"If you can’t say something nice, come sit next to me."   

          I don’t like cowards.

          When you say one thing to my face and another behind my back, you are not sparing my feelings.  You are a coward. 

                    While I know I have ample back for people to talk behind, it may serve you well to remember that while my circle of friends is very small, it is also very tight.  I doubt that anything has been said to one of us that did not reach the ears it should have been spoken into the first time.  For the most part, my closest friends are the type of people that would rather hurt your feelings with the truth than to keep quiet and risk looking like liars… or cowards.  It is also true that perhaps we speak too freely, even about things that are none of our business.  Again, we’d rather be tactfully honest than to look like meek and mild little pinheads. 

          I don’t associate with cowards.  I feel it weakens me.  I have no problem defending myself and my friends fiercely, but I won’t defend someone who balls up in a corner or refuses to speak up.  When someone is incapable of defending themselves, that’s another story.  I can’t defend myself against a rumor that I haven’t heard.  But I would expect that if Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum (my bestest buddies in the whole world along with DH) heard a rumor and knew it to be untrue, they would speak up.  At the very least, bring it to my attention so that I may defend myself.  If they jumped into the conversation and continued to fuel it, or get more details without any sort of objection, I do believe they would be walking without me from that point on.

          Cowards infuriate me.  There are plenty of times when I keep my mouth shut because my input has not been asked for, or because I don’t feel that I am close enough to someone to speak up about a particular subject without being asked.  Now Tweedle Dum, Dee, and DH will freely hear my opinion on anything and every thing, asked for or not.  With just about anyone else, it’s going to depend on the topic at hand.  It’s not about being a coward, it’s about respect.  But if we’re all sitting around talking about disciplinary styles and I don’t agree with yours, I will respectfully tell you why.  When you discuss, you put it out there – whether it’s exalted or stomped on, you put it out there.  If you’re just talking about what you did when your kid painted your walls with mustard, I won’t say a thing about how you handled it unless you put your kid in the hospital. 

          Cowards really just make me want to spit nails.  When you say something to someone that you know I am close to, you want to get caught.  I wouldn’t tell Dee that I thought Dum was being an asshole unless I wanted Dum to know.  But me being me, I would just tell Dum that I thought she was being an asshole and skip the middle (wo)man.  Why is that so hard?  If you can’t say something to my face, why say it?  Don’t you know that the more things get repeated, the more they get twisted?  Didn’t you ever play "Telephone" when you were younger?