“I think making friends as an adult is much harder than middle school.” I was confident in this. I knew it. I saw it. Things were weird.
“Why do you say that?” She asked, pulling the milk out of the refrigerator to help us choke down our brownies. This is what we did to punish ourselves. Punish ourselves for growing up. Calories. Calories and sugar and carbohydrates. Our natural enemies as adults and diabetics.
“Well, when we begin reaching adulthood, we are lead to believe we need to make major decisions on things in our lives. Careers, places to live…mostly on values. In our rush to make these decisions, we become passionate about our values, ignorant or otherwise, and in our passion, we struggle because we mostly want to find friendships that share similar values. The hard part is when people we think we know pretty well, don’t share a few of our values. The ones that we were rushed to be so passionate about. So we struggle, and either we cannot stand that we differ on that subject, or we change our views based off more accumulated knowledge.”
She poured the milk listening intently and quietly. I continued. “When we cannot stand to differ, we let go of the relationship. When we decide to change, perhaps we hold on to the relationship for a while, but to change thinking is difficult.
“It is difficult. Especially when you Are as old as I am. ” She chimed in. A footnote to assure me she was still listening.
“Precisely, and I wonder if there are many who are willing to do the overhaul of personal change, because we live in a day and age that demands instant gratification.” I pondered my own thoughts. This was all just theory. Thinking out loud. There was so much more to this than I could even begin to list. Conflicts about differing opinions. Conflicts about the pursuit of the same passions too passionately. Conflict for those who could only thrive off conflict because of internal chaos or trauma. Pursuit of passions for anterior motives. Lack of creating values at all.
“I’m not sure that is entirely true.” She said putting the milk away and sliding my glass of milk toward me. I cut out my brownie and cleared the mass of paint swatches, hardware odds and ends, and unopened mail off the counter. Okay…I more or less pushed it to one side so I could actually eat at the breakfast bar. I feared touching anything lest it be important and I get yelled at for moving it.
“Yeah well, it’s only theory, and most of it is what the internet has taught me.” And it was. People couldn’t get along. No one could agree to disagree. They were much more honest online. In their posts and comments. Most people I had known, became bigger assholes on the internet.
“You’re awfully pessimistic aren’t you?” She looked concerned but I couldn’t help but smile. She wasn’t wrong. I was. Humanity was always bearing its teeth on my screen. There were more horror stories out there than “faith in humanity…restored” stories. There were more haters and trollers than there were do gooders and lovers….as far as the internet wanted to tell me. Yes, I was pessimistic. Not to say there wasn’t good out there, but they sure were too busy doing good to be on the internet and advertising their good. Probably because they were too humble to advertise it.
I took a swig of my milk and at the tail end of a mouth full of brownie I muttered “If I’m a pessimist, I probably learned that from the internet too.”
She laughed at me. I love my mom.