Dear Dazed & Confused,
I have a “friend” from high school who goes to Ithaca College (and yes, until recently, I did mean friend). We had dated in high school, but it just didn’t work – he called me fat in a Denny’s and I broke it off. Just a few weeks ago, I discovered that I actually still had feelings for him, and he rejected me. I accepted it until he started dating this girl in town. How do I tell him that it upsets me when he calls me “second best” without making him worried that I can’t handle just being friends?
Just Second Best
Dear Number Two,
Dazed here … I’m the dude in the picture, in case you forgot … and let me just say, damn girl! What the hell was that guy thinking? In my experience, having said quite a load of shit I shouldn’t have, that dude is lucky you didn’t knee him in da’ nuts — and that’s the stone cold truth.
There are a few things that rival it, such as, “You wear too much make-up,” “Those pants make you look fat” and my personal favorite (if I could get away with it) *insert a comment here* about any other woman. Confused knows; I have regretted many a words I’ve said to her (Confused: He said I reminded him of a fat squirrel he saw on the Arts Quad. Lovely).
So honestly, if I can’t get away with telling Confused that her jokes aren’t funny (Confused: Even though they clearly are), then there is no way in hell this boy should get away with calling you “second best.”
Warranted or grossly misused, some nicknames just suck, and it all depends on the source — a friend should know better.
Let’s consider the great Number 2s in the history of the universe — Helium (#2 on the periodic table of elements), “finally meet the dazzling Denice Cassaro” (#2 on the 161 list), the Vice President (#2 in the order of succession), Luigi (#2 of the Mario Bros.), Robin (the most underappreciated sidekick in superhero history) and, of course, Igor (Dr. Frankenstein’s corpse raiding hunchback). Without all of their contributions, where would the world be? They’d be roaming around in Singleton Purgatory, that’s where.
So if your friend is making you feel like, well, crap (oh, the jokes we held back on to keep it classy), you need to call him out on it. Make a shirt that has a the number two printed on the front and your friend’s picture on the back with a number one. People love reading t-shirts and he’s sure to get the message. If he doesn’t get it then, it’s time that you upgrade to number one status and leave your friend to ride solo.
Dazed and Confused