"Mrs. Shimp," our resident class bully / tattletale says earnestly.
(As usual. Recess is over, so it's time for his daily tattle.)
"G was butting me," he complains. "And he stepped on my foot, and pushed me."
"That's a real shame," I say, "because you know what? I know G. And he's a really good guy, I actually really like him. And I know you, and you're also a really good guy, and I really like you, too. So it's too bad that you had to argue.....I mean, couldn't you have thought of something better you two could have done?"
I've got some suggestions ready: stay away from each other, let it go if he butts you, maybe calmly explain that he hurt your feelings when he did that.
T immediately responds with his own suggestion: "Maybe, we could just be best friends instead!"
And suddenly it's resolved, and they are best friends instead.
Our tenth Airbnb guest was a PhD student. She was on sabbatical in the United States, studying chemistry with a BYU professor. I chatted with her while I was making dinner, and accidentally cut my finger with the knife. She brought me a band-aid and told me to please be careful, and then we laughed about how her mom had called, and yelled at her about the fast food she had been eating.
"She's really nice," I told one of my friends.
"Yeah, well," they replied, "She didn't bomb your house, so that is nice."
Which I thought was not nice. Because our guest was a Muslim girl from Iran, but she was also a teacher, and a traveler, and a potential best friend, and you wouldn't know that if you only focused on a few things about her.
She told us all about her life in Iran. Her students loved her, because she was a very relaxed teacher. She always had to cover her face, but she liked how she didn't have to here. They have all four seasons in Iran. She didn't much like traveling and never expected to go anywhere as far as Utah again in her life. If I wasn't there, she seemed uncomfortable having conversations with Stephen and instead would just say a quick hello and then retreat to her room. She didn't like spicy foods. Alcohol is not allowed in Iran, but unlike America where everyone raged against the machine and started up speakeasies until it was re-allowed, no one seems to care in Iran. Dating is also very different - she said there is no touching, and you would never be alone with each other.
And talking with her, and sharing my home with her, just made me wish that ee'rbody in the world had the same viewpoint as T, and would take a step back and maybe, just be best friends instead. We're all people, after all, and we aren't all that different. We all feel feelings, and we all shiz out of our buttholes, and we all like Instagram better than Facebook.
And we can all be best friends.