Monday, January 09, 2006

Good Friends (watch out, this piece contains severe self-pity)

I'm thinking of giving up most of my friends. A huge number of them are away at University and I am increasingly hurt (I'm serious, sorry if you thought I never get hurt) by the fact that they never contact me. I do have some lovely friends who live in East London all year round, I'm not talking about them. However I'm getting a bit sick of being the bloody social organiser around which my uni friends feel they can orbit as they please whenever they happen to be home and a bit bored. Now they're in their second and third years most of them have exciting new lives I can never be a part of. This is absolutely fine and natural. They get a month or so holiday, I know they want to visit their new friends and hang out with their families, even go abroad to exotic places funded by their fat student loans and their doting parents (see, I'm not just hurt, I'm verging on bitter). However, over Christmas it just became a joke. Take a very good friend of mine, who we'll call Edna. I went Christmas shopping with her for two hours on about the 19th, but only because our mutual friend 'Phyllis' took the trouble to call me up and invite me. Then she couldn't make my drinks party just before Christmas, and didn't phone me on Christmas Day. At five o'clock on New Year's Eve I was just getting out of the bath when I got a text from Edna saying 'Do you fancy coming round for New Year's Eve? Just you and me and some beers'. Obviously, like everybody else in the world, I already had plans. Cavalier or what? The next time I heard from her was three days before she went back to University (her term didn't start for another week, but that's what they're all like...) and two days before I went back to work and college. She called me up and started the conversation 'Oh, Cool and Cooler (two vague friends of ours) are gonna take me out tonight and tomorrow night.' Yes? So what? I'm clearly not invited. 'But I heard Sex God (another friend who lives in America) is back in town.' I've already seen Sex God, because although he has about a million friends, he manages to be very loyal to all of them. 'So, if he can make it, maybe I'll cancel on Cool and Cooler one night and hang out with you and him.' WHAT!?! If it means she can see Sex God, she will cancel one night of fun with Cool and Cooler. And maybe see me at the same time. I fail to see how this is a tempting or flattering offer for me in any way. I suggested (in a nice way) that she phone me back after she speaks to the others (i.e. everyone that's higher up on her personal Friends ranking hierachy). She didn't. This is the worst example, but many others have acted similarly. I'm taking a course now and working full-time at the library. The course is the hardest thing I've done in my life, and my job is difficult and stressful, with long, antisocial hours. I'm a busy person. Maybe they all work sixty to seventy hours a week studying for their poxy degrees. Maybe going to the pub next door for a half of carling is the highlight of their weeks. Maybe they are hopelessly in debt, can hardly feed themselves, haven't had more than a week off in 18 months and spent their Christmas money on rent and their Christmas book token on course books. But why should I take on (or keep up) the work of making them happy when my life is shit, their lives are less shit and they don't bother with me? Answers on a postcard.

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