IRL or Not

Posted on September 14, 2010


Growing up, I had enough friends to count on one hand. The few friends I had only lasted for a while, as we would drift apart due to our massive differences. I still remember my childhood friend, Heather. We had the same birthday, which was what brought us together. She absolutely adored that fact. She was very different from me. Unicorns and all things pink covered her room. It was fascinating at first, but when we ended up playing with her unicorn collection I had to call it quits. Then I had a pervy friend, Wendy. She always wanted to explore bodies (we were 8, I think?). She constantly showed me her vag, as if I didn’t have my own. I still remember that one day we ran into some boys close to our age (at least I hope so, as I’m terrible with ages) in the neighborhood. That was when I saw my first penis. Nothing extravagant. I just remembering ‘eww’-ing and pointing and laughing. I bet they’re all porn stars now.

I didn’t think of myself as a social butterfly. I didn’t look for friends either. I’d stumble into someone’s life and meet people through them. Typically by force. “Oh this is Trina!”, “Meh” was my typical reply. My Mom soon caught on about my disregard for making friends, so she would constantly harass me about saying hello and being polite. I was quite happy being solo, with my head stuck in a book. Girls were foreign to me, squealing about makeup and boys. Pssh whatever. Judy Blume’s got it going on, folks. Boys always seemed to like me. If it was at all possible to hang out with boys, I would. But having an old school Mexican mother made that difficult as her train of thought was ‘girls with girls, boys with boys’.

It didn’t help that I spent the majority of my teen years helping my Mom with my disabled sister. I didn’t mind. I loved my sister (for obvious reason), but also because she was perfectly fine with what little conversation I’d have with her and was happy as a clam if I just sat down and held her hand while reading a book. I got used to that. Having someone around, without having to actually socialize.

Despite all of that, I’m sociable. I can meet people and have conversations with no problems. But 97.996% of the time, inside my brain, I’m secretly finding an escape of sorts.  Something, anything to get me away from people I may not like. If I do like you, you’ll know by me actually holding the conversation.

In life, I’ve had plenty of acquaintances. Not one of those acquaintances became friends. I had one best friend, but things dwindled down and I got tired of being the one always wanting to go and hang out and hearing her petty excuses why we shouldn’t, yet she wanted all the juicy gossip of my life as wife and mother, because my life was so exciting. After her, I really don’t have the energy to have real life friends. Sure, there’s two couples that we hang out with for dinner or what have you. But you won’t hear about me partying it up every weekend, if hardly ever.

Then there’s the internet friends. Out of several I’ve met, there’s two that stand out for me. Simply because we’ve shared things and I’ve gotten great advice and support from them. Other than that, anyone else I meet online I could honestly care less about. That’s another thing that irks me about the internet. You know someone for 2+ years and suddenly the ‘I love you’s and crap comes out. Really? You love me? How’s that? I don’t understand that concept really. Loving someone you never met in the flesh. Is that possible? I guess because we reveal so much more online than in real life, because it’s so much easier… I guess people do end up loving you. Flaws and all. That’s nice… I suppose. Honestly it just weirds me out. If you’re online, don’t tell me you love me until you reveal your darkest, deepest secret and we drink each others blood.

I find making friends online more difficult than IRL (in real life). I guess that’s why I really don’t try. Fear of rejection, very likely. If I do try, people just come off as disinterested. Then I’m left thinking, “Fine, I didn’t want to be your friend.” and go lick my wounds elsewhere. I’m fragile. What can I say?

Yet another reason I’m glad my circle of friends consists of those two online friends, my husband and son (hey, The Kid claims that I’m his best friend, thankyouverymuch) and a few more people IRL. That’s all I need. But… if you have an urge to be my friend, don’t be scared. I just may be open to the possibility.

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