Thursday, November 17, 2011

behind her back

There's this weird perverse thrill when you find yourself talking about a friend behind his or her back with another mutual friend. There's a sense of guilt, sure ("we're talking about Emily behind her back! she's our good friend! that's so fucked up!"). But there's also this catharsis in venting, in finally getting this stuff off your chest with someone who understands ("gahhh I didn't realize how much Emily annoyed me until talking it out with Rachel like this!"). And then there's also the comforting realization that if you and Rachel are talking about Emily like this, you and Rachel must be closer than Rachel and Emily are ("Rachel feels comfortable saying all this mean stuff about Emily to me! we are so close!").

Of course, as "fun" or therapeutic as these conversations may seem at the time, they almost always result, later, in your feeling super crummy. You get on the subway and you stand against the door instead of sitting in one of the open seats. You have a momentary paranoid flash of Rachel divulging to Emily all the awful things you said over a bottle of wine on some future Friday night, and you feel nauseous. Most of the time, Emily's great. You love Emily. And if you and Rachel fell into a Emily trash-talking conversation that easily, aren't the chances pretty good that the two of them have had a similar conversation about you at some point?

You get off the subway and immediately text Emily some stupid forced joke and ask if she's free for dinner later that week.

Friday, November 11, 2011

tom and kendall

It's rare, I've noticed recently, that I have a conversation with someone (anyone: a best friend, someone I've just met...) in which one of us doesn't reference something specific we read/watched/listened to on the internet: a YouTube video, a New York Times article, a mashup of "Teenage Dream" and cats purring, whatever.

Usually, these conversations go something like this:
Tom: "Man, I feel like I'm more tired on the weekends than I am during the week... even though I sleep later on the weekends! Weird, right?"
(Tom is clearly a winning conversationalist.)
Kendall: "Oh, did you see that Slate article about that?"
Tom: "No, what did it say?"
Kendall: "Oh, uhhh, just what you're saying, sort of. You know, our bodies release more... or, like, on the weekends, our... you know what, I'll just e-mail you the article."
Tom: "Oh, cool, okay."

Like 90 percent of the time, Tom doesn't get an e-mail from Kendall. Kendall probably just forgets, or she looks up the article the next day and realizes it doesn't say anything close to what she told Tom it did, or she thinks it would be kind of weird to send it to him since they've only met like three times and she'd have to find his e-mail address on Facebook.

But, in the occasions when I've been a Tom and the Kendall has sent the article the next day ("Here's that sleeping article I was telling you about... xx"), I always find myself like weirdly and irrationally impressed. "Wow, what a competent person!" I think, "She followed through." I don't even click on the link and probably archive the e-mail immediately, but my whole perception of Kendall changes. "She must really have her shit together. I bet she's never late to dinners and has a super clean apartment."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"... and before you know it, the whole day sucks"

I arrived in Boston a few weeks ago to find a bunch of large cardboard boxes stacked in my childhood bedroom. "We're going through all of this before you go back to New York," my mom said, glancing at the boxes, which I knew were filled with notebooks, papers and other memorabilia saved from the 18 years I lived in Boston.

I ended up parting ways with about 75 percent of the work and relics, to my mom's glee, but kept some choice artifacts that looked potentially interesting. I've been slowly working my way through them since, an undertaking which - though it's mainly resulted in lots of Facebook-ing of old teachers/classmates and plaintive staring out of windows - has garnered a few gems.

One of my favorites is this journal entry (?) I wrote on a piece of loose leaf paper on "2/13." ("Some thoughts" will follow.)

Some thoughts:

1. Originally I thought this was from, I dunno, fifth grade? NOPE. After some cursory investigating, I learned it's from ninth grade. I wrote this when I was in high school!! Yes, that was still over ten years ago, but this is not the conception of my ninth grade self that I've been working with. I guess I'm just happy that Twitter and Facebook weren't around then as I can only imagine what sorts of over-the-top emo statuses I'd have been posting.

2. Who keeps a journal on separate pieces of loose leaf paper like this instead of, you know, finding a book? Even a memo pad would have been more normal.

3. The content is so nonspecific! It's like the most dull Angsty Journal Entry possible in that there is absolutely nothing revealing about it. Isn't the point of a journal to let everything out and vent? I really want to know what had happened beforehand that worked me up enough to underline the word "always" and close with that emphatic "fine"!

4. "Often, I know not." ?!?!?!?!

5. The conclusion is so dramatic! I've "come to the point" where all I can do is "sit back" and wait for people to come to me? For one thing, I'm not even sure what this means. For another, knowing me, I probably wrote this defiant entry and then five minutes later couldn't help myself and fired off passive-aggressive e-mails to whichever friends had been irritating me.