I was recently reading an article online mentioning that someone had gotten a tattoo of the phrase, “Ride or Die”. I looked up the meaning of the phrase, and it means a combination of the phrases “ride it out” or “die trying”, and “ride or die” has come to mean someone who will be with you through thick and thin, and usually refers to a woman, a Ride or Die Chick. I wondered to myself, am I a Ride or Die Chick?
I thought about Mr. Helix, and our relationship. Yes, in his case, I am definitely ride or die. For example, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer only a short while into our relationship, I knew I was all in. Mr. Helix is in a band, and a little while after his diagnosis, I was giving the singer’s mom a ride to their gig. She laid into me in the car, about how I had better be planning on sticking with him through his illness, and that she knew a girl who dumped her boyfriend when he got really ill, and how that girl was no-good trash, or something to that effect. At first, I was taken aback, a little offended that she would think I would consider being so disloyal. I assured her I was not the kind who would dump out on a relationship when the going got tough, and she simmered down, somewhat satisfied with my answer, but still suspicious. Then I realized that she was just being protective of Mr. Helix, and had his best interests in mind, and I was actually kind of grateful that she was in his corner. Now I know that the singer’s mom was a ride or die chick.
If we are very fortunate in life, we have people who are ride or die for us, too. I know that Mr. Helix is, and I know that my brother is. There are also friends who I know are, too. There is a group of my girlfriends who have proven to me many times that they are my Ride or Die girls. When one of our group was stricken with a terminal form of cancer (there’s that bastard cancer again), we balanced the line between treating her normally, and being ready to drop everything and go to the hospital in the middle of a girls’ weekend away if things went sour for her. We were actually in the hospital room with her when she died. I know that these girls would have my back no matter what was going on, as I would with them. It is one of the things that I count on to keep me somewhat sane in a cruel, irrational world.
Then there are the times when you figure that someone is Ride or Die, you find out in a crisis that they are actually Ride or Try. They will try to help you, if they have the time. Or, they will try to back you up, until they no longer find it convenient. Or, they will try to keep you close, until you have served your purpose in their life and they are done with you. Whatever the reason, sometimes people will disappoint the hell out of you, when you really thought they would have your back until the bitter end. It is bound to happen at some point in life. My best friend for many years was really my Ride or Die chick, and I was hers, until I was no longer living my life in a way that suited her needs, and she couldn’t control me enough to bring me around to the little box that she needed me to live in to make her feel comfortable. For years, I felt guilty about that friendship breaking up, because I am a very loyal friend to those that deserve it (even sometimes to those that don’t, but I’m learning!) In thinking about it and talking it through with other friends, I recognized that the friendship was only strong as long as she was in control, and I was in many ways complacent and compliant – up to the point where I found my voice. I finally realized that she broke the unwritten pact – the one that says you are there for your friend through anything, not only the things that suit you or the things you approve of. I realized I was Ride or Die, and in the long run, she was not. Damn.
Still, after a few glaring disappointments like that, I am grateful all the time for the true Ride or Die people in my life. I hope that you have people like that in your life, and that you let them know that you are grateful for them, too.