I recently changed my fb profile picture to one in which I’m wearing a straw fedora and consequently, everyone suddenly thinks I’m this cool hipster. The Beastie is surely laughing at this notion because I am the farthest thing from a hipster (though I heard denying that you’re a hipster is the tell-tale sign of being a hipster). In all honesty, I think hipsters are cool, and thus they kicked me out of the biweekly hipster meeting. Also, they found my hidden Britney Spears stash. But anyways, when people ask me what kind of music I like, I still like to play off like I’m cool, and respond with accessibly indie things Meg+Dia (Monster is one of my all-time favorite songs), Death Cab For Cutie, She+Him (obviously, I like bands with a “plus sign” in the name), Young the Giant, etc etc. and then I go on a rant about how Ingrid Michaelson is one of my musical idols.
(sidenote: can you have a musical idol if you’re not musically inclined? I have absolutely no musical aspirations– I just think Ingrid Michaelson is the best thing to happen to music since the decline of Ricky Martin. And the fact that she isn’t nearly as revered as she should be is beyond the tragedy of the decline of the Spice Girls.)
This rant goes on and on until whoever I’m talking to tries to bring my crass voice to a screeching halt by asking a simple and short question: what’s my favorite Ingrid Michaelson song? It’s at this point that I whip out my dissertation on Ingrid fandom. But I’ll keep this short, because the main point of this post is eventually going to be about friendship (trust me, I’ll get there).
Usually I’d pull up a chair and serenade you with every Ingrid song in my repertoire (oh what? This is an electric chair and unless you beg for an encore you get zapped?), but since my voice is better appreciated live, rather than the medium of this blog, I’ll save that performance for when you come to collect your level 3 hug and instead include Youtube videos of my top two (what did we ever do before Youtube?):
(Obviously, “The Way I Am” is way up there on the list, but saying that it’s my fav would be as if I said pink Starbursts are the best Starbursts– some things just don’t need to be said.)
Also obvious: don’t take anything I say seriously without a grain of salt. (Okay seriously, English was my second language. Is that how the saying goes? It’s something like that, right? Or is it a grain of sand? I can’t think of anything else that comes in “grain” form, so I’m going to go with either salt or sand for now.)
I go through a lot of phases, I’ve realized. One day I love Milk Duds, the next day all I can think about is breaking off a piece of that … Kit Kat bar. There was a point in time when all I would wear were “track jackets” … now I have a box of useless Hollister jackets that don’t even keep me warm somewhere in the garage. I am constantly flipping back and forth between team Razzmatazz and team MangoAGoGo (though ever since I discovered the magic of a juicer, all I ever order is an orange-carrot-banana juice. So. Effin. Yum. Someone at the airport went out of their way to tell me I’m gross for ordering that once. My mom used to tell me that carrots were good for my skin. I hope that jerk is riddled with scurvy-pimple-constipation-itis. ALL THE TIME.).
(Back to music) I used to have a 32mb mp3 player. Yeah, MEGABYTE. That shit fit 6 songs on there, 7 if I was lucky. That’s when picking songs were cut throat. Kids these days are spoiled with the stress-free lifestyle that 64GB ipods and iphones and ishit facilitate. For some reason, even though my mp3 player had the same amount of room as Kate Gosselin had in her uterus, I kept two songs constant: Green Day’s Brain Stew (a legitimate choice) and Hilary Duff’s Come Clean (slightly less legitimate).
Yeah, I was that teenage girl. (To further elaborate on what I mean by “that teenage girl,” I’d like to openly admit that the Beastie and I would waste all of 7th grade English class writing BRING IT ON quotes to each other. The entire class period. I’m not sure why we were oblivious to the fact that boys in real life DID/DO NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT MOVIES ABOUT CHEERLEADING.)
Anyways, my embarrassingly prepubescent lifestyle came rushing back to me on my drive home from work today because COME CLEAN came up on my ipod.
It got me thinking about two things:
- Wow, I’m kind of an adult now. Who ever thought “commute” and “home from work” and “colleagues” would be words/phrases I say on a daily basis? And when the eff did I have to start packing my own lunch?! I NEED YOU, MOM.
- Things were a lot easier back when we were younger.
Sure, it was fun not having any real responsibilities beyond giving your friends cootie shots, (remember when running a mile in PE was pretty much the worst day of your life?) but what I really miss is how easy it was to make friends when we were younger.
Some brief Alexhistory:
As I mentioned before, English is my second language. In fact, neither of my parents ever spoke English to my brother and me when we were growing up, so I didn’t even learn it until I was about 7, leaving me unable to really communicate in Kindergarten and 1st grade. To make matters worse, I grew up in a suburb in the middle of the midwest, aka I was the only colored person in my class. Yet I still had plenty of friends. Because kids don’t care about stuff like “talking about our feelings” and “verbal social conventions.” They just want to paint with their fingers, knock over buildings made of blocks, and build snow men; as long as you let me use some of your blue paint or help crash a toy car into the house or throw snowballs at the 2nd graders with you, we were friends.
Even when we were in middle school, when kids supposedly become “vicious” (and granted, some of them were), it wasn’t even that hard to find people to eat lunch with you. And this is coming from me, the girl who was introduced to the class as a boy by the teacher, because I was THAT ugly. And THAT tomboyish. (sidenote: the Beastie was in this class, and that’s how we eventually met.) Yes, I enrolled late to middle school because I was awkwardly transitioning from a “traditional” school system to a “year round” system, so I came in to my first class on my first day of school and the teacher called everyone’s attention to announce “Everyone, this is [Alexha]. He will be joining our class.” I pretty much died on the inside. But hey, lunch time came around and I had new friends to sit with. (Maybe they thought I was a hot guy, who knows.)
So the point is, as long as you were nice to people and willing to share your toys, it was easy to make friends when you were young. These days, however, it’s ridiculously hard to meet new people if you’re not in school. You’re pretty much limited to the people you meet at work, unless you frequent the bars as regulars (or McDonald’s). When I was going to UC Davis, I joined a “sport and social league” called XOSO where 21+ year old kids played dodgeball, kickball, and volleyball (and more importantly, celebrated victories at local bars afterwards) during the week. Some of my most cherished “early 20’s” memories have resulted directly from XOSO, and I’ve made countless lifelong friends, but there ain’t nuttin’ like that happening here in Vallejo. I’m pretty sure that if I asked some random V-Hos if they wanted to play dodgeball with me, they’d whip out their guns and shout
DODGE, DIP, DUCK, DIVE, DODGE this, bitch.
I complain about the lack of opportunities to meet new people in Vallejo all the time. Sure, I meet a lot of people through my roommate, who’s in grad school, and through college friends, but I feel like I’m just some sort of social leech that hooks her fangs into any friendships she can get her hands on. Obviously, I’m a vampiric leech. I told Christina Ly this when she said that social leeching is an essential social skill at our age, and that I should blog about my leeching strategies, so here goes:
How to mooch friends off of your existing friends:
- Randomly sign your roommate up for grad school without her knowing. Then, when she gets in, she’s pretty much obligated to go, and she’ll feel forever indebted to you. Tell her she needs to whore herself in class to make you some new friends as payment.
- Invite yourself to social events that may not necessarily apply to you (class bonding outings to the bowling alley, happy hour after class, game night at a classmate’s house, etc) and just try to blend in. Tell everyone that they’ve never seen you because you’re so smart, you don’t need to go to class. They’ll fall for it about 25% of the time.
- When your roommate’s classmates are inebriated, immediately make plans with them. They’re more likely to agree. The next day, they’ll feel too bad to tell you that they didn’t mean to actually agree to hangout with you and will become socially obligated to spend time with you. Now you’re really wiggling your way into this social circle!
- Facebook stalk all of them and then subtly drop hints that you have a cool blog (in which you’ve conveniently written flattering things about them).
If all else fails, build an impressive wine/whiskey cellar and offer to hold tastings; cook large elaborate dinners and mention that you “have too much food” and “need help finishing it all” ; exploit the crap out of how adorable your dog is.
There, your lonesome cocoon is about to sprout wings… you social butterfly, you!