Jerk baggery

January 18, 2008 at 1:06 am (Day to Day)

Carissa and I went through a very unexpected bump in our friendship the past few days. Over the break, I knew that there was probably going to at least a small conversation over what has been bothering me. The overly-clingy tendencies that I just couldn’t get away from really took their toll over the course of last semester. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal to get away from had she not been one of the sweetest girls I could ever encounter. Being friends with her has never been hard; I never had to go out of my way to impress her and there was never any sense of a power struggle. The problem is that I always feel like I am looking over my shoulder to see if she is there. Not even Facebook is safe from the long reach of Carissa’s clingy arm. If she was online, it would take no less than one minute to get a message that was something to the effect of “ROB@@@!!!!!OMGOMGOMGOMGLOLLORSKATESROFLMAO” Despite being exaggerated, that’s what it felt like at times. Text messages were equally as scary. There’s no running away from technology, especially when you’re addicted to it.

I was in a very grumpy mood on Tuesday, partially due to lack of sleep, partially due to the discontent that was building up even over the break. I was being incredibly rude to most everybody but Carissa in particular. I tried to simply avoid her because being a jerk to her wasn’t something I wanted to do; it was something that just happened when I was around her. After I was done with class, I went to go see her in the communication department to apologize to her for being so irritable. It started off with simple small talk, and before I could even apologize, she expressed her own discontent about not really knowing me as well as others did. She probably expected me to be shocked that she would even mention such a thing and quickly apologize and try to reconcile things. Without flinching, I nodded my head in an almost unashamed agreement. So what did I do? I drew her a diagram of our friendship. It consisted of a picture of two slightly overlapping circles, one representing Carissa, one representing me. The overlapping part was to illustrate the point that due to our vast differences, only a small portion of who we are is able to overlap with one another and form a friendship. I was not doing this to be rude, but it was more poignant than it should have been. She got upset and immediately questioned every facet of our friendship, wondering if the entire thing had been a lie. I told her she was overreacting and needed to settle down and not overcomplicate things. We went back to the BSU and went to our separate corners. I tried to forget about it by talking to Caleb and having some laughs. This didn’t really work; Carissa sat by herself and had a very unhappy look on her face. It wasn’t even an I-am-really-mad-at-you-you-jerk looks. She looked really hurt. She got up and stormed off to take a walk. Instead of following her and trying to talk to her, I let her go and left for work. Jenna let me know how upset I made Carissa before I left.

Though texting, we set up a time before class on Wednesday to talk. Work was a nightmare, and I didn’t get out of there until two in the morning (scheduled to get out by 12:30). I tried to plan out what I was going to say and tried to predict every possible way the conversation could go. This is never useful for me, and I only do it to try and comfort myself. Nine o’clock came very early, and despite having an entire day to plan out what I would say, I really didn’t know what to say. We walked to the UC and took a seat. I wasted very little time with what to say. I told her that the differences we have were intriguing when we first started getting to know each other but started becoming problematic once time moved on. An example I used was politics. As politically up-to-date as I am, I don’t really care that much about the political process. My view of politics is a very cynical one. You never really hear me telling anybody my political stances as much as you hear what or who I don’t like. I told her that she seemed not only in different opinion or even frustrated, but actually disapproving of the fact that I don’t choose a person’s electability based on his or her stance on abortion but will take other things into consideration. Instead of simply being able to disagree with me, she was disapproving. This is when she started crying. I could never believer her tears were tears of manipulation, and this made me really sad. But I went on. I told her if something as innocuous as politics got in the way, how could she expect me to be comfortable telling her more important things about me? Insult me on my political leaning, and the only thing I’ll do is argue nearly unemotionally and without much genuine passion, but politics are unimportant. I then used alcohol as an example. Stephanie told her that she and I would sometimes go get drinks together over the summer. She was absolutely devastated when she found this out. .I remember seeing her face; instead of really showing a shocked face, it was almost in a state of disbelief. This was back in October, not long into our friendship. I fessed up to it back then and told her most of my boozing stories. I hadn’t boozed it up since the very beginning of that semester (not for anybody’s approval, but for my own convictions). Despite telling me she didn’t think it was sinful, she was very upset about it. She got over it, but I brought it back up as another excuse of just how different we were, and how it always felt I was on moral observation to her. Her crying got harder. She told me she was disappointed for very specific reasons (I immediately knew why, and she would explain it not long afterwards). I talked about how nothing changed about our friendship other than how she perceived the past few months. Maybe that does change everything. I told her how trying to please and impress somebody whose sins are not nearly as conspicuous was not something I wanted to do; it would be exhausting and do nothing but lead to resentment. We both came out of the closet for past feelings we had for each other.  This led to some much need happy talk.

Considering the direction of the conversation, it would be expected that we breakup, friends. This didn’t happen; in fact, the exact opposite happened. I apologized to her for being a jerk and not being honest with her about certain things. I want to be close friends with Carissa (apparently we were very close friends in her eyes). Things would be easier if she was a guy—or maybe they would be more difficult. One of the reasons I stayed distant from her was that I didn’t want to be a bad influence on her. Yes, I do admit that nobody likes feeling constantly judged, so it‘s not some heroic attempt just to look after her best interests, but I have done a good job of being in good control of my own emotions as of late. I got Delilah’s (the bible hussy) my sophomore year and could think of nothing worse than doing it to somebody else. With that in mind, it’s not very right for me to keep only the company that I am way too comfortable around when it comes to morality. Having somebody like Carissa has been such a good thing.

She did a very wonderful thing by spending the rest of the day telling me all sorts of morally wrong secrets. I reciprocated with just as much. In sociology, this is the “intimacy” I described in an earlier post.

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