Deal breakers. Those absolutely unacceptable traits, habits, or behaviors that make other people repulsive to us. For me it's a pretty bright line, and no amount of humor, good looks or intelligence can excuse them. I tolerate a lot of things in close friends; smoking, swearing, heavy drinking, obsessive behavior, nail biting, even nose picking. I'd be a hypocrite to disapprove of someone for doing something that I've once done or would consider doing. But I just cannot over look the following:
1) Listening to AM Talk radio (not sports talk shows or Paul Harvey, I mean the political ones, like Rush and the gang). I have to keep anyone who garners their "information" from this source at arm's length. I have friends who are conservative, but the rabid hate-mongers? Forget it.
2) Vandalism. Anyone who deliberately destroys another person's property--pumpkin smashers, snowman smashers, mailbox bashers. I will only reconsider a candidate for friend if the act was long ago and they show appropriate remorse. Otherwise? See ya. (So yes, I'd be friends with Earl Hickey.)
3) Cheating. I don't care if you cheat at cards, at your taxes or on your spouse. If a person compromises their integrity in little things, they probably do it in big things too. I know a guy who cheats at golf. He also cheats on his wife and stole from his employer. I don't think it was a coincidence. The golf score was a red flag and anyone should have seen the rest coming.
4) Rude treatment of anyone in the service sector. A dolt who barks at waitresses, won't say "please" and "thank you" to retail clerks, or dismisses receptionists isn't a nice person. I don't want to be friends with anyone who isn't nice. I subscribe to Plato's belief that "The measure of a man is what he does with power." This applies to women, too.
5) Littering. Seriously. What kind of moron even does this when 20-gallon trash barrels are sitting by every gas pump, fast food restaurant and mall entrance? This level of disregard for our planet is reprehensible. I can look past driving an SUV or drinking bottled water or shopping at Walmart or conspicuous consumerism (it's not easy--and not all four, but given enough redeeming attributes I can do it). I can force back my bile at the person who leaves a carbon footprint the size of Lake Superior if I think that they don't know any better. Even a little kid knows that littering is wrong. If you want my friendship,
What are your deal breakers? What might keep an otherwise perfectly decent candidate for friend at bay?