Why Can’t We Be Friends?

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Friendships, especially lady friendships, have been on my mind a lot lately, partly in thanks to the Guide to Friendship that Trin posted last week. It’s gotten me thinking about how few lady friendships I have, and how many more that I wish I had, and it’s occurred to me that what I have more than friendships are friend crushes.

A friend crush, as defined by me, is when there is a person in your life that you would really like to be friends with. It’s kind of like a romantic crush, only, you know… you just like them. Not like like them (I think).

Let me give you an example.

k-on cake

You like cake? I like cake too! We could totally eat cake together!

Today I had a consultation with an endodontist to see if one of my teeth needs a root canal (verdict: not really, but I can get one if I want one). When the doctor finally came in the room and introduced herself, I liked her immediately. She’s my age, she’s friendly, and we had some great conversation about my various medical conditions (her cousin also has narcolepsy! she also has thyroid problems!). She even thanked me for teaching her something, when I explained why I took a certain medication for a condition that is, in fact, not diabetes, even though doctors always assume I have diabetes when I tell them I take that drug.

Throughout the rest of the consultation, she was informative and helpful. We made jokes, we discussed things in depth, and we giggled with glee at our mutual nerdiness. Our connection was so profound, in fact, that eventually I actually began to feel a bit self conscious. You know, the way you do around a crush, when you want them to like you.

Perhaps this was where I went wrong; allowing myself to feel self conscious. I thought to myself, “We can’t be friends. She’s my doctor.” But then I kept wondering why not. Is there some rule that says a doctor can’t be friends with her patient? I don’t know anymore!

So now here I am with yet another friend crush.

This might be a slightly different situation than most, though, because there is at least a somewhat tangible barrier between us. Most of my other friend crushes are much more nebulous, but they all seem to have several similar characteristics.

  • She and I are at least acquaintances. We know (or at least know of) each other and interact with each other occasionally.
  • She and I have similar circles. We know and interact with a lot of the same people.
  • She and I have many things in common. We like the same things and like to talk about those things. We do the same activities! We both love cats! We play the same video games, and we like the same characters from the same animes, and we read the same books!
  • She and I seem to think along the same lines. Maybe not for everything, but for enough things. We would totally get along. Look how we’re geeking out about the same things and mirroring one another’s thoughts!
  • For whatever reason, she does not seem to think I am as interesting as I find her. Oh, she’ll respond if I engage her, but she never seeks me out or engages me first or responds to things that I say/post/do. She may even make plans to engage me in the future, but never follows through.
  • She keeps me at a distance. This is similar to the previous bullet, but whatever, I’m also putting it here because I think it’s important to note.

What I don’t understand is why.

Why?

Why can’t we be friends?

I promise I'm not pushy and bossy like Haruhi!

I promise I’m not pushy like Haruhi!

Am I too enthusiastic? I really don’t think so. I’ve never been the pushy sort, and I certainly don’t ever want to try to make someone do something they don’t want to do. I don’t think that I — at least I sure as hell hope I don’t — come across as needy or like “hey hey let’s be friends omg I really like you, come on, be my friend!”

So, then… Am I too standoffish? Maybe I don’t seem interested enough in being their friend, and so like me (after all, we’re so similar), they don’t want to push me into friendship, so they keep their distance. Perhaps?

Or perhaps… I’m just not that interesting? Maybe they don’t have time for more friends? Maybe I smell bad? Maybe they’re put off by my excessive use of parenthetical statements? Maybe I’m just awkward and write things like this?

I don’t know. I don’t know! But I promise I’m not a creeper. I just want to be friends. I just want to interact with people with whom I have things in common.

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I’m Suspicious About Everything (Or How Appearances Impact Perception)

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So basically, here’s the deal.

My cat has a weird, squishy lump on her leg that appeared last week (as far as I know). I decided I wanted to take her to the vet, at the very least to ease my mind about it. I didn’t want to go to the vet I’ve used in the past because she is expensive and always tries to talk me into a bunch of extra things.

I asked a co-worker (who had a pet-sitting business in my area for the past 5 years) what vets she would recommend. She gave me the name of a great one that was close to my home. So I made an appointment and took the cat in on Wednesday.

When the doctor came in the exam room, I was surprised to see that he was about my age (youngest vet I ever met) and didn’t appear especially “doctor-like”. He was dressed pretty casually (Chucks, t-shirt, etc.) under his white lab coat. Whatever, we got along well, he was nice, etc.

cat in a box

the cat in question

He felt the cat-lump and explained things like:

  • It’s near where a lumph node would be
  • But usually inflamed lymph nodes are hard, and this is squishy
  • Which means it seems more like just a “fatty benign tumor,” called a lypoma, and if that is the case,
  • It shouldn’t bother her unless it gets any larger
  • And if it does, we should remove it before it becomes a problem
  • Since it’s on my cat’s *only* back leg.

Cool. He said something like “Let’s stick a needle in there and draw some stuff out of it, and I’ll look at it under a microscope, just so we can be sure it’s just fat and there’s nothing else in there that could be dangerous.” Okay. (Yes, he spoke very casually, not all stiff and doctor-like.)

And here’s where things start to get… confusing…

A few minutes later he came back with the needle and an assistant and within moments, he was finished and (amazingly) the cat didn’t even flinch when the needle went in. He set his microscope slide on the exam table and squeezed the contents of the syringe onto the slide.

Then, I’m pretty sure he did it again, as if he didn’t get everything out of the syringe the first time. And I was looking at the slide and I just… didn’t see anything on it. I thought perhaps that the contents were just too small or transparent for me to see, or perhaps I was just standing too far away or my eyesight was failing me (which has been kind of a problem lately; I think I need new glasses). But still.

There was also a second slide, which I expected him to place on top of the first one to preserve the stuff on it or whatever, but he didn’t. And he proceeded to stand there for a moment or two more and talk about how he was going to look at it under the microscope, etc. before he finally left to go DO that stuff.

He and the assistant left the room, and we waited. A while later he came back and announced “It’s a lypoma!”

Then he thanked me, shook my hand, asked me how to pronounce my last name, and we parted ways.

OKAY, so…

Anyone else find the whole needle-and-slide thing a bit… odd? Or am I being suspicious for nothing?