Call Me in the (Early) Morning
I always thought the whole "A-Lister" thing was hilarious. Tongue-in-cheek and silly. I'm not a big fan of exclusion and that's absolutely not what this community has ever been about, despite some contrary views (which I think are valid talking points, if arrived at via incomplete information). As with any large group, there will be smaller circles and what I think is missing in the analysis (that uses words like "cliques" and "inner circle") is that some people have forged very deep and meaningful friendships. It's just not possible to form that level of a bond with 100+ people. It does not mean the two, eight, 12 people are unavailable to the rest.
I'm certain I've never been invited anywhere by another blogger because of what I've written here or that these thoughts of mine elevated me to some rarified level or were, on the other hand, a catalyst for me NOT being invited somewhere.
However, when the Resident A-Lister calls at 2:58 a.m. to ask for love advice, two things become clear:
1. I need no other validation for A-List status
2. Said A-Lister doesn't read this blog, for if he did, he'd realize the magnitude of the Train Wreck that is my love life. Women don't just break up with me. I am so loathesome to them that they physically and mentally eradicate my entire existence.
It's fun talking to a plowed Rooster. KA-KAW! I gave it to him straight. People don't like to hear it straight. They take it personally. As if having an opposing viewpoint is somehow equal to control. If there's disagreement, that's simply another trying to bend you to their will.
That's not the way conflict resolution works, people. You talk it out, completely, with mutual respect. That means no low blows, no shots or purposeful skewers to hurt the other, put them off balance so you can "win." You don't run away when you hear something you don't like. You don't pull a straw man and deflect attention from the core issue to one that's more heated and emotional. It's not fucking about winning. It's about trusting others to hear what you are saying and if they don't accept it, they must at least give it weight and esteem. "Respect my word!" as Salk might say.
You may not reach a conclusion that's satisfying to both parties. It happens. But you won't make enemies on the journey, either, if you're straight, if you conduct yourself admirably.
I try to do that. Because then, no matter the outcome, you can sleep at night.
Well, most of 'em.