Transient Friends

I try to keep my circle tight,
That way I avoid squares.
An introvert by nature,
People think they know me.
Quiet. Reserved. Happy.

Then they get to know me.
And what do you know?
Surprise!
I’ve changed.
Loud. Talkative. Cocky.

I’m too old for small talk.
Please, don’t waste my time.
Surrounding myself with intellects.
Discussing ideas – thoughts – opinions.
Not people.

It’s grounding.
Sometimes it makes me feel small.
Sometimes I want to be small.
Sometimes I need to be small.
Unseen. Hidden. Lost.

“We’re friends – you have to agree with me.”
I think, “Because we’re friends is why I don’t.”
But, now I revert.
The noiseless introvert that made you want me.
I want to be wanted.

So if you’re wrong I won’t vocalize it.
That’s how this happens,
I just nod.
There’s no need to speak.
Why bother? It falls onto deaf ears.

The tension remains.
“The air feels heavy now.”
I say it’s the humidity.
I leave.
Distant. Lonely. Empty.

Held at arms length – where I prefer to be.
Don’t cuddle me with your body.
Strangle me with your hands.
That’s where I belong.
Pain. Broken. Worthless.

“Don’t get to know me. You won’t like me.”
“That’s not true!”
But it is.
I don’t like me.
So why would you?

The closer we get.
The harder it is.
Vulnerability.
I hate it.
I just don’t want to be forgotten.

Take me forever or leave me for now.
Because once I give you me,
You’ll  eventually get all of me.
Because I don’t give myself to just anyone.
And I don’t want just anyone to give themselves to me.

Special. Unique. Friendship.

Making Friends as an Adult is Weird

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Remember when we were kids and everyone was friends? Looking back on my childhood friendships I can’t even begin to tell you how they started and if I can it was over something so minuscule that it makes me wonder why it’s so hard to do it as an adult. I had one best friend from first grade until 7th grade. We became best friends because she was new to our school and drew a picture of her family because she missed them and was lonely instead of whatever first grade assignment we had. Our dirtbag teacher yelled at her, she cried, I told her it was a really pretty drawing and asked her who each person was. BOOM! 7 year friendship. Sometimes I wonder where I’d be in my life right now if she didn’t get “sent away” in 7th grade.

Other friends I had as a child were because we both liked the same sports team or played in the same little league. In spare time we would just play catch or flag football after school. It was so simple.

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Even in high school it wasn’t all that hard. I mean, I had a rough first 6 months of high school.  I was a big fish in a small pond in elementary school – class president, all star on the basketball and softball teams, 3rd highest GPA in my class. Then in high school I realized I was a natural introvert until forced from my shell. I was 1 of 4 white kids in my class and was also in the honors program. I didn’t quite fit in with the smart kids and was excluded from the general public. Once basketball season started I made more friends. Starting with the common connection of sport and leading into all other bullshit aspects of life at the time. Thinking this teacher was cute, going to see that movie on Friday, how gross Tuesday’s lunch was.

I’m not even going to pretend I made a friend completely on my own in college. I was at my lowest in college. Any friend I made was through a mutual friend.

Then boom. You blink your eyes and your an adult. I literally just turned 27 and I’m like “What?” I’m “friends” with co-workers, but am I really? At my last job I LOVED my co workers. Texting them, hanging out for drinks after work, playing pool with them when it was dead. They never really knew me though. We were tied together by proximity and scheduling. We knew each others common interests, bought each other birthday/Christmas presents, I went to a few of their family members wakes/funerals. At the time I remember thinking, if I got married today – all these guys would be invited.

Then the place got shot down. Thankfully, most of us had moved on from the pizza place or were in the process of moving on. Since then we all only hung out one time. I’ve tried countless times to “get the gang back together,” but there is always something going on. Needless to say I haven’t seen all of them in about a year and a half. It makes me wonder if we were all really friends or just forced to enjoy each others company.

Even now at my current job. I talk to a lot of people. Follow them on social media. At work functions I always have a group of people to hang out with. Sometimes I meet up with a few of them for lunch and we talk about things other than work. I’ve met their families. Then I wonder, if I were to leave this job right here – right now, would I ever see or talk to any of these people again?

All of my friends are from childhood (or through a friend from childhood). They’re stuck with me. They all know a lot about me and a lot about my family, not all of them know EVERYTHING about me, but enough. I can say things without thinking and know at the end of the day they’ll be my friend regardless. I can get black out wasted, panic about what I said or did, have drinkers remorse, apologize to them for nothing, and they’ll be like, “Caitlin you’re fine! You were having fun! Don’t worry!” I love that. (Not the drinkers remorse – I hate blacking out) I love that even if I don’t see or talk to some people from childhood, they are always there for me. They want to hang out with me. We find time to fit each other into our lives because we care about each other.

It’s so freaking difficult to make friends like that after college. Maybe it should be? The world breaks us all ever so slightly. We become jaded and untrusting. How come I complimented my 6 year old friends drawing and we became best friends, but I can compliment some girl in a bar bathrooms shirt and that’s that? Not that I want to befriend everyone who compliments me, but I guess my ultimate question is why? Or how come I meet people at work and we’re cool, but we don’t want to see each other beyond that?

I think we should continually be trying to make friends. Real friends. And no I am by no means a quantity over quality kind of gal, but it’s nice to know someone out there cares about you and they should be reminded of it. My friends from childhood, I’ll send a text every now and again just reminding them how much they mean to me. They should know that. No matter how low they’re feeling in this world, they mean so much to at least one person. I’m also eerily haunted by Matt Kennon’s “The Call.”  As an adult any friends I’ve made, might find that creepy.

Which begs the question of why is it so hard to make friends as an adult? For a long while it’s like walking on eggshells around them. Also, it’s hard to find people who actually want to make time for you in their life as an adult. Being an adult is fucking hard. All we really want to do is sleep.  Then you get to toss in a lot of friends being married/in relationships, weird work schedules, families to take care of, kids. Who the heck has time to squeeze me in? You’re better off just keeping the childhood friendships who understand your chaos, seen you at your worst, and sneak them in for dinner with the family then some wine after the kids go to bed and be knocked out by 10 pm.

So here you have little old me, adult, single, no family to look after, shitty work schedule, but available at night, and just wanting to hang out with more people because most of my childhood friends are becoming legitimate “adults” and I just don’t think I’m ready for that. So when we make a new friend you gotta hold tight, hope they don’t suck, while also trying not to suck yourself. Then if you’re lucky, they become just as great and comforting as the childhood friend. Sadly, it just takes a little more effort. But anything worth having is worth a little but of effort.

 

 

Wait, am I Dating my Best Friend?

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Damn, talk about foreplay! Always, gotta remind the people I’m gay…

Now that that’s out of the way…

In the standard life of a mail lady, I have earbuds in for 6-10 hours per day. It’s great because as an avid learner, I get to listen to a lot of great books, amazing podcasts, and a wide variety of music. My next adventure in education is going to be to learn a new language while at work, but that will take time. Honestly, some of my favorite things about my job is that I am getting paid to increase my physical health, talk to new people everyday, and educate myself. While the solitude can be jarring at times, I think it’s important to use time wisely.  So I’m going to use it to increase who I am as a person.

That being said, I’ve been borderline obsessed with this podcast I found by complete mistake on Spotify. It’s called “Guys We Fucked” hosted by New York based comedians, Corrine Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson. It’s hilarious, educational, and open minding. These ladies are seriously hilarious. After listening, I even went to go see them live in freakin’ dirtbag New Jersey (sorry Corrine), so you know they’re good.

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I clearly started from the very beginning and am flying through the podcast. Currently in March of 2015. It’s great. Anyway, in one of the more “recent” podcasts, Corrine commented that she and Stephen (Krystyna’s boyfriend) are very similar. Which led to a huge conversation about how in many decent, stable relationships, we tend to date someone who has a lot of similar attributes to our best friends.

They went on to say that it makes a lot of sense because if you choose these people to be your best friends and their personalities blend well with yours and these types of people are ones that you actively seek out and want to keep in your life, why wouldn’t you want to date someone similar? It makes a ton of sense, especially in a heterosexual relationship because normally a girls best friend is a girl, so to seek a man similar to your best friend adds up.

However, I think it gets a little more complicated in homosexual relationships. My question, and I’m just thinking out loud here, is that I’m a female, attracted to females, with predominantly female best friends, so where does the line get drawn in a relationship compared to friendship?

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My friends, maybe I’m being biased, but I doubt it, are hot as shit. Like they’re very attractive. Yet, other than maybe 2, I’ve never thought to myself, “Eehhh I’d tap that.” Does the line get drawn to me subconsciously because I know they’re straight? If that’s the case I don’t understand because I’ve fallen for so many straight girls. Then that teeters with the concept of emotions and feelings.

I have such a love for my friends. I’d do anything for them. They’re amazing people and deserve to be treated like royalty. So if I were to find one attractive, love spending time with them, and think they’re great, why wouldn’t I get those damn butterflies around them? I’m not asking for them because that makes shit awkward, but I’m just sayin’… WHERE’S THE SCIENCE?!?!

I also thought this was interesting because it dawned on me. Any lady I’ve spent time with or talked to for a significant amount of time, reminds me of a specific friend or a blend of a couple friends. Sometimes less physically attractive versions of said friends, but I’ve been “butterflies” attracted to the girl I’m spending time with. Feelings are fucking weird. So logically speaking, for me at least, I am attracted to people with similar mindsets, senses of humor, and morals as my best friends. And why shouldn’t I be? I think my friends are amazing! I deserve amazing!

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I think this can also be tied into the idea of wanting to be friends with a person before dating them (which I wrote about previously). That’s one of the reasons I hate dating. Meeting someone randomly, unexpectedly, getting to know them, then dating. That’s the way to do it in my opinion because then if you don’t work out as dating, there is still the opportunity for friendship. Also, you already have a baseline of caring for the person.

Last weekend we went out for my best friends birthday, long story short, everyone on our train ended up waiting in the cold at 3 am for a new train for over an hour to arrive and pick us up. My 2 friends started to bicker, so I zoned out. I saw this girl about 10 feet away, gorgeous, alone, getting hit on by this guy. She kept laughing politely, but looking away. Our eyes would meet, after the third time I was like fuck it. I walked over to her and talked to her until the train got there. She was totally feeling it. What can I say? Well this is what I can say, I did not seize the opportunity when she made a move. #failure

I annoy myself in instances like that. Here I am, walking up to a stunning woman, conversation flowing as easily as the third day of your period, then flopping on the close. I’m pretty good at flirting when the opportunity strikes and the person I’m talking to is feeling it, then boom, no close.

Alas, it’s for the best I’m sure, as I really need to work on myself right now even though I’d like the company of another person. I’m just not one to half ass something. If I’m going to date you, I want to be ready to treat you right. I can’t do that with where I’m at right now.

Talk about drifting…

This girl reminded me of two of my friends. For that hour that we talked and got closer, physically and mentally. The things she laughed at and made jokes about reminded me of one friend. Her quick wit and willingness to have a conversation with a stranger so openly reminded me of another. Her style reminded me of one of the aforementioned.

My longwinded point is, I agree we seek out people who remind us of friends. Those will likely be the happiest, most fulfilling relationships. If they remind you of friends and you’re unhappy, hurting, sad, or any other negative emotion, I think A, get rid of the person and B, find some new friends.

And I guess that’s why they say you fall in love with your best friend. At the end of the day, they remind you of your best friends, the best of what you choose to be a part of your life, then turn into your best friend. That’s all I want, I’m looking for my future best friend.

 

Author’s Note:

This post is all over the place and I have zero intention of fixing it.

I also think I should start proofreading, but that won’t happen until I get paid… so never…

Car Rides and Late Nights

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One thing I’ll never understand are people who don’t like to drive. I know we all have our fears, our likes and dislikes, our fetishes.  There are morning and night people, sweet or savory people, winter (vomits) or summer people.

But to HATE car rides and driving is mind boggling to me.  I’ve grown somewhat of a personal attachment to driving. I remember my 16th birthday, sleeping by the fireplace in my childhood home, alarm going off at 6:15 AM on a Sunday, so that my mom and sister could take me to the DMV to get my permit.

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Driving has always felt like safety to me. I understand that there are bad drivers and many dangerous aspects to it.  Hell, right after getting my permit I recall one of my mom’s friends telling me how when she was my age and got her license, it felt like someone was handing her a loaded gun. However, I always felt strong and confident behind the wheel. I am in control. I am in charge. I am the person who decides where I am going.

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I’ve made some of my biggest life choices, had some of the most deep, meaningful conversations, ended up in some of the most peculiar places, and had some of my greatest thoughts and ideas come to me just because I decided to go for a ride.

I’ve had my biggest laughs, most outlandish performances, and greatest cups of coffee with friends simply because I said, “wanna go for a ride?”

Over the years, I’ve had many different cars, they all have a special place and significant memories for each stage of my life within my heart. When each one of these lovely lemons decided to take a lap around that big racetrack in the sky, it truly felt like I was losing a friend. (Now you can truly understand how much I value time spent in a car).

My first car was “given” to me by my Nanie. A true gem.  The year was 2007 and it was a 1991 Buick… We shared this car and then one happy day, the weekend of Junior Prom, an elderly man ran a stop sign, dented the wheel, thus totaling my little antique. I’d had my license for about 2 months at that point. It was a devastating blow.

With the money from the insurance on that car, a family “friend” sold me, by very definition, a lemon. I guess what can I expect for $1,000 car. This car was in fact the worst car I ever had the pleasure of driving, yet it gave me the most pre alcohol memories, while simultaneously providing me with the most near death experiences. Life man. That fucking car died at every stop sign/red light. It died in the middle of the 27A connector (mama kept her cool). It died just before going into the tunnel on the Merritt Parkway S. That car gave me patience. Just stop. Breathe. DEEP BREATH. Breathe again. Count to 15. Turn the key. And with that, keep on truckin.

After selling that hunk a junk to some moron, I bought my baby. My 2002 Hyundai Senata Hatchback. My angel. I didn’t know how much I loved that little nugget or how much bliss it would bring me. That car drove my friends and me to Nashville and back. That car experienced So. Much. Vomit. That car brought me road trips, my first ticket, casino rides, heart breaks, ice cream excursions, getting lost, and eventually tears. I won’t deny crying when she had to go. I drove that car to SCSU 4+ times a week. I made emotional mixtapes to destroy myself. I came out to myself (and then took it back) for the first time (and second and third) in that car. I became me after all the long nights, deep thoughts, and tears shed in that beautiful, piece of shit, car.

When the transmission went on my sweet little angel, I was at a crossroads.  Continue the path of physically damaged cars to coincide with my emotionally and mentally damaged self, or make a big move.

Mama made a big move.

For years I fantasized about my dream car. A four door, blue, Jeep Wrangler. After much research, many conversations, a HUGE debacle at Milford Jeep, I finally got it. My dream car.

Logically speaking, it made sense. I was 24, single, more than ready to mingle, and had no plans for a family for easily 6-10 years. I work hard, save, and rarely do things for me. This was for me. My dream car. While it took a few months to accept her as my own and move past the heartbreak of my Hyundai – I did. (RIP Hyundai – always in my heart).

I’ve already made so many memories with this sweet gift from the high heavens. I’ve had many talks, with people and also myself. I invested in me. *I’m truly hoping to avoid vomit in this one*

My long derailed point is that often we rush things. We don’t sit, think, contemplate. We aren’t willing to get lost in the process of finding ourselves.

Whenever I’m feeling contemplative, drained, or sad, my go to is to grab my keys, a coffee or soda, and blast the appropriate playlist, while only taking left turns just to figure shit out. Don’t rush the process.

Often time people will text me, “Where are you?” or “What are you doing?” I’ll respond with driving around. At first people don’t get it, they think that maybe it’s weird. But it’s my yoga, so to speak. It’s great to do things like this. Clear your mind. Think. Make choices. Write it down.

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The thing is though, while I often use this as a way to help me, it’s also a way to help my friends. People that are important in my life. It’s amazing to find people who can take in the views or even the silence with you. You can’t do that with just anyone.

There are times I’d go for a ride with friends, get back to their house, and instead of go in, we just sit in the car and talk for hours.  Confined spaces can be soothing when surrounded by the right people.

To be able to drive continuously or find a place to park, late at night, when the world seems dead, lower the music, have no distractions, but each other – that’s how you get to know someone. Hear their thoughts, dreams, passions, opinions. What’s stressing them out in the past, present, or future. Just to listen.

The world is ALWAYS moving. Our brains are subconsciously moving at 100 at all times. Our hearts constantly racing. To keep the car moving so our minds can stop or to stop the car and speak our minds, that’s when we get to slow down. Talk. Learn. Listen. Discover.

To me, this is my place, my world. Not everyone can do this. For me this has brought me closer to friends, family, and self. It brings in such an emotional intimacy that I can’t truly explain. There is nothing I find more unbearable than giving a ride to someone who just doesn’t talk, or sits there awkwardly, or you’re forced to discuss whatever One Direction song that’s being over played on the radio.

Confined spaces, that’s where it all comes together.

Namaste… behind the wheel.

The Call.

I’m just going to start this off by letting anyone who reads this know – this isn’t going to be funny. It’s going to be very serious, probably a little “rambly”, and coming from a strong emotional state so bear with me.

There are few calls we expect in our lives that we know we’re going to eventually get. Those calls that no one wants to ever receive. The loss of a parent, an emergency hospital trip for a child, a random health issue for a spouse.

Today, I received a call.  A call that no one wants to get. A call that happens, but I never expected would happen to me.

You see, this weekend was the weekend for a friend of mines bachelorette party. I’m not in the wedding, but my two absolute best friends on the planet – matching tattoos – never find another like them, friends are in it. Along with other long term, close friends, including the bride. I was invited to the bachelorette weekend, but had to decline because I had already planned a family trip to California this week.

My friends and I made jokes about how they were stuck in the cold, it was going to snow on the East Coast, I should be forced to be there, but noooo I chose sunny, 70 degree, snowless, California.

It seemed normal, aside from my confusion with the time change. I would watch their snap stories, check their instagrams, see all the fun they were having. Truthfully feeling a little jealous of the memories they were making without me.

I saw on many of their stories how the snow caused their party limo to be stuck on the side of a road because the road was shut down.  Knowing my friends though, they made the best of that situation too. I told my family and other friends who weren’t there about the limo. We were cracking jokes about their situation.

I’d noticed no one snapped in a while.  My texts weren’t being responded to. Again, I thought nothing of it.  I mean, my texts weren’t anything spectacular. Maybe they were living in the moment instead of snapping, there was a significant time change, and they were all likely hungover I assumed.

Then it happened.  The Call.

I want to preface that everything could be much much worse. I’ve actually seen it be much worse, but I’ll get to that.

The Call.

It was about 4:30 in sunny California.  My emotions were all over the place as they’ve been lately. I was driving with my family to meet my cousins to go take out a Duffy Boat. It was going to be a great night. Then I get a call from one of my two best friends. I almost send it to voicemail because I’m in a car and thought that it’d be weird to answer. But, this friend and I never really talk on the phone so I say F it and answer.

She gets right to the chase.

Emily: “Cait, before I say anything I want you to know everyone is fine.  “Sally” doesn’t feel comfortable talking about it so don’t mention it, “Jen” doesn’t want anyone to know yet, and “Alice” doesn’t want anyone to know what she did”

Me: “ok…”

Emily: “Last night, our party limo was stuck on a road and the driver decided to do a 3 point turn to get out of it.  There was a car coming, he was going really fast, especially in the snow, and he plowed into the limo, he t-boned us. Everyone is alive Cait, but it’s really bad.”

This is a call I never thought I’d get. This isn’t a call I should get. My friends are all great people, they contribute to society, they have well paying jobs, they work hard and party very infrequently.

Me: “Jesus Christ, how is everyone, what happened?!”

Emily: “Well I kind of blacked out, most of us have concussions. “Sally” saw the whole thing, she wasn’t drinking. She’s really scarred, she banged her head so hard on the windshield. “Jen” was screaming the whole time at the guy that hit us. She kept screaming “you killed her!” because “Alice” couldn’t find a pulse on “Mary.” She started doing CPR until the ambulance arrived. “Mary” broke her back in like 3 places. “Karen” was really messed up. She lost a bunch of teeth. Her face was covered in blood. I had to take off my clothes to apply pressure to the wound. There was just so much blood. Everyone is banged up, those two are still in the hospital, but the rest of us are going to be ok. It was scary though Cait, horrific.”

That’s the call I got. Here I am. Pining over minuscule things in my day to day life. Thinking about the girl on Bumble who won’t message me back when all I want to do is meet her. Taking in beautiful California. Not wanting to go back to work this week. Questioning why this post didn’t get that many likes on Facebook.  All the while, unbeknownst to me, I could’ve lost every friend that means the world to me, friends I could not live without, friends that are more than friends to me, all in one clean sweep.

I could’ve been in that limo. I should’ve been in that limo. Timing was the problem. I could’ve been sitting where Mary and Karen were sitting. I could’ve been where Jen was, causing her to be closer to Mary and Karen, causing her to get hurt as well.

My friends all saw something, experienced something, that I’ll never know.  All I have is this call.

This call is enough for me to put my life in perspective. To stop worrying about the social media, to take life less seriously, to truly experience things.

When my cousin was in college, ironically the one I came to visit in California, he went out with some friends on a snowy night in New Haven. He was supposed to go back to the dorms in the first car, but chose to go in the second. The first car got into a horrific accident. Some of his friends died, some have lifelong injuries. He made a call – to my mom. My mom had to go to Yale Hospital at 4 am to help my cousin because his friends were dead and dying, he could’ve been dead or dying, but he ended up going in the second car.

I don’t know how to feel.  I just know I needed to type this out.

I know I feel fragile. I know I feel helpless. I’m the mother to my friends. I’m the one they call when they need a ride, when their car broke down, (before Uber) when they had too much to drink. I’m the one they look to when they need someone to be strong. I’m the one who will lend money out whenever times are tough. I’m their protector. I feel like I wasn’t there to protect them.

I feel small.