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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Selfish Friendships

We enjoy entertaining others- isn't that weird? You'd think that with a trait like that, humanity would be constantly entertained. It's weird how much I wish I could get my family to play games. At least I had the chance to introduce Dena to comics. I gave her my collection of Fables by Bill Willingham. It's weird how much I enjoy knowing that she enjoyed it.

But you know what's even weirder than that? How much I love to bore other people with ideas about gamism. When I think about it, this seems to contradict the first point. I mean, I know I'm not entertaining them. And I don't care too much. Maybe we so desparately need to feel like we're giving others all we can, that the question of how it will be received is secondary. Eah, whatever, maybe I should just admit I don't get it and move on.

Now, what's not weird considering all this is that friendships seem to be completely selfish. I don't invite Eli over to play Gamecube because I think he wants to; I invite Eli over to play Gamecube because I like knowing that I've given him entertainment. I don't talk to people (when I do, which admittedly is rare) because they've expressed interest; I talk to people because I know I'll enjoy chattering.

The people who at one point or another I considered friends can easily be split into two categories: hyperactive people, and nonhyperactive people. Friendships with hyperactive people could conceivably go on forever, I think, if life didn't get in the way. Friendships with anyone else are short-lived. I'm not entirely sure why this is, but I have theories. When talking with a hyperactive person, he will be constantly jumping from one topic to another, which makes it more likely that eventually we'll reach an opening for me to start chattering. And then occasionally this person will fixate on a particular topic, because hyperactive people always have some particular quirks. Then I can enjoy the knowledge that I am offering him someone to chatter to.

Nonhyperactive people I don't want to have long-lasting friendships with. After a while, for whatever reason, I feel like I no longer have anything to gain from the friendship. So I abandon it. The end of such a friendship is filled with long, awkward pauses in which I try in vain to find an opening for chatter. I've been through around ten such friendships that I can remember off the top of my head. But I think I'm finally getting better at noticing when the friendship has run its course and abandoning it. See, a friendship that's over is really annoying when you don't realize it's over. So I've learned to not make any excuses or try to "fix" the relationships; when there's nothing more to say,



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