The Company You Keep

Posted by: on Jul 14, 2012 | 3 Comments

This is one that’s been bouncing around inside me for quite some time but I just couldn’t bring myself to throw this one out there….until now.  Before I continue I need to state that all the names you will read have clearly been changed, not all examples cited relate directly to me (others having told me similar relationship issues they have) and I may overstate things for dramatic effect (but who doesn’t).  Oh, and I think some folks out there are not going to be happy with me (if they believe I’m talking about them and can prove it) but what the hell. Let’s begin.

Groucho Marx stated that “I would never want to be a member of any club that would have me as a member.” I’m going to make this a little more personal and say “I would never want to be friends with anyone who would have ____________ (you can fill in the blank) as a friend.” There are a lot of things that I can look at that have effected my friendships over the years:  I don’t like their spouse, their spouse doesn’t like me (I know, hard to believe), our kids don’t get along, we don’t belong to the same club anymore, distance, divorce (you always have to choose sides) growing apart, yada, yada, yada.

A few months back, I had a conversation with my friend Woody (remember, not his real name) where I asked him how one of his friends was. He told me that he doesn’t really speak to Buzz, that they didn’t really socialize because he didn’t like Buzz’s other friends and he always had one of them in tow. When it came down to it, he realized that he had outgrown Buzz.

I thought that was interesting and began to wonder if Linda and I had any friends that we didn’t see for that same reason. The answer was yes and no. Yes, we see these people but we probably don’t see them as much because of the whole “other couples” thing. As some of you may know, I’m not shy about stating my feelings and opinions on these types of matters, so if I don’t like someone, there’s a good chance other people have been informed of who and why folks are on my shit list.

When Bob and Carol tell us they are going out with Ted and Alice (who I really want to have nothing to do with) and would we like to join them, we say no. But what I really started thinking about was does the fact that, if Bob and Carol really do like Ted and Alice, what does that say about me? If, in my humble opinion, Bob and Carol have such bad taste in their other friends, do I really want to be one of their friends.  If I consider Ted and Alice less than worthy human beings and Bob and Carol put us in their same friendship bed, am I less than worthy as well?

This topic came up recently when my friend Luke and I were talking about our mutual friend Han. We always questioned Han’s taste in woman but he has some friends that we really don’t like, including Leia who is a real princess. Does Han’s relationship with Leia make Luke and I less of a force? Not really and in the end, we agreed that Han was a well loved friend but he had some issues picking out friends, especially when his Schwartz was involved.

What I’ve come to decide is you just have to take people as they are. If you ask most of my friends, who the most obnoxious person they know is, chances are that I’m close to the top of that list but they still love me and value my friendship. So I guess I’m in in no position to judge other people based on who else they choose to spend their time with.


  1. Lizzie
    July 14, 2012

    Can I offer you a tour of The Museum of Tolerance in NYC?

  2. Jim
    July 16, 2012

    Or, you could come to the one in LA.

  3. Your disgruntled pledge mate
    July 19, 2012

    Friends don’t let friends pick sides