Since when did I get so territorial over my inner workings? When did these boundaries become so important? I have no real idea, and even if I did, the explanation would probably turn into some kind of sob story in which I’m the wronged party and how the only way to make it stop hurting is to be massively socially defensive. Yeah, it’d probably go like that. Which is tiresome, really.
This weekend past, it was a roommate’s birthday. So there were people getting fucked up and having what seemed like a nice time. I say it doesn’t really matter what everyone else gets up to, so long as the birthday person’s into it. I’d say she was. Anyway, I wasn’t drinking. And just when you think peer pressure’s just for high school… well, some people are just stuck in high school, aren’t they? They can be as lovely and as friendly as anything, but they just seem to know that YOU WILL LOVE THIS SO SHUT UP AND DO IT FUCK YEAH AWESOME.
The only thing I value about that is the enthusiasm. I think a lot of people come off very jaded towards enthusiasm in general; something about excitement being for children who can’t keep their shit on the down-low. I think it’s a giant load of nonsense, but it still stands. So while I was valuing my friend’s enthusiasm, I was trying to figure out why she felt she could only identify with me if I was getting fucked up too.
BACK TO EARTH, DIPSHIT! YOU GETTING MESSY WITH US BECAUSE IT NEVER HAPPENS AND I’M HERE SO COME ON.
Maybe it never happens because alcohol only gets complicated once it’s down my neck. Maybe I don’t like the maudlin way I view a lot of things when I’m “getting messy”. Maybe my parameters of friendship now encompass sober territory. Maybe I want to be myself around you after all these years, instead of being ‘party bitch’.
Sad thing is, those last few sentences start with “maybe”, so I’m not being as assertive (such a groupthink word. Makes me think of team-building sessions and the like… I want to be a team player… but what if my team sucks?) as I should be, given the ferocity of my opinions and how defensive I am of my right to have my own mind.
As a child, I wanted to do what everyone else was doing. I can’t blame that on anything. But as you do what everyone does, you start forming expectations, as you start drawing up little treaties of character. You compromise. You ignore yourself. And if you ignore yourself long enough, you’ll start to feel like you’re becoming nothing. So belonging to a group starts to matter even more, on this new, freaky little level of yours. Maybe you can find someone new in the group to dump on so you can feel better? It’s got to pay off somehow, right? Don’t know… never got that far.
I’m a very loyal friend. If I see that you’re talking to me and care about me for all the right reasons, then I’ll defend you against anyone who wants to start some shit. I’ll also help when you’re starting your own shit. That’s pretty simple. But sometimes I wonder if I’m taking it to the bridge unnecessarily. A product of not having many friends is that I feel the need to know if the friendships and relationships I bother with are worth my time. It leads to a lot of “would I __________ for them / vice versa” type contemplation, which can be tiring and confusing. During which I wonder if it’s not too late to build a cabin in the woods to stand as some sort of social fire escape… is being pyro-social a thing…? If so, I’m sure we’d all get along better… wait, what… I digress. I like fire. Where’d everybody go?
Basically, I have a pretty big idea of interpersonal fairness. I formed a lot of these opinions during childhood and some other fairly confusing times, so that’s part of how I know that they’re versatile enough to be carried with me (at least until I feel like I’m wrong). At times these rules I seem to have imposed on myself appear complicated and embarrassingly technical, but it can all be reduced to theory of mind.
The theory is that if I know I have my own mind, then I must know that you have your own mind, if you’re as similar to me as I imagine. I’m not sure if you know that you have your own mind, but that’s for your mind to process if you feel so inclined. But if you’re going to act like I don’t have my own mind, or that you know my mind better than I do, I will walk. I don’t spend all this time by myself to NOT know myself, so I feel wronged to imagine someone’s mapped me out after a few minutes of errant conversation. And when it’s flipped over, I find that I don’t treat anyone else like that. If I want to insult someone, I’d have to think about why and go from there, instead of acting like someone can’t think for themselves.
So… Party Bitch is on indefinite leave, I guess. Something abut a burnt-out cabin in the woods… Hairpins and melted vinyl everywhere… and not a single hanger-on to be found… if she’s to be believed.
Edit: I just remembered there were two birthdays this past weekend, one for someone I don’t live with happened on the Saturday, then the one I’m talking about happened on Sunday. I was sober at that first one and nobody gave me any shit for it, which was nice.