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Recapping a friendship #2 - December 22, 2021

December 22, 2021 // 7:10 p.m. // Recapping a friendship #2

Subtitled: Crazy little thing called, 'I'm way too busy and am dating a jealous person.'

In early 2008, I had a really strong and unexpected friendship with a woman named Anna. She was Polish, silly and after what was an uncomfortable start for me, we settled into a groove where we both seemed to be comfortable. Our friendship hit during the peak of me using my LiveJournal, so a fair amount of my entries from that time frame were about her. The text below comes almost entirely unedited from a text document in a forgotten about folder.

The history:

Anna randomly sent me a message on MySpace on a Sunday evening in which I was sick in April 2008. In it, she ran down each of the items in my, 'about me' section and commented on how similar it was to her or how much she agreed with it. I replied, and for the rest of the evening, we exchanged messages back and forth. We exchanged numbers (or rather she asked for mine and then gave me hers) and greeted me with a text just after seven in the morning the next day asking if I felt better.

This should have been my first sign that there was a problem. I think I even said to myself, "that's a bit weird" when it happened. Later that day she remarked that she wanted to hang out with me. When I told her that we should try for the weekend (when I felt better and wasn’t busy), she surprised me by asking if I was busy the next day. I told her that I was, but she whined and I told her that if she could be at Liberty Park by 6:30 and didn’t mind meeting for just an hour, that I’d be happy to meet her there.

Keep in mind that 48 hours earlier I’d never heard of this girl, I’m still feeling sick, I’m losing my voice, I look awful because I’ve just cut my hair myself, and I’m a little annoyed at taking a trip this far out of my way. As for the meeting, it went quite well. She was a lot taller than I expected (nearly or at six feet) and she had a noticeable accent, which I don't remember expecting. We walked the perimeter of the park making small talk, and the conversation flowed well between us. I left to go bowling and was bombarded by text messages from her for the rest of the night and came home with no voice and to a number of emails from her. I was incredibly distracted by bowling due to my favorite basketball player bowling just a few lanes to our right. I was able to choke down some food at Burger King with the people I bowled with, and headed home.

Red flag number two pops up at this time and I begin to realize that I’m never going to shake her.

I tell her that I’m busy for the rest of the week, which was the truth. Despite my being sick, I had planned to see Ben Folds live on Wednesday, with no voice went to a recording studio to photograph the recording process for a friend on Thursday and found out on Thursday that a friend wanted me to appear in his music video on Friday afternoon. Still, she was persistent and I told her that should there be time on Friday after the video shoot, (which I didn’t promise) we could meet up.

By Friday, I felt better. My voice was coming back and I no longer felt sick. She pestered me all afternoon during the video shoot and got jealous when I told her that my companions on the drive were females. Even telling her that they were married didn’t calm her nerves.

That evening, I was exhausted from the long week, made longer by the drive that evening from Provo to Sandy and from Sandy directly to Liberty Park to meet up with Anna. For the next few hours, we had another comfortable conversation, got coffee at a shop across the street. Here's where I'll also note that her name was 'AH-nuh' not 'AN-nuh' in a moment I won't forget when she failed to respond to my mispronouncing it at least twice. After coffee, we resumed talking in her car and did so for several hours. Throughout the course of the night, we'd give each other glances during the pauses in conversation. At about 10:45, During the one of those pauses, she said, “are you going to kiss me or what?” I did, and after having the presence of mind to realize the park was closing at eleven, told her to follow me to a small church around the corner to resume the activity. As an added bonus, my friends (who typically gathered on the weekend) were just a block or so away, and after spending a few more minutes in Anna's car, we said goodbye, and for the next few hours we continued to text back and forth.

She told me that she was going to be busy on Saturday morning and afternoon, but still wanted to do something that weekend. I suggested a show that my friends were playing at Monk’s on Sunday night because she mentioned enjoying the venue. and we met up there. I had to ease her fears that my friends would in fact like her, but we met up there and found them waiting outside. I introduced her to them and she took a liking to them and vica versa.

They never ended up playing, but we didn’t know that at the time. Due to the number of long delays, we opted instead to walk around downtown before sitting in her car to talk for the next few hours. At about one, I left her car (without kissing her goodnight) and she sent me a text letting me know that I hadn’t. I backed down Main Street, did so and was rewarded with a number of messages for the rest of the night about how unresponsive I was to her with my replying by telling her just how forward and attached to me she was.

This was the Sunday *after* she'd sent those messages to me, and I often think back that if you'd approached an ill me on that Sunday evening and told me of what my week would be, I would have probably coughed and sniffled and then told you that you were crazy.

Truly, this was the beginning of the end, and we’d only known each other for a week at this point. I tried to get her to see other friends play that Saturday and she declined, as she did when I invited her to another event. Eventually we did regain some sort of rhythm by bowling regularly much of the summer (including me taking her bowling for the first time), my giving her a ride to the airport for her vacation in June and then her picking me up and swimming in July. Unfortunately for me, these activities didn’t lend much time to talk, which was my favorite thing about her. By this time, our conversations flowed so smoothly. Never before had I felt so comfortable talking to someone. I have the feeling that she had a negative association with talking in her car due to the kisses that she now may have seen as awkward. Despite that, our friendship fell into a new pattern and it was a lot more comfortable. Once we put the romantic history behind us, she was a lot more relaxed and easy going and wasn’t stressing me out with her constant contact. At this point, I really began to like her.

In the fall and into the winter, we saw much less of each other. I tried to reach her, but rarely received a reply. When we finally did get together for bowling in January (our first meeting in almost six months) with a friend of hers, everything felt fine again, even with her having to leave early. She even invited me to go to yoga with them on a weekly basis, but it conflicted with other plans I had.

For the first five months of 2009, I made numerous attempts to get together with her, but each was either returned with a, “I’m super busy” or no response at all. As part of my effort to trim fat and cut those not pulling their weight in the friendship out of my life, I tried to reach her for what I thought would be the final time on her birthday in May. No reply.

She deleted her MySpace page in July. I decided to go back on my vow to put her behind me and attempted to reach out to her one more time. Since texting was the best way to communicate with her, I picked up my phone and mentioned that it had been awhile since we last saw each other and that I wanted to hang out with her. All mistakes intentional, she replied with, “i have been crazy busy for the past 8months.every moment i can spend with my boyfriend.hope all s well with u”

When I asked when she wouldn’t be busy again, she replied with, “it wont till i get done w school.i don't really hang outwith other guys than my boyfriend..”

I was a bit disappointed, because I'd known women that enveloped themselves in their partner's lives, and at the time, I was critical because she’d turned into one of them. One of those girls that she’d told me last year that she couldn’t stand because they closed off their friends and spent all of their time with whomever they were dating. One of those girls who became exclusive rather than inclusive. She’d told me about how this was such a pet peeve of hers because her friends back home were more inclusive and open than most people she’d met here in America and that this was the biggest culture shock to deal with.With that having been said though, you did read how attached she was around me and how she went all in with trying to pull me into a relationship.

From the moment she replied with that, I knew our friendship had ended. I’d seen it with a number of friends (usually guys) who insisted that their female friends either drop their male friends or insisted on being there whenever their girlfriend was around men. I’ve lost many friends to those situations. I had the feeling that it was this new boyfriend who was insecure, told her to ditch her MySpace page and to lose contact with male friends of hers.

I often wonder what she's up to. I have only one photo of her from behind, taken while we were bowling and then another of hers, mine and my friend Darren's matching Converse shoes from left to right in terms of wear. She didn't like having her photo taken, evident in her shielding her face when I brought my camera to our first meeting, but she was fine with taking a few of me. Despite that, I feel I still remember her well. I'm hoping things are well with her, because despite the rocky start, I really enjoyed our friendship when things settled down.

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