I am fundamentally, without a doubt, a selfish and immature person.

Why do I suspect that several ex-boyfriends across the city just felt a sense of profound clarity and relief and aren’t entirely certain why?

No matter. I fight constantly to overcome my base instincts, which are to do what’s best for me or what I want, regardless of whether or not it’s actually best for someone else.

This can mean anything from not going to a movie or other event that a friend or boyfriend really wants to see, but I don’t – a la The Weather Man (I didn’t want to pay $10+ for a movie that was just going to depress the hell out of me) or The March of the Penguins (which I’d already seen and cried during, and didn’t want to watch and cry in front of the boyfriend, thereby giving him reason to mock me – ‘cause yes, pretty much every time someone sees me cry during an animal movie, I get made fun of for it – thank you complexes!) – or what-have-you.

This also manifests itself in how I interact with my friends. I have a few different circles of friends, and it’s common for those circles to socialize in big groups, or smaller, more intimate ones. Depending on my mood, I prefer one or the other method of socializing. Sometimes being in a big group stresses or taxes me, and I’ll isolate myself a bit. When the dynamics of the group change from what I’m used to, I’ll also tend to back off.

In one particular circle, it’s becoming more and more common for pockets of people to socialize. Sometimes it’s a single person being invited to hang out with a couple, sometimes it’s a double couple date, sometimes it’s half the group, whatever. But sometimes I feel left out when I hear stories of person X regularly socializing with couple Y, when I’ve almost never been invited to socialize with couple Y and would like to. Sometimes I feel left out that I’ve never really bonded strongly with one or two people in the group that aren’t already bonded to another. Then again, I haven’t been in the group as long, and the bonds I’ve made have changed through the time I’ve been with the group. And really, who cares if I don’t have one person all just for me? That’s a very elementary school mentality. Really, would I rather have one bestest-above-all friend, or a bunch of really awesome friends I can draw on at different times? I feel very fortunate to be in the latter category… just sometimes I get to feeling insecure, which I know comes as a real surprise to the rest of you.

And hey, at least I’m welcomed and my company is enjoyed as a general rule. Maybe if I hurried up and finished those presents I’ve been working on or sitting on forever, people would like me more. ;)

There are situations in which I’m used to a certain set group of people, and I look forward to that group socializing, and I’m comfortable with those people, because I know how they will act or interact. When that dynamic changes, it takes some getting used to for me, and sometimes I don’t enjoy myself nearly as much. There is precedent for some of this – a person visiting from out of town took it upon himself to start implying that I was trampy or promiscuous, which is a hot button to begin with, and really put me in a cranky mood for a good chunk of the rest of the evening (which I’m sure went over so well with the GLR’s friends that I was meeting for the first time that night).

But how do you politely ask someone who is relatively new to a particular social engagement to not ask others to join? I don’t have the right – this person is the SO of one of the main regulars, and she has as much right to expand the crowd as I do. And no, I don’t ultimately have a problem with the people she invites, and it’s not as though we retire to my place to socialize afterwards, so again, no leg on which to stand. But really, I look forward to my small group of hanging outs, I like being able to actually have a conversation with a small crowd, and not have to yell to be heard or whatever.

And then there are the people who get upset because they don’t receive a gilded invitation to these hang outs. Well, I’ve invited people in the past who didn’t come for whatever reasons, but it’s not as though these evenings are secret or invite-only… so suddenly I’m right back where I started, and not making much sense.

Then it all goes to shit when Ben is back in town, and what I’d love is to spend some time with him, one-on-one, and I’m led to believe that that might be what’s happening, or it’s a small group hangout, and then it turns out to be 20+ people and I get to say hi and that’s about it. Of course, that was partly my fault for getting drunk, but it’s not as though I’d have had much chance to talk to him a great deal anyways.

*sigh* I’m just full of complaining. I’m not great with change, I’m not usually great with large crowds, and I get thrown when that to which I’m accustomed changes, or people are brought in that I don’t know very well or maybe don’t like. Maybe I just miss the days when it was 4-8 of us who would get together for a dinner, have some ridiculous conversation, and actually get to talk and hear one another… instead of these hangouts where there are huge numbers of people, and no one can hear anyone else, and it’s not my crowd anymore.

Maybe I just need sleep.

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