Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Friend Is a Four-Letter Word (Actually, It's Six Letters; I'm Not an Idiot)

So here are two stories I have recently learned about friends, and what I make of them. (What I make of the stories, not the friends. The only thing I know how to make of a friend is an enemy.)

The first is about a girl in my linguistics class. The lecture meets twice a week, and then the discussion group meets on Fridays. We sit next to each other in discussion and talk about random things, but she studiously avoids me during lecture. Three weeks ago I ended up walking out of lecture next to her and she did not acknowledge me in the hall. Then, suddenly on the stairs, she said, "Are you going anywhere for Thanksgiving?" It was weird, like we were prisoners in a work crew who could only talk without looking at each other for fear the boss would see us.

Well, today was the last lecture of the semester, and we had to fill out instructor evaluations. I had quite a bit to say in mine, so I was the last one to leave. I had noticed this girl (I'll just tell you her name since not even I know who she is) Katy leave much earlier. Anyway, when I left the room and got to the stairs, there was Katy in front of me. We talked some while we walked to the library together. So did she wait to talk to me because we're friends?

Now for the other girl, who gets a synonym because what I have to say about her is not so glowing. Let's call her Phyllis. We have two classes together, one right after another, and over the course of the semester, we've become friends of sorts. We walk between classes together every day now. After the second test in one of the classes, I mentioned that I would like to study for the final with her study group, since my study group was teh suck. She said sure, but over the last week, as her group has been making plans to get together and I have been kind of trying to be invited, she has ignored me. And today she said to the other three members of her group that her apartment was a good place for them to meet because, "There are four chairs at my table." So are we not friends?

Friends have always been lame to me. I don't think anyone is ever really a friend. The people who are your friends only seem that way due to outside forces. Your workplace friends will never see you again once you get fired. You might try to initiate contact, but it is always awkward for them. I don't think a real friendship between two people can last longer than a decade at the most. By that time you have done too many things that the other person knows about and hates, and vice versa. And that decade time-frame is for even the best of friends. Most people will fall out of friendship within a year.

I've got this guy in my microeconomics class whose phone number I have, but if I ever called him up on a Friday next semester to see if he wanted to hang out, that would be awkward. I've got a guy I work with that is my work friend, but the few times we have tried to do something outside of work, it has been weird. I think most people like the idea of other people being their friends, but no one wants to be a friend to other people.

PS: Things are looking up in the "take this job and shove it" department. Details later.

Title (partially) from Cake's song "Friend Is a Four-Letter Word."

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