Category Archives: Relationships

lessons in friendship

When I was in junior high, I met the girl who would be my best friend for most of my formative years. I was extremely shy, but I would see her around campus surrounded by friends, always smiling and happy, and wished I was as confident as she seemed to be. In the 8th grade, her PE locker was next to mine and she would say hi and make small talk. At first I was too shy to respond much, but she was so nice and friendly that before long, I got over it and we became friends.

At some point, we started to identify each other as best friends. But for some reason, she held part of herself back from me, and that made me jealous of any of her time and attention that was not given to me. For example, I would ask if she wanted to hang out after school, but she would say she needed to study. Then the next day I would find out that she spent the evening hanging out with another friend. I’d get angry, but she would explain it was because the other girl was her neighbor, and I lived so far away (a 20-minute drive).

She would pull stunts like that on me all the time, and it drove me crazy. I was forever writing long, angst filled notes to her about how I thought we were best friends, that she needed to make more of an effort, and we would eventually make up and then the cycle would begin again.

It was just a really odd friendship where we were always walking on eggshells around each other all the time. I’d never had a best friend before her, and I didn’t know what it was supposed to BE like. At the same time, I was coming out of my shell and making a lot of new friends, the type of friends where I could say whatever I wanted and be completely myself around them. It wasn’t that my best friend was against self expression or anything like that…because she couldn’t be herself around me, either. Looking back I think we were just two completely different people, and that I shouldn’t have kept trying to force this “best friendship” on the two of us.

After we went to separate universities, it became even harder to keep up the relationship. But I tenaciously held on, convinced that our friendship would overcome any obstacles standing in our way. She grew increasingly distant, prompting ever more forlorn letters from me, asking why didn’t she return my phone calls, why didn’t she ever write to me? All of my (true) close friends would ask why was I still friends with her if she made me feel that way. I don’t even know if I had a satisfactory answer for that.

The breaking point came after my first year as a consultant. I was living it up, making good money, and enjoying life. We still called each other best friend, but I was getting more and more exasperated with her self righteousness and not-so-subtle disapproval of my lifestyle (she wasn’t into drinking and clubbing). After one too many phone calls where I felt like I was talking to the air, I’d had enough. I sat down and wrote the most vicious email I’ve ever written before or since. I was feeling really hurt by her treatment of me and wanted to hurt her back. Without even thinking about it, I sent it off. I immediately regretted it, but there was no way to take it back.

I called her, we cried, I apologized profusely, and she said it was OK and that we were still friends. But over the next few days and weeks, I realized it was not OK. Whereas she was merely distant before, she began to actively avoid me – not difficult when we lived hundreds of miles away from each other. Finally, I wrote another email – “what’s wrong? I thought you said you had forgiven me.” Her response was slow in coming, but it was the final nail in the coffin. She realized, after thinking about it a lot, that she couldn’t be friends with me anymore. My letter was so hateful and so unwarranted, that she could no longer trust me not to hurt her like that again. She said maybe we could be friends again one day, but for now she wanted to keep her distance.

We haven’t been friends since. That was 10 years ago. About a year after she first stopped talking to me, she wrote me a letter to explain why she had to take a break from me. She admitted in the letter that she was jealous of my success and that she had consciously given up on our friendship years before (without telling me) because she thought I didn’t “need” her anymore. She said she was in a bad place and just couldn’t handle the stress of our relationship at that time. Yet the letter was sort of opened ended…I read it 100 times and couldn’t tell whether it was an attempt to become friends again or not. In the end, I felt more annoyed than happy, especially at the idea that she had deliberately pulled back from me while I was making so much effort to maintain our friendship. I dashed off a scathing letter to her saying that if the situation had been reversed, I would never have stopped being her friend, or some such nonsense. She didn’t respond. A few months later, I felt bad and wrote another, more mature letter, but she didn’t respond to that either. About 3 years ago, I wrote one last time…. and again got no response. So yeah…. that’s about as dead as anything can get.

I still think about her quite often. I wonder how she is doing, whether she ever thinks of me.

But I learned from this friendship how to be a real friend, and how to pick real friends. I’ve learned not to be as crazy demanding as I used to be. I’ve learned to be very discerning in choosing a good friend. I AM still a demanding friend, but within reason, and I try to give as good as I get and better. I mostly have only very high quality friends now.

And I learned that friendships do have limits. And that once you cross a line, you can never go back.

I’m now experiencing the death of another friendship. This time, I’m the one who is choosing to withdraw my friendship from somebody else. It has made me think of my best friend of my youth and wonder if this is how she felt when she chose to end her friendship with me.

It’s been an emotional week for me. I guess I jinxed myself.

7 Comments

Filed under More About Me, Relationships

the age of experimentation

So one of my friends read my love and friendship post and said that when she read the part where I first noticed E, she thought I was trying to say I was gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that). WTF? First of all, this is someone that knew me in my boy crazy days. Secondly, a girl can say another girl is hot, can’t she? So now I have to write about something that will really make my friend question my sexuality.

During my 4th year of college, I rented a 2-bedroom apartment with 3 other girls, two girls per room. I shared my room with another Asian girl, let’s call her Katie. She was a friend of a friend, and was introduced to us when we needed a 4th roommate. Katie and I hit it off and we stayed up late many nights talking about everything. She was cute and smart, but seemed to always get into relationships where the guy just used her for booty calls (AJ would probably say that she had daddy issues).

At that time, I had a boyfriend. VK and I had met my first year in the dorms, and we got together at the beginning of my 3rd year. It was a good relationship but was based more on camaraderie than passion. We both acknowledged that we wanted to date around more before settling down, but ended up being together for almost 3 years.

Anyways, the first few months of living with Katie were great. We shared our boy stories with each other. We talked about sex a lot, as girls will do. Finally, we revealed to each other that we’d always been curious about having sex with another girl. (It wasn’t just us, though, right? Everyone gets curious at that age, right?) After that, we would talk about it every so often, and there was always an unspoken “well gee, why don’t WE do it?” I always thought she was cute, but I definitely started to feel attracted to her after that, and I was pretty certain that she was attracted to me.

So there is actually a whole side story here involving a friend of VK named Dave, but that would make this post way too long. Suffice to say that both Katie and I were attracted to Dave, and Dave was attracted to both Katie and me, and Katie and I were attracted to each other. And although no one explicitly said anything, none of that was really a secret between the 3 of us. It was a very confusing time in my life where I questioned myself a lot on whether I really wanted to be in a monogamous relationship. And whether I was bi.

One night, we decided to have a girls’ night out with a few other girl friends, which involved dinner first and then dancing. Katie and I got ready together in our room. Her hair was really cute, she had the Rachel haircut, and she said that she could do the same style on me if I wanted. I agreed and she had me sit down in front of the mirror while she worked on my hair.

DAMN. Maybe it was everything that had been building up between the two of us, or maybe I was ovulating or something, but I was SO freaking turned on the entire time. Is the head/hair an erogenous area or something? I could barely sit still while her hands were in my hair. Also, she was wearing this really sexy dress and she looked fantastic in it. I could tell she was pretty turned on as well. The sexual tension was so thick I can’t believe nothing happened. Maybe if we had been drinking…

Later when we were at the restaurant, a bunch of our guy friends suddenly showed up, including Dave. It turned out that one of our girl friends had told them where we’d be, not realizing they’d try to crash girls’ night. Thankfully, VK was not with them. I was still free for the night! One of the guys, George, who always had a thing for Katie, literally moaned when he saw her. (I only say this to illustrate how hot she looked.) I heard Dave tell Katie that my hair looked really nice. She fondled my head proprietarily and said, “I did that, doesn’t it look good?” Then she added, “And it was a HUGE turn-on, too.” Oh my God, did she really say that out loud? I kept my head turned away and tried to pretend I didn’t hear it, but from the corner of my eye I could see Dave’s eyes nearly pop out of his skull. He kept trying to exchange glances with me (since he knew how I felt about her), but I avoided looking at him.

Sadly, there is not much more to report from that night. We went to the club, we danced, we got drunk, Katie and I were all over each other, Dave and I were all over each other, and Dave and Katie were probably all over each other as well. Damn, why did I have to have a boyfriend?! A couple hours later, we migrated from the club to someone’s apartment. Things were just starting to get interesting when for some reason I decided to call VK and tell him where I was. He yelled at me and kept asking why didn’t I call him earlier to join us, since it was no longer “girls’ night”. I sobered up in a flash, had a “what the fuck am I doing?” moment, told everyone I had to leave, and slinked back to VK’s apartment.

Nothing ever happened between me and Katie or me and Dave. Katie and Dave did get together briefly, but he basically just used her for booty calls and said shit about her behind her back (asshole). I stopped talking to him after that. Katie and I had a falling out towards the end of the year and no longer talk either.

I don’t know what would have happened that night if I wasn’t dating VK. But who knows…even if I wasn’t, I might have been too chicken in the end.

This was actually a really difficult post for me to publish. I sat on it for a few days before doing so, because I knew this would probably completely change the image that people who know me IRL have of me. I rationalized it by saying to myself that I am not unique, that many people go through a phase of experimentation, and most likely got WAY further than I did.

Also, I told my friend (from the first paragraph) that I was posting this, and she wants everyone to know that she REALLY didn’t think I was gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and that she is cute (she is).

7 Comments

Filed under More About Me, Relationships