I’m a creature of habit and like a lot of people with habits, I have the tendency to spend time with people that I’m familiar with. And lately, one of my friends, the same friend about which I’ve mentioned in previous entries has been flaky as of late: the Jewish friend. Now, let me stop and say that this friend of mine didn’t used to be such a flake even when he had a girlfriend. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true but the fact of the matter is that every so while, he’ll make time to come out and hang with the boys, so to speak. Lately, he hasn’t been doing that and it all started when he received an offer from his current employer to become full-time. That’s great news for my friend. I’m genuinely happy that he’s now earning a regular stream of income, hell, more than me for that matter. At the same time though, it’s almost like he fell off the face of the planet after that happened.
Granted, I did decline two of his offers to hang out twice in a row the week after I received wind that he got promoted. Those two times were just bad timing. Stresses from work just did not put me up in a mood for drinks after work. Normally, it would, but I needed to work out my stress in more productive ways and those two weeks in a row just happened to be the days I decided to go do something else for a change, namely, go get some cardio done. And the following two weeks after I declined his offer, I offered to hang out with him for drinks. He declined them both in a row. Fair enough so far right? Everybody has their priorities and if ya can’t make it, ya can’t make it, ya know what I mean? I get it. Well, as it turns out, he decided to turn me down four more times in the following four weeks that ensued and then a fifth time just yesterday evening. Now I’m starting to think this guy is purposefully making up excuses not to hang out. That’s fine if he’s actually busy or tired but the reasons given each and every time seem forced. Well, at least to me, it seems forced. And while I’m a fairly easygoing guy and I let a lot of things slide because, ya know, priorities and stuff, but come on. Maybe, just maybe, it just so happened to be the case that these past five weeks in a row, it really was just bad timing. It’s certainly possible, depending on one’s lifestyle. But this was never his lifestyle. At least I don’t think it is. Again, I could be wrong. Maybe he had this lifestyle and I was fully oblivious to it back then.
You may be thinking, “Don’t you have other friends to hang with?” To that question? Well, most of my close friends are married with children. They are pretty much out of the picture and if by some totally random chance, we happen to bump into each other somewhere, anywhere, then that’s when we get to hang out. But otherwise, it seems like no amount of advanced planning to find a free day is possible with these guys, which sucks, but it is what it is. That’s usually what happens when one is married and even more so when they decide to have kids. Then I have my next level of friends, the good friends, who, in recent times, all decided to get girlfriends. So it goes without saying that their “activities” and time are now severely limited since their girlfriends have a tight leash over their necks on what they can or cannot do. Of course, this is understandable. This is what happens when one gets into a long-term relationship with someone. So far, for both groups of friends, this is normal and a natural part of life given the circumstances. Then I have my third degree friends who are really just acquaintances or people I know about that happen to share the same interests in certain hobbies of mine. If there was a particular hobby that I want to dedicate to and want a companion with me, I call up these friends and thankfully, these friends are mostly single thus far so they have much more free time relative to my close friends and good friends. Admittedly though, these friends are not the type I would confide in. I reserve those to my close friends and good friends so the “depth” of our friendship is fairly shallow for these third degree friends.
Then I have the fourth and fifth degree friends who, in truth, aren’t really friends at all. They are just people I know about and they know about me through their first and second degree groups of friends. And we have almost nothing in common other than knowing each other in relation to someone else. Total strangers, if anything. These one’s I only communicate with via social media and even then, not all that often.
Coming back around though, if it were up to me, I’d rather spend time with the friends I care about. Among them, the Jewish friend happens to be one of them. But I can just as easily find something to do on my own. And I have. Many times, I do what I call the “Lonewolf Routine” where I partake in my favorite hobby alone and have fun while doing so. I just dislike it a lot when any of my close friends or good friends become unusually flaky or they do that thing where think that because I’m single, I have so much free time on my hands that any time of day they decide to call me or text me, I can make it to their shindig. And I’m like, “Nah man…I got stuff to do too.”
If my married friends cancels a hang out day and we had been planning this for months, that’s fine. It happens. That’s life. I let it go and find another time to hang but usually, it’s hard to plan my schedule around these friends so it probably wouldn’t happen again for a few months to years at a time. If my friends with girlfriends do the same, that’s also fine, so as long as it is within reason because besides having a girlfriend, work, and attending to one’s immediate familial obligations, there’s still some time left to dedicate to friends, even if it is severely limited.
It just seems like these days, asking your friends to dedicate a few days out of the year is asking for too much out of a friendship when one is married or is in a long-term relationship.