How did I ever make any friends?
Can you do a quick analysis if I shared some vital statistics? I don't think so.
For a while now this question has been popping in my mind at regular intervals. Specially when I have a had a particularly good time with my friends.
From ages five to nine I have vague or no recollection of my behavioural pattern, which of course means that none of my peers who became friends in that age group recollect either. So I am going to leave those buddies in the category of 'fooled due to age'.
Ten years onward my childhood is quite clear. It was around this time that I started devouring books. My parents, gloating over this habit, bought me book after book on moral sciences, ethics, values, being a good human, being a good child, friend and you name it. To my mind what Josie realised about being polite and Kirsten's realisation on why not to lie were like the scriptures of any holy book. In retrospect, I was that dorky and highly naive child who did as was told by books or elders. I mean ...
Moving on to the increasingly mind-numbing detail. I soon began my journey towards attaining sainthood. I did not lie, but chose to be punished over petty things like rubbing out a full stop when asked not to and not sharing my tiffin with my partner because the teacher said so. I completed books on time, reminded the teacher about homework and %$#*&!#$ .
As if that was not enough, I started reprimanding others when they did any of those things. This should have been the beginning of a steep slope in making friends. It wasn't. I know, shocking! Now they had to stand still for the national anthem, and have the right amount of passion for 'inter-house matches' and playing was out of question if someone thought they could waste food and run. Its not that anyone obeyed, but to have a smartmouth with pearls of wisdom just waiting to be spewn. I was would not befriend the 12 year old me.
Soon puberty struck, and while I gracefully deigned to acknowledge that attraction was natural there had to be boundaries. Boundaries so you do not land into trouble, or are so heartbroken that days of agony follow not just around the person but the entire group. Group mournings over broken hearts are non-optional social conventions which irked me to no end.
Ah! the care free days of college. Independence, to do your own thing, dependence, to live it up on your parents money. What bliss! NOT. Career, lifestyle choices, prejudices, being liberal in the right way, political bias, general knowledge, current affairs... All were my affairs and had to be yours too. It leads to an enriching life, dad said so, so did I!
All in all I was always there to oversee that my friends were making the right decisions and right choices as had been taught to us. While that is a commendable thing to do, today I realise that each one has a head on their shoulder and parents back home. Friends require you to agree on stupid adventures, reckless decisions and regretable ideas.
Now, I just bulldoze over my natural instincts to stop, and nod instead. I notice people are happier that way. That is how they form the huge groups of fun and frolic which can litter the timelines and create that collage of a happy, cool and mostly a normal youths. It also creates a system of fall backs. You mess up, I clean. I mess up, vice-a-versa.
There is no logic in love, neither in friendship. You do not stop before its messy, only afterwards, even if your wits stand up screaming for you to stop. The mess, they say, creates the golden years of youth and wise years of adulthood. I will have no golden years, to have any wise years ahead. For in the time to create a mess I am walking with my values and learnings and with a nose held so very high!
P.S. Friendship is a beautiful word, to be a friend a great feeling, how to be one - that is the tough question!