I’m tired. I am sitting at my desk and I just feel dang tired, ya know?! I’m at a bit of an awkward spot with my job—I’ll be leaving in a couple of months and I can feel myself withdrawing a bit from the relationships. This is one of the worst things about me, and I am telling you right now—I don’t like to put effort into a relationship unless I know there will be some kind of pay-off.
That sounds AWFUL. And maybe it is! But I think its also a little bit human nature. Let me elaborate on what I mean by “payoff.” I don’t mean favors, or gifts, or compliments, or hard drugs, or anything like that. I guess I just mean I don’t have a desire to invest unless I believe the relationship will grow and become deep enough to warrant the time and the small-talky fluffy conversations and the almost date-like pressure of the initial casual hangouts that all new friendships require.
I remember deciding at one point, during my junior year of college, that I was going to try and become friends with this girl. Before you get any ideas that I am confident, and outgoing, and awesome, let me assure you that it was a pretty easy move on my part. This girl had transferred to the university and knew not a soul but her boyfriend. We had met before, I knew she was a photographer, and she had even contacted me to ask if she could do a practice portrait session with me. She had already reached out, I was just at a place of such security relationally that I felt confident enough to reach back.
Anyways, we ended up doing a photo session that she only got like, two usable shots from because I was gabbing the whole time. During this time, we discovered we both LUVED Harry Potter—near obsession—and this led to me inviting her to come watch a showing of DH pt1 that was being shown at our school the following week.
This is where shit got weird. I don’t know why or how this happened, but the whole evening felt SO like a date. I took too long deciding what to wear, I bought candy for us to eat during the movie, I got to our meeting place early so she would know I was excited about spending time with her. Cut to the movie—she didn’t eat any of the candy I brought and it made me irrationally sad/insecure, I kept trying to make lame jokes, etc, etc. When the movie ended and we were saying goodbye near her car, my mind was racing with “Should I try to extend this hangout? Should I invite her to my place? Or would it be more appropriate to suggest ice cream or coffee? Should I just let it end now so we are both excited to hang out again?” and then “OH LORD do I hug her, how to I say goodbye? AHHHH!!!!”
We die laughing whenever we retell the story of our first hangout. We are great friends now, and she agrees with me—she was weirdly nervous and overly analytical that first night too. I think with any relationship (besides family, I guess, because you are too young and dumb when you first meet them to feel self-conscious) there is a period of awkwardness that you just have to fight through to reach the good parts.
The problem is that I am too lazy, when I know I won’t be staying at this job (or hell, even in the city I currently live in) past August. Why subject myself to all the stress and weirdness of a new friendship? I want the easy familiarity of people I can talk to about fighting with Will, and my weird obsession with Dramione fanfiction, and how I went and saw a movie by myself last week, and know that there’s not a lot I can say that will surprise them, because THEY KNOW ME.
Hmm. This post started as a semi-intentional dissection of the intricacies of starting a new friendship and has kinda devolved into whining.
Whoops! I’ll be good tomorrow, promise.