Saturday, April 30, 2011

Know Your Friends...

When I was younger I heard a man give a working definition of friendship. He said it's when people have similar thoughts, interests, and personalities. His definition intrigued me, mainly because I thought he was wrong. I wasn't able to define it myself because I believe I was 10. However, that's the age when I met the ones I call my best friends. Now that i'm a grown up I think about that man's definition all the time. I know he was wrong because friendship just describes the relationship between two people just like married, or couple. For example, the word married has a much deeper meaning than marriage. 
I googled the word friend and got various definitions. "A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations," "a familiar or helpful thing," "a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard," "A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts," and "A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause." I'm not too sure about the first definition in this instance, but when I look at the rest of the definitions I think of a different "friend" for each one and sometimes none of the people I call my friend come to mind. It's in my personality to shift towards liking the fourth definition most out of them all. At the same time it discourages me because I can't say that I know, like, and trust all the people I call my friend. There may be two out of three but rarely do I find all three. I've claimed the same best friend whom I met when I was 10 for as long as I can remember. We haven't always gone to the same schools, hung out with the same people, and even now we don't live in the same state. Our friendship remains strong. Our schedules don't allow us to speak every week or even every month. When I tell people that's the type of friendship we have they look at me crazy, in disbelief. We go for weeks without speaking but we're always in contact. I'm the God Mother of her son and every once and awhile I get a cute picture message of him making a funny face. The best part about it is that when I go home to visit we always pick up back where we left off. There's never an awkwardness between us. I call her my sister because she treats me like one. I KNOW her and she knows me no matter how far apart we are or how much we've grown. We share different views on major things. I don't agree with everything she does and vice versa. We're in absolutely two different places in life but it makes no difference to us when we're together. I LIKE her, and love her with all of my heart. I know and like a lot of people the way I like my best friend. This is where the two out of three comes in. What made me realize I had false friendships was I couldn't get all three with some people. I TRUST my best friend with my life. There's no example I could give to exemplify and I realize now that's what I'm missing in some company I keep. This girl is not my best friend because she's my oldest friend, but because she is my working definition of a friend without any exception. 

What I've found is that the word "friend" gets lost in fun, similar interests, and mutual acquaintances. I want to lose this. I want to stop using a word like "friend" to describe those that only give a fraction of my definition. I want to know well enough to share and love, I want to like enough to always have you on my mind, I want to trust enough never to have to wonder. Someone told me the other day "You have so many friends." I should've replied, "No, I have many prospects." I have few friends that I know of. Friends and family are one to me. I call my best friends my siblings. They know who they are. There wasn't a meeting to discuss this nor has it ever come up in our conversations, it just happened just like love. Analyzing those definitions forced me to recognize how few friends I have and I'm okay with that. Saying you have a true friend is like saying you have wet water, a friend is always true and if you can't see the truth in someone you call friend then they're probably something else. 

So that's it. In writing this I realized, for myself, what a friend is and although I may be friends to some people they may not all be friends to me. It's a strong word just like love or hate and should be used cautiously. It's about bonds and barriers. Build bonds and keep them behind barriers. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April Fool's Day

An April fool. What is that exactly? Why do we as a society praise the day of cruel jokes and amusement at other people's expense? Are there actually people that have an ideal April fools day of non-stop pranks on friends and family? Who are these crazies with nothing more to do with their time but to sit and ponder over ideas and schemes?
Every year my April fools day is the same in some sense. It seems like the universe is the one pranking me more than anyone else. I can't decide if that's acceptable or not but for now I'll reflect on yesterday's happenings.

I woke up rushing to get to a photo shoot I had scheduled to shoot the cover for my magazine prototype. I realized for the first time that my room was filthy and I was running out of underwear because I don't remember the last time I did laundry. I'm sure the clothes on my floor had been there for a good three weeks but for some reason this was the first time I'd noticed. After receiving a text from my main photographer that he'd be late I became discouraged and canceled the photo shoot. I sent a very informal text to the models and didn't specify my reason. I pondered over the sending of a second text but my arrogance wouldn't allow it.  I also thought about the second photographer I initially had but had to cut him loose because we were sort of involved and he pissed me off. I wondered if I'd be in the same situation if I'd let him continue as my second photographer. I immediately stopped myself and remembered that he wasn't dependable; part of the reason I wanted nothing to do with him in the first place. It was cancelled, but I still had to rush to turn in the documentary that I'd known about for a month and still decided to procrastinate resulting in me putting final touches on it until 4am. I got 4 hours of sleep. On my way out the door I decided against coffee or breakfast. Breakfast would have been a Pop Tart but I still didn't bother to go towards the pantry.

I saw my bike on the lock where I'd placed it the day before. I decided to walk to the bus instead. As soon as the gate to my building closed behind me I felt rain fall and quickly put my gears into reverse. Back into my apartment building, up the stairs, and opened the door to retrieve my umbrella.
It rained for approximately two hours. My blue canvas shoes were soaked and I could feel a small puddle surrounding my toes. I went to the office to get out of the rain and let my feet dry while I waited for the clock to strike 11am so that I could indulge in lunch. I was starving by now.
In my time in the office I'd thought of a scheme to tweet about a free pizza party going on in the area outside of the office at noon. Neither the free pizza nor the party existed but I knew my college friends and they flocked to the opportunity of free food. I posted the tweet in all caps and hashtagged how much I loved my school.

I spoke to some girl friends the day before about changing my Facebook relationship status to 'in a relationship' with some cool looking guy that people would believe I'd actually sleep with. I scrolled through my Facebook chat availability and found my 7th grade boyfriend. He's not really considered an Ex because our relationship was more like a friendship but time allowed me to love him dearly. I made the proposal and he got my humor and agreed. It was done. I didn't expect much reaction from my college buddies but I knew it'd get my hometown friends talking. I thought about my Ex and what he'd think. I thought about all of my Exes and what they'd think about my alleged new love for this handsome dread-head. I laughed to myself but wasn't as excited about it as I was the fake pizza party I'd announced.

While I twiddled my fingers waiting on someone to come ask me, "Where the hell is the free pizza," I received a message from a guy I dated but he didn't make the cut when it came down to exclusiveness. Although I think in his mind we had been together at one point and I was waiting for him to get his act together. He asked if the new relationship was a joke. I laughed at his rudeness and decided to play with him. I responded, "Of course not." I imagined him in front of his computer frustrated. "What's it to you?" I jabbed at him. I knew then his defenses went up. Then the funniest message popped across my screen, "I just didn't think you settled. I always saw you as an independent woman. I know people want intimacy, but I just figured."

In my amazement that he would type that message while thinking I'd just started a new relationship I knew that he was deeply concerned. The fact that he thought it was okay for him to say such a thing to someone he'd had a mild history with was amusing and somewhat infuriating. However, he'd turned my light-hearted prank into something heavy and made himself the April fool. I'm sure a more worthy Ex boyfriend saw the change in status and had an opinion but kept it to himself because A) It was April fools day, and B) I'm no longer obligated to him.  But this guy not only misunderstood his boundaries, but implied that because I was not after him that I was "settling." I chuckled to myself in disgust and he logged off before I could respond.

I then randomly thought of astrology and how this man was a Leo. I didn't have good experiences with Leos. I am an Aquarius and they can be a little too much for me. The photographer I had been sort of involved with was also a Leo. The guy I was supposed to meet for drinks the night before who sort of had a panic attack after I told him I'd have to reschedule was a Leo. I entertained the idea of a blog post entitled, "The Year of the Leo." I put it out of my mind and decided none of the three men were worth the time. There was one Leo who I'd had a wonderful experience with and we are still good friends so it wouldn't have made sense to me to bash the entire sign when the problem was clearly the men who carried it. All of these thoughts made me hungry.

I went to get chicken chop chop for lunch. It was marvelous. I saw two familiar faces walking towards the office and I smiled to myself because I knew why they had come. One of them sent me a message about thirty minutes before explaining that he was on his way for pizza. When he got there I realized how I hadn't seen him in awhile. He sat with a puzzled look and finally said, "I'm here for the pizza." I immediately smiled. "There is no pizza is there? Did I just get fooled?" I nodded. He didn't crack a smile but I knew he'd eventually forgive me. I gave him a hug and got a quick flashback of our past. It didn't matter at that moment nor does it matter now but there is one to talk about and I'm not even sure it can be qualified as a past because who's to say it's over. Another time (I was reluctant to write even the previous sentence but whatever). I shared a few more laughs at my friends expense then off to class I went.

This class was a joke. It wasn't necessary that I attend but I felt bad for the past three weeks of not attending. My phone vibrated in my pocket and I knew exactly who it was. This guy didn't quit. I told him to watch how he talked to people and he immediately got into his feelings. Once again amused, I played along with his game. For some reason he felt some obligation to me because he kept responding. I felt no obligation so I failed to spare his feelings. I told the truth. The idea was for him to stay out of my business whether it's fake or not and he couldn't handle that. I'd gotten myself into a pickle with a guy that I wasn't interested in over a relationship that was only meant to make people laugh. I had a feeling that he wasn't laughing anymore because neither was I. I was over come with the ass hole inside of me and a phone call sent me over the edge. He gave a half assed apology and giggled through most of it. He was cocky but I had him beat. I got the first, second, and last word and hung up. My friends laughed at the conversation they'd just overheard. I sat unaffected.

I had a dinner meeting to attend with my boss at a very good Japanese and Thai restaurant. I loved the idea of free food but found that she'd ordered appetizers for the table for us to share. I knew it was too good to be true. Honestly, I couldn't focus for the entire hour and a half I sat at the restaurant. I watched her mouth move and admired her wonderful eyeliner job the entire time. My thoughts went back to the guy that didn't quit. I thought about what he probably had been doing before my fiasco and if I'd ruined his day. I hope I hadn't. I knew he'd probably share a conversation with my brother later that night about how hard I am to handle and how I'm different from other girls. I hoped he'd sit with himself and remember how my attitude and confidence always kept him intrigued. We disagreed on almost everything but he kept coming back and today was no exception. It was then as I sat with the illusion of interest that I realized that our past wasn't mild at all. We were attached, no longer romantically, but attached nonetheless. I imagined us having petty arguments every time we met in the future. I had to deal with him one way or another because he was friends with my brother. My brother was always the one asking me for advice but he'd sent me a big revelation just a few hours before me sitting idle at the restaurant table.

"Ya'll two are something else. Ya'll are going to get married one day!" I cringed at the message he sent but now I knew he couldn't have meant it literally. After all that arguing we did we were sure to be back sharing ideas and bickering sometime next month or even sooner. I hated the fact that I'd been such a jerk to him now and I saw the sincerity in his apology then. Somehow I knew I wouldn't have to apologize to him because of his laughter on the phone. He wasn't laughing because he was cocky, he was laughing because I played the same games with him over and over. I played a hard bargain but he knew I didn't mean it. I was putting on for him for no reason at all. I'd fooled myself when it came down to him. I smiled to myself as I took another bite of the lettuce wrap on my plate. "Fuck April fools day," I thought. I changed my relationship status back to single at midnight.