I was raised by a father who always drummed this into my head: "You must ALWAYS do the RIGHT thing." He usually also added, "The right thing is almost never the EASY thing."
Sometimes it's really tough to understand "the right thing" though.
Michael has a friend who is "girl crazy," and this is disturbing to him. Michael is a very tender-hearted young man, and wise beyond his years in many ways. It bothers him that this friend views girls as only sex objects, and spends most of his waking hours trying to get them to fool around with him.
I know this young man. I think he is boasting a lot to Michael, and some of this attitude about girls may not be accurate. OTOH, if he is showing his true self to Michael and Michael is repelled by it, that's scary.
Most young men are walking hormone machines. I know that. The ones who can keep a lid on it are the ones who have strong and loving women in their lives, I think. Michael has two strong, loving women who adore him, and he has a basic amount of respect for women, despite his sister's antics.
The young man who is so Girl Crazy has not had the same stability in his life.
Maybe I'm trying to play amatuer psychologist too much. I'm open to hearing other ideas, certainly.
When there is an opportune moment, though, I need to talk to Michael about this again. I need to explain to him a lesson I learned the hard way, many years ago.
When I was in middle school I had a very good friend, a friend of the heart, that was much like a sister to me. When we got into high school, suddenly she went "boy crazy." She turned into this little Lolita-like person who wore skimpy clothes and talked obsessively about boys.
I was totally repelled by that behavior.
I ended the friendship in a screaming phonecall one night where I essentially told this girl she was a complete idiot. I felt very morally justified in doing that. I pictured the girl winding up pregnant, which I felt was a real danger.
She didn't get pregnant. She finished school, went to college, and later became a doctor.
The really awkward thing was that we had carefully managed to get into all the same classes at school. Suddenly, she hated my guts. And I had to see her every hour of the school day, for months after our big fight.
She changed and matured, but she never forgave me.
I felt very bad about my behavior in later years, but I could never bring myself to apologize to her. I was as immature as she was, in my own way. In a way it was good, though, because it taught me a valuable lesson about friendship.
I plan to tell Michael to "hang in there" with his friend. Don't tell him off. Wait for him to grow up a bit. Try to keep the friendship alive, despite the immature behavior.
At heart, this boy is kind and loving. He has not had an easy life, for many reasons. While I am disgusted by his attitudes towards women, I am not surprised.
Maybe the "big picture" view is that Michael needed to see someone behaving badly towards girls, so he could consciously think about the issue. Michael has a lot of girls who are his friends, but none are romantic interests, even in the "puppy love" category. For that, I am grateful.
Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.
-Henry David Thoreau