Adult Friendships

Oh dear. Not a great topic. Not in a great mood.

Right so. I had a family member who had cardiac surgery this week. They came out, having had a successful surgery and recovering well. Quite stressful watching them recover and things. But something else has been on my mind.

One of my friends, my best friend, who I adore, who I’ve known since high school, whose wedding I will be a groomsman at….. I haven’t been talking very much to.

I haven’t hung out with him for about 6 months. We talk now and then. About minor things. When I try to share thoughts about certain issues, he is superficially empathetic. Where he used to be quite amazing and helpful when we were younger. He also doesn’t share his issues with me. We used to talk about basically everything and would help each other out. For some reason we fell out of that habit.

He didn’t show up to my graduation (granted he was in Wellington proposing to his girlfriend) or any of my birthday gatherings. Each time I had told myself I had to be understanding because he was a good friend and he had been there for me several times.

I had told him about my family member having surgery. He had clearly forgotten about the whole thing. Hadn’t really checked in with me or brought it up. And that bothered me a bit.

But it wasn’t just him. None of the friends I had told about this had remembered it was happening. Nobody checked in on me or my family until I had brought it up myself. 

But weirdly, another house officer, someone I had only met this year at work who I had casually mentioned this to, had messaged me on the day of the surgery as well as checked up on me the day after and the day after that. 

I don’t know if this is expecting too much from friends. I really don’t know. I’m willing to understand that people are busy and life really does get in the way. But I just sort of hoped friends would be thoughtful beyond that.

I remember stuff like this and make it a point to check up on my friends. 

So I just don’t know.

It weirdly makes me feel I can’t really count on anyone to understand. 

I mean I have my family who I love and who I can count on. But sometimes, as I’ve mentioned on here, the way they talk about each other and the way they fight all the time makes me lose faith in that too. 

Am I too sensitive? I can’t seem to understand what my role in these things are.

I was once told everything is in flux. Friends don’t last forever blah blah blah. I had said I make friends for life. I guess I’ll always think of people as friends and find happiness in being there for them and doing things for them. But I think I have to realise that it absolutely does not go both ways. And expecting it to, is probably not the best idea.

It’s weird. One of the things that ties me to New Zealand are my friends and the people I know. I wonder now if there’s any point in holding onto that. Maybe it won’t be so bad to just move on. 

I’m unsure if any of them will really be bothered if I left. 

I just don’t know. 

But if this is what adult friendships/ relationships are like, then I’m really not ready. 

Goodbye To A Friend

It’s always hard to say goodbye to a friend.

After 4 years, my beloved Kindle stopped working. 

I’ve had a rough week back at work. Which I might talk about later, but I wonder if you get tired of my whining about not very significant things. 

But anyways.

This is one of the more tragic things that has happened to me.

Every single moment in the last 3 years where I have felt lonely or bored or neglected or awkward, my friend Kindle was always there for me. 

It held my most favourite books of all time. 

It always comforted me with its light up screen that was so easy on the eyes and easy to read while turning in bed at night.

It’s small and sleek build meant that I didn’t have to go anywhere without it. Fitting in virtually any bag I was carrying, and sometimes even my coat pocket, meant that any time, was kindle time.

It educated me when I read a word I didn’t know. Simply tap on a word and both an online dictionary and wikipedia would be right there to teach me the meaning of words too complex for me to comprehend. And I didn’t even need to move to find a dictionary.

And it’s battery life was practically 4 weeks. Meaning one charge was enough to read all 15 volumes of my favourite book series. 

I must say that no person has ever been as reliable and dependable as my kindle has been.

It was finally time for it to die.

The screen went away first. No longer displaying proudly the letter “A” or newspaper stacks or other premade Amazon screensavers. 

Goodbye forever, old friend.

Until I get a new kindle of course! 

Fakebook “Friends”

They’ll like every one of your photos. Even the one with too much exposure or the one of the small rocks that don’t really mean anything to anyone. 

They’ll comment on your selfies “looking good!! ;)” “damn where you been? :-* ”

They’ll post on your wall “happy birthday!!!” Because the website reminded them.

But when they see you in person, you don’t exist.

You exist in a parallel universe under a big blue banner only.

If they see you somewhere, they won’t be asking you how your birthday was. Or how your holiday was. They won’t be telling you you look great in person. 

No you’re just a clever simulation in real life.

They’ll talk to their other “friends” about you off the record. 

They’ll tag their other “friends” in memes saying “we know someone like this ;)”

They’ll use that website as an advantage. They’ll watch you. Waiting for you to do something. 

They’ll use it to assert dominance. At a click of a button, you disappear. 

They’re not “friends”.

I would literally rather be anything else other than your Facebook friend. I choose reality. I’m glad about that.

You Know You’re Old When

You go out and buy yourself a birthday present

Yay new watch! I decided I have finally grown out of using digital watches. It was a big decision. But I made it. And I know I’m old.

You know you’re old when you feel like an arcade is too noisy and you can’t stay there for more than 20 minutes

You know you’re old when bumper cars give you neck pain

You know you’re old when you get sleepy at your own birthday event around 10:30pm.

Haha. I had a great birthday. No really. Some friends in India with little children took me out to dinner and the arcade. Where I engaged in air hockey, shooting hoops and bumper cars like I was age 12. 

They then insisted on buying me a cake and making me cut it. 

Their little 4 year old boy  whispered into his mother’s ear that he wanted to get me a chocolate for my birthday, and made me close my eyes so he could surprise me with it.

I haven’t had a birthday celebration quite like this in years. It was brilliant and special even though I was miles away from home.

Friends from home wished me too. Overall it was an awesome day! 

Shut Out

Consider the following scenarios:

1. Friend A was in a relationship that ended badly, with the other person continually harassing them. Friend A blocked them on all social network and deleted their number so they may get on with their life. 

2. Friend B blocks people on Facebook and other mediums who “annoy” them 

3. Friend C had a fight with a friend they had known for years. This resulted in the friend blocking them on everything. Friend C was so upset that they deactivated their Facebook, and went off the radar for a few months. 

4. Friend D was in a relationship where their partner had cheated on them. When they confronted their partner, their number was blocked. And they were unable to talk to them. 

5. Friend E was receiving messages from someone they didn’t know continually. So they proceeded to block them.

6. There was a meme on Facebook that said in order to get revenge on someone or “hit them where it hurts”, you simply have to unfollow them on Instagram and block them on Facebook. 

You know, in this day and age, communication is so easy. There are millions of ways you can talk to someone. And there are ways to know when someone has seen your attempts to contact them. Which is all a good thing really. Because I cannot imagine how agonising it must have been in the days when everyone would communicate through letters. And in the days/weeks that followed sending that letter, wondering whether the other person had received it, had read it, when they would reply, or if they were even alive. There was just no way of knowing. 

So it should be a blessing that there are now so many options to reach out to someone else. Your friends/family, etc. 

But with anything, there’s a dark side. Off late, I’ve been hearing from people about this whole “blocking” business. As in the act of clicking on someone, going to options, scrolling down and hitting “block this person” on whatever app you use to communicate with them on. Then sitting back and feeling triumph. 

And I say that last bit because that’s the kind of blocking I hear about. When websites such as Facebook were first developed, the blocking feature was most relevant to people like friend E. It’s basically a way you can avoid the less than great people in the world you don’t even know. Which is fair enough.  And then after that, it was next most relevant to Friend A. Who was being harassed by someone they knew, and wanted it to stop. Also reasonable. 

The problems, are with Friends B, C, D, and the meme I mentioned. Blocking someone out of malice. For revenge. Intentionally to hurt that person. 

Yeah. That’s not cool.

Like yes it means you don’t want to talk to that person in that instance or for the foreseeable future, but essentially what you’re saying is that they meant so little to you that you basically can delete them from your life at the simple click of a button. 

And that’s what hurts most people. Of course 20 years ago that wouldn’t have made sense to anyone. And it wouldn’t have been possible anyway. To stop someone communicating with you, you’d usually stop replying to letters, stop answering the phone multiple times when they call, or in extreme cases, move.

But this is slightly different. Blocking is like going out of your way to make it clear to someone that they are no longer privileged to attempt to contact you. To be in your life. In that one click, it’s all literally over.

Which is so weird. We live in a time where this is possible. Friend C had a terrible time. To the point where another friend and I had to go visit her to make sure she was okay. She began to spiral quite a bit and all because her “friend” had blocked her and she was beyond devastated. 

I can understand that. The feeling that you spent time/effort/feelings on someone who only cared about you as much as the effort it took to flex the MCP joints of their finger and apply pressure to click the “block” button. And then carry on with their life. 

What would motivate someone to do that? Well. As in Friend  C’s experience, someone can just be angry and act out by blocking. The equivalent of hanging up or slamming a door in their mind. However, if they perpetuate that, it becomes worse. As adults I think that if you’ve known someone for long enough, you should be able to face them and work through whatever problems you have. That’s not an unreasonable expectation is it? 

Unless you’re one of the people that Friend D encountered. Who had clearly done something wrong and chose to deal with it in that pathetic way. By running away from the confrontation. As though that would solve everything. Honestly I can’t imagine what this person was thinking. But the word despicable comes to mind.

And then there’s friend B. Who blocks people who annoy them. Basically friend B told me that if someone posted unnecessary things or messaged them for no reason, they would be blocked. I didn’t quite understand this. They were usually people who friend B didn’t know very well. And yes sometimes people can be extremely annoying on social media. But that’s why websites like Facebook came up with an “unfollow” button. So you don’t see their posts and they don’t know it. That to me, is less damaging then telling someone that you went out of your way to make sure they know they’re so annoying that they are no longer allowed to be a part of your social platform. And they will know. I don’t care what Facebook tells you. If someone’s posts and comments mysteriously disappear, they’ve blocked you. 

And the meme suggests that this is actually something you can use to intentionally hurt someone????

Who came up with that?? And why on Earth would people endorse that idea? As though it’s acceptable?? Basically you’re admitting that you are a petty enough person who would resort to revenge and that you’re incredibly immature that you would choose these means to hurt someone, and that you’re cruel enough that you’re okay with doing that. 

I’m sorry but I think that’s unacceptable in every sense.

But the more I think about it, it occurs to me that the only reason someone made a meme like that and the reason people continue to do such things is that we all give a lot of importance to this blocking idea. Like friend C who was very hurt. But if you think about it, if someone told you 20 years ago that there was this website where you could talk to someone, but they could “block” you, you’d probably not care very much. And say something to the effect of I’ll call them or go over to their house . And 20 years from now when Facebook becomes obsolete, no one’s ever going to care or remember that person who blocked them. 

So really, it’s all a matter of perspective. If you know someone beyond Facebook and you know about them as a person, all of that should matter more than being blocked. 

And for those who block people just to hurt them, please remember that karma is a witch. And it’ll come back threefold. You never know who’ll become a serial killer, you never know who’ll be the doctor operating on you someday, and you never know who’ll approve that loan you desperately need. 

As Ellen Degeneres would say:

Be kind to one another

Hostile

Sometimes people make me ponder the word ‘maturity’

On my long shift at the hospital, I ran into a girl I knew from highschool. She is now a nurse at my hospital. 

6 years ago, I had a big group of friends in school whom I used to hang out with all the time. This girl, we’ll call her Betty, was in the same year as my group of friends, but not exactly part of the group. If you remember highschool, you know what I mean. 

Anyway. 6 years ago, when we were in our second last year of high school, she had organised a birthday party to which she invited only half of the people in my group of friends. She claimed to know us all but only invited some of us. I was invited, but my close friends were not. Of all the people invited, I knew her the least. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the splitting of my group of friends because the friends who weren’t invited knew about it and told me how they felt a bit left out. So I told her very politely that I wouldn’t be able to make it. 

Since that one party, my entire group got permanently split up into the Betty squad, and those of us who didn’t make the cut. To this day that remains. I’m not bothered by it. I stopped caring about this situation 6 years ago. 

But yesterday when I ran into Betty, this happened. She seemed perfectly happy to see me and we smiled and hugged etc.

Me: hey! I didn’t know you were working here!

Betty: hey! Yes I live here now! Haha what are you doing here?

Me: oh I’m an intern here now so I guess I live here too haha! So I guess we’ll be seeing each other more now!

Betty: yeah! And maybe you’ll come to my party next time I invite you!  

We met in the hallway when we were both going somewhere so I said something like  “sounds good!” And walked away. What she said only registered 2 seconds later.

I was in complete shock. It made me wonder what kind of person would say something like that. 

That whole affair was 6 years ago. Actually it was high school so it’s basically a million years ago now. And I haven’t spoken to her about it at all. Every time I saw her after that, I had talked to her normally and she had done the same. As far as I can remember. 

What would cause someone to hold onto something so little for 6 years and bring it up to a person they haven’t seen in 6 years?? Did she expect me to stop and be like oh I’m so sorry. Let’s stand here and discuss that whole situation in the middle of hallway and clear the air.

What the heck?

It’s just so immature and sad and petty. This is in fact, Taylor Swift level pettiness to be honest. She’s clearly the kind of person who buries hatchets but keeps maps of where they are. 

It was ridiculous. What exactly does anyone have to gain by holding on to such minor grudges? Now I’m likely to avoid talking to her ever again. She made me feel glad I missed her party and didn’t join the Betty squad 

I just don’t understand continually harboring negative feelings towards someone. Especially not about something this small for this long. 

How mature is that? To say it in that passive aggressive way to someone who stopped to say hi to you. Someone who was genuinely happy to see a familiar face. Hostile much. And way way immature. 

She must have had extremely strong feelings about what I did. But even then. After a certain age, don’t issues like this become small in perspective? They certainly have become small in my perspective. What else is this person likely to hold grudges about? Omg remember that guy 10 years ago who took the last cookie at the shared lunch when I said I was hungry but didn’t want the sandwiches? He’s such a jerk. 

If I think really hard about my life, there’s only one person that comes to mind who I have negative feelings about. But that issue is still relatively recent and it was certainly not because they didn’t show up to my birthday party. And even So, if I saw that person somewhere, I would not bring up the issue – or anything for that matter. I’d avoid them as best as possible. Not smile and throw out a shady comment.

It’s just. Some people just don’t grow up. But then again, does anybody? I mean, I was bothered enough to rant about this on my blog which is supposed to be quite significant. Some might think that’s immature. But I don’t know. I find what she did/said so appalling. You just don’t deal with people that way. 

I suppose I’m grateful I won’t be doing that to anyone anytime soon. 

“Just Friends”

You know what bothers me? When people use this phrase. “We’re Just friends” 

Like excuse me. What do you mean “Just”?? 

To be honest I’d be happier to be a friend than whatever other nonsense label people put on relationships these days. 

In an era where friends are scarce, using this phrase is offensive and negligent. To refer to someone as a friend should be a privilege. Not a substitute.

The word seems to have lost all meaning. 

So stupid. 

This Is What I Would Do

I’d tell you you’re being a horrible person.

I’d tell you you have no right to do that to someone else.

I’d tell you you were a hypocrite for causing a pain that is so familiar to you.

I’d stick up for a friend.

I’d be brave enough to pick a side and stick to it. Even if it were the wrong one.

I’d tell you what you were doing was wrong. Even if you were my friend.

I would never pretend to care and yet offer nothing.

I wouldn’t talk about you behind your back then continue the charade.

I’d defend you even when you weren’t there.

I’d loathe them for hurting you.

I wouldn’t be like you. Or her. Or him.

I’d get angry. I’d get sad. I’d hate myself.

And then I’d blog.