Rockin the friend zone

There has been a lot of discussion lately about pick-up artists (PUA), men’s rights activists (MRA), so-called “nice guys” and the infamous “friend zone”. I keep seeing posts tagged with #notallmen and #yesallwomen. While I love lively open discussions, and I think these are very important subjects, most of the rhetoric disturbs me at the very core of my being. It’s like there is a war going on and it’s a war that can’t possible have a constructive outcome. It makes me wonder how men and women ever get together. It makes me wonder how our species has managed to reproduce. The fact that it has and continues to happen is equally disturbing because it suggests that we have a system based on power, control, manipulation and inequality… which is exactly what we have. Fighting only reinforces this kind of system and tends to benefit the dominant class. Healthy male-female relationships cannot be achieved through fighting. It seems to me that this should be obvious. This is one situation where there should be no doubt that we are in it together. We all want the same thing. I probably shouldn’t speak for everyone but I believe most people want connection, companionship, love and sex. These are things which we CANNOT get on our own. In the case of heterosexual relationship, these things require men and women working together; so why all the fighting? I’m starting to think that you are all just fucked in the head.

So I’m going to try and be a voice of reason. I’m going to try and interject some compassion and understanding into the conversation. Granted, the only perspective I feel comfortable presenting is my own but hopefully the fact that I have dated both men and women will lend some credibility to what I’m saying. Still, it is the perspective of someone who has experienced this culture as a male. My hope is that women and people who have traversed gender identity will feel comfortable adding their perspective to the conversation in the space below.

First off I want to say that I don’t know very much about pick-up artists or men’s rights activism. My take on the pick-up artist stuff is that it exists because it works. It just seems so gamey and contrived that I can’t see anything real or sustainable coming out of it. I have no interest in that. The men’s rights movement seems to have been born out of a sense of loss but I believe that it is the loss of something that was neither real nor sustainable in the first place so why should I care? I realize that is probably not the most compassionate response, and the truth is I do care, just not as much as I care about other things.

What I do know something about is the “nice guy” archetype and the “friend zone”. One could say that the friend zone has been the story of my life. It’s a pretty common story. It is the story of two people who like each other but one wants something more and the other doesn’t. It happens more often than not. I’ve been on both sides of this equation; or should I say inequality. My guess is that two people feeling the same way and wanting the same thing is so rare that we might not even recognize it when it happens. There are countless books and movies, songs and poems, of unrequited love. I’ve written at least half a dozen songs on the subject myself. In fact the first song with lyrics I ever wrote, probably thirty years ago, long before the term “friend zone” made it into mainstream consciousness, began with the line:

There goes another sunny day
Can’t believe it’s raining again
Just when I thought things were going my way
You said you’d rather just remain friends

It was a painful time in my life  but what’s sad is that the words ring just as true to me today. I continue to fall for my friends who want to be “just friends”. I know that you are not suppose to fall in love with your friends but I honestly can’t imagine falling for anyone else. How could I fall for someone that I wouldn’t want to be friends with? I don’t date in the traditional sense because I find it awkward and artificial. Perhaps one day dating will merely be considered a remnant of a patriarchal society. Also, I don’t find dating necessary to meet people. I meet people all the time and I can pretty much tell who I’m attracted to within a few minutes. I could just jump into bed with them right away, which in the past that has been my modus operandi, but I’ve learned that if I want something real and sustainable I need to get to know them, find out if I actually like them, you know… as a friend.

It’s this approach which makes the friend zone possible. It means I place a higher priority on friendship than sex and this does places me squarely in “nice guy” territory. Frankly, that pisses me off. Not that there is anything wrong with being a nice guy but it’s a stereotype and it diminishes my humanity.  It’s like dismissing the talents of a star football player because he’s a “jock”. It still takes a lot of hard work to become good at a sport even if you have an aptitude for athletics. The truth is that I can be as big of an asshole as the next guy, something anyone who has really gotten to know me and spent enough time with me will attest. My aptitude for kindness is not innate. I was not born with it. It has been forged through my experiences. It’s because I have witnessed and experienced the damage caused by power and control that I reject these things. It is only through suffering that I have come to put my faith in kindness.

I don’t recall exactly how long it took me to come up with the next line for my song but I suspect it took some soul searching. I had a lot of pain and insecurity to work through before I could come up with a compassionate, loving response.

That’s fine, just as long as we’re together
Sometimes that’s the way it should be
Lovers come, then they go and are gone forever
I can see it’s a friend that you need

In the song it appears like this response is immediate but in reality these situations tend to go more like this…

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

I snagged this comic from imgur.com where it has recieved over a million views. I think it’s brilliant! It perfectly captures a clearly painful subject in a comical and artistic manner. It was created by a young woman who goes by the name mamamantis on tumblr. She seems pretty cool, that is to say I think we have a lot of common interests. We even have the same incense burner. We could probably be great friends so I hope she doesn’t mind that I use her comic as a jumping off point to discuss my views on the friend zone / nice guy phenomenon.

I know a number of women who have posted this comic and identify with it’s righteous indignation. I can relate to the anger being felt. That feeling that you owe somebody something simply for them being nice to you. I mean, that you owe them anything beyond being nice to them. That’s totally unfair and fucked up. I’ve experienced this from the other end. I’ve had people expect something more from me simply for having sex with me. All you get for having sex with me is that you get to have sex with me. I know that might make me an asshole in some people’s eyes. I realize that sex is not just sex to some people but that’s a subject for another post. This post is about how sometimes friendship is more than just friendship.

Let’s face it, the whole construct of the “friend-zone” is a male invention. It was introduced into the lexicon by men and has been used by men to hurt and subjugate women.  Women have every reason to be pissed off about it. Still, the situation which has produced the idea of the friend-zone is the result of progress made by women. It wasn’t that long ago where the idea of unmarried men and women being “just friends” was unthinkable.  Unless we want to go back to those days we’re going to have to learn now to deal with this new situation. The culture has changed but that doesn’t mean that the people involved have. Men and women behave differently in this situation for what I believe are cultural differences but the emotions behind that behaviour are purely human.

What I see in the comic above is two people who are experiencing hurt, fear and anger. To overcome this it’s not enough to change the culture, we need to evolve as human beings. We need to open our hearts and our minds to the idea that we are all just people. We all want and need the same basic things and none of us can do it alone. We need each other. There is no one else out there to save us so we need to work together. I believe that we can heal the world, one healthy relationship at a time.

So it pains me when I see friendships devolve into hatred over hurt feelings. It pains me when I see the prospect for romance dashed by fear. I don’t know how the story between our two super heroes turned out but I would like to think that they both went home, did some soul searching and personal healing, and came to the conclusion that they really do like each other. I would hope that they would realize that their friendship is strong enough to handle a little sexual tension. I would hope that the guy would realize that friendship is not a consolation prize but is actually pretty damn awesome in it’s own right. OR maybe the woman realizes that it took a lot of guts to ask her out. She could have been more sympathetic and understanding when turning him down. Maybe he wasn’t trying to make her feel guilty but was simply feeling hurt and acted like a dumbass. It might even be possible she comes to the conclusion that this guy really does like her for who she is and isn’t just after her for her body and that is really what she wants in a romantic partner. I know that last scenario is pretty unlikely and may only happens in the movies but all of these outcomes have to be better than what usually happens.

What probably happened was the guy went back to his buddies and in a typical male showing of support they said, “Fuck that bitch! She wouldn’t know a good guy if one bit her on the ass. Now let’s get drunk!” And the woman went back to her friends who said, “Men are pigs! All they think about is sex and they will do anything to get it. Who needs ’em, let’s have a drink!” This might do wonders for the alcohol industry but it doesn’t do a damn thing for improving relationships between men and women.

When it comes to human relationships we need to think beyond the cultural narrative. Every real relationship is unique. It is a magical combination of the two people involved and only the two people involved. It stands outside of time and space. We all come to a new relationship a product of our past experiences. We all have baggage. We all have hurt. But we can’t expect the new relationship to be better if we can’t let go of the past. The goal of each relationship should be to make it the best it can be. We can only do this if we are free to be the best that we can be. We can’t do it if we are playing a role. We can do it if we are expecting the other person to fit into some preconceived mold. We can’t do it if we think of relationships as something to be boxed up and labeled.

That said, I’m going to continue to use labels and common vernacular in my writing because I’m trying to communicate an idea and people have a hard enough time understanding what the hell I’m talking about.

So guys: You need to realize that there are countless reasons why a woman might not want to date you besides being a bitch and hating nice guys. I have heard them all and even if they don’t make sense, they are valid. There is no point in arguing. There is no appropriate line of persuasion. Dating is an art of attraction, not conversion. Rejection hurts but it’s her right to reject your offer if it’s not what she wants FOR ANY REASON. You need to be prepared for this because it can go one of three ways; she can accept and you take the relationship to the next level, she declines and you remain just friends, OR one or both of you go to your dark place, act out in anger and everything goes to shit. That last one is a very real possibility and you are the only one who gets to prepare for it. Don’t be the one to fuck it up. She might react with anger. Even if it seems like all the signs are there, you are springing something on her that she might not want to hear. She’s being forced to see you in a different light and it might make her uncomfortable. She may feel lied to because in a sense you have been lying to her. If you have developed feeling for her, you have to tell her, but you don’t get to control the way she reacts. If you are prepared, you can react with the best part of your personality. If you continue to be the decent guy that she apparently thinks that you are, the relationship, whatever it may be, can continue to flourish and grow.

To the gals: If you are going to have a mature healthy relationship it is going to be with someone you consider a friend. It’s going to be with a nice guy, who just might act like an asshole sometimes. The idea that sex and friendship are mutually exclusive is bullshit. The best sex in the world is between people who love and trust each other; even if it takes a while to transfer that love and trust to the bedroom. It can be scary. There is a risk involved. The friendship will never be the same and the romance might not work out. That’s still not the end of the world. People can still be friends after having sex with each other. Sometimes clearing the sexual tension is what it takes to get to a purely platonic state. Of course if you have absolutely no romantic or sexual interest in the guy by all means, DO NOT DATE HIM. You always have the right to say no and no one can make you feel guilty about it. Now if you react like a fiery banshee and kick him in the balls, you might have something to feel guilty about. If you are a nice, attractive and friendly person it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that your guy friend might be into you. Even if you have done everything possible not to lead him on. Even if you’ve totally just been yourself and treated him like a normal human being he still might fall for you… in fact that’s kind of exactly what nice guys find really hot. I know it sucks. You just can’t win. I wish that there was a pill you could take to make you unattractive to men but so far none has been developed.

We all need to do better. It’s way too simplistic to say that all men are assholes or all women are bitches. In fact it’s pretty inappropriate to call anyone and asshole or a bitch. We are all complex individuals with many facets to our personality. Some are really amazing and some… not so much. We all fuck up. The people who try the hardest probably fuck up the most.

We need to realize that we are at a point in time where the old rules don’t apply and the new rules… well, the new rules are still being figured out. None of us really knows what’s going on and that’s a pretty unsettling feeling. The upside to all this is when we realize that we are all in it together. Having a problem where the solution is to come together rather than fight is a pretty good problem to have in my book.

That’s why I found it so disturbing when I saw this meme on my daughter’s facebook page:

There is no friend zone

I feel like it needs a response and I’m not quite sure how to do that. It’s that frustration which has led me to write this post. Perhaps my daughter just posted it because it sounds good and has a cute dog on it but I ‘m still concerned that she is identifying with what I see as a pretty destructive message. It’s not the denial of the “friend-zone” which I find harmful although I do think that the friend zone is real. People do compartmentalize their relationships in their brain and for whatever reason, some people get designated “just friends”. I do it myself all the time even although I really try to keep an open mind. What troubles me is the suggestion that kindness is not real. It troubles me that kindness is being seen as a tactic to get sex. Kindness is pretty much the opposite of manipulation. This meme looks to me like propaganda from the power and control camp as a way to discredit kindness but I actually doubt that is where it came from. It think it comes from the aforementioned confusion and a general lack of understanding about how kindness works. In a way, I find this meme encouraging because it suggests that men are practising kindness in their pursuit of sexual relationships. I think that is a good thing. The problem is not with kindness. The problem is with our expectations.

I actually feel like I’ve made a pretty good life for myself living in the “friend-zone”. I’ve been more or less single for nearly a decade now. My sex life may not be what it was in my late teens and early twenties but it’s still quite active. I also have some of the most amazing friends a guy could ask for. Almost all of my closest friends are people that I once dated or have been with sexually. Most of the people I have sex with today are my friends. I see no reason why sex, romance and friendship can’t go together. All it takes is trust. That comes from honesty and understanding… oh yeah, and kindness.

 

 

 

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Pay it forward

Since I started driving pedicab back in March I’ve been trying to figure out an economic model that works for me. I do the job because I love it, it’s good for my body and good for my soul. I need to make money doing it but if money was my sole motivation I would never do it.

My favorite rides are the ones I give for free, or at least not expecting any money. My second favorite are the ones where people totally over tip. That makes me feel good too. I usually I get a good balance of the two but one day a couple weeks ago I had a day where no one over tipped, but no one got a free ride or under paid either. Everyone paid their fair share and I made as much as I usually do. For some, that would be the perfect system and something to replicate but it didn’t sit right with me. It didn’t seem real. I want greater diversity. I want people to get rides even if they can’t afford it and I want people to feel good about paying more if they can.

What I really want is to be able to do my job without thinking about the money. What I really want is to be able to make a living by just being me and doing what I do naturally. I don’t feel comfortable accepting payment for services rendered because I consider the service to be priceless. The idea that you can get someone to haul you around on a bicycle if you give them enough money feels like bribery to me.

So I decided that no one would get to pay for their ride. I’ve saved enough money that I can do this, at least for a little while. In essence, that ride has already been paid for through the generosity of riders before them. My hope was that even though nobody had to pay me anything they would still want to. Since they couldn’t pay for their own ride I would let them pay for somebody elses. The belief being that we are all in this together and everyone does their part to support the community. It’s like I could never charge one of my friends for a ride but at the same time they have been some of the best tippers. I would just treat everyone like my friend. I thought it was a brilliant and original idea, but would it work?

Actually it’s not that original and it has worked. It’s basically the principle of “pay it forward”. Karma Kitchen and Seva Cafe work that way. There are numerous other examples of people paying it forward in real life.

Since I’ve been doing this for the past week and a half I’ve found it to be a pretty sound business model – at least for me. I’m getting the diversity of riders that I want and my income has stayed pretty much the same. Everyone who wants a ride can get a ride and everyone feels good paying what they can pay, even if that is nothing. Those that can’t pay it forward with money I ask to pay it forward with an act of kindness. Everyone has something to give and if we all do our part we can make the world a better place.

Instant karma

Man I was spacey yesterday. I just didn’t seem to be able to get it all together. At no point was this more prevalent than when I was backing out of the parking spot after grabbing some food at Subway. I don’t know what I was thinking about or where my head was at but the next thing I knew I heard a crunch behind me and my van came to a stop. I looked back to see that I was butt to fender with a big blue SUV. I pulled back into the parking spot I had just attempted to leave and got out to talk to the driver of the other vehicle.

Out came a very distraught young hispanic woman. I told her how sorry I was and asked what she wanted to do. As it turned out it wasn’t her truck that she was driving so she got on the phone to call the owner. I stood by waiting to find out how this was going to play out. I was concerned because I was on my way to pick up my daughter from an appointment and I had no idea how long this was going to take.

It actually didn’t take very long at all. The SUV was blocking traffic that was trying to leave the parking lot so when I saw her pull out onto the street I figured she was just going to find a place to park so that we could finish our conversation. Instead she just drove away. I waited for a good five minutes just to see if she was going to return but she never did.

I felt bad because I really wanted to make things right. This wasn’t something that needed to be an insurance claim; considering that both of our vehicles were already a bit banged up it seemed pretty unlikely that there were going to get the minor dent fixed. Still, I would have liked to give her some money or something.

Yes, I was relieved that now I could now go get my daughter but I carried with me an unsettled feeling that karma was out of balance. I knew that I would have to do something to make things right with the universe.

Fortunately I have one of those jobs that gives me countless opportunities to help people. While biking down 3rd Avenue in my pedicab on my way to see if I could give rides to the theatre crowd when Pride and Prejudice let out I passed a woman crossing the street.

She hollered out, “How much do you cost?”

I circled back around. She was carrying a huge garbage back that probably contained everything that she owned.  “Whatever you can give me”, I answered.

“I don’t have anything.”

“Well, I guess it’s free then.”

I hate it when people ask me for a free ride, I just think that is rude, but I love giving them whenever I can. This woman was so overwhelmed that someone would stop and help her while expecting nothing in return. She simply couldn’t believe it. My attitude is that I am here to help as many people in any way I can and trust that the universe will provide me with what I need.

I must of spent half an hour with this woman. She didn’t know exactly where she was going and her phone had died so she couldn’t even look up the information or call anyone. I took her to Noodles & Company in Northeast Minneapolis which I noticed had outlets available where she could charge her phone. I waited with her until her phone charged enough that she could call her friend and then I waited with her until he arrived. She really wanted to give me something. I said that she could give me a hug which she did. Apparently, that was not enough because she began digging through her purse until she found a dollar to give me. I accepted it but later that night I gave the dollar to another person who was homeless and asking for money.

Five minutes after leaving my new friend I picked up a couple outside of The Bulldog NE. They wanted to go to the Gay 90’s for the drag show and wondered if that was too far. I told them, “Not at all, I would love to give you a ride to the 90’s”. They hopped in and off we went.

Once we reached their destination they asked me how much they owed me. I gave them my usual pitch about giving what they’ve got to give. The woman asked if a hundred dollars would be good. I said a hundred dollars would be very good. The man reached in his wallet and handed me one hundred and fifty dollars for the ride – the biggest tip I have received to date.

At this point I could have called it a night and gone home. It would have been a $60/hour night. But that’s not the way karma works. You don’t do one good deed for one person and the next person repays you. It’s an ongoing thing so I kept going. I took that love and gratitude and spread it around downtown Minneapolis for the next five hours. In the end it wound up being a $34/hour night which is still well above average.

 

Fabulous friend weekend

I just got back to Minneapolis from my weekend trip to Chicago for my friend’s wedding. I have an hour to kill before picking up my daughter so I’ve stopped at Caribou Coffee to use their wi-fi and see if I can whip out a blog post. I have no illusion that I will be able to do justice to the absolute amazingness of my weekend but hopefully I can share with you a little bit of how fabulous my friends are and how much they mean to me.

I’ve known about this wedding for almost a year. I knew from the first mention of it that would be making the trip to Chicago for the occasion. I have been friends with the bride for over a decade. Despite living in separate cities the entire time we have maintain and very close and meaningful friendship. We would visit each other regularly and spent many, many hours on the phone discussing everything under the sun with heavy doses of politics, philosophy and relationships. When it came to relationships, we had endless material to draw upon having both been through our share of dissatisfying and toxic relationships.

The relationship conversations have died out over the past several years as she has been seeing her now husband. It was clear to me that she had finally found someone who could appreciate her beauty and passion while fulfilling and complimenting her. I couldn’t be happier for her and I look forward to continuing our friendship and she embarks on this chapter of her life. 

Still, all the joy and anticipation that this occasion brought me would not be enough to get me to plan ahead. Even my RSVP required a reminder message from the bride. As the date approached the option to book one of the hotel rooms reserved for wedding guests faded, as did the option for an affordable plane or even bus ticket. I was left with no option but to drive and no idea where I was going to stay once I got to Chicago.

Out of desperation, yet with a heavy dose of hubris, I sent following message to all the people I knew living in the Chicago area.

Dear Chicago area friends,

I’m going to be in Chicago this weekend for a wedding (Sunday afternoon). I’ll be pulling in Friday or Saturday and leaving sometime Monday. Please let me know your availability and if you have a couch I can crash on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. This may seem last minute for something that I have known about for six months but that’s how I roll. I’m amazing, you are amazing, I know we can make this work!

Much Love, LeFreak

I received one response from one person who was going to be busy but would spread the word. I may be amazing but it was becoming clear that I am not so amazing that anyone is going to stop their amazing life just because I am coming to town; perhaps not even long enough to read a facebook message. That’s just reality folks.

I also sent a message to a friend I made while playing a show in Winona, MN a little over a year ago. We’ve only hung out a couple times since then but we relate so naturally that I feel like we became instant best friends. If there was any chance I could see her it would be worth a detour through Winona.

As it turned out she was available although she was no longer living in Winona. She was living on her parent’s farm about 40 minutes from Winona.  That sounded perfect to me. This city boy could certainly use a little time on the farm. I got that and so much more.

The next morning I made us breakfast and headed on my way to Chicago. I still had no idea where I was going to stay and my confidence that it would all work out was wavering. I pulled off the road in Madison to make phone calls to see if I could figure something out. I was starting to think that I would have to find a cheap motel somewhere in Wisconsin to spend the night.

After a few unsuccessful calls I did find someone who would be thrilled to have a visit from me. It actually turned out to be the best of all possible options. To my delight I learned that she was living with another dear friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen in far too long. As an added bonus, they live about 20 minutes from the wedding location and even closer to another musician friend of mine. I had brunch with him Sunday morning.

I could have arranged other transportation to the wedding but I chose to drive. I’m sure that if I had been able to drink more I would have found plenty of fun trouble to get into but that was not what I wanted. All I wanted was to see my friend get married and then get back to my friends who had so kindly given me safe harbor.

My plan was to drive back to Minnesota on Memorial Day for a barbeque at my parent’s house, but I wasn’t done seeing out of town friends. I realized that if I drove due west from Chicago on Highway 30 I would run into Ames, IA and the home of one of my oldest and dearest friends. How could I resist? 

I think Felix da Minivan thought it was a good idea too. My van had been giving me some brake problems over the weekend but nothing that day. Also the power drivers-side window, which stopped working just as I entered the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, was working perfectly again. Furthermore, I got the best gas mileage I’ve ever recorded.

Now back in Minneapolis I still want to see friends. Even before going home I stopped by a friends house for a visit. I had meant to see her last week but the week vanished before I got a chance.

At every turn this weekend I was met with open arms and hospitality. I was given food, shelter, love and acceptance. I received gifts as well. I returned home with two new hats, a pair of shoes, two t-shirts, a velvet jumpsuit, “Death in Venice” by Thomas Mann, four bottles of hard cider and a purple stuffed monkey.

What have I done to deserve this kindness and generosity? I have nothing to offer except me but perhaps there is value in that. Perhaps me, just being me, is something worth being.

That is my hope. That is my dream. My goal is to get to a point where I can spend all my days just being me, traveling the country, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I want nothing more than to share all that I have to give and receive all that the world has to offer.

A simple smile

“Very occasionally, if you pay really close attention, life doesn’t suck.” – Joss Whedon

Tuesday was one of those days. I was deeply moved by the out pouring of  support and generosity I had received.  It wasn’t just gift I received in the mail. It was being taken out to lunch. It was the restaurant re-tweeting my check-in, thanking me for my business and wishing me a good day. It was a friend sharing her hair dye with my daughter. It was even the customer service person at the bank who expressed understanding of my situation and took the time to kindly explain the bank rules. It was in the eyes of the countless random strangers who smiled at me throughout the day.

All day long, I felt like I was part of a community, a group of people who were willing to do what they could, as simple as that may be, to make the world a slightly better place. At least for that day, I found reason to believe that we really are all in this together. I’m not naive. I know how cruel the world can be, but I can also see it’s potential. When I’m open to it, when I look with un-jaded eyes, I see the kindness and compassion alive withing the human spirit. I believe it is there burning within everyone. Perhaps the flame has gone out, extinguished after years of abuse or trauma,  but an amber remains, waiting for a breath of oxygen and the fuel to sustain it.

Filled with the kindness I had received I set out to share my love and compassion with others who were hurting. There are a number of other Facebook groups with the theme, “Life Sucks”. There is Life Sucks, but I Love it anyway, LIFE SUCKS!!!!!!!! and  MY LIFE SUCKS, to name a few. I figured my page should like them. Reading what people had posted touched me deeply. There are a lot of people in pain. There are a lot of people going through hard times. I wanted to reach out. I wanted to share whatever wisdom I have acquired through my life. I wanted to encourage them to hang in there, it’s hard, but it gets better.

I stayed up all night reading about other people’s struggles and offering support. That’s what I really want to become of this blog, eventually. I don’t want it just to be some narcissistic one-way rant about my life. I want build a community of people supporting each other, learning, sharing, and growing together. It’s going to take time, I realize. I haven’t even written my “About” page yet. But that is my dream. That is what I try to hold in my heart each day when I write these posts.

Without a wink of sleep, delivering my CityPages route was a real challenge. I had to go slower, I had to focus, I had to fight through the pain and I had to consume a lot of caffeine. Still, when I got a txt from a friend asking if I could baby-sit, I was there. Life sucks, anything I can do to make it a little bit better, I will do. Sometimes there is not much I can do. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything to give, but I know every little bit helps. In these times, I have to dig deep, muster up what little strength I have, to even produce a simple smile. But if I can do that, if other people can do that, if we all do whatever we can each day, we can make this world suck just a little bit less. We may even be able to find those moments when life doesn’t suck.

“If nothing we do in this world matters, then the only thing that matters is what we do.” – Joss Whedon, Angel: After the Fall, Volume 1

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