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Monday, November 4, 2013

The Explosive Gift Situation : My Version

Sometimes you cross paths with someone who immediately gets you.  From literally the first moment you meet you know that person is going to be someone special in your life.
So is the case with my guy pal.  I met him within weeks of moving to Zurich and adored how he would listen to my work stories ad nauseam (and trust me, this is no easy feat), he listened to my family related dramas and best yet he laughed at my bad jokes - and he made me laugh.  I remember one particular time; it was in fact Halloween evening last year, when he spent his evening celebrating the conclusion of a very important and exhausting project of mine.  I remember one time he was driving me home from German class and I was rambling a mile a minute, when I noticed it and commented how cool it was that he listened to my blah blah blah, he responded with a laugh and gestured around the car “Dawn, where exactly can I go?” He is also the person that made sure I had pumpkin for my much longed for Thanksgiving dinner, the one that fixes my bike, and so on - that is just the kind of friend that he is…
Pretty cool huh?  But wait, I am not finished yet.  This is going to be one long blog….
One of the other things I love about my friend is that he knows how to handle me.  I am in spirit a fighter.  Everything I have in this life I fought for – and fought hard.  So when I am determined, I can be a bit, uhm, well… lets just say difficult.  However, to this friend of mine, I am not so difficult.  So somehow he became my go-to-person when the drama of life started to get to me.  “Dawn, it sounds like you are making your own movie,” is one of my favourite lines of his when I start to lose my perspective.
It all sounds kind of perfect doesn’t it? 
Now on the other hand, he  is someone who likes to have control over any and all situations.  But then as much as he likes having everything his own way, it also bores him.  He is a bit of a walking contradiction.  Normally he picks where we will meet, when we meet, what we will do – everything.  I am okay with that because he in turn listens to my long ramblings and dramatic outbursts.  For the most part, it is a friendship that is tough to beat.
But then the trouble started.  I got in trouble for not inviting my friend to do things.  I was confused.  We talked about it, but I remained confused.  To make matters more confusing for me I tried to make a suggestion and he immediately countered it with another.  In the end we did what he wanted.  (in all fairness, he had the better idea).
One day I was thinking about him and how much his friendship meant to me.  I wanted to express it, particularly after getting in trouble.  Since my attempt at planning was quickly thwarted, I thought of a gift.  Nothing special.  It had a couple of parts, one of which was not so easy to procure.  Excited I informed him that I had “a gift” for him.  To my surprise he was excited - and started texting me and demanding to see “the gift”.  As always, he demands were full of humour and light.  So I was fun back.  Soon he gave me a gift that was cute and thoughtful which made me sorry that the last part of his gift had still not arrived.  So I decided to make him wait until he could have it all and thus the full impact.
The banter of “the gift” continued.  It was fun.  Or so I thought – until the last text.  “Dawn, I don’t even want the gift anymore.”  He was annoyed!  My longest running pal here in Zurich was literally so irritated that I felt our friendship was in serious jeopardy.  So we had a heated phone discussion – he still could not see how he was so in the wrong on this one.  A gesture intended to show my appreciation was actually causing a massive conflict.  He was in my opinion completely unreasonable.
I did what any normal female would do.  I called my mother and lamented about how I was losing a friend over a stupid gift – how annoying and unreasonable my friend was being over the whole thing.   And maybe just maybe, this friendship had run its course. 
“He is right Dawn” she said.  I am still not so sure that this is the case, but alas I apologized.  A mother is the trump card on all issues otherwise unresolvable.
I told my friend that I though we were the only two people who fought over a gift.  “You could be right” he agreed.
Until now our friendship has been easy, uncomplicated.  (okay, except for another disagreement that happened about the same time last year – but alas that is another blog)  We can relate to nearly everything in each others lives because we are so similar.  We are difficult and demanding as well as sensitive.  It really is a recipe for disaster.  However, as with all good things in life – they are not always so easy.  I am glad I was able to navigate my friend’s displeasure with me – and I am glad he was able to navigate my subsequent temper tantrum.  As a result the friendship fortunately remains intact.
But what about the gift you ask?  Well, he still hasn’t got it :)

FOOTNOTE:  My friend has asked that his version of the event follow mine, so tomorrow you can read his and decide for yourself who is the more reasonable of the two of us. 

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