Cleaning up Messes as Fast as We Can Create Them

Red Beard and I had a heart-to-heart Thursday night. He told me of a time when he was face down in the gutter and life was bleak. Bozo was the friend who called him and emailed him to make sure he was okay. Bozo was the guy who invited Red Beard out and tried to cheer him up. And he said, Bozo is a guy who continues to express interest in his life. As he told me how much this friend of his means to him, I wondered where the hell this was going and how much longer I would have to endure praise of Bozo.

Then Red Beard said, “I don’t expect you to stop hating Bozo. He’s being a complete ass. And if it came down to it, I would ditch this wedding for you, because you are far more important to me than he is. But I want you to know how difficult this situation is for me, because I can’t just write this guy off. He was there for me, and I know he’ll be there for me again if I need him. I know he’s being a complete idiot right now. His fiancé hasn’t been much help with the wedding planning and Bozo clearly has no clue what he’s doing. But he has every intention for you to come to the wedding. He just didn’t see a way to give invitations to include guests on the groom’s side for the first round of invites - and yes, he’s obviously doing it all wrong. You have to trust me when I say that you are coming to this wedding. I don’t care what it takes, you are coming with me.”

I argued, “If I don’t get an invitation, I’m not coming. I can’t just barge in uninvited.”

He argued back, “You are invited. I am inviting you!”

I insisted, “That’s very nice of you, but if I don’t get a written invitation, then it doesn’t count.”

He maintained, “You’re invited.”

I argued, “No I’m not.”

He came back with, “Trust me. You are.”

We went back and forth like this for a while, but he was adamant that he is bringing me to this damn thing no matter what.

Initially, having to hear what a great guy Bozo is obviously didn’t sit well with me. All I could promise Red Beard was, “Since he’s not going anywhere, I will try to hate Bozo less.”

However, this conversation was very, and I mean VERY, constructive for our relationship. Red Beard admitted that he's usually introspective and stoic and he doesn’t like to express emotion. He stressed how incredibly hard it was for him to tell me this stuff. I can certainly relate.

For all the years I dated E, I was completely unable to tell him whenever something was bothering me, which resulted in our breaking up every time we had a problem instead of solving it. I can’t seem to communicate anything without crying about it, so it always seemed easier to hide my discontent rather than to risk looking like a blubbering maniac. When I started dating Coldplay, he forced me to speak up instead of stewing. Although it’s still extraordinarily difficult for me, I eventually came to appreciate that airing my grievances is far healthier for my relationships than trying to save face and keep my mouth closed.

Back to Red Beard, if he didn’t sit me down and open up, I doubt this episode would have ended well. All I could do for an entire week was guess what he was thinking, and that sucked. We only needed this one conversation to get on the same page and acknowledge the issue. I really hope he can talk to me again when something is bothering him. The less he stews, the happier he and I become.

After all of last week’s strife, it was a great weekend. I’ll admit, I might have been a little bit snippy with Red Beard, especially after work on Friday. I was still trying to accept his man love for Bozo. We went out Friday night with friends and a few drinks certainly helped my mood.

Then on the way home, Red Beard talked about a certain career path he is considering that is physically risky and involves long absences. He pointed out that this vocation might not be conducive to fatherhood. I assured him the Disappearing Husband Act wouldn’t be conducive to a good marriage either, so he better be sure that the job is the secret to fulfillment for him. He said he doesn’t need a dangerous job to be happy, but it's still something he might want to do. I suppose that’s another conversation for another day.

As Velvet pointed out, we got ‘faced Saturday night. When I got home, I tackled Red Beard and we drunkenly wrestled on the bed. What weekend would be complete without a drunk wrestle? Sunday Red Beard was sick, so we kept a low profile. Tonight I concentrate on completing my unpacking. Shut up – I know, I’ve lived there for over a month now, and this messy state of affairs is intolerable. I’m fixing it right away.

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