Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Disposable Friends

Folks, I stand before you a much more humble, honorable, and genuine person than the conceited prig that I was in my youth. I would say, based on my own crude observation, that if my youthful attitude of arrogant, self-sufficient elitism was a disease, that today I am not so much cured, rather the bug has gone into remission. I say this because I recognize the symptoms as they reappear from time to time.

Let me relay to you two instances of this disease from long ago. I don't bring these up to stir your sympathy toward me or to give you further ammunition against me, heavens no, but to bare my afflictions so that I might continue to distance myself from that horrible monster that lurks within me.
  • A friend of mine who I studied with from time to time started to seek me out for extra assistance when he began to fall behind in his class work after a period where he suffered from a serious bought with influenza. One day he appeared at my office with a huge ball of snot protruding from his nose. I was so grossed out that I never studied with him or hung out with him again.
  • I had a study partner and friend in an advanced undergraduate class. As the material was very difficult, it took a huge amount of effort to keep up and work through the punishing homework assignments. One day before an assignment was due, we were to meet up to review our work. He never showed up. It turns out his wife had gone into labor and he was with her at the hospital for the birth of his son. However, I felt so let down that I quickly distanced myself from him.
Both situations played out very much from the same point. I could not bear when friends turned out to be human. When I perceived them as selfish or unreliable for my purposes, I quickly discarded them into the rubbish heap. Disposable friends. Now I continually struggle with loneliness and the wounds of broken relationships. I no longer have to ask the question why, this is all too clear. I only hope that I can find a way to keep that beast at bay as I nuture the relationships that remain in my life or are coming down the road.