Do you have a no-exceptions, deal-breaking, erase-from-contacts, unfriend-on-Faceboook offence? I don’t, but that’s because I’m a social media addict and, just like I can’t throw out a pair of jeans because “I might wear them again… one day… when the high-waisted stone-wash look comes back in,” (which incidentally, it did) I find it really hard to excommunicate people from the Fellowship of Facebook, let alone from my actual-factual life. It’s in part because social media has become such a part of our lives that hitting the “unfriend” button is kind of like murder, and if you do that and delete a phone-number… no amount of mouth-to-mouth will bring that friendship back. Erm.. You know what I mean.
Well, that’s not strictly speaking true. I’ve had a couple of friendships fall spectacularly apart, numbers deleted after bouts of vicious texting, only to be resurrected some years later and restored to a kind of strength that can only come from being re-built. Re-built with caution, yes, and a lot of triangular steel reinforcement, and that high-tech concrete they re-built Ground Zero with, but re-built nonetheless.
But above all, these friendships were re-built with honesty, because there’s just no other way.
Honesty sucks. Yeah, you heard me. It sucks like Cod Liver Oil, and sacrificing watching The Biggest Loser in favor of actually doing some exercise, and chemotherapy, and Brussel sprouts: It sucks like a lot of things we’d rather not do but are helpful to leading healthy lives.
Being honest with the people around you is crucial, of course. Because telling them they look fantastic in those skinnies when in fact the g-string is both too high and too tight and their legs look like a truss-pig is eventually going to come back to bite you in your smoother-clad bottom. But, of course, there’s a limit: we find diplomatic ways to negotiate the treacherous landscape of night-on-the-town preparation and say something like, “You look better in the boot-cut.” <;- Not a lie, but achieves the same outcome as honesty. The problem arises when "You look better in the boot-cut" is met with, "You kidding? I look HOT in the skinnies!" and then you get your head bitten off for not telling them how hideous they look when they catch sight of their protruding leopard-print-and-diamante G cutting into their hips three inches above their jeans.
The solution? Well, first of all check your own underwear-denim-relationship is in working order, and then broach the issue honestly. OK, maybe not honestly. Maybe, "Your figure has filled out a bit since you bought those and they're not so flattering anymore. You don't look your best. Go for the boot-cut," is a better option than, "For the love of God, get those skinnies off! You look like a mint lamb roast, but less delicious!"
Anyway, you get my drift.
It's not fool proof. Some people just really like their skinnies. And that's fine. And some people will defend their skinnies by ripping strips off you for that orange lipstick. That's fine too. So long as you can admit the orange lipstick was probably a bad idea, and retract the emotional investment in your friend's choice of denim-wear enough to step into a cab with them, you can continue to party together in somewhat dubious style.
If you can't… time to make friends with better taste in pants.
The point of this stretched-til-the-elastic-snapped metaphor (stretched like a pair of stretch-jeans you loaned to your friend who looks bad in skinnies… OK, I'll stop) is that honesty might be hard, but lying never ends well. If someone said to me, "Yeah, you look great in those!" and I came to realise they'd actually told a lil' fib there, resulting in me looking like the biggest fashion douche in a club of already appallingly low douchy standards, and them looking even more killer by comparison, I'd probably have the shits. Moreover, I'd never be able to go clothes shopping with them again, because I'd never quite know if I actually looked good.
And that's why my delete-from-life clause is "Don't lie about the skinnies."
Except not… because ill-fitting skinnies might come back one day.