Recently I learned that someone I've known--though obviously not in a day in, day out manner--my entire life got a divorce a couple years ago. It was quite surprising to me. The reason I saw this was because a Facebook post from their ex popped up in my feed. I do not have anything, for the most part, to do with Facebook. I'll check what three or four people are up to. A lot of what is on this journal--albeit in shorter form--was the kind of thing I'd post on Facebook. I'd post links to my work, things about sports, art. Photos from my travels in the woods. Of course, because it's me, and I am always some form of feared, hated, envied, or a combo, there would be no likes. I could have cured the world of cancer and there would have been no likes. Again, because it's me. People won't interact with me. I make them uncomfortable because we are on different levels and people like people like them--they don't even like them; it's just more comfortable, less of a source of self-doubt. It takes someone, to date, very secure in themselves--or drunk, or crazy--to feel like they can behave towards me as they'd behave towards anyone else without a second thought. So, I didn't need to see that every day. How despised I am. For virtues. I didn't need to see the amazing life accomplishment get zero likes from 5000 people. From family. I dread posting a cover of one of my books on Instagram, because I get this giant "fuck you" from uncles, aunts, cousins, "friends," who won't even hit the "like" button, and who are often people I've done an awful lot for. Because that is my nature--to give and help.
Anyway, I did see a photo of this man's now ex-wife, with this kind of fifty-something-year-old meathead. I thought, "hhhhmmm, something appears to have happened here." This guy had the puffy face, and he looked like a cardboard cutout, but one meant to suggest what that cardboard cutout's glories days had been like. Definitely looked like someone who had peaked in high school. I have not used this term before, but I think it was one of those male bimbo-types. A mimbo? Is that a term? But a mimbo gone to pot. He looked less like a person, and more like stage dressing. Which was not surprising. This man's wife was not bright. I did not know why he married her, other than because she's attractive--she still is--and she was younger, and would do the whole "let's start a family fast" thing, and rear the children. My impression was that theirs was a union of convenience and not wanting to be alone, rather than love. She's the kind of person who, pushing fifty, goes on spring break to places that college students go on spring break. Someone else informed me of some details, and infidelity, that kind of thing.
Anyway, the woman puts up this photo of her set dressing--her new boyfriend. He looks like a piece of bloated wood. Can wood bloat? And also as if he's someone who knows he is set dressing, and also kind of cool with it. It's what he does. What he has always done. But it was there first photo as a couple. A shoehorned couple. A "I don't want to be alone, be with me" couple. Or that was my sense. The smiles--gritted teeth. You know that smile you give when the dentist tells you to bite down and show him or her your teeth? That smile.
But then came what I call the LAFF. The LAFF is the lonely angry female friend. One must take heed with the LAFF. The LAFF is alone, and that's a lot of people. That's certainly me, though I am also completely comfortable, and aware, with and of my inner self. But the LAFF is someone who cannot bear their own company. The LAFF rages with issues. There is often a drink component. What the LAFF wishes to do is at once a form of "you go, girl!" girl power, but with a passive aggressive strain, because what the LAFF wants, ultimately, is to have their gal pal "back." Which also means to be as miserable and alone as they are. They are alone. They probably are miserable. They just have a boyfriend or a husband. A fling person. A temporary person. Whatever it may be.
The LAFF takes up this cause--it's a pretend cause--of protector. Of overseer. Of the person who must be convinced of the man's worthiness, when the reality is is that there's no pleasing the LAFF. The LAFF will do what she must do to sabotage. She does this in the name of health and safety. Well being. That is how the LAFF camouflages her intentions! She'll do acts of pure wickedness. A lot of this happens behind backs. Letters may be written--of great and grave concern. To, say, parents. The LAFF wants her pal back, at her presumed level. The LAFF will take to Instagram--because the LAFF is ultimately a false friend and a sycophant--and, when she sees some scantily clad photo or some such of the BFF that is meant to be titillating, and is instead what one would expect from a college girl rather than an adult woman, will write nonsense like, "I fucking love you so much." That is what the LAFF does.
And the LAFF seeks to rend. To destroy. To break up. The LAFF has no concern for the person she pretends is her friend. No. The LAFF has needs. They are base and selfish needs. She schemes to meet them. LAFFs especially enjoy break-ups and divorce. The commiseration that follows. They feel important. They want that pain-wracked phone call coming to them. They want to play doctor. They want to feel needed, and they want the power.
So, there was a classic LAFF in the comments section. She had never met this guy. Granted, he is probably an idiot. He struck me as that kind of fifty-three-year-old man who would say to another fifty-three-year-old man, "But bro, you wouldn't believe the sex. It's like I'm twenty-five again." She piles up a bunch of phony compliments in the "you go girl" style, and then she starts in on the guy, with threats. If he ever does this she'll such and such. She'll hurt him. Find him. Track him down. Make him pay. And, my favorite, "If you hurt her, I'll take you to the cleaners."
The LAFF is almost always a total moron. Granted, that's most people. The LAFF can be an over-educated moron, who knows nothing. By over-educated, I mean the LAFF has paid--or her parents have paid--for a lot of degrees. The LAFF will have little life experience, because the LAFF is always a coward, and possesses next to no street smarts. Academics make for great LAFFs. But not laughs. You get it.
I was offended by the misuse of the "take you to the cleaners" expression, which does not mean to cut off a person's ball sack, or whatever this human delight believed. It's a money thing. Take someone to the cleaners in divorce, for instance. Not, "I'll beat your ass." Of course the LAFF would have no actual command of language.
Never even met this guy. And no problem threatening him. Again: Beware the LAFF! Also, it's not even worth trying to court the good feelings of the LAFF. She is hellbent on her purpose. What transpires will have nothing to do with you except insofar as you are what the LAFF deems as better than herself. Smarter, in better condition. The LAFF may be a nasty drunk, and you may not drink at all. She'll eye you with her latest "adult beverage" as you have your bottle of water, and the LAFF will plot with each sip she sees you take.
The solution? Well, so far as I can tell, there is only one. Find someone who has no fake friends. Who will not even go through the motions of having a fake friend. They won't live and die with social media, they won't give a fuck. They will only be themselves, and they'll fight hard to learn who that is, and to develop who and what that is. They'll be brave. Almost no one in this world is truly brave now. They'll go through no motions. That does not mean they can't blend in, do what they must do when they have to. But they will realize that friendship is precious. If that means having one friend, two friends, or even no friends until they meet someone worth having as a true friend, so be it. That is the only way around the LAFF.
In I'm More Than Legal, Baby: A Meathead Comes of Age--aka, Meatheads Vol. 2 (working title)--I think I will have Chad, who is now married with kids, attempt to ingratiate himself with a couple of LAFFs he views as vital to his survival as husband and parent.