Happy birthday to me

December 28, 2007 at 6:41 pm (Day to Day)

My birthday began with a phone call at 8:00. I put my phone on vibrate last night in anticipation of the incoming phone calls and text messages. The circumstances were particularly auspicious: no work, no school, no service. This should have let me sleep until the butt crack of Noonish, ignoring the birthday wishes of my friends. Unfortunately, my phone makes sure to differentiate between silence and vibrate—very sneaky Nokia! I was in the middle of a dream that, I think, involved me in a James Bond tuxedo while the theme music from Smart Guy played innocuously in the background when VVVVVV VVVVVV VVVVVVV started going off a foot away from my head. Maybe my dream was of Toppers… I swung my arm over to my nightstand, smashing my alarm clock and causing the radio to play, hitting and bruising my wrist on the edge of the nightstand. I would have shook my hand in enmity to the gods of radios (Panasonic?) Whoever was calling was now the cause of a loss of sleep, a possible wrist fracture, and probably world hunger. I looked at the front of the phone and saw the feets of Carissa. I need to change that sometime. Carissa is still young and energetic, able to go to bed at 1:30 A.M. and wake up at 7:00. This is actually a legitimate description of the last half of her semester. I guess this gave her one hour of courtesy to let me sleep in. Always thinking with her heart, this one. I always overcompensate politeness whenever I answer the phone after being asleep. A few people have told me that I sound grumpy (even when I was fully awake) on the phone, and this made me self-conscious. Despite the sharp pain on the ball of my wrist and a radio full of static still going off, I answered with a very enthusiastic “Hey!” Carissa is a girl of straightforwardness and got to the point fast without a proper hello. She started shouting into the phone a Sesame Street happy birthday song. It made the pain in my wrist hurt a lot less, and even made me smile. We had a short conversation that I can hardly remember. Memory of a platypus. I do know that her family’s road trip of the Midwest has landed her in one of her favourite cities, Branson, Missouri. I use Facebook mobile, and instead of putting my phone on silence, I left it on vibrate only to be woken up thirty minutes later by another VVVVVVV VVVVVV VVVVVV text message Facebook. It was a generic happy birthday message. I have a hard time appreciating non-personal wall posts like that; it just screams, “Hey Rob, I know we haven’t spoken to each in three years and are only Facebook friends out of obligation, but happy birthday!” Not that I’m bitter, only practical.

This is the first year since beginning college that I don’t have anything really planned for my birthday. The past two years involved a posse going to eat at Charlston’s and seeing a movie. Last year was The Good Shepherd, and the previous was The Producers. I don’t really belong to a group that I feel close enough with to actually plan out something like that. The only two people I could think of had conflicts; Caleb is grounded from society, and D.J. has to work. My old poker posse might be playing some poker later tonight; if so, I am definitely in. I miss playing poker real bad. The game itself is fun, but the loose atmosphere and conversation is what I remember the most. This past spring semester involved a lot of poker and a lot of friendship. We would typically pop in a movie just for background noise and then play a few games. Maybe it wasn’t actually as fun as I remember, and my mind is playing tricks on me.

I am starting to see a pattern of discontent in my life. The beginning of the semester caused me to be extremely hopeful; I was in with a new group, had a crop of new classes, and had a lot of things to look forward to. That excitement for the new lasted a good two months. One sociologist—I unfortunately cannot remember the name or his theories—theorized very practically how people try to express their best and most desirable attributes when trying to get in good with a group. The group that comes to an agreement in whether or not let this person join the herd. It isn’t expressed so simply, but the outcome is about the same. My problem is that it was a little bit easy to impress the group, and now I could use some impressing because it’s just been getting pretty boring to me. Everybody has a formula it seems; there’s always some way of getting certain reactions out of people. Obviously I want to produce positive reactions that indicate that I am intelligent, funny, charming, entertaining, etc., but I know exactly what to say to any individual within the group to make them laugh. I know what to say to make me seem admirable (without lying). Most of the people are very expressive with their facial expressions, indicating whether or not I have failed. I don’t think like this, and I am pretty sure that I haven’t purposely used this to manipulate somebody. We are always on stage for some audience. “All the world’s a stage…” This is seen most prominently in teenagers but still exists in my age group. Once friendships are formed, it makes sense that you get to “know” somebody more. Intimacy, the sociological sense, is defined by the sharing of secrets, opinions, thoughts, and the like. Trust is also important. We have the friends that become a little bit predictable with their thoughts. I have always thought of  it as a good thing when you can take a good guess at what a close friend is thinking on a subject.

My discontent right now comes from the fact that there really isn’t anybody in the current BSU herd that I want to share things with. Certain people get bits and pieces; Caleb and D.J. hearing my boozing stories from my boozing days, for example, Carissa and I debating the bible, and Jenna getting my overly-goofy side. I’m too ashamed to talk about my boozing days with Carissa or Jenna without them thinking I am a backslider of sorts, and discussing Christianity with D.J. and Caleb (funny that I use “and” instead of “or”) gets way too sticky and complicated at times. These are the easiest examples to come up with, but there is a lot more going through my head than Christianity and booze. I tried at the beginning of the semester to get closer with a few people but then withdrew after realizing I didn’t feel comfortable enough. A pessimists view of trust is “I have dirt on you, and your have dirt on me…” and I’m just having a hard time with that right now. What’s particularly interesting is that as withdrawn and unattached as I am, I have done a good job of seeming normal and sticking out as being unique but not too weird. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that Carissa made the offhand comment, “I don’t really know all that much about you!” I have such a pattern of having these kinds of relationships and have a lot of “dirt” on other people. I talk about myself  very impersonally, causing people to know me without knowing me. This isn’t all that intentional and is just how things turn out with some of my less-intimate relationships. This tendency was only pointed out a little over a year ago while at UCM.

There are so many people I hope don’t find this blog. A sexologist once theorized that a lot of the excitement from teenage masturbation comes from the potential of getting caught. This is world-wide web so there is always that possibility. Yes, I’m comparing blogging to masturbation. I won’t always be complaining about the same things; I will eventually do something about my friendship situation.

McCann and I had a conversation a few months ago in which he said that he gets more optimistic, or at least less cynical, as he gets older. This blew my mind.

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4 Comments

  1. tka821 said,

    crap..now i am trying to rethink my facebook message…and isn’t caleb too old to get grounded 🙂

  2. Scott said,

    optimism is so over-rated

    (And aren’t Arminians the ones who are supposed optimistic?!?!?)

  3. tka821 said,

    shocker…don’t forget to add people cant change 🙂

  4. Scott said,

    they can’t 🙂

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