Last night we had an old friend over for dinner (fried rice, chocolate cake, red wine; my husband rocks). Actually, calling him an old friend might be selling him short. He introduced Mike and me. We lived in his house when we were too broke to afford our own place. He’s fed us and housed us and loved us and hated us, I’m sure. We really didn’t have much contact with him for the past year or so. We’d invited him to celebrate Mike’s birthday last year and he blew us off, giving us some bullshit about our chosen restaurant not being up to his standards. We were pretty offended. So we stopped bothering to try and make plans with him for a long time.
It’s very hard to judge people’s motivations. Without asking uncomfortable questions, we’ve theorized that he might actually think he’s that much better than us, in some myriad of ways. Or maybe he’s jealous of our romance, being a mostly single guy himself. Or maybe he thinks we owe him money from our time as a group household. Whatever his reasons, he’s chosen to be pretty standoffish and not tell us why.
It’s hard to lose friends. It’s easier to make new ones. The uncertainty is whether the new ones will become the kind of friends you can depend on. All things in life are uncertain, though. In most cases, you get back what you put into things. Jobs, friendships, romances, education. When I was trying to decide which colleges to apply for during my senior year of high school, my uncle/godfather told me something I think very wise, and you can replace the nouns with a variety of things that make up a life and it still holds water.
“You can find an education and a party both at any school, but you have to go looking for both.”