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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Bogus Cliché

I don't think I'm a TV junkie. I do have regular shows I watch - Law & Order reruns, Family Guy, Futurama reruns, South Park (do you see the cartoon pattern?), a couple of reality-based home design & rehabbing shows, random news shows, and random reality TV (my current favorite is VH-1's The White Rapper Show). But I don't think I overdo it. All my stuff is normally limited to a couple of hours of evening watching.

While playing nurse's aide to my wife, who is recovering from surgery though, I've had a chance to watch things I wouldn't normally see...'cause I'd be at work.

On Friday morning I got a glimpse at "Surprise, I'm a Ho!" or something similarly titled on Jerry Springer, and updates on outrageous guests on Maury Povich.

I ain't gonna lie. It was all fascinating and funny. But what really grabbed me was a Maury update involving a woman who had learned on an earlier episode that her boyfriend had cheated with her best friend.

When Maury's camera's panned to the woman for the update, it revealed her locked in an embrace with her best friend, the same best friend who'd slept with her man.

The slighted woman then told Maury the friendship had survived because she could always find a new man, but she could never find a new best friend.

And for a moment I nodded approval. My first thought was "At least she got mad at the right person."

But I thought about it a little more and had an epiphany. That cliché is baloney. It's all wrong. Or at least it's not necessarily right.

"Grooming" a new best friend can't be anymore difficult than grooming a new significant other. In theory you love both (in obvious different ways), you trust both, you care about both, etc. I've lost both before - not 'cause of cheating, or anything like it. But either way, both losses sucked.

So why is the best friend less responsible for the cheating episode than the significant other? I'd argue that the best friend may be more responsible 'cause she's been around longer than the man. He was a relative newcomer.

I know, it's stupid talk show TV. But how many of you haven't heard someone use that cliché - or used it yourselves - about keeping your cheating best friend over your cheating boyfriend or cheating girlfriend 'cause Best Friends are Forever? It's a crock. If your BFF hooks up with your significant other he or she is a snake, a weasel, a dirt ball, and you should probably ditch 'em both.

A truer catch phrase would be: "I don't need this crap! I can find a new best friend and a new significant other."

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  • As usual, I couldn't agree more. The best friend is at least as much if not more at fault. Sure it is great to be forgiving and all that. I do so myself 99% of the time. However, my view of what happens when you do that is 80% of the time the person you are forgiving, be it a cheating spouse,abusive husband, or thieving relative will take your forgiveness as a 'license to do so again'. ANYONE can say they are 'sorry' but the only true way to know if it is true or not is to wait and see if they do the thing they were supposedly sorry about the first time again or not. When they do, you know "I'm sorry" was just words.


    By Blogger briliantdonkey, at 12:52 AM  

  • I was watching Scrubs and it was the same thing that happened and the character just decided one day who he was mad at because it was both of his friends faults. Maybe people just make some kind of decision because they have too even if it doesn't make sense.

    By Blogger Erica AP, at 1:19 AM  

  • ohh too close to home.

    by the way remember when maury was all up and up? now hes a low grade jerry springer. geez.

    anyway i caught the ex fiance boinking my best friend in my house, on my bed 3 months before the wedding.

    not only did i send his ass home to mommy, but i had it out with her and told her she was a dirty tramp and to never speak to me again in any way shape or form.

    that cliche is bullsh*t.

    ps hope the wifey's feelin better

    By Blogger Yasamin, at 2:23 AM  

  • I like maury's "whos the daddy" DNA test episodes. Those are entertaining.

    Best friends and cheating partners.
    Gotta let em both go. It's the only way.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 4:54 AM  

  • At the risk of being friendless, as well as partnerless, perhaps one should raise the standards when looking for best friends!

    Forgiveness is necessary - for the offended party to heal properly & grow. Meanwhile the cliche still stinks - condoning that kind of behaviour as it does.

    By Anonymous bronchitikat, at 6:05 AM  

  • I don't understand tolerating that behavior from a "best friend" or a significant other. Surrounding yourself with people who are so utterly capricious seems like something that would fit under the banner of Very Bad Decisions.

    By Blogger Queen of Dysfunction, at 6:28 AM  

  • The cliche only works with women, 'cause that natural lesbo thing they have with each other will always be stronger than the girl-on-guy thing.

    With men, the guy catches his best friend on top of his ol' lady and they're both dead.

    By Anonymous The Sarcasticynic, at 7:38 AM  

  • I think this was noteworthy b/c most people would probably tilt the other way in choosing one person over the other.

    She just valued that woman more than that man is all.... I don't see how the man is more culpable for "adultery" than the woman. You can be single and commit "adultery" by fornicating with a married person. Equal parties nowadays in our society as women talk smack about equality.

    Some might even argue that the woman was more culpable than the man b/c the man was just being a man like a pig's gonna love rolling in sh*t....

    But I know what you mean. I stayed home one day and got stoned and watched Green Acres for the first time a while ago. Fascinating.

    By Blogger Matt, at 9:34 AM  

  • Your "best friend" doesn't sleep with your boyfriend/husband.

    Your boyfriend/husband doesn't sleep with your best friend.

    Both of those situations immediately cause an end to the entire relationship.

    But, there are some people who like to live their lives as if they were characters in a soap opera. The morons.

    By Blogger SWF41, at 10:01 AM  

  • I believe in my heart that the only thing that works for me in this scenario is to kick 'em both to the curb. There is simply no excuse for this kind of behavior. Plus, it's symptomatic of people who have no loyalty to or respect for you, and who the hell needs that?

    By Blogger Yvette, at 11:07 AM  

  • My best friends have never been so understanding as the woman on the show. They usually get all pissy with me.

    By Blogger mist1, at 11:11 AM  

  • True! I have done it in the past. :-) It is always hot in Vegas, especially in August. That is also monsoon season here, We get torrential rains that last about 5-10 minutes each episode, which leads to flooding. Yeay! So bring shorts and tank tops in coton or other natural light weight fiber. And tons of sunscreen! The temp around that time is usually between 115-120 F

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:18 PM  

  • My absolute favorite Maury shows are the ones where the woman is getting the 11th straight guy in hopes that he's her babies daddy....

    ONly to find out that he's not.

    The pain of others makes me laugh. ;)


    By Blogger Steven Novak, at 2:23 PM  

  • Amen, James Burnett. A to the men.

    I fully believe that in a romantic relationship, cheating is not the worst offense--lying is.

    Therefore, a best friend who lies to you is the worst because you didn't even get any sex out of that relationship. At least, not usually.

    By Blogger 123Valerie, at 7:07 PM  

  • Human nature being what it is, we all need to learn to forgive.

    How can we have peace on earth if we can't even have peace in our family, or peace in our friendships?

    By Blogger Pamela, at 9:03 PM  

  • Yeah, I'm with you. If I can't trust someone, there is not much to be done...and a best friend that cheats with your man? OH NO!! Not a friend at all as far as I'm concerned.

    By Blogger Claudia, at 9:52 PM  

  • Looks like everyone is in agreement...mostly. Pamela, I admire you. I'm just not that forgiving. God knows I'm grateful I've never been faced with the cheating thing, 'cause I might develop feelings bordering on hate.

    Mist1, did I see you on Maury?

    And Hammer and Steven, I confess that I get a perverse pleasure out of those baby-daddy episodes too.

    CucuClaire, thanks for the travel tips.

    Matt, a day full of Green Acres would require a lot of smoke, or so I hear!

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 10:16 PM  

  • I think we generally have a difficult time imagining our lives without people who have been in them for so long. To lose two simultaneously would be excruciating. So, in a way, I think it's human nature to stick with people who aren't necessarily good for us.

    And for this newest Maury guest (one of MANY in similar situations, I'm sure), she should've "dumped" both.

    Hope your wife is feeling better soon!

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 12:28 PM  

  • Man, I left some kinda brilliantly clever comment last night that seriously would of made you pee your pants. But I have a bad memory. Thanks for visiting! I'll be back.

    By Blogger Lee, at 5:57 PM  

  • Well said. It would really suck to have to lose both people at once, but I wouldn't *want* my best friend around anymore if I caught my boyfriend with her. Okay, my real best friend is a man. But, for the sake of this argument, let's say it's a woman. It would hurt to replace her, especially after all the years we've had together, but what kind of friendship would I have left? I'd be lying to myself if I thought a friendship could come out of that unscathed. Now, sometimes when lovers cheat, it doesn't automatically mean a breakup. They work through it. I understand that maybe people could work through it with a friend, too. But if it's something I won't put up with from a boyfriend, I sure as hell won't put up with it from a best friend.

    By Blogger hyacinths and biscuits, at 8:13 PM  

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