I realized last night that I’ve never been much of a “friend-maker.” Instead, I’m more of a besties-maker. Throughout the different seasons of my whole life, I’ve had a smattering of a few different friends but almost always one very close friend who I’d spend most of my social time with (read, like 97%). In fact, even when it came to the few smattering of other friendships, I actually had a habit of thinking them more like acquaintances. Obviously I didn’t tell them this or I wouldn’t have had them around much longer to even call them that anymore. Something in my head always made it hard for me to consider someone a friend unless we were super close. I’m getting better about that I think.
There was my childhood/early teens bestie who I rode around on bikes with all summer and ice skated all through winter with. Then my college bestie (though that was short-lived since we both transferred outta there pretty fast). Then I had my camp counselor bestie who would one day stand as my maid of honor. And now I have my adult bestie (who’s probably reading this — hi bebes! <3) She gets a little jealous though so I might have to hide this post from her.
Hehe, just kidding bebes, you’re the best ʘ‿ʘ
Today’s prompt has nothing to do with best friends, but the memory I’m using to respond to the prompt with does, hence the random and unasked-for introduction.
Share a memory you have of your childhood that makes you cringe.
And let’s listen to this music while we write to make us feel a little better: Mr. Foxx Frequency – Songs for September. Cringe memories like this truly are difficult to recall in detail without wanting to hide under a rock. Let’s get through this.
I was on a camping trip with my early teens best friend and her parents. This was a place in upstate NY that we had camped at every summer for years so it was pretty familiar. The only thing different this year is that there were fewer people joining us in our trip than normal. Most other summers included several other families we knew with a lot more kids (read: a lot more friends/acquaintances, hehe) for me to hang out with. This year it was more or less just the four of us with a few other adults.
There’s something you should know about my childhood bestie though….she definitely didn’t share my lack of interest in making other friends. I remember one night she was off with new friends being the social butterfly I definitely didn’t feel like being that evening (I’d like to say that was my early teens social awkwardness, buuuuuut, nothing much has changed).
This girl’s dad felt pretty bad for me I think. He spent most of the evening with me doing all the kid things other young teens did at this camp. Gutterball, shooting hoops, etc. It was pretty embarrassing to say the least. I felt like a huge loser. Why didn’t I just suck it up and pull out my baddest pretend-friendly self to hang out with her new friends? I wish I could say that’s the cringiest part of the story, but it’s not. It was starting to get dark so THANK THE LORD the evening came to an end and we started walking back to the campsite where I could sit alone watching the fire and he could get back to his normal life socializing with adults. Just a quick walk back, and the cringe would be over. That’s what I thought anyway.
Mr. Pitying Father started to thank me for being such a great friend to his daughter over the years. “You’re really good for her, and I appreciate how much time she spends with you since you’re such a good influence [Listen up, parents: no teenager feels good hearing this — it makes us feel like the losers we obviously are]…” yada yada yada. He talked on like this for a little bit before finally coming to the end of his thank you speech.
That isn’t so bad, you say. No?
I didn’t say a word. I didn’t say “you’re welcome” or “of course, she’s my best friend.” I said nothing. We walked in total and complete silence for 5-10 minutes after he just poured out his deepest thanks for my being such a good friend to one of his two precious daughters. The worst part is I distinctly remember what was running through my head during this excruciatingly long walk, and every one of them shows how stupid I am in awkward situations.
Here were my thoughts:
- Hrmph, right. He’s saying this despite the fact she clearly doesn’t feel the same way or else she wouldn’t have deserted me, forcing her too-nice dad to spend an evening alone with me.
- Maybe I should just say “thank you”
- No, maybe I should just say “you’re welcome”
- No, that makes it sound like I’m doing him a favor for being friends with her.
- So then I should say something like “of course, she’s my best friend.”
- NOO, because that would be super awkward if she found out I consider her to be my best if I’m not HER best.
- Oh no, it’s been really long now, just say “thanks” really quick, or anything.
- Ugh, it’s too late now. It’s been too long for either of those things.
- Maybe if I just stay quiet, it will make me sound like a really deep and thoughtful person who is just taking time to soak in the heartfelt thanks.
- OMG, nope, that’s not how I look. I just look like a jerk, but I’m too committed now.
I’m so glad I’m done writing that. Does it sound as cringy as it still makes me feel remembering it? Please make me feel better by sharing your own cringe stories from childhood! And don’t forget to follow me if you enjoy reading and writing with fun prompts 🙂