Today I got another glimpse of brilliance, this time from Carolyn Hax. A young woman asks how to handle her relationship with her boyfriend, who is apparently perfect in every way except that he uses her past sexual relationships to bludgeon her into doing things she's not comfortable with. In the midst of advice (which is a more sensitively phrased version of "run, fast and far, and hope never to see him again"), there was this paragraph:
When I read “he loves to throw things in my face” exactly one sentence after, “I’ve never had a better friend in the world,” I just want to cry for how low you’ve set your friendship bar.
I wish I'd understood this when I was much younger. I had friends as well as "lovers" who hurt me so badly, and I couldn't untangle my desire for them to be good from the fact that they actually weren't any good.
I often like Carolyn Hax. This time I love her a little. And the woman who asked - I love her a lot, and wish I could just download all the stuff I've had 20 more years than her to learn, so she wouldn't have to go at it the hard way. Which, when at their best, Captain Awkward and Carolyn Hax are trying to do, and that is why I go back and read their stuff.