Am I strange?
A lot of bloggers have been writing about Facebook lately, and not to jump on the bandwagon or anything, there is something about it that bothers me. Actually, there are a lot of things about it that bother me, but a new thing in particular: Friends.
Let me explain. I come from a very small town where the high school housed maybe 500 students across grades 7-12. 500 people is a lot in normal instances, but for a high school it means that you know everybody. Or at least you know what everyone’s name is, even if you don’t know them personally. High school was a trying time for me. I was depressed. I felt older than everyone else, and, of course, I was trying to come to grips with my burgeoning sexuality. I was also kind of shy. Because of all of this, I had a small circle of friends. There were 15 of us that hung out together in 10th and 11th grade. We were all non-smokers, non-drug-users and non-drinkers in a town full of kids experimenting with such things. We were also mostly all virgins too. (I know, we sound like a group of really cool kids! LOL!) We would do wholesome stuff like bowling and truth or dare and going to the school dances as a group. After a while, a few started to do things on their own and I got invited less and less. It was really not a fun time, since I was one of the original people who started up the “group” in the first place.
The problem came when my mortal enemy joined the “group”. Okay, so the term mortal enemy may be too strong. This is a girl whom I was best friends with in 7th grade. Slowly she started to change and started to push me out of her life. I think it was low self esteem – she is not an attractive girl by far. Her personality really changed, and she was more interested in getting boys to sleep with her than she was staying friends with me. She also started backstabbing me, and it was all just an ugly experience. We didn’t talk much between 7th grade and the time when she came into the “group”. Then she started taking over. She was the one making plans. She was the one deciding who got invited where. And, as she had done before, she pushed me out. And I let her. She pushed me out of my own group and I didn’t do anything to stop it. She would tell me she wasn’t doing it – that there weren’t enough cars or space or some other bullshit and that’s why I wasn’t invited. When I was in charge of all the plans, everyone was included no matter what.
After I was pushed out, I moved on. I had only one or two very close friendships after that for the remainder of high school, one of which I have written about before about her opening my eyes to my sexuality. Over the years I stayed in touch on and off with those couple of friends, and they visited from time to time. I am still in touch with one of them, and I am so grateful to FB because it would be really hard to keep in touch with her without it.
So that brings me to the point of this post. I am “friends” with almost all of my former high school classmates, including the mortal enemy* and all of the people from the “group” on FB. I am also “friends” with a lot of other people from my school that I didn’t know very well. Lately I’ve been noticing a lot of these people actually see each other in real life. Like, they go out of their way to hang out with each other. They know each others kids and spouses. They go to dinners and concerts together. Even people who I never saw hang out together in school, are now hanging out as adults. It just all seems so weird to me.
I think the reason these relationships seem so disingenuous to me is because a lot of these kids wouldn’t give me the time of day in high school. It would be fake of me to really interact with them because I don’t know them anymore. I don’t really want to know the majority of them either. I know, I know, people grow up and change. They could have been assholes in school, but now they’re really nice. I get that, but I just can’t bring myself to believe it.
I’ve seen some of my classmates out and about, and I never know what to say to them, let alone make plans with them! We knew each other eons ago, and frankly none of them really knew me. I’ve only hung out with a couple of them less than a handful of times in the last 18 years since graduation. We had an 11 year reunion** and ironically it was held at my house. We only had about 10 people come – and it was the best time – but I haven’t seen any of them in person since. The mortal enemy was there too, and she was all bubbly and nice and talking about how we had to do it more often. Then, when I saw her again 7 months later, she went back to ignoring me. See? Fake.
I was talking to D about this last night and I think all of it has to do with the fact that I am a fiercely loyal friend. If I am your friend, you will know just about everything about me, and I will about you. I will be very protective of you and love you to the core of my being. You can’t put that kind of energy into a lot of people, so I can only have a few true friends at a time. It feels too bogus if I do it any other way. Does that make sense?
Boy, this really makes me sound clingy and dull! That’s not it at all. I think it’s just if I call someone a friend, it’s because I really know and like them. That doesn’t mean I don’t talk to anyone. On the contrary, I have many work colleagues whom I think are wonderful and interesting people. But do I “hang out” with them outside of work functions? No.
What do you think? Do you still see and hang out with people you went to high school with?
* You might be wondering why I have the mortal enemy as a friend on FB. Well, don’t you know that saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer? 😉
** No one planned anything for the 10th year, so another classmate and I got one together for the 11th year.