An Ordinary Life

What I do, what I think

Friends March 9, 2008

Filed under: friends — reneewong @ 1:46 am

I wonder if adults have friends. I know this is a strange statement considering the fact that surely everyone has friends. Do we have friends in spite of ourselves? Because as adults, it seems particularly difficult to have friends given all the conflicting needs that we have in our lives.

I am sick of people today.  I am particularly sick of having to deal with friends who don’t like other friends even though we all used to be friends. And it is worse when the cause of all this discord are friends’ partners. I am disappointed. Disappointed in friends who lose all discernment and become brainwashed by what their other halves have to say about people whom they have known forever. It shows a lack of discernment particularly if their other halves evidently have some kind of persecution complex and a very simplistic view of the world.

Life was simpler when we were young, when we were teens, even though those may have been the most emotionally-charged years of anybody’s life. Those were the times when we would promise eternal loyalty and friendship and let no member of the opposite sex come between us. Alas, adulthood has changed all that, revealed all of us as being smaller than what our juvenile selves had thought we would be.

I am so sick and tired of hearing friends being insulted by other friends. Should I defend one friend against another? If I don’t like someone, I would not think twice about making it clear to that person right in the face, but with a friend.. and how does one remain friends with someone that one has realised that one does not like?

I want a simple life with no angst. This, is making me very unhappy.

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Walking away September 17, 2007

Filed under: friends — reneewong @ 1:07 am

In my life, I have made the conscious decision to stop seeing people whom I used to call “friend” several times.

There have been various reasons. Mostly, it’s the realisation that these people bring absolutely nothing to my life and that meeting up with them is just a painful way to sit through a meal.

The last time I did this was a couple of years ago with a very old friend who had just been through a divorce. Of course it was callous of me to walk away from her at a time when she was reaching out to me. Yes, perhaps she needed my support, and yes, as a friend I should have given it, but the reason why I walked away was because there was nothing mutual between the two of us. As I sat at that table with her, I saw bitterness and cynicism. Years before that, I could have shared that with her, but during that particular meal, I only felt a certain detached irritation. I think the reason why I couldn’t empathise was because just one year ago, she had also out of the blue announced her marriage to me and when I asked her why she had decided to get married, she flippantly said, “Sometimes it’s useful to have a man around the house.” I guess with that flippant remark, I kind of lost any kind of respect that I could have had for her marriage. If she entered into marriage with such flippancy, shouldn’t she just get over it?

Recently, I met up with another old friend. This was a happily married man, very comfortable in his life and he irritated me because he expected me to somehow be very comfortable in mine as well. We’re the same age and he’s a doctor, proud husband and father of a healthy baby boy and he was going to go shopping for his second car in 3 years after our lunch appointment. And somewhere during that meal, I found myself having to explain to him why I, a swinging single with no dependents, cannot afford to buy my own apartment and nothing irritates me more than having to explain myself to people who are soooo in their comfort zone.

I don’t know if it is normal for people to actually consciously decide that they will never again see another person who used to be their friend, especially 30-year-old adults. I mean, couples who have broken up do that all the time but here I am talking about friends. Children and teenagers do that all the time, but here I am talking about a supposedly matured grown-up. I also wonder if there is a good enough reason to stay friends with another person, or a good enough reason to walk away. People grow apart all the time. Do we hang out because it is effortless? Or do we hang on because it used to be effortless?