When I was in high school a friend invited me to his party. As I showed up at the door a girl I didn't know very well was right in front of me. She insulted his dog; called his dog smelly and old. My friend (and owner of dog) did not miss a beat. "Oh yeah?" He asked through a big hungry grin, "He lives here. You don't. Buh bye."
She called him an a$!hole on her way out the door.
I was lost in a love bubble ready to propose marriage.
The beauty of this friend was that he really was an a-hole sometimes but he didn't care because he knew what was right by him and those he cared about. I loved this quality about him. He had a bravado and confidence I wouldn't know myself until two decades later.
Now that I'm pushing forty, I have it.
If someone insults my kid (or yes, my dog) I don't over explain and give our personal accounts or history, I simply show them the door. If someone insults my intelligence I don't blather on using big words, I will cut to the quick in five small words or less. If someone makes false assumptions about me based on their limited knowledge, I let them. In my younger years I would've done back flips and cartwheels so they understood where I was coming from. Now I walk away knowing that kind of work for that kind of person is a huge waste of time. I think it's understood if we meet as adults we are coming to each other as a history of evolving traits and characteristics not static personalities written in cement.
The beauty of pushing forty is that the veil is lifted. There is more reason to get to the point quickly and openly because there isn't an infinite amount of time in front of us to waste It's right for me to speak honestly while cutting through the bullsh*t. I wish I would've taken my friend's lead years ago.
Getting older is a necessary evil. And sometimes I've discovered, so is being an a-hole.