he has a good heart. And those willing to persevere will find themselves enveloped in his schnauzer love. He has a core group of good friends who love him ‘no matter what’ and a slightly larger pod of ‘treat and walk’ pals that bring treats when they visit and are flattered by his desire to sniff their butt at the front door. And after that he has an outer layer of ‘I won’t bite them’ pals that he is willing to grant entry into our house, although they may have to tolerate a bit of jumping (don’t wear easily ripped fabrics).
Those that like him, like him ALOT. And those that don’t … aren’t really ‘dog’ people and were never going to like him anyway. Maybe I am the same. Those who like me, like me ALOT. And those that don’t… aren’t really “Smart Women” people anyway.