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Saturday, July 09, 2005

Torn

A side-effect of having a myriad of interests, as I do, is that I inculcate myself in a variety of social groups. In which I frequently and quickly develop good friends.

 

As a result of that, I have a lot of friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a very lucky fella to have so many people in my life that care for me. I really am. Despite the loneliness I sometimes experience, I’m never really more than a phone-call away from someone to talk to or hang out with.

 

However, this gives rise to another problem.

 

I might be a big guy but there’s only so much of me to go around. I wish I could devote equal time to all my friends, and my family, and my responsibilities, and to myself… but it’s just not possible. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

 

So there’s always someone who gets the shaft. Someone who really wants me around, but I have to turn them down because I have other people to see and places to be.

 

Ironically, it’s usually the people closest to me that get the shaft more often. This is a habit that contributed significantly to the demise of my relationship with the Ex.

 

Once someone becomes really close to me, I tend to think of them as an extension of myself – a part of my identity. And when I make personal sacrifices in order to fulfil my various obligations, I tend to make sacrifices on their behalf as well.

 

I suppose it’s quite selfish, and possibly even a manifestation of my low self-esteem. I assume that people don’t really want me around, and they only invite me to social gatherings out of courtesy. So if I decline the invitation, it’s no skin off their nose, just one less person they have to cater for.

 

HippyClimbGirl has to put up with this all the time. She frequently organizes get-togethers for her friends. I always make an effort to go, but I often have to arrive late or leave early so that I can make a partial appearance at another gathering elsewhere. Sometimes she gets quite angry with me about it – understandably so.

 

I know the logical solution to this problem is to prioritize: decide which social gatherings are more important than others. But I can’t do that. I can’t decide which friends I must choose over others. It’s not fair to have to make that choice.

 

I have a rough guide as to what type of event is more important than another – like weddings and funerals are the most important, followed by milestone birthdays, then regular birthdays and so on. But even that doesn’t assuage the guilt. And what if two of my friends have regular birthdays on the same day? Which one do I visit?

 

I hate it. Any suggestions?