I have a soft spot for people with hard shells.
Also, the phrase "hard shell" makes me want a taco. And, I'm not using crusty in any hygienic sense of the word -- I do prefer my friends to bathe. But back on topic...
While I tend to like all kinds of people, I find that one flavor of friend I particularly enjoy is the somewhat difficult kind of friend: the crusty people, not to be confused with rude and hateful people. Usually blunt, yes. Sometimes cranky, yes. Often introverted, on the regular. But the heart is good and the middles are secretly squishy, is what I'm saying.
Here are 4 reasons why I love crusty people:
1. Befriending them is a challenge. (And a victory.)
When it's not easy to automatically become friends with someone, it feels pretty good when you achieve that status. I would say the #1 rule to befriending a crusty person is a) no drama, b) no drama, c) don't touch their iPod, and d) no drama. Also, never point out that they are grumpy/a party pooper/raining on your parade. They probably already know it, and they probably want you to stop talking about your parade.
Some of my favorite moments, as far as friendships go, have been when that frowning, quiet guy in the corner cracks a smile at something I say. It's like a silent, small, non-shiny trophy.
2. They're extremely loyal.
Make friends with a crusty person and you've got a friend for life. They don't have dozens and dozens of friends, so the ones they keep are important to them. You can also move away and go a long time without calling (I find they usually want to avoid unnecessary phone calls anyway) or texting a crusty friend, and they'll still like you when they do see you again. (Though they might not hug you or gush about it.) No guilt trips, no silly expectations.
3. They usually tell the best jokes.
Sitting next to the quiet, ponderous type during a long boring meeting is an excellent choice. Turns out they can be talkative; they just don't talk over other people. So when you get close enough to listen...let the good times roll. And, they're not afraid to say what you're probably already thinking when something humorous or awkward happens. Bonus.
4. You can be real with them.
Having a bad day? Your crusty friend knows all about that. They won't tell you to smile and lift your chin up, or brainstorm ways to solve your problem. You can flop on their couch and watch Seinfeld for hours (I've found that crusty people tend to like Seinfeld) and you don't even have to talk about your troubles because they won't make you. Or, you can vent and say horribly honest things and they won't think you're an awful person. If you're ever feeling antisocial at a very social event, hole up in a corner with a crusty friend and some snacks. They won't tell you to get out there and mingle. You never have to be "on" for a crusty friend. They're not trying to impress anyone (another quality I admire in people), and they don't expect you to either.
Gotta love 'em!
Any other people out there who are fans of the crusty type?