“I’m gonna take it southbound…”







He’s one of my best and closest friends.

I call him the “Ace of Diamonds”.

Because the pressures of life placed on him have been extreme, to say the least.

Thus, have hardened him to a degree I’ve rarely seen.

Needless to say, his reaction came as a bit of a shock.



We hadn’t seen one another in quite some time.

So, when we caught up at the bar, the conversation was wide and deep.

At one point, I mention that I know I can be acerbic.

Tough to deal with.

Not to mention overbearing.

But I’d never hurt a friend as loyal and good as he.


It was then his eyes got misty.

He said:

“Oh, I know guilt is something that doesn’t come easy to you anymore.

So don’t think I don’t appreciate you saying that.

And certainly don’t get the impression I don’t notice.”


See, having a family that took credit for all my successes –

Yet left me with any blame that should surface –

Taught me to disregard criticism.


Having a family that felt everything I did was wrong or misguided –

Taught me to think more than twice about the concept of “shame”.


See, “tough love” only works when there’s something to contrast it.

Otherwise, it’s just being an asshole.


Now, as far as guilt goes:

My mother’s womb gave me life.

Only to murder her, years later.

And ain’t nothin’ gonna top that.




2 Responses to ““I’m gonna take it southbound…””

  1. I’ve always taken tough love as breaking your ego down and building up your abilities. The end result is that you can withstand anything (critism or praise) because you trust in your abilities.

    If it is just breaking the ego down…then there is no love. If you give nothing but praise without learning any life skills…you are basically today’s woman.

    My father did this with me…one of my bosses when I was younger did the same and I was too blind to see it…now that I realize the gift they gave me…I’m doing it to myself.

  2. There needs to be a purpose behind the tough lessons taught and they need to be clear. Anything otherwise is taking it out on the child and poor parenting.


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