Monday, December 12, 2011

On Friends and Sims

When it comes to going about my daily life, I can't help but liken myself most days to a Sim.

When I get hungry, I am really hungry.  As in, stomp-my-feet-and-scream-up-at-the-sky hungry.  When I have to pee, I am barely keeping myself from peeing in my pants or dancing around like an idiot.  When I'm sleepy, I generally feel like I could pass out where I stand.

But nowhere else is this more obvious in my life than with my friendships.

Making new friends is difficult for me, just as it is for the Caitlin I created in my Sim world.  She's a little bit luckier in that people just seem to randomly stop by her house in search of friendship, but in general she, too finds herself blindly staring at people at the park as she clumsily reads a book she's read 17 times. Like me, when she begins talking to a new friend, she chooses carefully her words, never knowing what gesture (Flirt? Tickle? Dance?) will offend or delight her new friend.  Sometimes I think I can actually see the little red negative friendship thingy above my new friend's head.

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I mean, who hasn't been in this situation, am I right?
Luckily for Caitlin the Sim, she is spared the debilitating after-effects of social interaction, such as replaying every single word or sending emails of apology for some fabricated sleight.

Caitlin the Sim grows immensely attached to people in a short period of time.  If the new friend does not call or visit with any frequency, Caitlin the Sim cuts them off emotionally and their friendship bar begins to diminish.  

I as Caitlin the Human tend to also become somewhat possessive and quick to sadness if a new friend seems "off" or would rather hang out with different friends, as though this is any comment on me personally.  Eventually I try to cut myself off emotionally and completely, just as Caitlin the Sim does when her new friend doesn't call as much as she'd like.  This never works, and I end up hating myself for becoming so attached and ridiculous.  The cycle continues.  For this reason I've never had a friend with whom I am as close as I am with Robbie, though I'm sure I've pushed away more than one potential friend.

I could blame my tumultuous history of friend-making on a variety of things in my past, from numerous adult figures who transferred their own insecurities and left me with crippling anxiety--including my elementary school music teacher who intentionally marginalized me because I wasn't a favorite--to the fact that I never quite learned how to make my hair not look like a triangle or my eyebrows to not look like defunct caterpillars.  But when you get right down to it, we are all the sum of our own experiences and baggage, so it's really nobody's fault but my own that sometimes with people I act like some simulacrum of a person rather than a real-live human being.

I guess I feel like I should apologize to all of the friends who have miraculously stuck with me, both in real life and online, because I know I'm not always the best friend and more often than not make a friendship more about me than about the friendship itself.  So I apologize, and I'm more grateful than you know.

I hope you all have a great week.

9 comments:

  1. i've definitely felt this way too, especially in high school when social groups were so clique-y and fake. i really like the sims comparison too ;)

    i consider you a friend, and hope you do too. i'm really glad our blog paths crossed.

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  2. great post. i have a hard time making new friends with lasting relationships because they usually end up leaving me in one way or another. but the few i do have i would do anything for.

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  3. Ha ha ha ha ha this post made me so happy because I was friendless and obsessed with The Sims in 7th grade... and I, too liken myself to Sims far too often. My bathroom bar goes from green to red right away in the mornings, and my social bar is always going haywire. I am always seeing those damn red negative signs too!
    Oh Caitlin, you're my favorite.

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  4. I played the Sims so much growing up, I often find myself associating myself to the characters I made up there too!

    But seriously girl, don't be so hard on yourself. You're an awesome lady who wears her heart on her sleeve & it's one of the best parts that I know about you. It's not EASY to make new friends, and I say this as a self-proclaimed introvert myself. I've pushed away more people (so. many. guys.) than I care to think about, but it's just part of who I am. The people that are close in my life are there for a reason.

    I can't figure out if this comment is coherent at all, but I love this post and I think you've probably got a LOT more friends than you realize. Hell, just look at the number of people who read your blog, a lot of people think you're pretty darn awesome. :)

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  5. i can relate to this a lot - about the hunger tantrums, the peeing, and the friend-making. i think because it was NEVER smooth sailing when i was growing up, and i never developed the confidence that is so important to have when you get older, i tend to take things in friendship too personally, and because of the lack of confidence, i don't feel like i can just go out and make new friends. why can't life just be easy, dammit?!

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  6. I used to play Sims at my boyfriends house in HS to avoid his family. 10 yrs later they are my in laws and sadly, the Sims no longer do the trick. lol

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  7. i've never played the sims before, but i did like your post. and i liked imagining you stomping around because you were so hungry. :)

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  8. They say the ones who stick with ya despite your own inconsistencies are the ones you need the most anyway ... but I hear you. I have some of the same tendencies.

    I think, as we grow older, it is far more important to have a few close friends than many. Could be wrong though.

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  9. i know what ya mean dear. and i feel like as i get older it's harder to find friendships i am looking for. sometimes it's just hard to find them at all.

    glad we're friends ;)

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