I'm talking about true friends, the ones you can depend on to stand by you through all the ups and downs of your life. I'm talking about the friends who shake their heads and laugh at all the stupid shit you do, all the ridiculous predicaments you get yourself into, and all the terrible decisions you make. The ones you can count on for good advice and count on standing by you even when you don't take it. I have friends that I regularly disagree with. They make idiotic decisions. They fuck up their lives. They never seem to do shit right when it comes to almost everything but our friendship. I tell them they are fools. I tell them they are stupid, lazy, needy, that they never learn, that they need to straighten up and fly right, get a life, get a job, get a better woman, get a better man, be a better parent. I judge them and I criticize them but once they make a decision, for better or for worse, I stick by them.
I have a friend who has a wife that is absolutely annoying. Before he married her I told him over and over again just how annoying I found her. He told me about how incompatible they were in the bedroom. She was too wild for him apparently. And I told him that it would never work and he should move on. Once he told me he loved her and wanted to marry her I shut the fuck up. Why? Because once he made that decision the time had passed for my opinions. What he needed then was my support. If the relationship fails or succeeds I'll be there for him. And I'll sit right beside her annoying ass at parties and smile for the sake of my friend.
I have a friend who spent a ton of money on a new business. I told him again and again why the business wouldn't work, how he should think about getting into something more stable and reliable. Once he put his money down and committed to it I shut the hell up. He doesn't need my negativity now after he's invested his life's savings and is struggling to make a success. He needs my support. If it fails I'll be there to cheer him up. If it succeeds I'll be there to cheer him on. Why? Because that's what friends do. Those spiritual parasites who stand on the sidelines telling you over and over again that you've made the biggest mistake of your life and that you are going to fail when you are trying to commit yourself 100% to making your dreams a success are not your friends. Those negative bastards need to be cut loose.
A friend might think that your dream of starting a career as a prima Ballerina when you are forty years old and 50lbs overweight is stupid. They might tell you that you shouldn't waste your money on dance lessons and that you'll only wind up being disappointed. But once you've set yourself on that path and you're taking ballet lessons every night and doing your dance recitals, a true friend would be there in the audience cheering you on. And when you trip on stage, tumble into the audience and make a fool of yourself, a true friend will be there to laugh with you not at you.
A friend might think the woman you're with is a total bitch. He might think you are making the biggest mistake of your life by being with her and that she'll only cause you misery and pain. But once you tell him that you love her and want to marry her then all the bashing of the woman you love should come to an immediate halt. At that point it's time to accept that your friend is now a couple and you either have to accept them both or reject them both. If you're choice is to reject them both than you might want to ask yourself what kind of friend that makes you.
A friend might think it's stupid to want to be a horror author when so few writers ever make a name for themselves and you can't support a family on five cents a word and the average book advance is only five thousand dollars and few writers ever see any royalties beyond that, and horror novels haven't been on the bestseller's list since the eighties. But once you've spent half a year pouring your soul out page after page to write that novel a true friend congratulates you and is the first one in line to buy the book even if it ain't exactly his cup of tea. A true friend is proud of you just for trying even if you fail.
I'm not saying that if you have a friend who is doing something completely self-destructive or criminal that you are less of a friend for distancing yourself from something that could possibly be harmful to you. I have friends who I've had to distance myself from because of their drug or alcohol abuse. You help as much as you can, cut them loose when it becomes necessary and welcome them back when they get their shit together. What I'm saying is that if you have a friend who is making choices in their lives that you might not necessarily agree with but that really won't affect your life one way or the other, there comes a time when you have given all the advice you can and if they still want to go that route as a friend you need to support their decision and most importantly their right to make their own decisions whether they are good or bad. I'm not saying friends don't judge. Friends judge but they don't condemn. A friend should never be a weight that drags you down with negativity and criticism and ridicule and once one of them gives you an ultimatum where you have to choose your passion over their friendship punch them right dead in their mouth and keep walking. Fuck them for not being supportive.