I've noticed over time, that I tend to me the more proactive one when it comes to maintaining friendships. I still let a lot of things slide, and I still neglect friendships that I shouldn't, and with certain people, we are quite comfortable not talking to each other for months and then randomly picking up where we left off, but generally, I'm the one who tends to start facebook or msn conversations just to say 'hi', I tend to be the one bugging people to come over, or invite me over, or go out, or whatever. Normally, this doesn't bother me, I can deal just fine with that kind of thing being more reliant on me; maybe I feel the need to maintain contact more, and I'm sure my friend's shoulder more than an equal share of the burden in other aspects of our relationships.
But it does get to me, when I seem to go through extended periods where I don't see anyone and no-one even bothers to say hi to me in three months. I say three months because I got back from the US almost exactly 3 months ago. With the obvious exceptions of Chris, my family, and work related peoples, I worked out I've seen 7 people out of my friends in those months, and out of those, one was in fact from the US visiting, and 3 I've only seen by virtue of the fact they live with the fourth.
My friends in the US, and some of these people I only met for 4 days on a crazy 4th July weekend this year, will talk to me on a weekly, if not daily basis, despite the fact that they are 4000 miles and 5 hours time difference away from me and the only deep bonding experience between some of us is both trying to avoid errant fireworks and walking naked for a mile and a half through knee deep coastal waters. And yet the multitude of people who live in the same city as me, can't even make the cursory 'we should meet up sometime' comment that we both know will never actually happen.
For the last 3 weekends I've posted on facebook and twitter saying is anybody around to do something, and the only person I've had ANY response from is the same person I see all the time anyway. Don't get me wrong, I love him, I will gladly spend 80% of my social time with him, but I do need to feel he's not the only person in my life aside from the boyfriend. This is just depressing. It means currently, my life consists of work, trying not to fight with the boyfriend, and when I get so sick of those two I can't stand it anymore, Joel.
Sure, shit happens, people get busy, people (like me) are flat broke, they have their own problems and depressions to deal with, etc etc, but in 3 months my social life amounts to a lot of time with Joel, and 3 one off meet ups with some other people, which I'm grateful for, and I enjoyed seeing those people, but that's it. Oh and one drunken phone call about 2 weeks ago.
I'm kinda sick of it, I don't want to have to work this hard to maintain one good solid friend in the entire city. Even counting the friends I don't talk to much and am fine with that (my best friend being the major example of that), that brings the total count to maybe 4. In the entire fucking country. How to win friends and influence people my ass.
The modern day catharsis for this dilemma has become to have a facebook friend cull, unfortunately I think if I actually did that at the moment, I would struggle to even retain a full handful of UK-based, non work or family related friends. So not surprisingly, that's not going to make me feel a whole lot better. I haven't yet decided whether it'll be more depressing to get a slew of panicked 'hey hows it going are you ok read your blog post' messaged from people who have shown no interest for a while tomorrow, or to get nothing at all. Whatever happens, I think at the moment there's a very firm extra point in the 'reasons to move to the US and pull a Jack'* column
Mood: Depressed - work work chris work joel work work chris work work work chris work work joel work etc......
Music: Jack's Mannequin - Entire Spotify Discography
* 'A Jack' is a manoeuvre by with you start a brand new life; you cut all ties from your previous one, abandoning all friends, workers, landlords, family members, acquaintances, creditors, et al. suddenly with no prior warning or indication. This goes so far as to uping sticks, with only so many possessions to your name as will fit in a suitcase, moving to an entirely new part of the country, changing your phone number, email, deleting facebook, and all records of your previous life insofar as is possible without the exorbitant cost of counterfeit passports, but sofar as changing your name, thus giving those you left behind virtually no method of tracking you down within the 5 minute attention span of the average 2010ite, and making it a reasonable hassle for those who insist on pursuing it past that limit. The move is so named because my friend Jack pulled it off, and aside from pissing off a lot of people who he didn't care about, has arguably been a rather successful stratagem.