On Friends Quickly Made and Quickly Lost

November 3, 2001

I could expound endlessly on the concept of friendship. In fact, I probably will at some point, since my perspective of it has changed so much in the past year or so. But that time is not now. What I'm interested in dwelling on at the moment is the concept of friends you make and lose in the blink of an eye.

A quick story. A discussion board, a theatre discussion board, where one of the regular posters endlessly insults shows he hasn't seen. Musicals, he believes, are worthy only for their score and for nothing else, and if he doesn't like some of the music, the show itself is worthless. For reasons unrelated to his apparent lack of common sense, he is removed from the board, and another person finally gets to know him and understand the person behind the obnoxious online handle, and even starts to like him.

Well, this story is, of course, true. Some people put on masks when they're on the Internet. In fact, someone I know... No, I'll deal with that later. So, when you meet these people in person, they seem very different. The person I dealt with was very similar. He had a pretty good sense of humor, had a better attitude about life, and was generally very personable. I had, therefore, assumed that--due to the laws of inertia--there would be no reason we could not continue to remain minor friends (I say this to distinguish it from the the more noble, romantic concept of friendship that should be reserved only for longtime friends) for some period of time.

Of course, inertia only exists until an outside force interferes, and in this case one did. And it was my fault. I did the most terrible, unthinkable thing imaginable to disrupt this relationship of ours.

I went and saw a play.

Oh yes, I'm that bad of a person.

To clarify, he was NEVER invited to this. This had really very little to do with him. In fact, because he knows a couple of people in the cast, he was able to get a ticket to it a couple of weeks before I was able to see it. And I, of course, was not invited to that performance (I couldn't have gone anyway, so it wasn't a big deal). But, later on, when I did go, I did not tell him about it for the same reason I told no one else about it: I had made a promise not to. I see no need to go into the reason, but I was asked, by the person who had arranged the ticket, to not spread it around. And I did not. NO ONE knew until a few days later. That's when HE found out, and he apparently was not happy.

And this is worth killing what was a perfectly fine (minor) friendship.

The thing that got me mad, of course, was that this person was so upset about this travesty of justice that he blocked me on AIM and then lied about the reason for it. (They were clamping down on extraneous Internet usage at work, he told me.) And, when I confronted him with this, this is the story he gave me.

Does this make sense to you? It sure doesn't to me.

So, that's it. It's a shame. I liked him (even though I almost never agreed with anything he said), but this is a choice that he made, and because I do like him and respect him, I have no choice to say goodbye. I'm sure he doesn't care. I feel bad about it, but, well, we only really knew each other for a couple of months anyway. No great loss, right? I'm sure he looks at it that way. I mean, after all, it's not as if we knew other for over fifteen years, and then...

Another story.

Another time.

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