juicy stuff

29 Jun

I have to get something off my chest. It’s a pretty big revelation, so prepare yourself. Move fragile objects out of the way, make sure you’re not eating something, etc.

People. Are. Confusing.

Ok, did you have time to put the socks back on that I KNOCKED OFF with that observation? Sitting back in the chair that you FELL OUT OF IN SHOCK AND AWE? Good. Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. (copyright Inigo Montoya, 1987).

I am going through a bit of post-grad-school-disorientation. I think it’s what everyone else in the world goes through after graduating undergrad and going into a new world of not really knowing anyone. A friendship based disorientation. Because I lived the majority of my post-college years either within driving distance of most of my BFFs from college, I am only now going through cultureshock. Because NYC is basically college for the rest of your life. I mean, you can be living with roommates, sleeping on hand me down furniture, eating ramen and going to bars till you’re 60 if you want, and no one there will bat an eye. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! College life is universally regarded as pretty damn awesomes. The best part for me was being able to knock on the door of your friend just two steps away and make them play video games or watch Freaks and Geeks with you. Snack-sized portions of friendship, whenever you wanted it! And yeah, I’ve been out of that environment for almost two years, but I always had other things distracting me. School during the year, travel/dating/etc during the summer. But now I have my degree, I have my boyfriend, I have my job. Distracting goals: met. So now I am just kind of treading water in this new adult-friendship-pool, trying to figure out where to go. (and yes, I live with Stephen and he’s wonderful and all, but he’s my boyfriend, not my girl-friend)

And I have friends here! I do. They are cool cats who are inspiring and nice and don’t make fun of my obsession with manatees and weird desserts. But I’ve done some overanalyzing, and I thought I would share my thoughts with you, Internet.

it's like looking at a mirror image of my former NYC life

NYC was built by outcasts and emigrants who left their family behind and made a new family in the big city. From the poor Irish farmers to the gay kids from the Midwest. There’s an understanding in NYC that most people there came to meet new people and try new things and get a new start, and so you’ll be facebook friended and invited to parties by people you barely know within minutes of meeting them. The downside of that is that it’s easy to get a circle of acquaintances, rather than a circle of friends. I was lucky enough to have both, although most of my friends were made through work (which adds other complications, but overall was pretty great. And reinforces the whole NYC-as-College thing: you spend all day with the same people).

who needs friends when you have so many horses?

Boise, on the other hand, was founded by whole families packing up their lives into covered wagons and moving here and staying here for generations and having 20 kids who all get married by the age of 20 and all bleed blue-and-orange (Go Broncos!). They have a built in “tribe” of family and religion. And this is reinforced by my friendships here, which are almost universally with people I knew before I moved. The few people I met who were also transplants have since re-transplanted somewhere else (the bastards). The downside to that is that we don’t necessarily have anything in common, except a shared history. The upside is that if you knew me as a teenager and can still like me now, you’re probably a pretty kindhearted and lovely person.

There’s also the barrier that everyone here is really, really outdoorsy. And I’m not. I mean, I like to hike and explore and swim and such. But they like to mountain bike and rock climb and go on three-day long bakpacking trips. Which I would be fine with doing, and have done (except the mountain biking. I have enough trouble getting down mountains while on my own two feet, thankyouverymuch), but it’s hard to be the newbie in a group of experts. I am more of a “let’s have a werewolf movie marathon and eat themed food!” type of person. They are more of a “let’s go whitewater rafting then hike the Sawtooths!” type of people. Which I am totally jealous of and have really tried to get into but . . . I am clumsy and wear contact lenses and don’t eat summer sausage and like to walk slow and get really uncomfortable sleeping in tents (that are usually too short for me) and don’t like bugs (it mostly comes down to the don’t like bugs part).

I might still have PTSD from sleeping on a nest of less-cute versions of this guy

The problem is, I feel like in Boise, people have friends to do things with. They don’t do things to be with their friends. Like, if I call someone up to hang out, they don’t say “awesome, let’s get together Saturday!” They say, “awesome, let’s go kill a bear with our bare hands on Saturday!” and if I don’t want to kill a bear . . . well, then we don’t hang out. Whereas, in my romanticized memories of NYC/college/East Coast, I remember more making plans around the person, rather than making the person work into your plans.

I don’t really know what this all comes down to, except I am only now figuring out navigating the how-to-make-friends-when-they-are-not-built-in-to-work-or-school thing. It’s kind of sad and daunting right now. And maybe I just don’t have enough built-up friendship points that people are willing to put off their killing bears plans and instead get coffee with me. Lord knows I have done my share of blowing people off (thanks grad school and procrastination!). This overly-generalized-and-personal post comes after a week of having plans fall through for various reasons that have either been annoying or feeling-hurting, so I am being a big baby about it and crying to the anonymous internet, because my social bar is in the red (Sims shout out, woot!). And wishing for the days when I knew my friends well enough to know pretty much exactly what they were doing at any point in time. That’s a nice feeling.

Maybe I just need a hobby. OOOO, or a puppy. Yes. Puppy will be my friend forever, and I will hug him and love him and call him George.

the solution to all my problems

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3 Responses to “juicy stuff”

  1. Kristi June 29, 2011 at 4:19 am #

    Wish you lived here! And dude, people here get coffee with each other all the time. Even though they are a little-much outdoorsy.

    But yeah, I identify. I have had the same job for almost 3 years now, but it hasn’t been super conducive to friendmaking, somehow, and I haven’t really ventured on my own in some non-Les-reliant friend-gathering.(Hyphens are my favorite thing, today.) And, I not only lack the post-college socializing/friendship-acquiring skills, I’ve gotten pretty rusty with the keeping-in-touch, friendship-sustaining skills too. Sigh. Life is hard!

    • camalittle June 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

      aw, thanks Kristi! I wish I did too! Or that you guys lived here (but mostly that I lived there). I am glad that I’m not the only friend weirdo. Why, WHY is life so hard? Double sigh. You need another puppy!

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    […] when I said that a puppy would solve all my problems? Well, I decided to test that theory. sitting loyally at my feet on our first meeting (he has read […]

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