How to Alienate a Girl

I had low expectations going in, not going to lie. Still, I will never turn down the opportunity to spend time with a friend: especially not in this season of life. Despite my fears and dread, I decided to do this. Although, I wasn’t expecting too much.

I’ve known the guy for years. I’d never met him because of the nature of the cyber-charter school, but I knew him. In sophomore year, we worked very well together on a project. He was fun, engaging, and friendly. I knew all about who he was and what he planned on doing some day.

Then junior year began, and he didn’t treat me very kindly. I don’t mean to be rude, but I honestly didn’t know what was the matter with him. He would constantly poke and jab at me, offering derogatory comments–usually regarding something I was already insecure about. I didn’t know why, but I remembered the guy from sophomore year, so I pushed on. I told my one friend who questioned my pushing that “I don’t give up on friendships”.

Perhaps I should have.

Senior year was a mess. He never tried to talk to me. Never asked about me. Never started a conversation. He would simply answer a question within a week or so of my contacting him. So when I had the opportunity to see him, for the first time, I knew it wasn’t going to be great. But I remembered the guy from sophomore year. He was great. The senior version of him wasn’t as wonderful, but maybe that sophomore kid was still in there, somewhere.

Despite my low expectations, the evening was even worse than I had anticipated. I didn’t think that there was much he could do to make the entire situation even worse for me, but he found a way.

And now, I don’t want to be his friend. I have given up on that friendship. I have no idea where that sophomore boy went, but I miss him. I wish he was still around. And I wish I could have met him before he disappeared.

Cherish your friendships before they change. Sometimes the people you care about will disappear when you aren’t looking. By then, it’s too late to get them back.

Senior Year Stuffed Animal Bash

I’ve had a pretty rough week, I’m not going to lie. Friendships are sometimes really difficult. In my case, I don’t have a lot of close ones right now. It’s not a fun road to walk.

Today, however, I got an absolutely wonderful surprise.

Now, there are some people in this world who would say, “Throwing a birthday party for a stuffed animal is stupid.” I can guarantee that most of them are male.

For me, however, the birthday party for a stuffed animal was beyond important.

At the beginning of this build season, I purchased a small, stuffed koala. We named him St. Luiz (because the original koala’s name is Heavy; the opposite of heavy is light; luz is the Spanish word for light; add an “i” and it becomes Luiz; St. Louis is where we found the original koala).

Originally, I’d intended him for the entire team: to symbolize good memories and success. However, I kept him for my strategy team. On his tag, it said his birthday was January 18th. (It also had a questionable poem and his original name, “KooKoo”. You can see why I only accepted some information on his tag.)

Since that’s in the middle of build season, I told my strategists that we would be celebrating. Unfortunately, the 18th was a Wednesday this year, which is a day we don’t meet. I told them we’d celebrate it a different day, then.

And I then promptly forgot about it (like a horrible koala guardian).

I knew the girls were up to something. I knew they were. They were speaking in hushed tones and shooing me away from them. I shrugged it off. (Helpful Note: shrugging things off is usually when I end up surprised.)

Today, I walked into our Administrative Meeting / Quiet Room and saw balloons on the wall. And a cake. And a card labeled “St. Louiz”.

I didn’t even care that they’d misspelled his name. They remembered. And they went all out! I mean, a cake? For a stuffed animal? That had a hand-pipped koala on it?

Strategy had a party. We sang to St. Louiz (that’s how we’re spelling it, officially, since his present was his own name tag and collar). We had cake. We read an adorable card.

All in all, after the extremely bummer week I had in regards to friendship, this was a pretty stellar day. What kind of friends remember the birthday of a stuffed animal you purchased for them and then spend about a week preparing to throw that stuffed animal a surprise party?

I didn’t think they existed.

st-louiz-birthday

The Greatest Day

I wasn’t especially terrified, unlike the people who surrounded me. Some had been up half the night in anticipation for this moment. Was I afraid? Yes. Was I confident? No. But I knew that I could pull through–no, I would pull through. There was no room to try.

I sat there in the silence. She had been late two days in a row, so I didn’t think today would be any kind of exception. I quickly checked to see if it had become available.

It hadn’t.

So I sat. I reminded myself of my preparedness. I reminded myself what was on the line today. My grade. I had three percent of wiggle room, and that was all.

That’s when she appeared, only a hair late today. I waited for the dismissal. The speeches. The rallying of our spirits.

“I’m not going to make you take the final today,” came her voice through my laptop.

There was complete silence for a moment–nay, not even a moment, as we clamored to confirm her statement. The chat box exploded with questions and hallelujahs.

“AHHHHHH”
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”
“What?”
“wait WHAT”
“WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT”
“WHATTTTTTTT”
“WHAT”
“WHAAAAAT”
“what”
“WE AREN’T WRITING STUFF”

(And, my personal favorite):

“BEST”
“huh?!?”
“TEACHER”
“OH GOSH”
“SJKALDJSK”
“THANK YOU!”
“EVERRRRRR”
“IM HYPERVENTILATING”

It was a glorious day. Yesterday, we took a multiple choice final. We were thrust into a lottery of subjective questions given objective answers. Most of us received terrible scores. We knew, however, that if we did well enough on this second part of the final–the writing portion–we might just save our grades.

And now we didn’t have to take it at all.

Instead, we spent our class period chatting, laughing, and blessing the soul of the teacher who had taken such great mercy upon us.

Today is a glorious day, my friends.

Conversational Addict

I don’t know what it is about me, but I really enjoy getting to know people. I love to hear what makes up a person. Their likes, dislikes; hobbies and interests; talents and passions. It fascinates me, that I can get to know another human being.

Naturally, when I meet someone new, I’m bursting with questions for them. I can hardly handle waiting to know something as simple as their favorite school subject or what they enjoy in their spare time.

In the same way, I’m touched when they take the effort to return the question to me. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that anyone else is like me: that anyone else would want to know what I’m like and who I am.

That said, they rarely take that effort, and I settle myself with a pleasant question-and-answer routine, until I feel I know the person, at least from their perspective. It brings me a lot of joy.

But then it ends.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t get bored with people. However, I feel they get bored with me. Conversations which used to boast at least thirty minutes of good back-and-forth are reduced to about twenty minutes of my prodding and their shrugging.

I don’t mind it so much. Sure, it hurts when someone you were getting to know chooses to ignore you. There’s some pain when you realize they have no intention of knowing you as a person.

But there’s always someone new to talk to.

I’m unsure whether my enjoyment of conversation is healthy or unhealthy. I do know that for others, it can be absolutely exhausting. So, I try to take the time to appreciate the conversation I receive from those who are more reserved than I am, along with those who talk just as much as I do.