I spent my morning on a West Village bench reading. Nearby I could hear a young woman talking to a friend about her boyfriend.
“But I know there’s a good guy in there somewhere. He just needs to realize it.”
“He treats you like cat litter,” her friend replied.
The conversation went on to include details of how the guy was, well, an ass. Liar, cheater, you name it. And yet there was his girlfriend, convinced that “there’s a good guy in there somewhere.” Her friend looked ready to lose it.
I’d been there. Only I wasn’t the sane one.
As it turns out, I have a really practical best friend. And thank God, because he has a really impractical weirdo by his side most of the time.
He sees things as they are; I often see them as I want them to be.
He gives you a second chance when you’ve earned it; I’ve given way too many third chances that weren’t deserved.
He judges you based on your actions; I once fell in love with words.
I tell him he’s entirely too practical, but I’m secretly insanely jealous. Mike, now you know.
When I was nineteen years old, I fell in love with a jerk. He was passionate and smart. But he was…a jerk. I spent many months, way too many, searching for the good in someone that didn’t exist. Mike spent many months making me laugh and reminding me that people’s actions will show you everything you need to know if you just open your eyes.
If his practicality drives me crazy now, imagine how maddening it was when we were in college.
At one point over the years, I actually had a “friend” tell me he was a terrible person. Full-on admission. Instead of believing him, I struggled to convince him that it wasn’t true, that he was wrong about himself. My best friend made me laugh again. And when asked, reminded me that when someone shows you who they are, you should believe them.
It took me a really long time to learn that silly lesson.
“Better late than never,” Mike said as he winked and passed me a chicken wing.
So, as much as I wanted to shout at the love-struck girl on the bench this morning in some effort to spare her the insanity she’s sure to endure, it occurred to me that everyone has to learn these things in their own way, at their own time, on their own journey.
Regardless, the whole thing reminded me of some good lessons…
When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.
Don’t try to convince people that they are who you need them to be.
Thank God every day if you’re lucky enough to walk through life with a friend you trust and admire.
And…sometimes practical isn’t so bad. Just don’t tell Mike, cause I’ll never hear the end of it.
Jedediah Bila is a co-host of “Outnumbered” on Fox News at 12pm ET. She is an author, columnist, and Fox News Contributor. Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila.