Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The philosophy of Butters Stotch

A few weeks ago, one of my friends who'd recently found himself a new boyfriend sends me a txt msg:

Hey GB, can't believe you went away on holiday again! Would be good to pop in to see you soon, to chit chat and catch up. I also want to ask your advice about something. xx

I'm intrigued that he needs to ask my advice about something, so I send him a reply to try and find out what's on his mind:

Good to hear from you mate :-). Don't forget that my holidays have been quite short, I didn't take three weeks off like you did! Anyway, what kind of advice do you need? Is it something to do with your new boyfriend? You could come round after work tonight if that helps? GB xxx

I don't have to wait long for his reply:

Yes, it's about me and the bf that I need your advice on, haha. Just a little confused so need to sort my mind out about what I want to do with him. Anyway, tonight would be great, so I will bore you with the story later. Thanx for meeting up :-).

Towards the end of the afternoon we exchange another couple of txt msgs to agree the exact time, and a few hours later we're settling down in my living room with bottle of decent grand cru Chablis to catch up with each other.

"So how's it going with your new boyfriend," I ask, after we've discussed a few less interesting topics.

As soon as I ask this, he catches my eye and almost looks as though he's about to cry.

"Well," he says, taking a deep breath, "let me tell you what's happened ..."

It turns out that the previous week, the new boyfriend had told my friend that he couldn't see any future in their relationship! My friend hadn't seen this coming at all, so he felt completely devastated by the news. However, a couple of days ago the guy had met up with my friend again and told him that he missed him, and that he thought he'd made a mistake.

"So he asked whether we could try being boyfriends again," continues my friend. "Of course I said 'yes', but is that the right decision? How can I trust him again?? I still feel really betrayed after the way he dumped me last week!"

"Well, do you love him?"

"Yes GB, well I certainly did before he dumped me, I really really loved him :-)."

"Love isn't easy to find," I reply, "so if you get back together with him, just take it slowly and eventually you should re-build the trust that's been lost :-)."

"But what happens if he dumps me again. I'm not sure I could stand it ..."

I rack my brain to think of a good way to encourage him.

"You know the American cartoon South Park, don't you?"

"Yes, why?"

"Well, have you seen the episode where Stan gets dumped by Wendy, and Butters gets dumped by the girl that he thought was his girlfriend?"

"I'm not sure, why?"

"After Stan gets dumped, he joins the Goth kids and drops out of life. Do you know who the Goth kids are? They're the ones who dress in black and insist that life is pointless! Anyway, when Butters gets told by his 'girlfriend' that she's not his girlfriend after all, Stan and the Goth kids find Butters crying so they suggest that he should join them. But Butters refuses and says that it's 'a beautiful sadness', because the only way he could be this unhappy is if there was something that previously made him very happy, so he's got to learn to take the rough with the smooth."

I pause to let this sink in.

"So bear that philosophy in mind! I think it's an excellent way to approach this kind of situation."

"OK, let me think about that a bit."

"In any case, if you don't give it a go with this guy, you'll always be wondering 'what if?'. Is there anyone else?"

"No," replies my friend, smiling a bit now, "there's no one else!"

"Well that settles it then! Give it a go with this guy :-). But take it slowly. Hopefully he'll bring you happiness. But if it does go wrong at some point, which hopefully it won't, then try to view the way you end up feeling as 'a beautiful sadness' :-)."

We carry on chatting for a while but before too long my friend needs to go, so I see him to the door.

"Let me know how it all goes!"

"Of course, GB :-). And I'd better go and find that episode of South Park to watch, just in case!"

I feel pleased with the outcome after my friend left, but then last weekend, I get a txt msg from him to say that he's not happy with something that his boyfriend has done recently. It sounds like quite a major incident. Although I'm busy, I give him a quick phone call to encourage him to sit down with his boyfriend and discuss what's happened so they can work out how to move forward.

However, the next day, the following txt msg arrives:

GB, it's a beautiful sadness

That can only mean one thing :-(. As soon as I can, I give him a call:

"He ended up saying that this incident brought back into his mind all the reasons that made him dump me in the first place," explains my friend, "so basically I'm dumped again :-(."

"'I'm so sorry to hear that mate," I reply, "How do you feel?"

"Terrible :-(. But I keep thinking about what Butters said in that South Park episode. It's such a good life lesson! Who'd have thought that I'd be learning it from South Park."

When I'm back at my computer, I look up that episode online to refresh my memory as to exactly what Butters said. When the Goth kids invite him to join their clique, Butters replies:
"Yeah... And I'm sad! But at the same time I'm really happy that something can make me feel that sad... It's like... It makes me feel alive, y'know? It makes me feel human. The only way I could feel this sad now, is if I felt somethin' really good before, so I have to take the bad with the good. So I guess what I'm feelin' is, like a beautiful sadness... I guess that sounds stupid... Besides, I'd rather be a crying little pussy than a faggy goth kid!"
Until recently, if anyone had asked me who my favourite South Park character was I'd have answered Cartman, because he's so comically outrageous in everything that he does. But with philosophy like that, I think that in future I'll say that my favourite character is Butters!


Nik_TheGreek said...

sweet story...
It really made me smile...

Anonymous said...

"A heart that hurts is a heart that works"

Placebo, "Bright Lights"

I think my advice would have been slightly different, but hey, you know you friend better ;) I tend to think that if something goes so wrong early on that you split up, well, that's not a good sign for later.

Everyone should go through the love/lose cycle at least once in their life. It's part of the adventure.

Unknown said...

Butters is my favorite character on South Park, as well as my favorite cartoon character on television.

He's given a lot of great quotes throughout the series. One of my other favorites is in the episode "Cartman Sucks" where Butters is sent to a De-gayification camp. The speech he delivers at the end is so classic!

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Sir Wobin said...

Is it just me or is the Butters character the most closely associated with gay themes? Like when he follows his dad to a gay sauna...

Anonymous said...

Beautiful story GB..

Anonymous said...

This story reminded me of a saying...

"To see the rainbow you've got to put up with the rain"

In fact there are so many sayings that could apply to this. One song off the top of my head is "I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine" by Beth Orton. Think it's a cover but I've only ever heard her version, really beautiful song about losing something you had.