I’ve wanted to belong to a group of friends for as long as I could remember. I want to go on fun adventures and have sitcom kind of days with them. I want it to be like Seinfeld, but less Jewish and more substantial… kind of like Friends. I always imagined that we would take hikes in the woods and take picnics places. We would all want to see the same movie, and sometimes, we would split up and talk about personal issues. Occasionally, one of us would date the other, but it wouldn’t matter because we would all eventually end up in the same apartment, sharing cookies and watching the newest episode of Grey’s Anatomy on the DVR that I don’t have. It would be the life, and nothing would ever break us apart, at least until the series finale.
I first attempted this in middle school, which continued on through high school. I would try my damnedest to befriend the Sarahs. They were fun and active. Sometimes they would go over to each other’s houses and watch movies together. There were approximately six people in the group, and I had known a good chunk of them for most of my life. They were the perfect group. However, I don’t think I was ever subdivisiony enough for them. I always tried to fit in, but it didn’t seem to happen. I decided to give up after I didn’t make Yearbook my senior year, which they all were apart of. I will never forgive you Stephanie Crichton. You killed my Yearbook hopes and dreams.
Regardless, I am intrepid. I decided to continue on in college. Surely there would be a social circle that would want me. Surely I could fit in somewhere. This is the story of my journey to be accepted by an imaginary television cast: each with a made up name, each with a story.
The Smoker’s Circle
I would continue in my pursuits of one of the Sarahs. She and I went to the same college, and surely, with me being one of the only people she knew, we would finally become friends. Yeah, she pitied me in high school and made some jokes at my expense, but this was new territory. This was our spin off. We could be best friends forever! In the later years, Sarah had become edgy. She smoked cigarettes, just like her roommate. Soon, they adopted a few other smokers and would soon be privately deemed “the smoker’s circle.” In total, there were seven of us. I would sit there, inhaling tons of secondhand smoke, hoping for a chance to succeed socially. We would talk about everything, though none of it was nearly as interesting as I hoped. Sometimes, they would blow smoke in my eyes because it was funny. Was I kind of like a cat or the baby of really irresponsible parents? I suppose. However, I belonged. Soon, once boredom had set in, members of our group began getting kicked out. First it was Julia. Then Nick. Once we had reached a final five, I was next for eviction. Later, the Smoker’s Circle would all but break up with only Sarah and her roommate still in contact. I was friendless.
Ultimate fate: Failed.
Group members still in contact with: Nam.
Consolation prizes: An odd case of pink eye from smoke exposure.
Honestly, this was my favorite group. They were deemed “The We” before I had joined, though none of them like to revisit the unofficial title. None of The We smoked, which came as great news to my healing eye. They liked to go and eat together and play video games. They accepted me with open arms, and I couldn’t have been happier to join. One of my close friends joined soon after because she, too, had no other place to go. Her roommate was somewhat emotionally abusive, so we attempted to set her free. All was well with The We for the longest time, until I dated someone within the circle. I thought it was what I was supposed to do… just like Friends. Sadly, we were no Ross and Rachel. At the beginning of sophomore year, we all had began to feel the strain of a group divided. In the divorce, she got The We, and I got a very descriptive break up letter. Another perfect, yet forced, social group ripped from the grasps of a lonely boy. As of now, four of the five original We members are dating (not all together, this isn’t Sister Wives, you know). Eventually, my ex-girlfriend also left The We. Kind of like the final episode of Will and Grace, I eventually reunited with them and decided not to be exclusive. We’ll always have Super Dollar Magic Kingdom: the secret coke machine that we found that you could buy a Coke from and it would spit your dollar out ten minutes later. Consider it our “naked man in the window.” I’m still not sure because of the reconnection if I would still be a character, but if I had to say, I’m most likely the Lisa Kudrow.
Ultimate fate: semi-successful
Group members still in contact with: Surprisingly all of them.
Consolation prizes: a break up letter, a semester of isolation, and pudding.
After a handful of attempts at social inclusion, I came to the conclusion that maybe I’m not supposed to be part of a social circle. Maybe the world is my social circle. (How is that for optimism in the face of adversity?) I would make one final attempt at a social circle later on, which sadly went unnamed. I announced that none of us would be friends after the summer and that the show would eventually be cancelled. For the most part, I was right. Social circles are complicated and not nearly as fun as it seems to be in the movies. There’s a reason that there wasn’t a sequel to The Breakfast Club. In the mean time, I sometimes watch reruns of Friends and imagine what it would have been like if everything had worked out the way that I planned.
At the end of the day, I think there’s only one answer as to why inserting myself into a social circle never really worked out. I’m a maverick. Kind of like Sarah Palin or Bill O’ Reilly. Maybe I’m too edgy or independent. I’m the kind of girl that likes to put pixie sticks on her once pastrami sandwich. I like to crunch it down with Cheerios and eat it as loudly as I can in the library. After that, I like to walk across the football field, fist thrust high into the air and know that for that one day, I did my part. Or something like that.