I realized earlier this week just how odd my social interactions have been this school year. During a discussion with some Thorn staff, it was brought to my attention that most of them probably wouldn’t consider the amount of social interaction I have to be sufficient. And I’m not sure I do, either, once I think about it.
Classes aren’t places to be social, in my opinion. I don’t chitchat or goof off there comfortably at all.
I don’t mesh well with many of the girls on the floor, and those that I do get along with are usually only in one particular area, like music interests, or academics. Not the entirety of me or them.
I’m alienated from NSBE members by culture–I’m too “white” to them to be able to comfortably interact with them. They laugh at my geekiness, at my music tastes, at the way I dress, what I do in my free time, who I choose to hang around with. Not acceptable. We’re friendly, but nothing more than favorable acquaintances.
So there’s the Thorn. On one level, I understand that most of the guys on staff would never have said much more than “hello” to me if not for the service I provide to the paper. (Hell, I’m still continually surprised when any of them acknowledge my existence outside of the office.) I take advantage of that, as Bob frequently finds himself on the receiving end of my rants (I listen to his, too, though), as does Luke, occasionally, though with less patience. I don’t know that I feel comfortable calling them friends (with the exception of Bob), because, well… we don’t hang out outside of the office. I know that to some of them, I’m there to provide a service (three pages a week), and while they’ll keep me supplied in friendly banter, tickles, and chitchat to keep my interest, anything more than that is not worth their trouble.
Yet they are pretty much the extent of my social life. I work and surf and chillax in the Thorn office, and then when someone comes in, we chat, shoot the shit, maybe talk about something serious or let one another vent, then they leave. If I hang out with anyone on the weekends, it’s Nikolai, and we frequently seem to “miss” in conversation–he talks about anime and kung fu movies, and I’m a listening black hole; I talk about people that annoy me, the Thorn, or things I’m reading, and he’s the black hole.
Maybe it’s just me being ready to return to Charlotte for a little while, but I’m feeling the lack of casual, yet serious, friendships. Folks I could go see a movie with, or grab dinner with, or just hang with without me having to wonder if I’m crossing some imaginary line of their tolerance.
Three quarters of this, and I’m ready for a break.