This rant from Mickey reminded me of something that’s been a hallmark of my relationships with many of my friends for years — I’m Switzerland. Neutral, and very happily so, steadfastly refusing to be dragged to one side or another in a debate between two friends.

This used to exasperate as much as amuse my friends, and there were times when I was teased mercilessly about it. James used to do his best to come up with either/or situations to try to force me to come down on one side or another, and invariably, I’d come up with a third, middle-ground option.

To me, it just makes sense. I’ve got a good number of friends (though, admittedly, at this point most of them are up in Alaska), and it’s not at all uncommon for the occasional minor (or sometimes major) spat to erupt between two of them — especially when there were more than a few instances of dating mishaps among various parties in the group. I’ve never seen much point in letting difficulties between two of my friends adversely affect my friendship with one or the other of them, and tend to do anything I can to make sure that it stays that way. I’ll listen to either or both parties involved, give advice when possible, provide a friendly ear or shoulder to cry on when necessary, but the one thing I won’t do is side with one over the other.

So, Switzerland I am, Switzerland I have been, and Switzerland I continue to be.

The one possible exception to this, of course, is the (thankfully very rare) circumstance when one party has done something particularly inexcusable and heinous, such as physical abuse, life threatening situations, voting for George Bush (okay, that one’s a joke) or the like. Things like this, though, are things that I would not be very accepting of in any circumstance, and would be likely to damage that person’s standing in my eyes no matter what.

iTunes: “Bang” by Eve 6 from the album Horrorscope (2000, 3:34).