Finding, and keeping a friend is not nearly as easy as it sounds. At least not the kind of connection I require.
I am a strong advocate of full disclosure, hiding little, especially up front. I've had some family members cringe at my direct approach with women, but my response is simple. Why not find out right away if someone finds my travails to not be their cup of tea? Why wait till the 2nd or 3rd date (like I go on dates, Negro please)? I doubt if they're going to grow a pair, or even find god in that time and suddenly realize that my life stories are the quickest way to get to know what makes me tick. And I don't need to yammer on about myself. Trust me, you've never seen a woman sigh, signal a bartender, and order a double Grey Goose on the rocks faster than after they've been asked, "So, are you close with your mother?"
What I have found to be true is that when I open up, it builds trust, and that is essential before a woman will then talk openly about important issues of her own. The airheads who babble endlessly and never say anything? That's why there's always a dumpster in the back parking lot of a bar. Just sayin'.
And the handful of women who have chosen to love me (is it a choice, love?); all have, to a lady, been enamored of my open honesty about things most people would NEVER talk about.
The best way to assess a potential friend, and to then keep them? Show all your cards, face up. Then make sure they know that when they show you theirs, no matter what those cards are, you will not be leaving the table. You probably will order another round.
Anyone who runs from that approach, thank your stars at the time saved. A woman who sticks around? Mentally rub your palms together and get down to brass tacks, because she could be a keeper.
For example, the Abortion piece I placed in here a while back. Got some incredible responses. Clearly worth a re-read (the responses). But you know who spoke loudest to me? Those I know who read it, and yet didn't respond. It reminded me of the old ironic line: 'As soon as someone tells you they don't drink, you automatically assume they're an alcoholic'. Still makes me chuckle, because it's true.
Those women who did not respond of course reserve the right to do so. Abortion is incredibly personal and private and their painful decision probably rests uneasily in a vulnerable part of their soul. Most would find it unsavory to share publicly in a forum like this. I understand.
But some did.
Some told all.
Those ladies would sit across from me, say "Fuck it", and flip all five cards over. They'd take their chances with me. And they'd probably let me buy the next round.
Those that didn't? Well, not to be crass, but I would bet there are a few abortions in there, and shame is what keeps them under wraps. And that saddens me. I am not judging. Full disclosure is not for everyone, obviously. But look at the likes of (names deleted for discretionary reasons), to name a few. These women have hung their ovaries out for all to see, over a variety of subjects. I have, to varying degrees, fallen for all of them. For this man, courage and balls are an aphrodisiac. I'll build a bigger card table if I have to, because they all get seats at mine. And every card is The River.
A big part of this room is the "I'll show you mine, but you gotta show me yours" mentality I established almost immediately. That is a friendship tenet for me that is non-negotiable.
Thanks, friends. You know who you are.