James, my youngest, has been running into one of the great joys of teenagerdom lately. He’s been finding out that sometime you can’t even trust your friends. I won’t go into the details of the situation other than to say that there’s a girl involved but suffice it to say, some of his alleged friends have been taking an great deal of pleasure stabbing him in the back. One ‘friend’ is a weaselly little git with a fair amount of intelligence and the backbone of a pint of cream (thanks Jann Hunter for that WONDERFUL expression). Another ‘friend’ is a lazy asshat that delights in pissing in everyone else’s soup…just because he’s bored. Add to this the fact that the girl is VERY pretty and fairly personable and it’s every man for himself.
Trust is one of those things that James…hell, all of us Coxens…take very seriously. We all feel that if someone is your friend, you have their back and they have yours. Period…end of statement! It’s ‘s a binary solution set. You’re either a friend or you’re not. There is no middle ground.
We also don’t believe in situational ethics or morality. If you say that you’re going to do something, you do it…even if it costs you. If you say something is so, it had better be so. If it’s not, you admit your mistake and accept the consequences…again, regardless of the cost. Because to NOT do that is to violate a trust. It’s dishonorable.
Honor isn’t a word that’s much in fashion these days and I think that’s a bad thing. These days you need a raft of lawyers and a contract longer than the tax code to make sure that something is going to be done. Personally, I’d prefer to be able to trust a man’s word rather than the skillfulness of my lawyer compared to his. There’s a scene in the movie ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ where George M. Cohan and Sam Harris, his partner of many years, are closing down their business. The news men come flocking in to get pictures of them hurling insults and shredded contracts at each other. Instead, they find the two men talking quietly about times gone by. Cohan says, “Here’s the only contract we’ve ever had.” And he and his partner shake hands. That’s trust. That’s friendship.
Maybe I’m a throw-back to an earlier time. Maybe I’m an anachronism. If so, I don’t care. Trust me.