Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A little aggressive

by ELENA JOHNSON/Coeur Voice contributor
| August 29, 2020 12:00 AM

My friend Noah is a little aggressive.

Drop a pencil? Bam! That sucker’s back in your hands faster than you can say “oops”.

Bad day? He’s already called in an order at your favorite restaurant. He couldn’t remember which entrée you liked best, so he went ahead and ordered both. He’ll be over with dinner in twenty minutes, depending on how long it takes to get the food and tip at least 25 percent.

And don’t even think about grabbing a drink with him. You won’t even see him leave his card at the counter, but let’s just say the first round’s on him, at least.

As a mutual friend recently commented, “It’s really hard to look at you with the glare coming off of your shining armor.”

And as Noah himself often jokes, “Just shut up and hug me, you coward.”

Who said kindness can’t be aggressive?

But in all seriousness, it’s hard not to appreciate the Noahs out there.

Of course, even Noah can’t get all the credit – even if he tries to take on all the work (just go ahead and leave some of the dishes for someone else, Bud).

The best people in your life really are family. And although they say you can’t choose family, the truth is: you kind of can.

I would know, having been chosen by people like Noah a few times.

I have the fortune and honor to be part of a tradition called “family dinner,” which is basically a Friendsgiving (so I hear) but every week.

Just as the nuclear family in a boring-but-sweet sitcom sits down to dinner to discuss the highs and lows of the day, we sit down at the table and actually share our lives and shore up each other.

Except, I’d like to think we’re a little more interesting than Donna Reed and her ilk, so maybe we’re a ‘60s sitcom family – neighbors of the Addamses, Munsters, or at least Samantha and Darrin Stephens. It’s still a pretty wholesome crew, but surely quirks like Noah’s aggressive kindness is as intriguing and endearing as Herman Munster’s franken-look?

The metaphor fits because being adopted by all these extroverts makes me Marilyn Munster, the odd one out (for being the least monster – err, munster – like). Or at least Cousin Itt, the one with all the hair babbling on about things in a high-pitched voice no one really understands.

But hairy and helium-voiced, the extroverts have taken me in – with Noah-like levels of kind-gression. As an introvert, you get pretty grumpy and prone to isolation. I’ll choose to blame it on the affliction of being a writer, but we both know it’s just pure dumb luck of being prone toward curmudgeonliness.

Fortunately the extroverts will still insist on spiriting me away to family dinner, where we do nice, loving things like share our days and pick up tabs (just kidding, only Noah gets to do that).

And thank goodness, because I was never one for adventure parks (unless I can sit there), or going out.

But even a crotchety knitter can forgo an early night curled up in bed once a week for some aggressive kindness.

And to all the Noahs out there, just know you won’t get away with it every time. And if you’re upset about that, I speak for all your friends when I say, “Come here and hug us, you cowards.”