Sunday, January 25, 2004
express yourself
Last week my Hebrew teacher asked me if I was stressed, in an attempt to help her find the source of my recent health problems. She seemed to believe that my problems may lie in whatever it was in my life that was stressing me out. I paused for a moment and then replied that no, in fact I hadn't been stressed for months now. The fact of the matter is, I was once a terrible stress puppy and always felt like I was potentially on the edge of having stress swallow me whole at any moment. And I came to realize that the reason I was no longer stressed was because someone whom I once called a friend is no longer a part of my life. And for a moment I felt terrible, for I still have great love for that person but we barely communicate anymore since a huge falling out last summer. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel terrible for feeling better, I haven't felt this good in MANY years, but I felt bad that my happiness seems to be to the exclusion of having someone in my life who was once my best friend. How would that make me feel if the tables were turned? How would I feel if someone close to me found out that they were in fact much happier and better off without me in his/her life? I would feel pretty damn lousy, I can tell ya that much. How is it we get involved in such toxic friendships and relationships? Situations where we KNOW the person is no good for us, but we have such deep caring for the person that we would rather be miserable with them then chance being alone (we often can't imagine we'd be happier alone...I know I couldn't until the separation was forced). What if this friend of mine hadn't called it quits on our friendship? I was bitter and angry at the time (ok, I may still be a bit, no one likes to be dumped) but shouldn't I be grateful that this person had the strength to end the friendship when I couldn't? My misery would have gone on and on, and at the time I had no idea that it was the friendship that was making me miserable. I thought it was a multitude of other things, and that I would die if that friend wasn't there to help me. Who knew that most of those problems would fade when she walked out the door?

So now I am torn..while I don't have to see this person anymore, we are in light communication through e-mails and such. We can still have a friendly conversation and a few good laughs, but we both know it's not, nor will it ever be, the same. And what I have to wrestle with is the urge to "fix it", because despite what happened I still care for her very deeply. I have to fight the urge to kiss and make up after our falling out and to try and get the friendship back on track. I get frustrated that I can't be this happy in my life AND have that person close to me. But I have managed to talk myself out of attempting to repair the friendship, and I truly believe at this point in time, it's what's best for me. Maybe one day we can mend things, when I am stronger and happier, but until then, things are as they should be.

On another topic of friends, let's discuss mooches. You know, the friends who always seem to get away with borrowing a few bucks, or not chipping in enough towards the bill after an evening of dining. Yesterday I got together with 5 of my guy friends and we hung out ALL day (I'm talking 11 hours or so). Now, when we get together for a marathon session of geekdom I usually make a run to the grocery store and grab some snacks to share with the gang, and more importantly, to keep myself fuelled throughout the day (I get headaches if I don't eat). This time I was with 2 of the guys for the trip to the grocery store, since I had picked them up on the way to the meeting point. These two guys are two of my closest friends, and are absolute sweethearts. We shopped together, discussing what would be good for sharing, with one of us picking up the drinks, and the other getting the bread, and the last getting the sandwich meat (for example). When all was said and done I dropped about $45 on a range of food from cheese to chips to chocolate. A little of the good, a little of the bad, but I admit much of it was junkfood.

Doesn't matter, the point is that all of what's purchased gets tossed into the "food pool" that gets shared with everyone when we gather. This is just how it's always been, and for the most part it's worked out just fine. This time however, two of the other guys showed up empty handed. Still not a big deal to me, so long as they buy whatever food we order (we usually order Chinese food or a pizza at some point). Such was not the case. Now, I don't fault the guy who was holding the event, coz he's giving up his house and convenience to host the event, and he has been very generous in the past, buying us all pizza. But the two free loading friends were really grating on me. They drank all our drinks, ate our snacks and didn't even contribute enough to the pizza when it was ordered. We were all to chip in $8 for the pizza, but the free loaders tossed in $5 (I put in $10 and ate only two slices). And then at one point one of the free loaders turned to me and asked when I was going to break out one of the other snacks that I hadn't touched yet. I said "excuse me? I'll open it when I'M hungry, not when YOU'RE hungry. You just had four slices of pizza 30 minutes ago". I was livid. I couldn't believe he had the nerve to ask for MORE of my food. I wasn't looking to cause a huge brawl in the middle of Fun Day, but I was seething. We ran out of Coke hours before and I sure did see any of the empty-handers offering to run to the corner store to grab some more.

So this brings me to the question....what do I do next time? Not bring food? Not an option, I have to eat. I don't want a migraine just to prove a point. Not share? Just how do you do that? Eat in front of someone and not offer any? And what happens when they ask if they can have some? Say no??? And please, don't tell me it's so easy to say to your FRIEND, "yeah sure buddy, gimme five bucks and I'll let you have some", because it's not that easy. I do NOT feel like launching into a heated discussion which will no doubt turn into a fight whereby we begin a ledger showing who brought food at each gathering and who shared. "Yeah? well that time in December I bought the pizza!" "So? Two weeks ago I bought the Chinese food AND the drinks!" The fact of the matter is, it happened to a lesser degree the time before this, and now again yesterday. It looks like it's becoming a trend, and I'm not willing to be a part of it. I'm not carrying the tab for others, when I myself am strapped for money.

*sigh* I blew $55 on food yesterday and I am perplexed as to why I am afraid of insulting the freeloaders when it's THEY who are doing something wrong, not me. The problem is that I am very much the type to avoid confrontation if possible (unless it involves a stranger and being cut off while driving down the highway). With friends, I'd rather have harmony than fighting (who wouldn't??). Unfortunately this means I often don't say anything when normally I am a loudmouth who speaks her mind. Believe me, it's very much against my nature to keep my trap shut, but I hate fighting. We'll see, I don't know what to do about it quite yet. I'm open to suggestions, just remember...for anything you suggest, ask yourself, would YOU be able to say that to your friends?

Anyway, any minute now my friend Julia will be showing up here and she's going to help me with my Hebrew homework. Hurray for having a friend who speaks Hebrew!! Doing a little of this will no doubt improve my mood today. And later it's laundry and dinner over at the parents place. Also good for the soul (ok, maybe not the laundry part, but time with the parents and mom's cooking).
Hope everyone had a great weekend.