As a single person, I cannot tell you how many times I have been lost in a crowd – and I am not just talking about Disney World either, although, that was bad enough. I am talking more of when you go out with friends, but they’re all couples and you’re, well, not.
It can be a bit awkward. I was at a restaurant not too long ago where this very scene played out in an all too real way. I was late getting there – mistake number one. Number two, when I arrived everyone was seated with their spouse except for one place – holding a purse. Turns out the wife of one was planning on sitting there when she got done serving. Great. So all seats are taken in the group table.
Yes, there were other seats in the restaurant – outside of the group. I took up residence on the wall facing them – I was just about in full blown panic mode. In an attempt to lighten my anxiety one of the gentlemen there asked me “if I was supervising?” He meant nothing by it – but it heightened my sense of “alone in the group” all the more. A few minutes later an extra table was brought out and thankfully another single, in the moment, lady arrived and we sat together. (She’s married but her husband was not there) we ate together – yet, she was more a part of the other group than I could be. Needless to say, I left as soon as humanly possible.
Today, another author was asking what kind of books the rest of us liked to read and to “convince her”. I referenced an odd book, (leave it to me) and the reason why it stuck to me like super glue on my fingers, is because it made me think. It made me question all kinds of norms, patterns and possibilities. Despite living in a utilitarian environment, Ayn Rand’s character Equality 7-2521 wants nothing more than to connect soul deep with Liberty 5-3000. He calls her “the Golden One”. He is looking for more than his street scrubbing to satiate his soul.
It is human nature to want to belong to someone, or a group of someones, that is why we have “clique’s” in high school & beyond. We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
Even the quietest of introverts wants a little outside attention. The agoraphobic on the other hand, wants outside attention without having to go outside and get it…ok, I will quit wandering around and find my point. The point is, when I read “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton in the seventh grade, I learned something about myself. I longed for a gang, a group of friends who would stick closer than my tongue glued to the roof of my mouth with a ball of peanut butter. I wanted to connect deeply on a heart level with other people. I think that is why “We Are Your Friends” resonates so deeply with me. Yes, it’s a dumb movie on one hand, but if you deconstruct the party scenes from the heart of the movie. Friendship, devotion, and finding our own path amongst the noise of life, you find what we all want on some level or another.
Conversely, I watched the movie “Wonder” where the main character is almost a mini Moses, parting the Red Sea of people because he’s “deformed” from multiple plastic and other forms of surgery. He says “You can’t blend in, when you were born to stand out”. True as that might be, we all want a little of both. We want to blend in with those around us, but yet stand out so we will be noticed for who we are. I mean truly, isn’t that why we have a “blogosphere”? We’re all putting our voices out there to be heard by someone. Sometimes our signals are picked up by those who are not good for us, nor we for them, yet the desire, to not be like my car, alone in a world built for more. Thus, I have decided, I am going to to knock on a new “friendship door” this week.
How about you? Is there someone with whom you would like to make a greater connection – but just haven’t taken the time, or gathered up all of your emotional energy – to “make it happen”? I think we waste WAY TOO MUCH time worrying about being rejected, that we wander into the vague “We should get together sometime…” when really, they might just want to be our friend as much as we theirs and we’re too busy wasting time worrying about a sure fire losing proposition of, “What if they don’t like me?” or “We have nothing in common…” On the surface, I have nothing in common with the “door” I am about to knock on, but who knows? At the very worst, I will have tried and been shot down – and at best, a new friend!