Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » My First Landmark... Friends

   
Author Topic: My First Landmark... Friends
Katarain
Member
Member # 6659

 - posted      Profile for Katarain   Email Katarain         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My Friends
(*Names changed to protect the paranoid.)

When I was somewhere between 10 and 12 years old, I remember lurking around the outside of the church one Sabbath afternoon. I was mad. I didn’t like Ellie at all. I don’t even remember why, but probably because she was friends with one of my friends. Most of it is hazy, but I remember the manicured garden under the window and the lined sidewalk. She was a despicable person, and I called Missy over to warn her NOT to be friends with Ellie. Missy did not pay nearly enough attention to my warning, being nice to Ellie anyway.

Not too long after that, Ellie and I were best friends. We both had hated each other, but somehow, we got past that and became the best of friends. Exactly how is a mystery.

When I was 13, though, I moved all the way down south. Ellie came to visit me once, but it was never quite the same.

My mom moved us down here so we could attend Adventist schools, including college. There were so many church schools to choose from, but being that since 3rd grade I had been attending 1 and 2 room church schools, we chose the BIG church school to get me ready for the big academy. This school was as big as any public school. I soon learned that there were two 8 grade classrooms: one for the popular kids and one for the other go-your-own-way kids. I was placed in the popular classroom. One of the most popular girls there was the daughter of the teacher. I have always believed that I was placed in the popular room on the off chance that I was cool. If that was their intention, I’m sure they were sorely disappointed. Cut off from the non-popular, yet actually cool, kids, the two other new girls, Hannah and Angela, and I formed a quick friendship. It lasted until the end of the year, when both girls went to boarding academies far away or moved.

Our friendship was more one of desperation, clinging together as the unpopular different girls. It was not to last, and it didn’t save us from the poor treatment of the other kids in class. I remember climbing into my mom’s van at the end of the day in tears over whatever had happened that day. My mom remembers this better than I do. Maybe I blocked it out. But the popular girls tormented me—either with words or by ignoring me. Probably a little bit of both. All I know is that it was the year from hell, and if something didn’t change, I would have 4 years of high school with the same group of students making my life hell some more.

One afternoon at the end of the year, I was walking that long, lonely hallway when I ran into one of the girls from the fun classroom. She and I had talked a few times in our Social Studies class, so we quickly exchanged phone numbers for the following summer. Her name was Kristine, and we became friends. Right at that moment in the hall, my year of ostracism was over. I had broken into a circle.

Michelle was Kristine’s best friend, and she hated me. I hated her, too, as we fought for Kristine’s best friend position. Kristine confided to me that Michelle never really was her best friend, and that the position was mine. Michelle and I both soon learned, however, that while Kristine would remain our friend even to this day—her best friend position changed occupants frequently. In our mutual hate of each other, and then our mutual frustration over the situation, we began hanging out more and more. Once again, I had become best friends with someone I had previously hated. Michelle and I are best friends to this day.

In high school, we had a core of members in our little circle of friends that was unchanging. There was another core that mingled with us periodically. (Picture a Venn diagram.) We were an open clique, though. Membership was open to all, and we meant it. We were the welcoming committee for students new to our school. They would hang with us for a few weeks or months until they found a place of their own and moved on. We were okay with that. It didn’t make us feel bad, because we had each other. And we kept those friendships with the new students, even if they didn’t hang out with us much anymore.

One day, our class was divided cheering for different candidates for one of the class officer positions. I was cheering my heart out for one girl with the rest of the people on my side: Tara! Tara! Tara! While on the other side, there were cheers for her opponent. Jenny, the girl responsible for most of the tormenting my 8th grade year was on the other side. She caught my eye as I yelled for Tara, and gave me the most shocked look. It occurred to me then that she was shocked that I would stand against the popular kids. That I would dare oppose her. I gave her a defiant look—although puzzled—and continued cheering. It baffled me that she thought I would actually support her and her chosen candidate. Didn’t she remember making my life miserable? (At that time, what had happened in 8th grade had not yet faded in my memory. I definitely remembered.)

In college, I made no more lasting friends. I lived off-campus and attended classes, going to as few functions as I could. Many of my high school friends went their own ways, but I still had my best friend, although I had to learn to share as she lived in the dorm and made new friends of her own. I would talk to people in classes occasionally, but nothing moved out of the classroom and into the world. During my senior year, I went to a study group with a girl from one of my classes. It made me sad, though, that we were so close to graduation. She and I could have been friends. I felt that I had finally learned to make new friends.

When I began teaching, the teacher with the classroom next to mine was new as well. Then I found out that she also lived in the same apartment complex as me. We were friends for over two years, until she got a job about 40 minutes away. I’m not sure why we aren’t friends anymore—I suspect we were neighbors more than friends. I don’t know how, but I probably offended her in some way, or she simply couldn’t cope with the fact that I up and married quickly.

During my last years in high school and throughout college, I was a bit of a geek. I would spend hours on the computer. This, I’m sure, had a lot to do with my lack at new friend making. I was popular at the online hangouts that I frequented. Everyone knew my name and I could call many of them friends. I enjoyed being popular, finally, in at least one area of my life. Most of the people, though, were college students too, and as we grew up, we moved on. Many of us still visit sometimes, but it’s not the same. We’re still friends, those of us who occasionally make an appearance. We keep updated on each others lives and muse about how so much has changed.

Now that I’m married, the love part of my life is fulfilled. Where we live, though, is over 2 hours away from my last remaining close female friend, Michelle. Others are still friends, like Kristine, but she’s moved even farther away now. I miss the fellowship of women. I envy the friendships here. The way you all talk about getting together, and sharing stories of your kids, and just everything. If it weren’t for the major differences in beliefs, I’d be tempted to join the LDS church just so I could be guaranteed the fellowship of good people.

Now to comment on my experience at Hatrack: it really has become an addiction to come here. I love reading the threads and the interactions between people. I enjoy adding my own comments, and feel as though I am successful when I earn a reply to my thoughts. I like knowing that if I have an off-the-wall question, I can most likely get a great answer from the people here. There’s no other forum like this one, in my opinion. It makes me sad, though, that in all my time here, I really have not made any mark. If I leave tomorrow, no one would particularly miss me or ask where I went. It makes me wonder what it is about me that makes me so forgettable. Is it because I’m not “real?” Is it because I don’t flirt and tease in the fluff threads? Is it because I don’t email outside of the board? To answer my own questions…I think it’s all of those things. But mostly, I think it’s because I’m guarded about my personal life. I can’t really explain it, but it’s just the way it is for me right now. So, I’m not looking for sympathy and reassurances--this isn’t intended to be a cloying desperate act for love and attention. [Smile] It’s just relevant to my topic…

Anyway, this is my landmark. I don’t think it’s particularly interesting, but time ran out as I used up all of my posts to 1000. I hope you at least got some insight or slight entertainment. (Maybe I should have thrown in a funny story or two.)

-Katarain

Posts: 2880 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Storm Saxon
Member
Member # 3101

 - posted      Profile for Storm Saxon           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I hope Hatrack can be the place where you'll always have a friend.

Thanks for the landmark. [Smile]

Posts: 13123 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Farmgirl
Member
Member # 5567

 - posted      Profile for Farmgirl   Email Farmgirl         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
((Katarain))) hugs!

I love your landmark! (you describe those junior high painful years so very well!)

I'll be here as your friend if you ever need one.

Farmgirl

Posts: 9523 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kayla
Member
Member # 2403

 - posted      Profile for Kayla           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Holy crap, you're a woman? [Eek!]
Posts: 9871 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I had some similar experiences growing up, Kata. [Smile]

And I would miss you if you left Hatrack! (I confess that it might take me a week or two to be sure you had left, but that's because I'm never sure when someone is merely "having a life" -- I hear those are nice. [Wink] )

Congrats on 1000!

Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
beverly
Member
Member # 6246

 - posted      Profile for beverly   Email beverly         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Katarin, I have been very much aware of you. You are someone who's posts I find thoughtful, and I quite often find myself agreeing with. Over and over I've thought, "That Katarin is one cool cookie."

I understand your frustrations about making a mark here. The funny thing about Hatrack is that even some of the most prolific posters will come and go and many people will not post notice that they've been away or particularly "pounce" recognition on them when they return. (Of course, we notice when it happens to others.)

That doesn't mean they aren't noticed. Often there just is so much that we *don't* tell each other. For instance, I am only just now telling you that I think you are really cool. I've thought it for a long time now, but I am only just now saying it. How many others may feel the same way? No way to know unless we say it, I guess. [Smile]

Even in the so called "popularity threads", while a lot of things are said, there is still so much more that goes unsaid. And somehow we think that if we aren't mentioned much or at all, it means we aren't noticed by others. It makes us more aware of not being mentioned.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. I've had a hard time making strong friendships in my life, in part because I'm such an introvert. I don't know what "scares" me about getting close to people, but I have a hard time being a consistent friend to others, even when I like them very much. I'm glad you've had some good friendships in your life, and I hope that you can find some precious ones yet who live near you and you can enjoy for years to come. Dang, I wish I had more of that myself. *sniff*

Posts: 7050 | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Synesthesia
Member
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I find your Adventism to be extremely interesting, being a former Adventist...
For example, did you go to Oakwood? That's wher emy parents met...


I find it hard to make new friends, but, once I get solid friends I am extremely loyal to them...

Posts: 9879 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
But mostly, I think it’s because I’m guarded about my personal life.
I'm sure that's a huge part of it. Another part of it -- for me, at least -- is that you're one of those Hatrackers who feel to me like you're sitting over a giant well of pain, that there's this enormous emotional scab you're someday going to rip off to expose some festering wound (and, hopefully, expel any infection.)

I could be wrong -- I'm often wrong about this sort of thing -- but it makes me tread more gingerly around you. There are simply some people on this site that I won't poke or tease or otherwise "play" with for fear of breaking them in some way, and you're one of them.

But, then, it's possible that I get this vibe from you only because you're really guarded about your personal life, so YMMV. It doesn't mean that I don't like you and enjoy what you have to say, but it does mean that I don't trust myself around you.

Posts: 36770 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Elizabeth
Member
Member # 5218

 - posted      Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Katarain, I have been very aware of you as well.

Hang in there, and keep on sharing. Some people break into a scene quickly, and find their comfortable niche. For others, it is more of a struggle.

Posts: 10890 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Katarain
Member
Member # 6659

 - posted      Profile for Katarain   Email Katarain         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow. Thanks for all the kind replies.
Storm Saxon: Me too. I like it here. [Smile]

Farmgirl: *grin* Thanks. Even though I don't remember them very well? [Wink] Blacking out painful memories, maybe? Heh... I really don't think I did that. I just have a bad memory. I would be honored to have you as a friend.

Kayla: Yup. All my life, in fact. Is Katarain really all that masculine of a name? It's a variant of Katarina, which is so often taken online.

rivka: Really? Cool! [Smile] Good to hear it. And having a life is overrated.

Beverly: Woo. I'm a cool cookie. Thanks! [Smile] I'm pretty much an introvert, too. Well, around people I don't know very well, anyway. Otherwise, I'm an extrovert. And if there is a mix of people I do and do not know, I tend to be more extroverted because of the people I AM comfortable around. I can be loud and noisy and obnoxious... which isn't really something I'm proud of. I have this habit of acting so silly you could mistake me for drunk, even though I don't drink. I have a few embarrassing memories just from acting stupid around people. Okay... looks like I'm ranting, too. But in a good way... Yeah...

Anyway, I try not to take it personally that I'm not mentioned in the popularity threads. I tend to think about it this way... Well, I didn't mention anybody else either, did I?? So, there's no room to complain.

But yes, I've been extremely lucky that most of the friends I have made have been good ones. Good friends like that are precious and rare.

Synesthesia: Nope, I went to Southern Adventist University. In Tennessee. Oakwood was kind of our sister school, though. I haven't been to church in entirely too long. Long enough that a huge to-do would be made if I showed up again (it's a small church). It makes me really reluctant to go again. There had been way too much drama and fighting there, and I'm not ready to go back. Yet. Any particular reason you don't consider yourself Adventist anymore? Were you raised in it? Are you parents still in the church? My brother left, too.

TomDavidson: Thanks for your honesty. I think you're at least partly right about me. There are painful things that I don't talk about, either because I don't want to or am honor bound not to. I think that comes through a lot of times as despair and pain. I can be awfully angsty sometimes. But I have good times, too, and I'm not as fragile as I may seem. In any case, I enjoy reading your posts. There is little chance that I would have a breakdown because of Hatrack--although there is always that chance in real life. So don't worry. And um.. what does YMMV mean?

Elizabeth: Thanks. I'll try to do that, hang in and keep sharing. I think it's worth it. [Smile]

-Katarain

Edit: I had to go through and remove smilies! I was over the limit. But now I only have 5. Go figure...

Posts: 2880 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brinestone
Member
Member # 5755

 - posted      Profile for Brinestone   Email Brinestone         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Katarain, your stories of friends sound so remarkably like mine that it hurt to read about. I too find that I often come across as "unremarkable." I don't have a lot of enemies, but then, I don't make a lot of friends either.

Any time you want to talk and I'm on AIM, you can say hello. My name's the same as this username. Mind you, I'm not on AIM a whole heckuva lot.

Posts: 1900 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Katarain
Member
Member # 6659

 - posted      Profile for Katarain   Email Katarain         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Brinestone: I left out some of the stories... like the friend that the group of us had all throughout high school. We were friends for 8 years. The kind of friends where even our families were friends. Picnics together, going out to movies... he even helped to paint our living room until 3 in the morning. Then, a girl who was in that other circle of friends (remember the Venn Diagram?) started to have some family problems, so my mom let her move into our extra room. (We were in college by this time.) She got a job at the same plant as Jason, and they began to hang out a lot. Then Jason and I started having fights that were carried between us by her. Finally, we sat down and talked it out, and became tenative friends again. What was really strange was how he said that he had made it clear to both her and me that he wasn't interested in either of us. That completely floored me. You see, we were friends, nothing more, and I didn't want to be anything more. I guess he thought it was a jealousy thing, when really it was trouble that she stirred up for some reason. Anyway, he and I took a trip to England (again, completely platonic. It was supposed to be him, me, and Michelle, but she couldn't make it.). We had some rough times over there (both our faults, and this time not the fault of that girl.). Anyway, we haven't spoken since... his mother even stopped talking to my mom. We still don't know why. I didn't think our disagreements in England were enough to end the friendship, but he did.

I've since realized that he cut his ties with most of his former high school friends, with the exception of that one girl. Turns out that he is gay, and I guess he felt like we wouldn't have accepted him. I remember in high school people would make fun of him, thinking he was gay, and I always stood up for him and defended him. I didn't think it was true at the time, but over the years, I did suspect, I'll admit. Anyway.. I like to think I would have accepted him, and I even said so to him in "vague" terms while we were still in friends. But, I guess it wasn't enough... I suppose I probably said something like even though I don't believe it's right, I would still be a friend... which I guess isn't the most comforting thing to say. I didn't realize it at the time.

Anyway... that's all in the past now... I kinda went on for a while there, didn't I? [Smile]

-Katarain

Edit: Incidently, that girl who moved in turned out to be a major liar in other ways... basically an untrustworthy troublemaker... And she actually made a joke to me once about Jason's sexual preferences that was mean and in poor taste.. Yet SHE is the one he chooses to still be friends with. Well, whatever...

Posts: 2880 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Synesthesia
Member
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There are several complex reasons why I am not Seventh Day Adventist anymore even though most of my family is (Except for my uncle, who is Catholic, which my grandmother was not pleased with.)
The short reason is I stopped believing, or perhaps SDA felt too tight and restrictive like an old snake skin.

Posts: 9879 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Katarain
Member
Member # 6659

 - posted      Profile for Katarain   Email Katarain         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I hope you didn't mind me asking..

I feel that a lot of us who grew up in the church never really have that personal relationship with Christ that we're told about. It's very basic, and we're taught to believe in doctrines... I don't really see a way around that, but eventually, our religion needs to become real and relevant to us as adults. For some people, that never happens...and their childhood religion lacks something for them. What I had to realize that now that I'm an adult, I have to pursue it all on my own for my own reasons and not because it's what I was taught.

Does that make sense? That's how I feel about it...

-Katarain

Posts: 2880 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Narnia
Member
Member # 1071

 - posted      Profile for Narnia   Email Narnia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Kata, thanks for this landmark. I've noticed you, especially because I have to make sure not to call you "Kat" like I'm tempted to do. [Smile]

I understand what you mean when you say "no one would notice if I left." I know what you said is not a plea for attention, and I feel the same way about my presence here. I've met people in person and enjoyed some great Hatrack company, but I'm not enmeshed in the rest of the culture (like AIM for instance.) It's not that people don't like you or me, it's just that we're involved in this community in a different way.

I'm fascinated by what Tom said and your response. I've never thought of that, and I give him credit for being so perceptive. When I think of some other folks I know here on the board, I have similar feelings that Tom described...that the person I see is just the tip of the iceberg. I think that's the case for all of us, but more evident in those who seem to have had a difficult past.

Anyway, after all of this rambling, thanks for being here. [Smile] You do add to the community the circle of friends.

Posts: 6414 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Katarain
Member
Member # 6659

 - posted      Profile for Katarain   Email Katarain         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Narnia: Thanks for explaining how it is so well! Now that I've read it, I completely agree. (I'm referring to your second paragraph about how we're involved in a different way.) That really is how it is.

I've had a few difficult years...but overall I think I have been fortunate in my life. It's just the bad times can really overshadow everything else.

Thanks for your response. I'm glad I wrote this landmark... I feel like I have a nice list of people to watch out for and befriend. [Smile]

-Katarain

Posts: 2880 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Synesthesia
Member
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Doctrine tends to frustrate me, especially if things are a bit illogical.
I feel like even without religion I am extremely hyper moral, not liking to lie, doing the right thing >.<
Giving someone my last 8 dollars that I needed and there's no real food in the house >.....<

Posts: 9879 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'm pretty much an introvert, too. Well, around people I don't know very well, anyway. Otherwise, I'm an extrovert. And if there is a mix of people I do and do not know, I tend to be more extroverted because of the people I AM comfortable around. I can be loud and noisy and obnoxious... which isn't really something I'm proud of. I have this habit of acting so silly you could mistake me for drunk, even though I don't drink. I have a few embarrassing memories just from acting stupid around people.
That is me, to a T. You're starting to scare me here . . . [Wink]
Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Annie
Member
Member # 295

 - posted      Profile for Annie   Email Annie         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I appreciate you, Kata, and I noticed your wit right away. Thanks for sharing with us, and though I won't be around for much longer, I hope you can find a niche here and I can still see you when I get back in a year and a half. [Smile]
Posts: 8503 | Registered: Aug 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Chris Kidd
Member
Member # 2646

 - posted      Profile for Chris Kidd   Email Chris Kidd         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Katarain
Im also extremly introverted when im around people i don't know. when i get to know people better i start opening up more. i'll just add one thing the less sleep i get a lot more silly.

Posts: 511 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Katarain
Member
Member # 6659

 - posted      Profile for Katarain   Email Katarain         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Annie: I hope you have a good time on your mission, and that your work causes you and others to come closer to Christ. I'm sure I'll still be around when you get back. [Smile]

rivka and Chris Kidd: Yeah, I think being introverted when around those we don't know, and extroverted when around those we do know is not really all that uncommon. There are lots of people who would identify with it... I think... [Smile] And YES, when I am overtired I get downright absurd. [Smile]

-Katarain

Posts: 2880 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
beverly
Member
Member # 6246

 - posted      Profile for beverly   Email beverly         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Katarin, I'm glad I checked this thread again. I have further been intrigued by the things you have said here, the responses to people. I feel like I can relate to a lot of the things you say.

That was an interesting, and sad, story about your guy friend. It is hard to lose a friendship, and it is hard to not know why a person you cared about turned away. You and he may not be able to reclaim that friendship (sometimes the "window" just isn't open anymore) but perhaps someday you can talk over the things that happened and at least come to an understanding. I have recently had a similar experience, and it has been very interesting.

Posts: 7050 | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2