Wednesday, July 12, 2006

one short day

This entry is going to be a little less "my thoughts on _____" and a little more venting.

I want to write about one of my "best" friends. Anyone who knows me well will probably know who I'm talking about, but I don't care. This friend and I have known each other since my freshman year of high school (his sophomore year). We got to know each other through band, and quickly became really good friends. We hung out all the time, and evvveryone thought we were "meant to be" a couple. His parents would joke about us getting married. We went to prom both his junior and senior year, but I just saw him as a friend and tried to make that clear to him and everyone else. My senior year, he was here at Purdue and we started talking more than ever online. We really got to be close, and at one point he said something joking and kind of flirty, and I asked for clarification.

As it turned out, apparently the whole time I knew him, he had a crush on me. By this point, I knew him so well- we were best friends, without a doubt, and hung out together most weekends despite him being in college. I still didn't think I had any romantic feelings towards him, but he was my best friend and I didn't want to hurt him without maybe giving things a chance. I mean, he was a great guy, and there weren't reasons why I shouldn't like him... but unfortunately, that doesn't always cut it. We "sort of" dated, on a trial basis as to not start wedding rumors again, but after hanging out as "maybe-more-than-friends" a few times, I realized I still didn't feel any sparks. I was comfortable around him, sure, and I had fun... but there wasn't that attraction and excitement that comes with a crush. I let him know, and after a short period of awkwardness, we went back to friends as always. The next year, when I arrived at Purdue, we spent a lot of time together. At first, it was a lot of fun to go over, watch [adult swim], watch movies (LOTR marathon!), order food, and just chill there. But as time wore on, our Sunday night get-together became as much a ritual as a fun activity. Go over, pick up pizza downstairs, eat, watch tv/play on computers/do math homework for the week/ask friend and his roommate for math help. My friend and I ate lunch together everyday at my dorm, and dinner together with a couple of friends everyday at his dorm. For awhile, I really liked hanging out with him allll the time. But after awhile, I got a little bored. I was used to a million clubs in high school, and I was involved in absolutely nothing at school besides Women In Science. I wanted to do something besides just watching movies and TV every single weekend.

I tried to think about what I wanted to join. The dancing clubs all cost money, and by this point I was almost halfway through the semester. The newspaper- too late. I glanced through some of the flyers I'd picked up at orientation, and looked over the emails I'd been receiving from a few clubs. The improv club's emails stuck out. I'd done drama club in high school and always liked the few improv games we did, even if I was terrible myself. Plus, Benji's emails are funny. I decided that it seemed like an easy thing to just show up for, for free, and not have to do anything. And it might be fun. So I headed to improv, by myself, and had a good time. I met about 3 people, and was proud of myself for going alone and introducing myself to people, even. I went back the next week (I think), went up for a game during the workshop and actually didn't suck, met more people, and was invited to their Halloween party, where I started getting to know everyone (including Ryan). Especially since Ryan and I started hanging out soon after that, it wasn't very long before I was not only going to improv, but also going out with the group. I obviously liked the group a lot- still do- because they're a lot of fun and improv is funny and entertaining.

Excited about my new friends/activity, I invited my best friend to come along to improv, but was turned down. Soon after I met Ryan, the friend not only refused to come try improv once, but told me he wasn't sure he could handle hanging out with me that week- at all. More than half a year after I had told him I didn't like him in the same way he liked me, this friend couldn't deal with the fact that I was dating someone. He got over that in a few days, but I still tried not to mention Ryan, despite the fact I was really excited about my crush and it wasn't easy. I tried to wait, even as we'd been dating months, until my friend was ready to meet Ryan. I didn't want to push things or shove anything in his face.

Gradually, I started hanging out with some other people more- friends from my classes, friends from improv, and Ryan. And I was glad-- college isn't meant, in my opinion, as just classroom learning, and I don't think that hanging out with all people you knew in high school and not trying anything new really take advantage of the opportunities. That doesn't mean I don't want to keep high school friends... it just means that I want to make new friends, too.

What bothers me now, I guess, is that eight months after the Halloween party, this friend still can't seem to get over the fact that I'm dating. It would be acceptable to me if he had met Ryan and didn't like him, or had tried improv and didn't think it was fun, or had hung out with some of my other friends and decided he'd rather not do it again. But I don't want to lose his friendship, despite the fact that I'm branching out, and I've tried to invite him and include him in the things I'm doing, and... he won't even try. I really, really think he would get along well with a lot of the improv group, and yet he will not sacrifice 1 Friday of sitting in front of the TV to give it a try. He's hardly even civil in journal comments to Ryan. I hate it-- if he would just give things a try, I would be happy. If he did, and didn't like it... fine. But don't criticize someone you don't know at all. Don't refuse to try an activity when you have nothing planned and nothing to lose. Don't act like I have to choose you or my new friends, because I don't want one or the other. And finally, get out and do something. Learn something new. Meet people. Meet girls. You've liked me for, what, 5 years now?... and you know that nothing's going to happen there. It's been confirmed both by me telling you so, and by me dating someone else for 8 months. Grow UP, please, and accept that with me, it's going to be friendship or nothing. I can't help how I feel, and I don't want to hurt you, but it hurts ME when you refuse to do something that might be kind of uncomfortable for you but means a lot to me. If you care that much about me, you would want me to be happy... and you would want to do whatever you could to salvage our friendship. I'm not saying it would be easy, because I know I haven't been in those shoes and I know it's got to be hard, but you have to make an effort.

I know he can't get over me instantly. But it's been at least a year, now, since I said that I didn't like him as more than friends, and I think I've given him plenty of time to get used to the idea of me dating someone. I don't understand his total aversion to meeting Ryan or going to improv, I guess, and so it makes me feel like he's not trying at all to keep our friendship. And it hurts.

I know this sounds harsh so far, but I really do value our friendship a lot. It just feels like sometimes it's too much drama to even mess with anymore. And I'm unsure what I can do, at this point, to make things better from my end. Because I'm not going to break up with Ryan (because I still wouldn't like my friend, so what good would that do?), and I'm not going to stop going to improv and whatever other clubs I join (because I enjoy them), and I'm definitely not going to stop trying to make and get closer to new friends (because my newish friends are awesome). So... I feel somewhat helpless and sad, but also kind of stubborn and angry, about the whole situation, and I guess I just hope, but doubt, that things will get better with us soon.

*sigh* I know I've written about this a million times. I guess writing just usually helps me make sense of something that's on my mind. That, and I kind of hope someone will tell me if I'm being crazy or irrational... or that someone will confirm I'm not being insane.

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