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Old 10-28-2003, 10:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I had dinner with a few old friends tonight. The dinner inspired me to write this:

Over the course of one's life, it's nearly assumed we will make friends, and lose them over enough time. I had dinner with three people I grew up with tonight. One of them, I am still pretty close to, but the other two are perils of my past. It's weird how much they've changed. But seeing as how they're all the same, I must be the one who's changed.

It's Justin, Jennifer, and Amber. Amber messages me asking me to go to dinner. I like her, she's a nice girl, so I accept. When I get to our place of dining, my suspicions are confirmed when I see she's brought her roommate Jennifer, and her roommate's inseparable friend, Justin. I've known Justin since I was in Kindergarten. He's a good guy, very smart, very corny, just like his two friends that he's came to dinner with tonight. After collecting our items, we sit down. One of the most thought provoking conversations of my life ensues.

The discussion begins with Jennifer's typical small talk. She usually has nothing to offer, just trying to lube up the conversation for the rest of us. "I finished knitting my sweater today," she proclaims. I wish I could say that I was just making all this up, but I'm not, she really did finish knitting her sweater. "It's about time," Justin sarcastically exclaims. It's so cliché, the way they speak. The talk like they're reading from a poster board. Everything they say is so calculated and anticipated.

After Jennifer's slightly successful job of spawning a conversation, Amber chimes up to let us know that in her Spanish class today, they held hands in a circle, and sang Spanish songs. It is blatantly obvious that the other two are pleased by this with their "wow, that's really cool's," and "neat, I wish we did stuff like that's." I try to fit in, but sometimes chipping in an "awesome," just doesn't quite do it. The table becomes silent, finally, a chance to eat a quick bite before I have to act all polite again.

Then it dawns on me, who are these people? You miss talking to them for four years of high school, and a year of college, and suddenly they're, well, exactly the same. Justin is dressed in trousers and a Ralph Lauren polo shirt. My guess is, he was able to afford this dress with the slew of capital gains he claims to have made on the stock market. It wouldn't surprise me if he really is a trader; certainly smart enough to be one anyway. Amber sits there in her khakis and sweater, Jennifer is quick to follow with the same apparel. I meanwhile, sit there with my four-day old jeans, and yogurt-stained T-shirt, pondering my evolution into my present state.

After the quick bite of mashed potatoes, it's time to put down the fork and act interested again. Justin begins to prod for attention, "I'm getting A's in all my classes right now...without even trying." Here I come, I sense it; "wow, that's great Justin, I wish I could do that." Normally I would make a comment like that in a very sarcastic tone. But not this time, I can't bring that sarcasm shit around these people.

Justin looks at me with a question, "how is your portfolio doing?" I have no fucking clue what he is talking about, but I mustn’t say such a thing. "Portfolio," I ask. "Yeah, your stocks," he replies. Oh yes, I remember now. Justin gives me advice on the stock market. I have a few hundred dollars I toss around in there, but I never really pay attention to it, so I really didn't know what he was talking about. I knew the entire premise of his question was just so I would ask him the same question back, so he could talk about himself. I comply, and make some things up, "uh, pretty well...I went up about 6% last month, I've noticed the Dow is starting to recover, must just be some effects of that...what about you?" My suspicion is confirmed. For the next five minutes, I find myself balancing my time between nodding, saying "uh-huh", nibbling on my food, and saying "wow". Sometimes I say "wow", and I don't even realize what I'm saying "wow" to. It's weird trying to replay something you just heard in your mind, it makes you feel good when you actually remember what it was on the review.

I'm in it about twenty minutes now. Not too much longer to go. I really wish Amber had just brought herself, we always do just fine when we're on our own. The funny thing is, she usually expresses her distaste for Justin and Jennifer's frequent presence in her life. It’s sad that she is giving off nothing of the sort to them tonight. She's one of them. She sits, and only speaks when it means speaking about her. It's really quite pathetic. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, "people really listen to you when they know you're dying, instead of just sitting there waiting for their turn to speak." I wished I was dying...not that I'd have anything to say to these people anyway.

The conversation moves to an appalling topic for me personally; what a great town Warsaw Indiana is. I am blown away by the undying love the three seem to have for Warsaw. Justin explains to us why Warsaw is a great economic community to raise a family in, "with all the headquarters of Orthopedic companies, it's a really nice high-class town to live in." The other two quickly agree with this. I don't, there's nothing high-class about the area I live in, has this kid ever left the Dells? Jennifer tells us of the ballet she will be attending at the Wagon Wheel soon. Justin and Amber quickly offset by imputing that they are going to a play tomorrow night. I sit there, laughing at the thought of what they'd say if I told them I was going to a Ludacris concert in a few weeks. These people have no idea who I am, sort of sad.

Justin continues speaking, as I've found him to do quite a lot, "I just changed my major, Cory." I try to act surprised and impressed, but it's no use, they all see right through my raised-voice "really" by now. He tells me that he has switched from 'Statistics' to 'Actuary Science'. I don't know what Actuary Science is. I shamefully ask him, and he tells me that his job will be to calculate the odds of someone dying for an insurance company. Now we're talking. Odds of death, something I know a thing or two about. He wants to impress me with his ability to diagnose someone, so he asks, "what are some 'dangerous' things you do in your life, and I'll tell you if you're high-risk to a life insurance company." Oh shit. It's at this point in the conversation I realize that I'm going to tell the three that I skydive. I can already imagine the shriek that Jennifer is going to let out. Attention will be drawn to our table undoubtedly. I reply to Justin, "uh, well I lift weights and work out a lot, drive kind of fast, skydive, and jog sometimes." I tried to slip it in there, but Christ Bless if a comment like that is going to go un-noticed. Jennifer shrieks. Amber looks at me, sort of impressed. Best part of the evening right there. I guess I had never told her I started doing that, surprised her. So now all of the sudden, they want to know about me. Their wonderful lives don't seem so note-worthy when something like this is brought to the table. I have to explain just about everything I know about skydiving to them, they refuse to let any detail slip past. "Has your chute ever not opened," Justin asks. No you stupid fuck, would I be sitting here if that was the case? I only wish I could say that. I simply put on the good 'ol fake smile/laugh, and inform him to the negative.

I'm not the same kid I was in first grade. The one who spent my time playing on the swings with Jennifer, Amber, and Justin, because we were too afraid to climb up the swirly slide. This is so shocking to them. Why would I leave our cocoon? Why would I change this much? I'm glad I've changed. Watching them sit there with their mechanic facial expressions, and their good Christian Morals. They're so fake, so regular. I suggested to Amber that she tries skydiving sometime. "Ha-ha, no way, I'll just stick to golf," she replies. That's right Amber. You stay with your roots. I hope they enjoy spending the rest of their lives at the country club, and the corner offices, and the big homes with five-car garages, and the TV room, with their eyes glued to CNBC waiting for an update on the status of ZQK, and the member's only restaurants, and the back pew at church. Now go, make lots of babies, and bring them up close to your wing, so we can have more fake people wandering around this planet for my kids to write about.

-Ugly Bastard

[ October 28, 2003, 09:08 PM: Message edited by: Ugly Bastard ]
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Old 10-28-2003, 11:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yep, I liked it. Do more.
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Old 10-29-2003, 12:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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True and relevant.

Thing is, I was back in Warsaw, IN this very weekend, and I already noticed a change between me and two friends that I hung out with over my break. It was....different. I didn't feel like it was the same as it was back in highschool....and I've only been out of it for around 5 months.

It's weird to think of it, but it's natural. You just don't keep the same friends you had in highschool, or grew up with.

I mean, look at who your friends were in highschool, and it's not even close to your elementary days.

Like I said. It's natural. People grow apart. It's actually something that's necessary in life. It's a maturing process.

Life is strange.
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Old 10-29-2003, 12:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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*Claps

Beautiful. Just beautiful.
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Old 10-29-2003, 12:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That was a masterpiece.

LEGALIZE CRIME!
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Old 10-29-2003, 02:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Threads like this are the best on Nubblies. Thanks for sharing this with us, UB.
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Old 10-29-2003, 03:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The Cockstarr was amused by the story but is awaiting the coition.
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Old 10-29-2003, 12:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ugly Bastard:
"Has your chute ever not opened," Justin asks. No you stupid fuck, would I be sitting here if that was the case?
-Ugly Bastard
I laughed for a good 5 minutes on that line...only to proceed in crying over Chuck's post. I will never lose my friends from high school! Ok I will and already have. Oh well.

neither here nor there...
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Old 10-29-2003, 02:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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About three weeks ago I was in Lafayette for the weekend for a show. When I didn't have anything to do one night, I decieded to go to a party at a friend's house I was invited to. Anyways, I get there, and it's all warsaw people. The people I was with are Juniors in college, and they're still hanging out with the exact same people they did in high school.
Now, thats not always bad, but I only found one person (out of 30-40) who did not previously attend WCHS. And they were doing the exact same thing they did in high school; sit around and get drunk and start fights.
Needless to stay, I didn't stay very long, but it was a reminder that, sadly, some people will just never grow out of the high school mindframe.
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Old 10-29-2003, 10:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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UB, brilliant and golden, I loved it.

Kind of on the same subject, but not quite worthy of another thread. For the past few years, I've had a sort of "best friend", he's a really cool guy and such. However, as of around the end of my sophomore, going into this school year, we've barely hung out at all. You see, he's kind of straightedge, and I've been what in his terms would be considered "slipping downhill". So in short, my best friend is turning into one of the familiar memories of a past friend, a lot like the people in UB's masterful post. Anywho, have any of you ever had that happen? Where you and a best friend kind of fade out to reasons not pertaining to college and such? It's akward, but I'm not sorry about it.

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Old 10-29-2003, 11:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This has happened to me many times. I have friends from elementary school that I didn't go to middle school with that have not changed at all and I have nothing in common with anymore. That stuff just happens I guess, and theres nothing you can really do about it.
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Old 10-31-2003, 06:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Like I said, it's natural. If you haven't lost friends, or you still hang out with people that you knew in elementary school regularly, you're not normal.
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