▷ I Have Friends I Definitely Have Friends, I Have Friends

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Rebecca Bunch, played by Rachel Bloom, and the choral ensemble of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's song “I Have Friends.”

Over lunch the other day, my mom was telling me about a new friend she had made. Together they were, as all parents do, talking about their children. My mom’s friend has a son that she was worried about because he never went out with his friends. She even tried to push him to bring them over to hang out at their house instead of trying to find a place to hang out, but still he stayed by himself. My mom told her that I was the same way, and that I liked spending time alone. She mentioned how, nowadays, if I wanted to watch a movie with one of my friends, we’d go on Facetime, which she was confusing for Rabbit, and watch it together. She recounted how during her childhood, she and her group of friends would go on all these crazy adventures together, outside. My mom and her friend think that her friend's son and I are like this now because of technology- that we enjoy being on the computer more than hanging out with people in real life. Now, I can’t speak for her friend’s son, but the reality for me is that I spend a lot of time at wtbblue.com because I don’t have friends.

Okay maybe that’s a stretch, “I definitely have friends,” as Rebecca Bunch ironically sang in an episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, where she tried (and failed) to list off people to invite to her housewarming party. But it’s complicated. I don’t think friendship is as easy to define today than it was when I was younger, but maybe it’s just me. There are people at school that I hang out with, get lunch in between classes, and form study groups with. Some people, including myself, would automatically call this a friendship, but it’s hard for me to verbalize that. Maybe it’s because we don’t hang out outside of school settings (which maybe a requirement for other people), or maybe it’s because no matter how close the relationship, I’m always wary of overestimating what I mean to another person.

Đang xem: I have friends i definitely have friends

“I Have Friends” sung by leading character, Rebecca, and her child self in a season one episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend titled “I Hope Josh Comes to my Party.”

I’m not sure if I was always a loner. My memories of my childhood friendships are faded, but I do agree that it’s only recently that I’ve really stuck at wtbblue.com. I was almost always out when I was in high school, but it’s much harder to do so in college. Everyone has their own busy schedules, balancing class, work, internships, and personal relationships, that you end up focusing more on keeping up the friends you already have rather than nourish the budding ones. I'm limited to squeezing in these new friendships into my study time, and even limit my deeper friendships to just texting throughout the day. The college I attend is also structured differently than my mom’s college in her time. She had batch sections, in which you took the same classes, at the same time, with the same group of people in your major for four years. Meanwhile, every semester, I have to meet a whole new group of people, and by the time I’ve become close friends with them, the semester is over, and it’s hard to connect after because you're not seeing them at a set time anymore and have to make room.

Here's where I find defining friendships tricky, because these people that I connected with and shared time with throughout the semester got me through that time of my life. I want to call them my friends, but where does the line form between calling them that and being an acquaintance, which feels the more appropriate term for someone temporarily in your life. It's true that usually weeks after a semester ends we don't really contact each other. But take for instance a girl that I used to have classes with, that suddenly popped into one of my classrooms in my new school. We were excited at having the luck and opportunity to be together again and struck up a conversation as if we never tapered off. When this semester ends and we'll face the same end, do I stop calling her my friend until we meet and reconnect again?

“I Have Friends (Reprise)” from an episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend titled “I'm Going to the Beach with Josh and His Friends!”

For some of my long standing friendships, I never questioned if we were friends, it's more that other people have questioned the sanctity of our friendship. These happen with friendships that I’ve made over the internet. Yes, I know the internet is a scary place! (I’m going to put out a warning here now that online friendships can just as easily go wrong as they did right for me, so always take precautions!) Many of these started for me while I was in high school. As I said in my previous post, I tried my best to fit in, at the expense of having my own thoughts and personality. It was on social media, posting about things I liked, though, where I felt more like myself. The ability to hide behind a screen without anyone knowing who I was, gave me the confidence to openly talk about my interests. I didn’t feel the need to bite my tongue and keep quiet in order to stop seeming uncool. There’s a very lively social media presence of theatre fans, where we all followed each other. Some of these mutual follows turned into us dm’ing each other, and if we got close enough, following each other’s personal accounts (where we could see each other’s true lives; in hindsight, this should always be the first step when getting to know someone online to make the conversation more safe).

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Although many of these friendships have blossomed into something deeper and more meaningful, I still feel the need to lie when someone asks how we met, because people automatically assume that online friendships are lesser than real life friendships. That’s probably because when they think of the former, they automatically imagine stalker, catfish types, which can be true, or merely just liking other people’s posts, but what I have with these people is not that. For example, the first true friend I met online was blogging a lot about the show Allegiance, and I happened to be doing a history project at the time on the Japanese internment, which is what this show is about. I asked her for more information on the plot, and where I could listen to the soundtrack; she responded, which started a back and forth between us. We’ve been friends for three years now, and throughout that time we’ve started a theatre representation blog together, challenged each other with art projects, and worked together on getting into school programs. I feel 100% comfortable with calling her a friend without having to second guess myself, even though we have never met in person, only on video chat, and sometimes go weeks without messaging each other.

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Rebecca and her now established friends, which she calls #gurlgroup4evah. (Photo from: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Fandom Wiki)

I think one of the reasons I feel comfortable in actively calling her my friend is because our friendship formed over common interests; I’ve never felt like I had to hide my true self. Let’s face it, theatre and most of the other things I’m into, aren’t necessarily universal interests; I mean the geeky theatre nerd isn’t a T.V. trope for nothing. Most people I see on the day to day don’t even really know that I like that kind of stuff, and it’s because I’m afraid to talk about it and be made fun of, which has happened before. These experiences and others where people have stopped friendships after finding out certain things about me have led me to be guarded. I'm wary of defining friendships because of their possibility to end or the other person not calling me the same. If I don't admit to them being a part of my life, there's less pain when they leave.

But why is it that if a friendship has ended or is bygone, I'm forced to forget about it? A person that I used to talk to might not be a part of my life anymore, but at one point they were; at one point they were someone I really cared about and shared the happenings of my life with. Why should I bury those memories every time something reminds me of them? Dismissing old friendships, if no harm led to our ending, feels in a way disrespectful, not only to my memory of the other person, but to my past self's happiness and choices. I should worry less about what others define my friendships as and put more weight into what these personal relationships mean to me.

Recalling the friend who is back in my life after randomly choosing the same class together, she and I were having our own lunch date the other day. Without even remembering the conversation I had with my mom, we started talking about texting. She said that she doesn't feel the need to keep constantly texting another person nonsense in order to keep the conversation going; if a relationship is comfortable and trustworthy, she thinks there can be gaps of silence until someone has something relevant that they actually want to say. I agreed. True friendships can go for some time without contact because we understand that each person has their own life to deal with; the real test is if you can pick it up right where you left it. These can be done with friends made over occupying the same space and time, and friends with which you share common interests with. If you're comfortable with yourself and with the other person, it shouldn't matter how much time apart you spend because you want to sit at wtbblue.com watching reruns of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. That is when you can say that “you have all the friends.”

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