There's been a few times in my life when I felt like I was losing all my friends.
When I was in fourth grade, I was put in Mrs. Dufrain's class (my least favorite teacher of all time which has lead to me being anti-teacher's union) while all my friends were in Donelli's class. At first, this wasn't too bad but the friendless slide accelerated when the debate on closing my school started. If my school closed, that meant that everyone would be split up between the other two elementary schools for our last year which was pretty devastating for a bunch of fourth graders. To make it worse, everyone in my old neighborhood would be forced to go to the white trash school. For the final nail, neither of the other schools sent their fifth graders to the local amusement park as a graduation present so we would miss out on something we had been looking forward to since kindergarten!
Despite all of this, when the time came to have the decisive city hall meeting, my mom stood up in front of a room bursting with parents and said, "We can do this. There are aspects that are difficult but we will overcome and everything will work out for the best.*" This was on my birthday in 1996. Our local paper featured the story on the front page and proudly shared my mother's quote as part of the headline. At school the next day, I was a pariah. Soon after, they announced that we were moving to the other school. From 5th to 7th grade, I continued to lose my lifelong best friends when suddenly everyone was obsessed with boys and looks and I sported a uni-brow, wild hair, torn jeans and oversized glow-in-the-dark alien shirts.
I got a fashionable hair cut, waxed the uni, bought a bunch of new clothes and MAGICALLY, I had my old friends back. To be fair, I made a lot of other close friends during that time but there's still something about losing your best friends that sticks with you.
More recently, I've been blown off a few times (once for something fairly significant) by my formerly closest friends and it really makes you reflect on yourself. Obviously, I am a narcissist. This is why I hate children - they are also narcissists and I don't like sharing the attention. Okay, people don't like to hang around narcissists so I have to work on that. I am also terrible at sending cards for significant events. It's not that I don't buy them. I have a box full of cards for my friends and family that are half written or even finished and addressed. They just need a stamp! I even HAVE stamps! What is wrong with me?! So I need to work on that too.
I generally don't blow people off but I am always late and I realize that people view that as disrespectful. It is. I know, because I hate waiting for others. That should be an easy fix because it's really just time management - I mean, come on.
Finally, I'm an asshole. I find people's weaknesses and prey on them. I will relentlessly mock someone and even if they are laughing on the outside, I imagine it can't feel good on the inside. Although I would be an excellent Roaster, I need to work on more self-deprecating humor I guess. It's just hard when you love yourself as much as I do!
I still have friends, it's just that they're Boyfriend's friends from law school. I mean, they're my friends now too but it's not like we can just hang out together and play video games or just chat. Actually, maybe Boyfriend is another one of the problems. We're always together and my friends probably tire of that.
I wanted to combat this feeling of friendlessness so I joined a book club in my neighborhood. Our first meeting is Monday and we are reading "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking." First off, I do not recommend this book because it is pretty annoying. I am only 40% of the way through and I do not want to continue. One thing to note is that it is non-fiction yet it keeps referencing the Bible. Hello! The Bible is not non-fiction. It's a great read, but it is just filled with total BS. Any reasonable person, Christian or not, should be able to admit this.
All that said, the book is blowing my mind (it's a slow burn which is the reason I'm not enjoying it). If you had asked me whether I considered myself an introvert or an extrovert a month ago, I would've said a mixture but more extro than intro. In the beginning of the book, I even identified as an ambivert but at the 37% point (thanks to Kindle, I measure all progress in percentages), I realized I am straight introvert. I despise small talk, relish time alone and feel overwhelmed at parties where I don't know anyone - all qualities of an introvert. Luckily, there is alcohol, which makes overcoming that last aspect possible. But this leaves me with a quandary... How am I supposed to make friends while hindered by my introversion?! I mean real friends, not just friends-for-the-night friends.
I clearly have to change completely and pretend to be a nice person. One who sends cards, listens to people, and doesn't make fun of others. I will have to learn to enjoy small talk - the very activity that makes my brain feel like it is melting in a pool of acid. As an introvert, this will be difficult because my current conversational style is my comfort zone and it's hard for us intros to leave our comfort zones. But I'm going to do it and my goal for April is to make one new real friend and send out cards to 5 current friends. Additionally, I'm going to DC next weekend (KyKy - what up?) and I am going to talk to 100 strangers and only make 5-10 jabs. I mean, I can't go cold turkey.
Obviously, previous goals have not stuck (note: blog goals) but this one I want to make happen. It's not fun feeling like you are losing friends!
Okay, depressing stuff over. Here's a picture of a loofah that I purchased yesterday:
In case you can't read the tag, it says "Body Mesh for Men." What the crap? Loofah's are for certain sexes now? Is it extra rough? Does it handle hairy ass cracks better? Is it specially designed to cradle the balls just right? Is it just because it's black? Because here in NYC, everything is black and it's for everyone. I used it this morning and it worked fine but I'm a little concerned that something terrible will happen.
That's all for now! I'll try to keep you updated on the New Bee's Quest for Friends.
*My mom now regrets saying this because my sister's boyfriend and all of her friends are white trash. My sister is going to a great college but has not ditched the white trash bf! It is ingrained in her. It's one of the only things that I've ever heard my mom say she's sorry for so it's pretty amazing.