There is a great difference between being rude and being honest.
There is a vast difference between being negative and being realistic.
I prefer the latter. Maybe it's because I'm simple-minded. Maybe it's because I'm from the East Coast. Maybe I'm just too lazy to bother with pretenses. Either way, I find it important to distinguish between these attributes.
People always tell me they think East Coasters are rude. And I respond, "We're not being rude- we're just being honest." I think I have to justify this a lot because I've been living in the Western states for over half my life now, and over here, people think nothing of smiling and saying, "let's hang out sometime!" but then never calling. Or girls who give out their phone number, but won't answer when he calls because, well- she was never interested anyway. Even worse is that these girls will usually tell all their friends with a squeal of not-so-secret delight, "I don't know why he keeps calling me!" Please. This isn't being nice. It's self-serving, smug, and disrespectful. THAT is not nice. I don't think an East-Coaster would ever bother saying, "let's do lunch," if they didn't actually mean to make plans. Now is that rude? Or (ultimately) is that simply being considerate? Because why waste time or energy on either side by saying what you don't mean?
In the other room, I hear people boo-ing Simon Cowell for his honest critique and constructive criticism. "That's not nice. Boo!!!" Spare me. In the real world, you don't get constructive criticism in auditions. In fact, if you're not good, you'll be lucky to finish your performance. No feedback. No props. No, "dawgs." Simon may not be nice, but he is honest. And he is fair. I would rather be surrounded by people who are genuine than people who look through me with a vacant smile.
Today a friend of mine laughed and said, "I'm sorry; I feel like I'm just being negative and bitter!" The fact is, she is neither. She is being honest and realistic. And I value what she has to say because I know it comes from a place of wisdom and maturity. And her opinions are not bitter at all! They are hilarious observations about people and life and culture- and we all know that it's funny 'coz it's TRUE.
It's the friends who are sharp enough to cut through the fluff and the fat to get to the core of things that we end up really valuing. Their honesty makes them real. And it makes our friendship real through trust and mutual respect. None of that patronizing niceness that dissolves at the sign of trouble in this relationship! These are the people in your life you can trust. You will be able to rely upon them in your darkest hour. And in the meantime, you can enjoy good friends who appreciate your intelligence and value your trust and who will make you laugh through all the rest.
To all of YOU. Thanks. You're radtastic and I love you. And I know that you know that I mean it. And this one's for you: