Downtown Oak Park FILE

I have a friend, well maybe she is an acquaintance … really on the concentric circles of relationships, she is a step above an acquaintance. More like a “friend-lite.” She said something years ago that has been running through my mind all week.

She said, “I am so good at telling others what they are doing wrong, and seeing errors in systems, that I should be hired to do this for a living.”

Without a hint of irony. That symphony of arrogance, naivete, pomp, and confidence make her my “friend-lite.”

Her gift from God, to share with all, is the ability to point out what is wrong. What a treasured skill! Everyone should have the good fortune of having someone like this around, one who can see flaws, and is willing to share proudly.

How much fun she must be with her inner circle of true friends, wielding her talents of flaw-finding — raising awareness of those around her. A real gem. In a work environment, what a winning skill, judging and highlighting every missed step.

I admire her confidence, her self-awareness, her living demonstration of the Dunning-Krueger effect. She even proudly shares her gift on Facebook, for free, which is so generous of her.

I remember that day, hearing her words and being stunned into silence. Since I didn’t give a reply, it must have affirmed her; since she didn’t point out that my reply was deficient, I must have performed the correct, unflawed response. 

She is a successful person, and I am lucky to have her in my life, at a safe distance. I imagine that she sees me as her charity case, her “lite” friend too, a bumble who prefers the company of those who can see strengths and value optimism.

The rose-colored glasses that are worn by my inner circles of friends must be a downer to her. I haven’t heard from her since I unplugged from Facebook and groups where we shared space. I value her insight and perspective and enjoy wondering how she is navigating the world these days.  

Since I am 100% certain that she is not one of the 14 people who are reading this column right now, I will have to wait until we run into one another to catch up. She is not likely to attend an upcoming community event. It seems like the “I Heart Forest Park” event being planned, or any community litter cleanup, or First Thursday Art Walk or the Garden Walk are not her jam.

I know for certain, when we do run into each other, I will get caught up on the all the wrongs because it is her superpower, and she is proud of it.

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