When I first heard the term/word “Fairweather”, it was on a tag on a pair of jeans I owned when I was roughly around 13 to 14 years of age. I know, I know. They were clearly, most likely, from a store like Sears! But to their defense, they were incredibly soft, easy to wear and remained in good condition which is more than I can say for some of those so-called promoted dreamy denim that ripped apart or stretched out in no time. It would be not too far down the road when I would hear this word again in conversations I didn’t necessarily add to, but were a part of as an impassioned head-nodding listener. During this talk from back then, a girl had described her friend as “fair-weather”. “She’s a fair-weather friend”. I didn’t ask what she meant but I got the gist immediately in that this person was flaky, around when they wanted to, and worse someone who used to be counted on. Basically, a former confidante. I probably had a few of those already in my life, but back then I gave those people a nevermind, out of sight, out of mind shrug since most likely I paid just as much attention back and the separation was amicable, nothing loud, nothing overtly personal. For someone reason, when you’re younger, your level of tolerance is so impressively low, you’re like a ninja to the pain despite the occasional tears and bruises.
Still, fair-weather individuals are irritating, but I will say this. One thing that is wonderful about getting older is how appreciative you become of who you really are and what you know is worth the fight and isn’t anymore, as morose as this revelation can be. Everything was simpler going down a memory lane of the last five years, but you also likely accepted a lot of bullshit that today you otherwise know you just wouldn’t ot couldn’t be bothered to give so much attention to. It’s like I saw online the other day, and this quote couldn’t be apt than right now: “Letting go doesn’t mean you stop caring. It means you got tired of trying to force someone to care about you”. I wonder who writes this incredibly thoughtful sayings anyway?
Yet because we’re getting older and wiser, it doesn’t mean we still won’t make foolish mistakes or offer second chances undeserved. Red flags are bright for a reason, but we hold to crap relationships, jobs we’re too content in, friends that become acquaintances because we feel at that moment that’s all we got. We succumb to the agony because you don’t want to jump to conclusions about certain things, but you’re also just too aware and smart enough to know that something just ain’t right and sometimes that’s scary. If it takes two people, for example, and only one is at the battlefield, the message is clear and it’s best you pick up your pride off the ground and insert it back into your heart as soon as possible. If that person is didn’t show up or suddenly wants to disappear, they’ll be alright. They no longer want to be your concern anymore. All you can hope for them is that all of those likes on social media and utter arrogance will be there for them when it’s their turn to feel as if they cannot get back on their feet and they too need a helping hand. Sometimes people aren’t satisfied with themselves and are experiencing interpersonal FOMO (fear of missing out) but that then results in taking advantage of the ones you already have. Old friends can go if they are negligent or blowing you off because they feel like it, but new friends shouldn’t make you feel it’s time to get rid of the old ones that have been true. Relationship-wise, if your partner is fair-weather, that’s just ridiculous.
What fair-weather events do is make it clearer to us who was really there when it mattered and situations wise, they teach us as Maya Angelou said best, “nothing will work unless you do”. If you want things to start happening, you’ve got to do your part. Someone will say yes because the effort was made forth, and real friends will remember who was there for them when they needed some very necessary emotional CPR and the sentiment will be returned. Same goes for family members and mentors we meet on this little journey called life.
To grow up also includes the acknowledgment that people have lives and worries of their own. It can’t always be about you and yours, but we all need a friendly voice to hear, a reminder from others that it’s not so bad. Guess what? We’re all busy. Yet saying you’re busy for days and weeks at a time but making time for other people and places, and just being overall blase and nonchalant towards people who once gave their time just like you did? That’s just beyond fair-weather. You’re inconsiderate, and frankly (somewhat) of a fraud depending on how deep the situation is.
Truthfully, we’ve all been a fair-weather at some point. When I’ve exhibited this behavior and when I did get caught up in my own endeavors or afflictions, I always tried to salvage those empty moments by reaching out because that’s what I would appreciate. It’s the balance of living your own life, being your own person, and doing so with great individuals along the way that have your back like you do theirs. It all becomes a troubling hump to get over when it might do time to move on, but often you’ll already know the answer, as the saying goes.
-C. Shardae Jobson