I don’t remember why I had the day free. I don’t remember if it was a weekend, a holiday, or just a day off of work. I don’t remember how it all came together.
What I remember is meeting with my friends Jeff and J-Co at a place with wings. I remember that I didn’t like the boneless wings that I got, because they were awfully dry.
I remember going from there to Jeff’s house, where we played video games for a couple hours — either one of the Guitar Hero or Rock Band games, and then a game that was something like Mortal Kombat vs DC. I had no idea what I was doing in the second game, but still managed to eventually score some hits. In the first game, I got overconfident and royally screwed up by taking the hardest level on guitar for the Foo Fighters’ Monkey Wrench. I remember that part.
I don’t remember how the get-together ended. One or more of us had responsibilities, and we went back to real life.
So how can I say that this was a great day that I “remember”?
Because that’s how my memory seems to work. I don’t always remember the details. I remember the feelings. And this was a rare day for me because of the feelings, which is why I remember so much.
I felt fully, completely accepted by a group of guys. (Admittedly, a very small group.) I was not anxious at all, which is pretty unusual for me.
I’m frequently anxious even around my best friends. Some of you reading this are those I count among my best friends, and you may or may not be surprised to learn that you probably make me anxious. I don’t blame you, and I usually handle it okay. Other times I get less Strange and more weird.
But that day, I felt as I imagine most people do when they’re with their friends — calm and happy just to share time together. When I sucked at a video game, it didn’t matter. When I screwed up on Monkey Wrench, it didn’t matter. I didn’t feel pressure to get the fighting moves right, to get the tricky riffs right, to get conversation right, to get life right. I didn’t feel like I had to either impress anyone, or hide parts of my personality that make other people uncomfortable. I could just be.
Those days are few and far between for me.
I have a lot of days where I’m pretty sure that most of my friends think of me more as an acquaintance — someone they might notice was gone, but probably wouldn’t miss. I often feel that I unintentionally alienate people (possibly with too much honesty, or just being too weird and, well, Strange). I have had lots of get-togethers that I’ve planned that have been poorly attended. (I’ve ended up having a great time at most of them, and I’m not depressed about it, but it does make me wonder about just how real these friendships are.)
I’m not writing this to mope, or to say woe is me. I’m comfortable with who I am, and I’m confident that when it counts, I have friends — and probably more than I really think I have. I’m not depressed, I’m not even down.
I’m just saying that we all need to have the occasional great day like this — not just days where we can look back at events that were great, but at relationships that were great. After all, great events that are unshared due to lack of relationships don’t make for great days. Great relationships that never have a great event?