Issue: Anger Management

No one likes feeling trapped. No one. What I hate is feeling trapped in my own body and mind when experiencing stress. It’s visceral. It’s all-encompassing. And I hate that I haven’t learned how to control it.  I’m terrible at it.  I endure it and endure it and plod along and ignore it until I can’t…..and then BOOM! I physically feel like I cannot hold it in anymore, despite the fact that I REALLY NEED TO.  I’m too much of an open book.  And I hate that about myself.  I may even hate myself for writing all of this.  I will definitely hate myself for it.

There’s lots of things I hate that I can’t escape, like OTHER PEOPLE.  Like MYSELF.

I hate living in a world with Type A, over-achieving, controlling, overly scheduled, equally stressed out people.  I hate living in a world with people who expect that their way is the best way.  That we should ALL be on the same page, with the same ambitions, with the same expectations, with the same timetables, with the same definitions of what is acceptable…..

I hate other people’s definition of success and feeling forced into it.  I hate other people making their problems (their “quest for success”, their logistics problems, their goals, their expectations, their first world problems)… MY problems.  I guess I’m pretty damn selfish that way.  I hate schedules. I hate deadlines. I HATE TIME.  Time and I have a terrible relationship.

Actually, Time and I wouldn’t have such a fucking problem if OTHER PEOPLE WERE NOT INVOLVED.

And sometimes it gets to me so much that I need to slam things.  Seriously….I NEED a physical outlet for the energy that’s been held in so long that it NEEDS to go somewhere.  I know that calming down is the best thing.  I know that breathing is the best thing.  I’m all for that!  Only, I can’t seem to do that on a consistent basis. And I hate that.  I hate that I can’t practice what I preach.

(Yes, there are lots of capital letters in this post.  I’m trying to calm myself with wine – probably not the best way – and Ravi Shankar on my headphones and pounding the keyboard instead of pounding anything else, because I’ve done enough of pounding doors and eardrums with my outrage this evening….)

But what my body feels like doing is running and running and running until I’m alone in the wilderness; punching and punching and punching until I can’t anymore; screaming until my lungs give out and the veins in my neck rupture.  Over the past two years I’ve finally come to an understanding why some depressed people cut themselves.  I am TERRIBLE at handling stress.

My father once told me that when he gets angry, he LITERALLY sees red.  He used to be a door and cabinet slammer too.

The very first psychiatrist I ever went to told me that depression is actually anger turned inwards.  I can see that.

I hate the fact that my personal stresses are nothing compared to other people’s stresses and yet I’M STRESSED!  I hate feeling like I’m so spoiled compared to others on this planet and yet I’m STRESSED! WE ALL ARE.  And that stresses me out too!

My father has an incurable cancer.  My husband is severely depressed.  My son has ADHD and Anxiety.  And SO DO I.  The special school for my son that we gave up everything to move across town for is having an extreme trust issues in regards to health of the student body and financial management.  Our country is being led by the worst ignoramus EVER.  There are terrible injustices going on in this world.  All the life forms on the entire planet are endangered….including US!  My daughter just wants a “normal” teen-hood (enough said….she’s a teenager….). We have severe financial difficulties (who doesn’t besides the really wealthy?). My own depression and anxiety and “mother guilt” are constantly jumping around in the background, while I am constantly trying to hold it at bay.  My house is a HUGE MESS and I know that this sounds so trivial, but it aggravates me to no end (I can’t list the details because…. I just can’t ….-it just contributes to my depression).. Our pets desperately need more attention, I can’t find anything around here when I need it and…..and…..and…..and…….
Everything feels so fucking hopeless and out of control.

So. The LAST thing I needed this evening was a text from another stressed out mom; a Type-A, more efficient than me, more organized than me, more involved than me, in my mind BETTER than me mother, letting me know, in very passive-aggressive terms, what unreliable FLAKES my family are in planning and being on time.  Letting me know that she holds grudges.  Letting me know that we SCREWED UP before and therefore she no longer trusts us.  And I get how she feels, actually!

And this anger and frustration and self-loathing and irritation had nowhere else to go than OUT.
And that does my family NO GOOD.  And I’m A MOM.  And therefore, it is MY FAULT.

I’m not good at being an “adult”.
I’ve got a HUGE problem.
And I need to find a safe outlet, because I feel like it’s all on my shoulders. MINE.




Faking It

“Fake it until you make it”.
“If you forget your part, or lose your place, just fake it”.
That first statement is one that most everyone has heard. Not sure who to attribute it to.  The second statement is something that our high school band director would advise us whenever we were participating in school symphonic band competitions.  “What people always remember during a concert is the beginning and the ending.  Have a strong opening and a strong close and in between, if you personally get messed up, just fake it until you can catch up”.  Although, if you happened to be a soloist, that advice didn’t work so well.  Hard to hide mistakes if you were the only one up there making noise.

People who are depressed are actually quite good at faking happiness and general “normalcy”.  For whatever reasons, it feels like an adrenaline push to conceal the truth whenever out in public spaces.  And it is EXHAUSTING.   It’s probably much like how wounded and sick animals will try to hide themselves or behave as if everything is perfectly fine; they’re just, you know, taking it easy right now.  Pet owners know this.  It isn’t until your cat or dog is actually quite ill, or is not eating or drinking anymore, that you end up at the vets office where they inform you that something is urgent.  “What?? But, he’s been acting like his usual self!”  If animals could actually speak our language, maybe it would be different.  But then again, mammals have an instinct to not appear weak or injured because other mammals tend to attack or shun each other when they behave that way.  They tend to eat one another.  And humans, after all, are mammals.

However, humans are different from other mammals in many other ways.  We have a language that is incredibly nuanced, massively creative, endlessly evolving, and our language can do other things besides warn or beckon or comfort or express joy.   Our language can actually affect our own brains, our own feelings, our own behavior and health.  Our language can influence other human’s brains, feelings, behavior, health, attitudes.

When I was depressed, I couldn’t remember a time when I did not disgust myself; when I was not ashamed of myself; when I did not hate myself.  The playlist in my head, which ran constantly included such hits as “I’m A Failure”, “I Can Never Do Anything Right”, “I Will Never Accomplish Anything”, “I Am Stupid”, “I Am Worthless”, “I Am Too Weird”, “I Don’t Belong Here”, “I Don’t Belong Anywhere”, “I Always Mess Up”, “I’m An Idiot”, “I’m A Fool”, “I Will Never Do Anything Right”, “I Hate Myself”, “I Am A Disgusting Mess”, “Everyone Thinks So Too”…..and so many more! OH SO MANY VARIATIONS!

The psychologist who managed to change things for me made me do something on our very first visit.  It was after my last episode of feeling suicidal – and it was one of my worst episodes.  It was during my first visit with her after getting a reference from my psychiatrist (and after starting back up on a new anti-depressant).  After acknowledging with great sympathy just how broken and shitty I was feeling, she made me do something, which she laughingly told me was “going to feel really stupid and really silly and really corny right now and it’s something no one likes to do”.   She made me say out loud, “I am wonderful”.  I shot her a look.  “We aren’t going anywhere or talking at all until you say it”.  Then she made me say it again with a little more conviction.  I started crying.  She handed me a box of tissue with an encouraging nod and an even more sympathetic face.  Then she told me to say, “I love myself!”.   I indicated that I just really couldn’t fathom uttering those words and she said, “It doesn’t matter if you actually feel it right now, just say it out loud.  Say it because it is perfectly fine to say it!…Let me tell you, I love myself! That’s right! And I’m proud of it! It’s okay to love yourself! It doesn’t mean you think that you are perfect.  NO ONE is perfect. We all have our issues and our flaws….and it’s okay to love ourselves anyway!”

So I did.  With a huge eye roll.
So she made me do it again without the huge eye roll.

“Okay. Now we can begin to get you feeling better…. because you deserve to.”

Basically (and she acknowledges this) it was a form of “fake it ’til you make it” therapy.
And I have to begrudgingly admit that it works.

It’s not like I don’t still get mad at myself, or even have some suicide ideation anymore, but I’ve come to recognize exactly when something has managed to hit the high volume button on those old tunes.

Breaking those 24/7 recordings in your head of all the stuff you hate about yourself and replacing them with soundtracks of kindness and love towards yourself is crucial to being able to get better.  You have to think of yourself as a friend or family member that you love dearly and don’t want to lose.  Would you EVER say those nasty things to them? Of course not! Would you EVER believe those things about them? NO.  And you know exactly why you would never say or think those things about that person?  Yes. You do.  It’s because you LOVE THEM.  You love them despite whatever quirks or issues they have.  And EVERYONE in this world has quirks and issues and flaws and mistakes.  You do not have to be flawless to be loved.  You do not have to be flawless to exist.  You can love your own self.

A lot of depression has to do with chemistry.  I happen to know that well.  A lot of it also has to do with language; namely, the language you use with yourself.  If you can beat yourself down into a pulp with negative language in your head, it stands to reason that you can help to heal yourself with language too.  If you can fake happy language outwardly to other people, why the hell not fake it to yourself?  The only difference is that instead of deceiving other people to make them feel okay, you can change the way you think of yourself in order to actually crawl out of the hold that depression has on you.  And that is worth doing.

It’s hard work because it involves breaking lifelong habits.  But it isn’t impossible.


It’s In My Head

At 3 a.m. Sunday morning, I sprang awake with one fully formed thought in my mind:  Maybe I actually am crazy!

Other words quickly followed: delusional, flaky, insane…

A massive pressurized feeling of having been up until this very moment completely divorced from Reality, lost in a temporal world of my own making, floating along in another plane of existence, burst through my chest.  My family and friends have observed this ditziness in me, especially of late, and they have been tolerating me out of love and concern! That’s what’s really going on!

I managed to shove it all away, placate myself that I was just having a moment of self-doubt; that Depression was struggling to gain a foothold again by pulling me down into its’ endless burrow of negativity and self-hatred.  I closed my eyes and burrowed into my pillow instead.

When I awoke again, I went about my day attending to the usual mundane things that somehow exalt themselves with meaning. Things that I had imbued with grand importance:  Cleaning and organizing and planning and “nesting” and creating a schedule and cleaning some more; a training program,  if you will,  for getting my shit together once and for all; to get things prepared for my Master Plan of becoming a Creative Entrepreneur (to use a fancy-pants term for “artist who can help support her family”).

I couldn’t help thinking to myself in the following days that I was, truth be told, feeling a bit manic lately.  I wrote some of it away to being off one of my meds. But my mind has been all over the place with hopes and dreams and plans and schemes and determination and “keeping positive” and a stubborn willfulness that things are going to work out the way I want them to.  I’ve been feeling restless, impatient, hopeful.  I’ve been doing things with a hyper-focus and a strange stream of energy; all while putting other things on the back burner (where they smolder with a threat to break out into a fire).  I’ve been thinking and planning and doing for “all the things!”

But today, that feeling I had Sunday night at 3 a.m. is prying open my mental space again, siphoning out my optimism, gassing panic into it’s place….

I’ve become suspicious of myself.

<a href=””>Suspicious</a&gt;

The Underbelly of It All

My father is dying.

I know that we are all dying minute by minute, despite what we’d like to think.

But, my father is without a doubt, dying. He is 77 years old.
I guess he’s within the median range for males within the U.S.
Doesn’t matter to me, though.  The statistics offer no comfort.

He has mesothelioma. Peritoneal Mesothelioma.
There is no cure.

My dad is dying.
It’s the undercurrent to everything right now.

I keep feeling a catch in my chest whenever I confront this fact.
I know that I have friends and family who have been through this.
I know that my husband, my parents, my friends and my cousins know what this is like.

It doesn’t change the pain.
It doesn’t change the facts.

It doesn’t make it any easier.

And they know this. Unfortunately, they know this.

On Work – #1

Was just thinking this evening as I was driving to the airport around midnight to pick up my daughter and some friends:  If someone were to pay me a decent wage to pick up all the trash around Houston, I would gladly do it.

In order for me to work productively and to enjoy what I do for a living, I need to feel invested somehow.

I hate all the trash I see as I drive around our city.  I often think about getting a reflective, colorful, vest and a spear of some sort and getting all this trash off the road ways and medians.

In fact, I came up with a great plan once upon a time for the city to help out the homeless population here by giving them jobs that they could redeem for cash or other services, by picking up trash.

These are the things I muse upon.

Don’t know if they would be practical. Don’t know if they could possibly come to fruition.

All I know is that this evening, given the choice between a job as a bank teller, or a cashier at a Fiesta Food Market, or a even a dog walker (and I love dogs!!) …..I would prefer to pick up trash by the side of the road.  And I would be proud to do it.

The Languages of Love

Naw. I’m not talking about romantic love here.  I’m still mulling over the whole friendship subject.

I have a friend who is pretty much in my category.  She told me once, “If you make friends with me, you’re stuck with me for the rest of your life. Seriously!”
So one afternoon, she came over for a rare visit to my house and we were talking about everything under the sun – as I am wont to do (I get it from my dad, I think) – and she mentioned an article that she had just read about the different ways that people communicate without using words.  The article apparently used the example of people who bring food to others.  “It’s their language of love!”, my friend explained.  People who grew up with family who expressed their love and appreciation through the baking of cookies and cakes, who made family members their favorite meals to please them, who would buy an ice cream cone to cheer up someone who’d had a bad day, who would bring them soup when they were sick or would bring a casserole after a funeral – those are the people who ingrained these acts into their communication of love.  I think that many, many, if not most, families had this type of habit in their homes and carry on that tradition.  Let’s face it, food is a universal subject that has endless meanings the world ’round.  Using food to comfort or to aid or to celebrate is a normal human tendency.

Then there are those who express their love and affection with money.  They may come from a culture where the more gold you bestow upon someone, the more it shows you cherish them and want them to be prosperous and respected.  They may come from a family whose parents would buy them as much as they could to make them happy or comfortable.  This isn’t necessarily a bad sort of way to show love, but if you are never able to give a hug or to express love with words in addition to material things, then…. well,  I can see where that would lead to many problems.  We happen to have a member of our family quite like that.  Only, the money and gifts come along with caveats and the hugs have only recently come into play and those are very awkward indeed.  And, inadvertently, this person has made all communication with them centered around money this way.  The grandchildren, when younger, associated this person with things.  “Oh look! They’re here!! What did they get us??”  Hello, Santa.  (You can see, I’m sure, how unhealthy this is to a relationship, yes?)

Some families have always been more physical in showing their affection.  They are constantly touching or doing something physical together.  Rough housing, bonding over sports, lots of hugs and kisses, holding hands or being arm in arm, exercising together in some way.  So, with friends, it’s pretty much the same.  I think most families have this element in their language with each other.  At least, I hope they would.

My own family, though, as I was growing up, didn’t show love through food, or money.  The physical, yes. We were/are huggers and kissers.  We talk a lot.  But, my family mostly has shown how much they care for you by being there when you are in some sort of bind, be it physical or emotional.  My dad once told me about how my grandfather, his own father, would be willing to put himself into debt to help out someone he loved.  And trust me, my father’s family was poor to begin with!  He said that my grandfather, and my grandmother too, especially if it involved children, would, if you were in some sort of trouble, do everything in their power to get you out of it.

My dad has certainly carried on this tradition.  If there is some sort of conundrum, he will think ceaselessly about it until he’s found some way to solve it and help you out with it.  It doesn’t matter if you are states away.  He was the one that his friends and family  – as well as my mom’s – would call at midnight to discuss things and my dad never turned down a call.  He would stay on that phone until the wee hours of the morning.  Sometimes, I’d wake up and I could hear him in the kitchen on the phone with someone…laughing with or reassuring them or sympathizing with them in some way.  He’s still like that.

My parents once took in a friend of my mom’s and allowed her to live with them when she was in a troubling situation.  She lived with them for months.  They took in my cousin when he needed a place to crash.   They’ve done that for several family members at one time or another.  In fact, when my cousin and his brother were little and in a pretty bad family situation, my parents discussed adopting both of them from my uncle and aunt.  They didn’t end up doing it because my father’s mother decided she wanted to.

Once, while I was in college, my parents flew a dog I’d managed to rescue down from Wisconsin to Texas.  They kept him, despite the fact that he was a troubled dog.  Distances were nothing to my father. Maybe he got it from his days in surveying in the Pacific Northwest or from his time in the Air Force.  When he was dating my mom, he would drive miles across Oregon to see her, and miles back after taking her out.

So, I guess my own style of friendship was written by my folks.  I won’t bring you food.  I won’t shower you with gifts.  I’m not gonna exercise or go muddin’ in the woods with you (look it up. I think it’s mostly a Southern thing).  BUT,  if your car breaks down in the middle of the night outside the city limits and no one else can come – call me.  If your dog runs off in the middle of a freakish storm, I’ll jump in my car and go driving through it to canvass the neighborhood with you.  That’s my language of love.


Why Can’t We Be Friends?

I am an only child and from the ages of 4 to 11, my family lived in an apartment.  My own natural inclination was to play in my room by myself. I wanted nothing other than to be left alone with my books, my crayons, my stuffed animals, and my Fisher-Price toys.  I could keep myself occupied pretty well that way, and nothing really made me happier.  But my mother, being a naturally social person, was always after me to play with other kids. I guess she was worried about my social skills or something. Perhaps I would always ask her to play with me or to come see what I was doing and she wanted me out from under her feet.  In any case, I always had this dread when she would pretty much force me to go outside and play with the other kids in the apartment complex.

My mother is also German. And the German way is for children to be out in the “fresh air” doing physical things as much as possible with other people.  I think she often overlooked the fact that we were not in the temperate, relatively safe and surrounded-by-nature, Germany, but actually in Houston, Texas – where it is muggy and humid and paved over and hot and traffic-filled and the mosquitoes and roaches are ubiquitous and wearing army boots.

She has told me, after I informed her much later in my adulthood about the kids in that complex, that she wishes she would have just let me be.  They were pretty rough kids.

I survived though, and after a move out to the suburbs I managed to make some good friends and graduate out into the world with some, hopefully, at least, semi-acceptable social skills.

However, my nature didn’t change terribly much. Okay – the depression I struggled with – from roughly my late junior high years – didn’t help me in wanting to be around people a lot, but I did, and do, have friends whom I enjoy hanging out with.
But the struggle to make them understand that if I needed to be alone, I really needed to be alone, has been frustrating for a long time. I’m noticing that my daughter and my son both have a similar genetic disposition for needing to hide from the world quite often.
Is it any surprise that I married a man much like myself?  Homebodies, I think, is what some call it.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy parties and movies and concerts and travel (GOD, how I love travel!) and get-togethers and brunches with my buddies.  But, I need recovery time from the physical doing of all that.  Maybe more than the average person.

There’s also the sort of person that I am:  absent-minded, forever struggling to take care of the adult responsibilities in my life (read: disorganized and terrible at managing time).  I cannot lie very well.  I don’t have much patience with shallowness, with “fake”, with superficial stuff.  I have a hard time, at least it feels that way to me, with making “small talk”.  I actually enjoy lengthy conversations about things that are both personal and universal – religion, politics, art, nature, psychology….
In fact, it’s a bit of a paradox that I enjoy talking with someone while simultaneously needing lots of space.  It’s very weird that I’ve got no problem talking with strangers at all.
Of course, when I was a teen and in my early twenties, I was constantly on the phone.  I think those ages are like that for everybody, really – needing confirmation and validation and advice and assurance and the “latest”.
But now that I’m way past those ages, I actually avoid calling friends just to shoot the breeze and catch up with each other because:

a)  I think I have more confidence in my decisions than I used to

b) my life is pretty much “settled” – with the usual problems that every adult deals with of course (illness, money and the lack thereof, parenting, accidents, repairs, obligations and other shit-storms that come our way)

But mostly because:

c) I will talk until the sun goes down and literally nothing I need to do will get done.

Anyway, I found myself wondering a little while ago about most people’s expectations of friendship.  I found myself thinking that maybe I was never really cut out for it, because of my tendency to retreat every once in awhile – especially into my head – and my tendency to frequently want to do my own thing.

Let me explain.
It seems to me that many people think of a good friend as one who communicates with you frequently; one who always remembers your birthday and does something in honor of it; one who often pops on over to your house because they are in the neighborhood; one who makes food for you; one who invites you to do things with them all the time; one who shows up for every important occasion and every event; one who hears you’re having a bad day and brings you some sort of treat to “cheer you up”; one who brings you things like coupons because, since you talk all the time, they know that you need them for that whatchamacallit you’ve been talking about or for that restaurant you like;  one who always calls just to see how you are; basically – someone who is really consciously thoughtful about you.

And I’d say that I can’t argue with that.  Someone like that is, indeed, a really good friend to have. Someone like that is a really good person; a really loving person.

I don’t think I fall into that category though. At least by those standards, it would seem I’m not such a good friend; not such a true friend.

I forget birthdays.
I forget anniversaries of important events.
Not because I don’t think they are important!! I just have a pretty horrible memory for and sense of dates and time passing, especially when there is some sort of stress going on in my life…and lately, that seems like almost all the bleeping time!
And maybe that makes me inconsiderate?

I am always late. No matter how hard I try – and believe me, I DO try – to be on time, I hardly EVER manage it. With anyone or any function.
And maybe that makes me self centered?
Maybe that means I think my time is more important??

I almost never send thank-you notes.
It’s terrible. It’s rude.
But it’s not because I didn’t like the present or didn’t appreciate the thought and effort!
Most of the time, after I’ve opened a present, I’m already composing the thank you in my head, and it’s gushing!! But I get hung up with finding the perfect words and …. the note never gets written and then too much time goes by and then I’m just frickin’ embarrassed. Same with some emails I never get around to responding to.
It’s an awful habit.
That makes me a bit of a spoiled ingrate, right?

I don’t think to make food for people or bring them baked treats.
For one thing, I do not have a history of cooking for important occasions, much less just cooking on a regular basis.  I don’t enjoy it and I’m not that great at it and my mom never made me cook with her.  She worked weird hours as a nurse and then long days after she left nursing and she just wasn’t the cookie-baking kind of mom.  She once made brownies and milk for me to have after school during a brief stint at home;  it was nice, but I never felt unloved because she didn’t do it on a regular basis.
And for some reason, my friends and loved ones don’t spring to mind when I’m looking at a case of cupcakes or strawberries or even bottles of wine…and vice versa.  Food hasn’t ever been the “token of appreciation” or “comfort” for me as it is for millions of other human beings.
Perhaps I’m a bit …. weird???

Since my own family consisted of three people and my parent’s own siblings and parents lived far away, and since my mom was raised in Germany, the only time we ever made a big deal about any holiday was at Christmas.  And even then, it was a traditional German Christmas – decorations go up and presents get opened on Christmas Eve.  Halloween wasn’t fussed over much. I threw on something from my mom’s closet and make-up box, grabbed my plastic pumpkin and out I went.  My dad would help me carve a pumpkin sometimes.  Thanksgiving once consisted of just hot dogs in front of a football game that my dad was watching. So, I’m not the type of friend who particularly enjoys the fuss of holidays; I’ve gotten less and less excited about them as I’ve gotten older.  I’m not the one to go around dropping off presents – or food (see: ambivalence to food and cooking/baking)  – or doing any holiday-themed anything.
And maybe that makes me like Scrooge??
Maybe that makes me a wet-blanket?

I can be flighty. I can open my big mouth with some fantastic idea I just had about something without thinking it through in practical terms.  I can agree to things that I find out I actually can’t do (see: absent-minded, unorganized and poor with time).
And maybe that makes me unreliable?

So – maybe I’m not good friend material.

That’s what I was thinking.  That’s what I was trying to reflect upon.

But……..I will say this about myself and the kind of friend I can be:

I’m the friend you can call at 3 a.m. when you are having a really tough time and you don’t have to feel bad about waking me up, not just because I may actually still be awake, but because I seriously won’t mind.  I’m the friend who will gladly pet-sit your animals. I’m the friend who will let you stay at my house after the party until you’re ready to go home (IF I got around to throwing that party… I know I keep planning to…) . I’m the friend who will let you cry and vent on her shoulder because I know that real life isn’t unicorns and daffodils.  I’m the friend who will still be your friend even if you haven’t spoken to me for years.  As far as I’m concerned, if I considered you a good friend back then, I consider you a good friend now and in the foreseeable future.  I never wrote you off or stopped liking you.  I’m the friend who isn’t going to hold it against you if you forgot my birthday or didn’t get me anything.  I’m the friend who will do her damn best to bail you out of jail. I’m the friend who isn’t going to get sick of you being late for anything, because I know that things happen.  I’m the friend who will understand if you have to cancel at the last minute, and there isn’t some sort of quota on that.  I’m the friend who will forgive you for loving country music or for hating the Talking Heads.  I’m the friend who will give you the tickets for free for the thing I can’t make it to.  I’m the friend who will pay for your meal, your ticket, or the really important thing you need at the moment, and not expect or want you to pay me back.  I’m the friend who will help you bury the body.  I’m the friend who will help you dig up the body. I am the friend who will help you move the body to another location.  I’m the friend who will hide you from whomever is after you. I’m the friend who will drive you to and from the airport so you don’t have to take a taxi.  I’m the friend who will tell you that you have the toilet paper on your shoe/the spinach between your teeth/the bird poop on your shoulder/the skirt that got caught in the back of your pantyhose or God forbid! if you’ve got all of that at once!!  I’m the friend who isn’t going to be put out if you’d really rather stay home today.  I’m the friend who isn’t afraid to hash out disagreements – and hash it out and hash it out until we both understand each other. I’m the friend who will give you space if you need it for whatever reason. I’m the friend who isn’t afraid of apologizing.  I’m the friend who wants to sit with you while you are getting chemotherapy.  I’m the friend you can talk to about anything – ANYTHING – at all.

This happens to be one of my favorite Flight of the Conchords songs. I think it covers true friendship pretty well: