I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship lately. Never mind that it’s been a VERY long time since I’ve posted anything here. But, that’s not important. I’ve had shit to do. Don’t we all?

My thoughts about friendship start with image, though. And it’s related to one friend in particular, from whom I’ve drifted far in the past few months. There’s this thing people do, this thing MOST of us do, I think, where we claim we don’t give one hot damn about our image. But when I sit back and think about it, I think, OF COURSE WE DO… image is all we have. We exist inside our own minds and the only way we have to relate to one another is through the image we project of our self – that innermost part we think might be a soul or something else altogether.

So, now when people claim not to care about “image,” I can’t help but think, well, someone’s a liar.

But, see, it’s not cool to admit we care about the image we present of our selves. And I suppose there’s a difference between caring about self-presentation and caring about image, but when it’s all boiled down, they’re the same, aren’t they? So, this friend claims not to care about image. No big deal, right?

But this claim has consequences, especially when said friend’s actions reveal a deep concern with self-image and self-presentation. Here’s where this line of thinking gets me: Said friend has an insignificant other. No one likes insignificant other (io) because io is a jerk, to put it mildly. Although io acts friendly and sometimes even nice around our friend circle. The problem is that io is never around our friend circle for long periods of time, and io keeps said friend (sf) from being as much a part of the circle as sf once was. Case in point:

My graduation party. May 9th. Picture it: Everyone’s eating great food off of the grill and relaxing. There are probably 20 people here at this point. I’m hanging around not doing much. Another friend (af) is hanging out with sf and io on the sofa. They’re having a conversation and sf and af are catching up because sf has been absent from a lot of family functions lately, and we’ve missed sf. So, af and her boyfriend (bf) check out for a smoke break, and sf is still on the sofa. When af and bf return from the smoke break (we don’t smoke in the house… they had to go outside), sf and io have disappeared. They’ve left without a word.

I wonder sometimes if sf and io have an abusive “relationship,” but even the R-word is inappropriate here. They tried that. It didn’t work. Two years later, sf is hanging out waiting for “something better” to come along. The problem is, something better will never see past io attached to sf’s arm – or some other body part we need not address in this post. But, sf loves io. Or did. Or does. Or might again. Problem is, sf lets the other person in all of sf’s relationships dictate how those relationships go. I get that relationships are different with different people, don’t misconstrue me here. However, there’s a difference between compromising on little things and compromising your self. One is necessary for any relationship to work while the other is just damaging to everyone involved.

So, I miss sf a lot. Sf even lives really close to me, yet I see sf very little. And sf is so busy with school and work that only io can drag sf’s attention away from studies. I want us to have a friend-date, but sf always has plans. So I never ask.

But, back to image. See, I’m wondering lately if it’s io’s image – io’s public image – that attracts sf. Io has the right look, the look that says “I belong to this community,” that sf doesn’t really have. Sf isn’t hip. But I think sf wants to be, or at least wants to be perceived as “too cool to be hip.” I gave up on that a long time ago, but I remember when I was there. Of course, the whole time I was in that stage, I claimed I didn’t care about “image” either. Now I realize I do care about image, I’m just careful that I present the one I want people to see – one that represents many facets of me. At least I try. We all fail miserably at self-presentation (that’s a true story), so trying is all we can hope to accomplish, really.

But this relates back to friendship because it used to be “cool” to know me. It used to be cool to say “I hung out with TPQ on Saturday night.” It’s not so much anymore. Last night was a Saturday night. I spent it watching reality shows about the paranormal with the wifey while I painted a new art table for the girl who lives across the street. She’s turning 5 a week from today. It’s adorable. But, my ideal Saturday night is hanging out with friends at home. Sf goes out a lot. At least once a week. It’s hard to balance a social life, work, and school. I get that. But I’d like to see more of sf, without io tagging along. I’d like sf just to come sit with a schoolbook and coffee while we both read or something. No conversation, just time spent with a friend. But it’s not really cool to hang out with TPQ anymore, and I don’t enhance anyone’s image. In fact, I’ve pretty much faded off the radar, by my own design. I hate being the person that it’s cool to hang out with. There’s a whole lot of pressure involved. Now, I think if people come visit me while I’m in my pajamas and haven’t had a shower, then they’re alright. If someone’s willing to let me throw on a pair of jeans with a wife appreciator and some flip flops without fixing my hair or paying attention to whether my clothes match, then that’s where I wanna be. Sf can’t do that, I don’t think. Sf hangs out with the pretty people these days, and I’m not one of them.

I guess the real story here is that I miss my friend. But, because I miss my friend, I’m beginning to wonder if sf was only my friend because it was cool to hang out with me at one time. Since it’s not so much anymore, maybe sf’s over it. That’s a sad thought. I miss sf.

One Response to “Friendship”
  1. trailerparkqueen says:

    In my own life I’ve seen my friendships go through various evolutions and revolutions. I’ve even gotten back in touch with a friend or two whose lives went off in completely different directions from mine, yet now we are at a place where we have a new set of things in common that never factored into our previous friendships.

    I say that image is nothing when it comes to true friends. People grow in different directions and at different rates. I’m all about flipflops and bad hair, myself and am so glad that my near and dear friends don’t give a hoot about how I look or behave. I can still be fun like I used to be, but I don’t have much need to do it often. Sorry you miss your friend. Hopefully, they will come around soon.

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