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Month: May 2021

MY friend killed himself 8 years ago, and I still miss him.

It was someone that was my best friend for many years. We met in 1992, hung out almost daily, lived together twice, but eventually grew apart around 2009. I reached out, and we started hanging out again, but he was bad news. We both had a troubled past, but where I grew and changed, he got worse. More into drugs, more into negative thoughts, and he wound up jealous of the girl I was dating. I had been with her for 6 years when in 2011 he said something that was the final straw.
Over the years my few other good friends asked why I was still friends with him. This was a guy who had burned me many times over the years, but I always made up with him. He didn’t deserve it for the things he did (like getting a different girl I was dating high then hooking up with her while I was sleeping), he was just not the kind of person you would want as a close friend. I can’t explain why, but we were anyway. We just “clicked”. Anyway, that last straw in 2011 he said, literally, “Maybe if you spent less time with your bitch, you’d have more time to hang out with me”. He meant it to be disrespectful. I don’t talk about women like that, and this was a girl I was deeply committed to. So I cut him off. I told him it was the last straw, and that I was done.
3 years ago, after my cat of 14 years died and I was feeling particularly devastated, I decided to do some digging on FB to see what he was up to. I had planned to reach out. The last posts I saw from him were from 2013. As soon as I saw that I got that feeling in my stomach. So I googled his name hoping I wasn’t right. But I was. I contacted his father who he wasn’t close to, but he told me on FB that my friend was very depressed, and they were all sad about it, etc. He was kind of dismissive, so I’m not sure. He also told me a year after my friend killed himself his son killed himself, and his former girlfriend. I guess bad things really do travel in threes.
So he had been dead for 5 years when I found out, and to this very day, to this very minute, I am convinced had I not written him off he’d still be here. He didn’t have any other good friends, just acquaintances. Or dealers, etc. He rarely saw his mother, and in the entire time I knew him saw his father once. To top all that off, most of my best memories are also with him. My early 20s were a blast. Even my early 30s when we hung out all the time were pretty amazing. And we both lived in what used to be my favorite city. And now it’s just his ghost shrouding it when I go there. Everything reminds me of him. I cried more for my cat because my cat didn’t choose to die and was there for me every single day: I know it’s weird to some to be that attached to a pet, but I did cry for my friend, too when I found out. I kind of felt like an idiot crying about something that happened 5 years prior, but I had just found out about it. So for me it happened then. I just really miss him.
If one good thing came out of it, I started reaching out to some people who were less than popular I used to see around town to check up on them, even though it’d been years (they’re on my FB friends list). I even started hanging out with one of them. We get coffee on occasion. Because of the pandemic and his kidney problems (he gets dialysis, not idea why specifically, didn’t ask), we haven’t in the last year, but we talk online frequently. I’m determined to try to pay attention going forward, just in case there is anything I can do. I guess I just wanted to know if it’s weird to feel this way years later.

Still deactivated by Uber. MOnths later.

8,000 Trips. 100% rating as a delivery driver, 4.94 as a passenger driver.
I called 5 times: zero record of a single complain of any kind the entire time I’ve been doing it. Just that it’s permanent and the “specialized team” will get back to me in two weeks. I’ve been waiting since February and they never get back to me.
About 50 emails between Facebook, the app, and Twitter all with the same reply: violated the TOS, issues with being respectful with other drivers, and failed Checkr background: I passed the Checkr background check every time including the most recent one. I sent them proof of that and an email from Checkr confirming I passed. No tickets on my record EVER. No accidents. Nothing going on in court. As for other drivers, they can’t find any record of any such incidents, nor have I ever argued with any drivers. A few I say hi to and talk to briefly about which restaurants are hopping, or whatever. Same with the TOS, they can’t tell me what was allegedly violated.
My wife thinks it’s because I was a Diamond driver and using the free tuition at ASU and they got tired of paying for it. Deactivate a driver and they don’t have to pay for it any more, but that’s kind of cynical: why have a reward tier than when you reach and claim your reward you get deactivated? My acceptance rate was 100% and my cancellation rate was 0%. ONLY because of the free tuition and I didn’t do UberEats when I started doing the college classes, just passenger trips. Less risk of going too far for no money.
Uber also banned me from using their apps. Except Postmates. My driver account and personal account work fine on that. I’m still active on Lyft, Instacart, Shipt, Flex, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates. Never any issues on any of them, either. I already tried emailing every news media site I could, but they apparently don’t care. Which is annoying, because they do care about Uber spending hundreds of millions to get former drivers back, but not about them canning existing drivers for no reason.
WTF.

Race shouldn’t matter when dating.

Isn’t it possible that some White people just accept anyone that’s interesting to them regardless of the color of their skin? I feel like I’m being put into a box suggesting I should maybe stick to my own race. OBVIOUSLY, you can see the color of the person you’re with, but if you’re not a racist, and it’s not a fetish, and you see no more value in a White person than anyone else, why limit yourself to your own race? My wife likes White guys. I like Hispanic women. We’re really hap together and race has never been an issue in the 8 years we’ve been married. I’ve dated Black girls, Asian girls, Middle Eastern girls: yes, Muslims included, Jewish girls, Native American women, and, obviously, Hispanic women. The majority of the women I have dated were White. But the longest relationships I had were with Hispanic women. It wasn’t by design, it just worked out that way. I was as happy with the White girls as anyone else: at the time. I am attracted to the Latin culture and I make no apologies for that. It’s not a feti9sh. I’ve always just been really into their music, their art, their theater, their architecture, and everything else. Yes, I think the women are exotic. So? I’ve always like brunettes whether they’re White, Hispanic, whatever race. I like darker skin, dark eyes, dark hair. It’s just a look that I really like. If I were single, I wouldn’t be looking for someone Hispanic, Black, Asian, or whatever, I’d be looking for someone with the characteristics that appeal to me AND who is interesting and kind. The packaging doesn’t matter if the inside is rotten. I think sometimes people read too much into these things. People like who they like.

That being said, I have dated girls over the years that were White that said I was the first White guy they’d been with, that they only date Black guys. And I’m like, “How is that possible?” How can you exclude every other race? That I have a problem with. I’ve been with Black girls who said the same thing: they only like White guys. Again, how is that possible? You have no basis of comparison. How do you know you only like White or Black if you’ve only been with one group? THAT seems racist. Even if it’s your own race, because I know people like that, too, that think the races shouldn’t mix. It’s just strange thinking to me. And I was raised in a conservative household with a moderately racist father that I still don’t think gets how what he says is racist. I spent most of my life living in the inner city, New Haven, CT for 20 years, and Bridgeport for 7. But I grew up in the burbs. I just moved back to the city as soon as high school was over because I hate homogenous. It makes me really uncomfortable. And I in no way feel guilty for what the other guy did, I’m not trying to make up for the past that I didn’t live, I just do my best to not be part of the problem, and to be an active part of the solution. Not by dating, in daily life, I mean. Simple things like treating everyone with the same amount of respect, lobbying my representatives for change, taking part in the discussions, and so forth.

As for dating, I haven’t found any explicit advantage to dating anyone of any race, my own included. I don’t think Black girls or Hispanic girls or anyone else are better in bed, or anything like that. I don’t feel like it gives me access to anything I didn’t have access to before. I just like who I like. My wife, on the other hand, would say there are advantages to being with me, but she’s being more tongue-in-cheek when she says it than being serious. I’m sure there are some advantages, and I’m fine with that, although it’s sad commentary on the world we live in. Everyone should be the same. And eventually we will be. Race is disappearing in this country, and eventually it will in the whole world. Wouldn’t that be nice, to all just be: people?

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