A few weeks ago, my friend, Josh, asked me if I had ever gone ice fishing.
Usually, when someone asks me about one of my life experiences I feel free to tell them. But with Josh, it’s different.
You see, Josh is a bit of a redneck. And like a lot of rednecks, Josh is tough.
In Josh’s world, there are only two kinds of people. There are Real People (who are tough) and Whiners (who are not tough). Josh doesn’t like Whiners.
If you asked Josh, he would tell you that Real People do fun things – no matter how hard they are. He would tell you that Real People do not notice discomfort, or pain, and if they are bleeding they just wipe it off. For gushing blood, Real People rip their shirt (with their teeth) and tie it around the bleeding area.
Josh would then tell you about Whiners. Whiners sit at home and, well… whine. They never do anything interesting that involves risk. They are afraid of danger. They complain about the cold. They are afraid of life. And, blood? Whiners use band-aids for cuts, and go to the hospital for gushing blood.
It’s not that I feel like I need to measure up to Josh’s definition of Real People. It’s just that, well… I enjoy Josh’s friendship… and in some strange way, even though we are very different, I still want Josh to respect me. Josh and I have been friends since we were kids. He’s a loyal and good friend. Underneath all his burping and loud opinions, he has a heart of gold. And I know that he would give me his last cent. I like him. And I don’t want Josh to think I’m a Whiner.
Sometimes caring about whether Josh respects me or not gets me into trouble.
And that’s what went wrong when Josh asked me if I’d ever gone ice fishing.
I didn’t want to tell Josh that I had never gone. I knew that Josh would make sure I had this Real People experience. And I didn’t want to go ice fishing.
“Well,” Josh said, “If you can’t remember it, then it’s time you went again!”
“You’re going to love it,” Josh said firmly.
There’s no point in arguing with Josh. When he decides you are going to have an adventure, you are going to have an adventure. So I resigned myself to his plans.
continue to Part 2