Monday, March 07, 2011
Do you ever do dumb stuff?
I don't have many friends, in part because I don't have good friend-making skills. There's a story behind this lack, of course. When I was in middle school, a new family with many children moved into our neighborhood. They had a girl my age, and I was thrilled at the thought that perhaps she and I could be friends. I came to her home, introduced myself, showed her around the neighborhood and took her to visit my home, lent her my favorite books -- in short, everything I could think of to make her feel comfortable. At the end of all this, she turned to me and said, without a trace of rancor, "You know, Sooz, I just don't think I like you." And she walked home alone.
From that point on, I made very little effort to acquire or cultivate friendships, feeling it wasn't worth the danger of rejection. Even as an adult, it's difficult for me to go beyond polite cordiality with strangers. Generally speaking, the people I've known who have been my closest friends are those who chose to approach me first, who decided to make the effort themselves. For this reason, the friends I do have are of great worth to me and I don't want to hurt or alienate them, either with thoughtless words or stupid actions. And believe me, I seem to have a facility for doing both.
There's no need to be more specific, but if you're a friend of mine and I've said or done anything to cause you hurt or offense, I am sincerely sorry and I hope you'll give me another chance.