I think it was Homer Simpson who once said “Surround yourself with people smarter than you.” Or it might have been Kanye. I’m not sure. But if you’re smart, or at least have smart friends, you can learn from them if you slow down enough to catch their words of wisdom.
For instance, I once met someone through a mutual friend at a dinner party. She seemed nice enough and we all had a good time. Or, so I thought. It turns out though that her friend hated me.
“She hates me?” I asked in disbelief. “What did I do? I thought everything went fine.”
“She hates you because you’re successful.”
My jaw dropped open and a high pitched “What?” came out. “I’m not successful. My husband is successful. I have an endless list of failures.”
“I know.” she said “It doesn’t matter. You’re skinny.”
“I am NOT skinny!” I said.
She nodded her head in agreement.
“I do have fat, I just hide it under my clothes.”
“She doesn’t like your clothes either. She thinks you’re flaunting your money by wearing that fancy jacket you had on.”
“I got that blazer at a thrift store when I was buying clothes for the school play.” I said incredulously. “I even said so!”
“Yeah, she was just looking for excuses to not like you.”
“Is that a thing?” I queried.
“Wake-up dummy. People are so unhappy with their own lives they have to tear down others to make themselves feel better.”
I thought about it for several moments. This is where I was suppose to receive those words of wisdom my friend had just shared, but I didn’t hear that part.
“I don’t see how that could work.” I said cluelessly.
“It doesn’t, so they stay miserable, have no friends and drive their spouses to drink or divorce them.”
“She doesn’t hate you.” I said slightly jealous.
“She probably does, but she needs me to give her son a ride home from band practice on Mondays.” she said. “The kids!” she screamed, jumping to her feet, her eyes opening so wide she was momentarily paralyzed. “I forgot about the kids!”
“No!” I blurted, pushing her back onto the sofa and running for the door. “I’m going! Text me her address!” I hollered over my shoulder.
“What are you gonna do?” she screamed in a panic scrambling up off the sofa.
“I’m gonna kill her (yanking open the car door) with kindness (jumping in the driver’s seat) until she likes me!” I finished with a determined slam of my car door.
I couldn’t hear what she was saying as I sped off. It was probably something like “You don’t know what her son looks like.” or “They won’t let a stranger pick up her nine-year old.” I didn’t catch it. I was so excited to be on my quest to turn the other cheek, that I may have shown my bum.