Friday, January 9, 2015
I had several “best friends” over the course of my childhood and into my adolescence. I remember having several if not numerous, very fulfilling and positive experiences with all of these a large number of girls and boys alike.
I didn’t lie or cheat, but I do remember stealing and being a bad influence in some way or another. I got several of my friends into trouble with school and parents. It was never anything serious or even worth mentioning really. I stole random things and I would convince kids to break rules and leave school property when we weren’t supposed to. We used to call sex lines and sometimes we’d call the suicide help line and threaten to kill ourselves before hanging up. It seemed funny at the time. I would pick up and hit on construction workers when I was ten and landed myself in the principal’s office so many times, I’d lost count. I got kicked out of the school play for pulling some boys pants down in the school yard. I was also told I was exceptionally “bossy” and “mean” (i.e.; a bitch) as per teachers and other students and I had a very big mouth and attitude. Surprisingly, I was never suspended and had a large group of friends and followers over the years. I even considered myself a “social butterfly” of sorts. Overall though, I recall general good times like sleepovers, lots of laughing, spending time with friends’ family and loved ones. I remember being a good friend too and parents seemed to love me. I was very good at being “bad” in private but “good” in public. Even back then I was a chameleon whenever I wanted or needed to being the second grade, I was told by my much older and very attractive male teacher that I was “charismatic”. His words always resonated with me. I was so young and yet my charm came so naturally to me that even adults couldn’t see the act.
Aside from all that, what is most curious is just the sheer volume of these friendships that I had with girls that came and went. I never realized or thought about it at the time but how could someone have people in their lives and then not have them in their lives and not give a damn? Somehow though, all these close friendships that I had with these people would in some way or another would just disappear and dissolve after some length of time. We’d somehow grow apart and eventually go our separate ways. There was never any animosity or hostility about jumping from friendship to friendship over the years. It was normal and I never really ever questioned it. Nor did I ever think about or dwell on it. Once someone was out of my life, they were almost immediately out of my mind as well. I don’t think I ever really cared or even noticed to be honest. It all seemed normal at the time.
The very first time I ever recall feeling discomfort or minimal angst over a friendship ending was with a girl I was exceptionally close with in middle school. I remember us being so incredibly close that I might even possibly say she was the first female friend I ever “loved”. I didn’t know it then but in hindsight, now I do. I remember buying her a McDonalds lunch one day before I was coming over to her house to hang out and I felt happy doing something nice for her. It made me feel good.
We were inseparable for several months and even possibly a few years. Days, nights, evenings and weekends were spent hanging out together at her place. We’d go to concerts and parties together. We had countless sleep overs and spent hours talking on the phone too. When we weren’t together at after school, we together at school or with mutual girl and guy friends somewhere doing just about anything and everything. Then, one day, at random, out of nowhere, at school one day, she approached me with two other “friends” of ours who were newer to our “crew” but I had known for even longer than I had known her. It was like a fucking scene out of “Mean Girls”. They cornered me and all three ganged up on me for no reason. I was completely blind-sided. Apparently, the two other girls heard how I “talked shit” about them all and all told my “best friend” all the things I had apparently said about her. I even apparently called the anorexic girl in the squad “fat” too.
Needless to say it was completely unwarranted and untrue. I was in middle school and surprisingly I was honest and I considered myself a good friend with no ill will or bad intentions. I don’t remember if I was “hurt” but I do remember it bothered me afterwards. We were never nearly (all) as close after that but it was definitely the first time in my life I had “cared” that someone was gone from my life. I wasn’t ready for the friendship to end and although I didn’t cry or dwell or try to make amends, it annoyed me.
I will come back to this in some of my later posts but in my late teen years and into my mid-twenties, I had a friend who told me a story I had no recollection of from back when we were both in elementary school. She told me that we had a school field trip a few miles away from school one winter where we went to a skating rink during school hours. She told me that her and I had buddied up and then I just blatantly ditched her at the arena and never even looked her way again once I was there or once we’d left to go back to the school. This obviously really hurt her feelings as she’d reminded me of it about ten years later. I apologized but inside, I didn’t remember nor did I care. I assumed I should’ve felt bad but I likely would’ve done it to her again if the opportunity arose for something better. I guess others’ wouldn’t have done something that seemed so cruel and heartless but I didn’t see anything wrong with it and I left no guilt or remorse either. I assume since she’d waited over a decade to tell me about it, it obviously stayed with her for some length of time. My apology was empty but I assumed that’s what I should do as seeing her sad pathetic facial expression filled with obvious emotion gave me a hint that this was something she felt I did wrong and she never forgot about.