My Life Through Friends

When it comes to friendship, I’ve always been a bit out of the loop.  My friendships (if they can be called that) have always been transcient.  Throughout my school life, it was clear that I wasn’t the typical popular girl that all the girls wanted to be and the boys wanted to be with.  At primary school, my humour was interpreted as “weird” and my attempts to build lasting friendship were rendered useless.

When I was in reception, we had a mixed class of reception and year ones.  I remember being on a table with one other reception child and the rest all year ones. They used to say things like “Put your hands in the middle if you want to come to my party”, so naturally, we all put our hands in the middle.  The year ones would say “Lucy (the other reception) can come, but you can’t.”  I can’t understand why.  I never did anything to make them dislike me.  Perhaps I was a slow child, and I’m a slow adult.  Completing a task takes time for me, but the result is more often than not absolutely fine.  I’m intelligent, but I take my time.  I remember one such incident causing me to snap the table crayons out of anger.

In year 2, I had a friend called Michelle.  She left our school later that year to move to another part of the country.  Then there was Faye.  Faye and I were best friends for a good two or three years until she left school to move to Wales.  We stayed in contact, but we changed and those changes left is with relatively little in common.

In secondary school, you had to find a group.  The groups were either from rough Birkenhead or posh Heswall/Gayton.  They were nicey-nice “We love Ronan from Boyzone” or “We’re impatiently waiting to be grown-up”.  I couldn’t find anyone to fit in with.  I joined the slightly naughty but still reasonably clever group.  This group was my home on and off for a few years until the little bouts of trouble and the general back-stabbing got too much for me to handle.  I preferred to be alone than with people who would give me grief for being myself or having my own opinions.  Then, sixth form.  I hung out with the year above every lunch-time in Scoffs, the little cafe across the road from our school.  Then, the girls left to go to university or wherever, so I spent lunch-times in clubs or with different people.  Thanks to A-level English lit., I developed a close friendship with Alison, who I am still in contact with and who I meet up with when it’s possible (ie when we’re both on the Wirral.  She’s now doing a PHD in Oxford and I’m here in Spain).

University was odd.  I had friends, but nothing profound.  There was a group in halls that I was on the periphery of, but I didn’t get on well with all of them.  I think they found me intense.  I had a couple of friends who I have on Facebook and who I’ve got time for, but that enlightening chemistry between friends has never really taken its grip.

This has been a pattern throughout life, that I have acquaintences, but we don’t really hit it off long term.  This feeds my intrinsic paranoia that people don’t like me.  People often don’t get in touch when they say they will, or make an effort to maintain contact, and I feel this is because they pretend to my face to like me, but really they can’t be bothered to spend time with me.

But now I remember those who do like me.  The Erasmus placement in Tours, France, gave me a solid group of friends for those short few months, and in final year university, the Muslim girls at the mosque made me feel genuinely appreciated. There’s also Caroline from youth fellowship who calls me from time to time to arrange a coffee date.

Of all the people on my Facebook account and of all the people whose numbers I have collected, there remains a precious few who have lit up my life: the genuine ones worth hanging on to wherever our individual paths may lead.

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4 Responses to “My Life Through Friends”

  1. Carole Says:

    How sad to see that written down…but as I’ve always said, the true friends that you acquire in a lifetime you could count on the fingers of one hand.

  2. David Warr Says:

    I like you!

  3. crazykites Says:

    Thank you, David. I often wonder how my e-personality is perceived. I’m quite a geek in real life 🙂

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