Thursday, March 18, 2004

The B-List

I am experiencing something that has never happened in the previous three decades of my life: I am losing friends. Not to anything dire like death or diarrhea, but to changes in circumstance: relocation, marriage, gender reassignment. I am losing friends faster than I make them. How Monica, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Ross and Rachel managed to stay Friends for ten years and hang out at same coffee shop at the same time is for me, quite incredible.

In high school, I made friends because I didn't want to be miserable alone. In college I made friends because they owed me money. I had lots of friends.

Just a scant five years ago, I had to juggle my social calendar just to fit in my friends and keep track of them. Sometimes, I had to turn people away. I felt popular and had the tight-fitting, lycra-infused wardrobe to go with it. Now, I have barely a handful of people to call to go see a movie or have dinner with. They’re too busy to fit me into their schedule. The platform shoe is on the other foot.

I have not made a single new friend since. Without school and its general lack of responsibility to throw people together, it's hard to make friends. And I don't care what you say, unless you're fresh out of college or have better than a "C"-cup, nobody makes friends at work. For closeted gay people, it's also hard to make friends when you have to keep the fabulousness bottled up inside.

You know you have no friends when you start hanging out with your brother.

Part of it is my fault, of course. I have been accused of being attached to Brian's hip, unable to make a social commitment without his input. He may have committed us to a Psych department event, a dinner, or a rousing night of Parcheesi. I don't like to make plans to do something he doesn’t want to do and possibly have to deal with "the sulks." It works both ways. I once threw a fit when Brian told me we were going to see Elvira's Haunted Hills. People will put you on their B-list when you become indecisive, unavailable or a flake.

Maybe I have just lost the ability to make friends. Or maybe it is just because I am older. When you first meet someone, like say, in a bar or a party, it's cute to say "I wanna hang with you!?!" when you're in your early twenties. Not so cute when you're in your mid-thirties. The guy will likely look strangely at you and say, "what are you, a homo or something?" It's like you're a weirdo if you're 35 and have no friends. People expect to find you in the basement leering down on some girl you've trapped in a deep hole, muttering in a guttural voice, "It rubs the lotion on it's skin or else it gets the hose again."

Maybe it's the way of nature. When you're young and single, you need to travel in packs, roam about, pee in alleys. When you’re older and coupled, you're preparing to have or already have a brood (of cats, if you're queer). You have your loveable rugrats—you are a pack.

Part of me wishes that I am back in the social whirl, the late nights, the boozing, sporting a thick, lustrous mullet.

Part of me is content to be where I am, falling asleep on the couch, on a Friday night, on the top of that B-list.

No comments: