It was an ordinary day-- nothing too special. I woke up at the same time I get up every morning. I got ready for work, went to work and had an awesome day. Driving home from work, though, I was randomly hit with a powerful realization... I miss having friends.
(It's no mystery whether I've missed my friends since graduation-- how could I not? I have the best friends on the planet. However, I can also survive for long periods of time with, well, absolutely no social life. I suppose it's thanks to some defense mechanism I developed after 6 socially traumatizing years of junior high and high school. I think I got spoiled at college with all my great friends and acquaintances. They overflowed my social quota so much that the supply has only barely begun to run out. But let's get back to my story.)
The next day the ward was going to a corn maze in a neighboring town. I'd told a girl from the ward (we'll call her "Iffer") that I would go with her since I bailed on Tiffani and Suzuki last week. I thought to myself: "Alright-- it's time. Time to make some friends."
It was an enjoyable evening, despite the fact that I was taller than the corn, spent a good portion of my time in the maze wandering by myself and got the crap scared out of me by some guy from the ward who was trying to make the activity more exciting. (I punched him, by the way. Regrettably, it was not in the face. I've always wanted to punch someone out of self-defense or as an uncontrollable reflex. But only if they deserve it, of course.)
I was one of the drivers and all the girls in my car were pretty ok. Except that when everyone was preparing to leave the maze one of the guys came up to our group and asked if we wanted to hit up this tasty taco place in El Paso with him and his friends. I looked to my group. They looked at each other or off into space, all with equally unreadable faces. "Well, ladies?" I asked. One of the questionable girls looked at me and said "I'm actually up for going home." Hm, I thought. That's no way to make friends. The same girl readily consented to ice cream and a movie on our way home. Interesting.
So we got some ice cream, dropped off one girl and met up with another to eat the ice cream and watch a movie at my house. It was a fun night, and I went to bed hopeful that I am capable of making new friends and, especially, that I have a desire to do so. Wanting new friends has been a problem for me since I've lived here. I have limited time and energy, so why would I want to add a list of friends to my schedule when I'm fine as is? But after a fun night with these kids, my attitude seemed to be turning around.
Until last night.
I went to a pumpkin carving night at Iffer's house. I felt bad that only four people, including myself, went. Especially because she told me she'd invited 20. But who could possibly be a better sympathizer than me? After the experience I've gained inviting hundreds of people to many a movie night/other activity, I've learned never to plan for more than a third of the people invited. Anyway.
At this pumpkin carving night there were two pumpkins... mine and Iffer's. She gave hers to the two lazy boys that came pumpkinless, and one of them carved while the other guy and a random girl that came watched. After only a few minutes they were all in the living room, watching a football game and I was left in the kitchen, carving my pumpkin alone. I abandoned it early since it was failing and I felt I should join the others. For an hour and a half I suffered through boring conversation revolving around sports, racial jokes, incapable young adults and tragic accidents. I planned to leave for about forty minutes before I actually found the courage to do so. After a few lines when I first sat down I hadn't spoken at all. How awkward, then, to get up and leave such a small group. That I hadn't even been talking with. That I'd only been with for an hour. Especially since no one had texted or called me or anything. And it was a weekend. Oh whale! I couldn't take it anymore.
As I was leaving I realized what I'd learned that night: it's hard to make friends you really like. It takes time, patience, and a lot of boring conversation to weed through the nobodies to the people you'd really like to hang around. It made me appreciate the good friends that I do have. If you're reading this post, you're one of them. I just want to give a shout out to you, because I love you and think you're terrific. And you've left a pretty huge hole in my life that all these lesser-humans are going to have a hard time filling. :) Call me, ehkay?