Six Billion Choices

Monday June 28th, 2009 – Chicago, IL

Being a dented can has a tendency to bleed over into personal relationships of all kinds. Everyone from lovers to friendships to business contacts are included on that list. I’ve had  big trust issues my whole life and that’s just how it is. I’m trying to work through it but if someone in my world sticks it to me or I think they do, I amputate them from my circle.

The way I look at it is if they do it once they’ll most likely do it again and that really has no appeal to me. There are six billion people roaming this planet and we all get to choose which of those we want to associate with on a daily or long term basis. I am learning to be pickier with whom I associate and I have to say I’m feeling good about it. I call the shots.

Lately I’ve been weeding out some of the leakers in my life and it’s not a negative thing at all. It’s actually kind of freeing because I know I don’t have to pretend I like them or be two faced about it. It is what it is. I know there are people who can’t stand me either and I like to know who they are so we can stay away from each other and avoid a useless fight.

Apparently my sister is one of those people. Whatever. That’s one I’m not thrilled about but again I did all I could to change that and she said no. I guess that’s my answer. I’ll just let it go and know I can’t win ‘em all. I tried my best and after that it’s on her. That’s life.

Well, that’s life for a dented can anyway. Maybe she sees no reason to talk to me and by me trying to contact her more that makes it worse. I give up. Now I have a couple of these situations going the other way where people are trying to contact me but I don’t want their energy anywhere near me so I just ignore it. Is that wrong of me? Maybe so, maybe not.

In my mind it’s the best way. It avoids an ugly scene and it stops me from blurting out a  rude statement or five I’ll be sorry for later. Am I a social retard? I’d have to say yes but it comes from growing up as a dented can and never learning to argue nicely. All I saw were ugly brawls and they never got settled. I try to reason with people but many won’t listen.

When I do argue I can get nasty with the best of them and I really don’t enjoy that at all. I usually try to reason once or twice but then I end up letting loose and doing damage with my tongue that takes years if ever to repair. Not saying anything is my way to avoid all of the pain and negative energy that goes with a nasty feud. I just don’t want that in my life.

Two people I’m cutting out of my life are the ones who owe me money for the cars that I stupidly sold them on credit. That wasn’t smart business on my part and I take credit for much of it but I still want my money. I’m going to ask for it as politely as I can and move on and clip them both out of my life. They haven’t helped me until now so not a big loss.

The funny thing is when I’ve done this over the years I never end up missing them. I’ve got a large roster of wonderful friends I am able to count on and share favors with and I’ll continue to nurture those relationships. Out with the leakers and in with the keepers. Who needs to deal with someone who isn’t a winner? Not me. I have six billion other options.

This way of handling myself could totally come back and bite me in the ass but at least I don’t have to be a hypocrite. I don’t have to sit around pretending I like someone or agree with their moronic philosophies when I don’t. To me it’s a time saver and a way to cut the BS as quickly as possible. Unfortunately people don’t always look at it in the same way.

Hey, we’re all different. I respect that. I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt as much as possible and when I’m wrong I freely and loudly admit it. I don’t and never have claimed to be perfect and without faults myself but mistakes are one thing and differences of philosophy are quite another. Mistakes are totally forgivable but to me the other isn’t.

My ex business partner embezzling from me is a perfect example. He could have asked me for the money and I probably would have said yes in a heartbeat. Instead he made it an ugly revelation to have to discover and it still doesn’t sit well with me all this time later.

I need to be associated with a serpent like that? Nah. I pass. Those two comics are in the same boat in my eyes. They could have paid me back a long time ago or tried to arrange a way to not just let it sit there and fester but they didn’t and now I see no reason to go back and associate with them ever again. They’re not even funny comedians in the first place.

Do they have network shows they could hire me for? No. Will they get them? I doubt it. If they would I wouldn’t want to work with them anyway. That’s probably not very smart business on my part but I don’t care at this point. I’d rather be with quality people I like.

There’s also a local booker who’s been a total pain in the ass. I thought we had a decent relationship but last time I saw him he let loose with one of the most mean spirited hurtful comments I’ve heard in a long time. It was really painful and boorish and something right out of my father’s playbook. It still stings me to think about it and it isn’t blowing over.

Supposedly he heard about how it went over with me from someone who reads my blog and now he’s trying to call me but I really don’t want to talk to him and I certainly do not want to work his club anymore. I was booked there in two weeks but thankfully I’ve got a replacement gig that pays three times as much and I never have to work for him again.

I don’t have a problem with that at all but now it’s getting around to other comic friends of mine who are asking me what happened and I just don’t want to deal with it. That guy has a second rate club in a third rate part of town and it frees me to not have to go back.

Zanies has never treated me that way and I’m even more grateful than ever. Bert Haas is my exact opposite in that he can totally get through things like this without a hitch. He’s a politician all the way and I just don’t have those skills. I learn from Bert constantly and he handles ugly situations as well as anyone I’ve ever seen. I guess I have a long way to go.

I don’t want conflict in my life at this point. I’ve had too many good friends and people I like and respect and have never had any problems with and I still do. I want to spend my time growing those fruitful relationships but I have to trim my weeds too. This is difficult.


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