Is It Possible to Have Too Many Friends?
My phone is ringing. Again. And again. And again. At 4 a.m. my ex calls, just to shoot the breeze. I have to get up for work in three hours! The six missed calls earlier were not one, not two or three, but four different friends calling to find out what I was doing that evening and if I wanted to go out for drinks.
This is not a weekend.
This is a Wednesday night.
It seems the time has come to prune some extraneous leaves on the branches of my social tree. My phonebook now includes some names to which I cannot even match the slightest hint of a face.
I have now reached the stage where I can answer the question, “So what are you up to tonight?” with, “Oh nothing,” and invariably end up somewhere loud at three in the morning stumbling into a dirty bathroom and incessantly repeating the line that never fails to impress: “I have work in the morning! I can’t believe that I am out doing this!”
Someone always calls at the last minute with something just a little too exciting for me to pass up and stay responsibly home on the couch. It’s rarely the same person two nights in a row.
I don’t even have time for myself anymore. My yoga DVD’s are gathering dust in front of the TV. My library books are a week overdue because I refuse to return then until I’ve finished reading them, but I just can’t seem to find a corner in my schedule to curl up with one. I’m too busy tossing clothes out of my closet getting ready to go to someone else’s birthday party.
My little black book is more like a little black binder by now.
The dishes are piling up in the sink. The clothes are piling up on the floor. My list of things to do is piling up in my mind.
It’s not that I don’t love to go out. I do. It’s not that I don’t love seeing these people. I do. The problem is that there are just too many people to see and so little time in which to see them. I don’t even think this is healthy anymore.
At which point do we just have too many friends? Acquaintances? What are we even calling them these days? You’d think with all the little booklets by Hallmark we’d know what a friend is by now.
And how to decide which “friends” to hang out with and which ones to let go of? Is it even moral to choose between people like that?
The upshot of all this is that if I ever need anything, I’ll be able to make more than one phone call.