I have a few things I want to write about and even though they’re all basically unrelated, I’m going to put them in one post. I’ll try to find some nice way to arrange them. Oh, chronologically!
*Warning* This post is pretty long. Proceed with caution. *Warning*
Monday Night: My Monday night was spent watching football with a friend but before that happened, I had a mentorship-y meeting with another friend (I’m using the term friend loosely here because it takes longer to say friendly acquaintance or “someone who considers me a friend” or “someone who is close to being a friend”. A friend is someone I’d invite to my wedding or talk to after Princeton. I don’t really want to have that many friends). At the meeting, we were talking about our schedules for next semester (so we could pick a time to meet next semester) and I told her I wasn’t excited about meeting at breakfast. She asked if it was because I’m a lazy senior (paraphrase) I of course said no, I love waking up early, but I hate being constrained by food. She agreed that that is a weird Princeton thing that she doesn’t like either.
The thing that I’ve learned since being at Princeton is that when someone asks to “hang out” over a meal, it means that once the meal ends so does the hanging out. My roommate does this all the time. Even though we’ll get a meal together, she hates being in the dining hall and so she’ll leave once she’s done eating. Admittedly, I do this a lot too. If I look down at my plate and I’m done eating, it means we’re also done talking during that meal. But life is so much better when conversation is enjoyed with food, not the other way around.
I found this out last night, when I went to dinner with the director of PFA and my friend Luke. We had an awesome dinner that lasted two hours. After the first hour, my family would have left because everybody was done eating and we weren’t getting dessert. But Tim didn’t show any signs of getting up. He just kept talking. It was great. It wasn’t an awkward situation that sometimes happens where I feel the need to continually drink sips from my glass of water because I don’t know what to do with my hands. It was totally free and chill and refreshing. That’s one of the great things about Tim.
Another great thing about him is a relationship thing he shared that so resonated with me. He told us about his two closest friends in Christian Union, who are also his two closest friends ever, Mark and Scott. Scott is his best friend and he compared their relationship, especially their fighting, to that of a husband and wife. Sometimes, when he’s mad at Scott he just doesn’t want to talk to him or see him for a while. But when he gets angry with Mark, they get over it quickly and make up, like brothers. That sounds a lot like my experience with my two closest friends. And even though the second option sounds infinitely better than the first, I think they are equally good.
The sibling scenario blows over so quickly because there is less emotional investment. Your brother is always your brother whether he likes it or not. So the easiest way to fight is to have a huge explosion and then a sea of calm. But the husband-wife option is good too. That’s because in married couples, conflict, when done right, breeds intimacy. So even though he hates Scott right after he fights with him, he probably loves Scott more when they make up. That’s the difference I’ve been trying to pin down in my friendships so it was cool to hear Tim verbalize it.
Finally, my sister-friend did the thing that sister-friends do best and she pointed out my shortcomings. Not in a mean way and not in a purposeful way either, but still in an effective way. We were having a mini tiff (not even really a tiff, more like that thing that happens when one friend is bugging the other and the other is playfully not giving in to their demands) and she said something that I wish wasn’t so obvious but was totally true. And then I realized that I’m not as great at hiding my flaws as I thought I was. And that’s a good thing because I do want people to call me out when I’m being rude or mean or envious or insensitive or insincere. I need that.
Sorry for this ridiculously long post. I’ll put a disclaimer up top so no one starts reading expecting something short and sweet and then realizes it’s this crazy long post. I’m not even gonna proofread this thing. Hoep they’re arn’t ab unch of tipos.