One month, one month ONLY?

When I wrote this title, I was thinking of a Brent Faiyaz song. What I’m writing about has nothing to do with any of that, though.

The four of us only knew each other for one month, yet it felt so much longer. We met at a coffee shop with maybe 40 other people. We were strangers amongst an even larger group of strangers, then we exchanged numbers and made plans for karaoke.

We started off as 5 but the 5th? He didn’t make it past the 2nd round of fun. In total, I hung out with my new friends 5 times, including the coffee shop. Now it’s down to just two, and I’m really sad. Heartbroken almost, though it shouldn’t be as much a loss as I’m making it out to be. I’ll explain why in a moment, but I want to talk about Saturday night.

I picked the spot this time, something I typically stray from as an indecisive lady. It was an entire week in advance, plus I was specific to make sure there was no confusion.

“April 16, 7 pm, at this location. Here’s a link with more details,” I texted on Sunday.

Everyone agreed to it, and I felt confident I could revive our group which already seemed to be wilting. Then came Saturday. I had an outfit picked out and everything, though I had a tingling feeling I’d be the only one to show up to the bar that night. Either way, I was prepared to enjoy the night by myself if my intuition was correct. The group texts didn’t come through until after 4.

Were we still meeting tonight? Yes, I replied.

Then another one after 5.

Not able to make it, the text read.

OK, I thought, that’s fine. I guess it’ll just be me and the guys, though I’d really like some female company to balance things out.

Then another text. They’d be late, but would still be there.

Secretly, I wondered if late meant buying time to think of an excuse to cancel. Depending on who all, if anyone, showed up that night, that would be the last time I’d plan anything for us to do.

Once I made it to the spot, I waited at the bar, half-heartedly watching a professional fight on one of the TVs. I looked at the time on my phone. It would take about 30 or more minutes before either of the two would show up, so I figured I’d spend my time waiting on either Twitter or my hundreds of unread emails.

Then I got a call 15 minutes later. Yet another cancellation, even though 15 minutes earlier they told me they’d be late. Just as I was ending the call, another text from the only one remaining. I felt dread as I had to tell him our other friend cancelled. Based on our last outing being just the two of us, I was sure he wouldn’t want to spend time alone with me again. So, I let him know it was fine if he’d also like to cancel or turn back around. Despite everyone else flaking, he pulled through and I really appreciated that.

Looks like we’re the most reliable ones out of the four. Together, we played a few games, had drinks and discussed the direction of our group. We talked about how we had to find new friends or incorporate the few friends we already have into a new group where we can meet up and explore our city. While we ate, I confessed that I was really looking forward to having a regular group of friends because the pandemic hindered my friendships.

That’s an excuse, he said. And sure, it may be for many, but not for me. It was never an excuse, just the reality I’ve been dealing with most of my life— even before adulthood— and the pandemic didn’t make it any better. I’ve always tried to hold onto my friendships that usually don’t extend beyond a few months to a year.

Always the first to start the conversation, always the last to say something. Never enough girlfriends, ever. It’s not fun, it’s not something I chose. Not having a lot of friends is not a choice. It just isn’t. My latest attempts have failed, leading me to groups filled with mature adults at brunch who have lived life (35+) and feeling like an out of place little girl in comparison. At least with this group, we were kind of close in age.

Analyzing how things had played out, not only tonight but with previous plans, I just felt sad and disappointed. Navigating friendships is something that’s always been hard for me but just grew more difficult in adulthood. So, when I met these three people, and we actually made plans and followed through with those plans, I felt like I hit the adulthood jackpot! And when we hung out 3 times, I felt like this would keep going and I was at ease. And then everything fell apart, like it usually does.

With as many times as I’d seen these new friends, I felt like I’d known them much longer than a month but I hadn’t. The remaining friend I have from this cluster says we’re still friends, but I can’t help but feel like that’s gonna end in no time, too. That’s what usually happens. But we both agreed the disintegration of this group wouldn’t be much of a loss since it was such a short amount of time and we were the only ones making plans anyway. Also, I thought it was just gonna be a karaoke group and it transformed into something else entirely, yet still enjoyable. Plus, he did read all of them much better than I did and knew they weren’t reliable. I’m usually a pro at reading people.

Just not this time.

So now I’m reevaluating if I should even try making new friends anymore at this point or just stick to trying to do better journalism. It’s just, that’s all my life revolves around…other peoples lives. OR… maybe I should just spend more time with the two IRL friends I already have. I feel like everything’s crumbling apart, and it hurts. I’ve just been depressed, and that realization with the friendships made it even worse.

I’m sick of chasing this idea of what I want my social life to be. Why do I care so much about a stupid social life anyway?

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