As I mentioned before, all my friends in my new city work at the same firm as my two roommates, Colleen and Dana. They’re all very friendly and will make the effort to keep me included. They’ve taken me to company happy hours and introduced me to co-workers. However lately it’s been veering off down a path that leaves me feeling on the outskirts constantly. And I fear this is just the beginning as they delve into their “busy season” and will be working 60 hours a week.
While we’re eating dinner, all Colleen and Dana lately can talk about are funny things that happened at work, work gossip, or just work they’ve been doing. I get it. I do. If I had work friends, we’d probably do it too. You spend so much time at work, it gives you a lot of material to talk about and it is only natural. When we do see our friends, they talk about work all the time now too. They all walk to and from work together, spend their lunch hours together, hang out at each other’s desks all day so they’re all a lot more tightly bonded than I am with any of them.
Colleen and Dana’s rooms are on the 3rd floor of our house, mine is on the 2nd. I often hear them screaming laughing together. So a few times, I’ve gone up there to try and join in. It felt so awkward and forced that I used the guise of “checking to see if the washer is available” then skulked back down to the 2nd floor and sitting in my room.
And now, a few times over the past week, Colleen and Dana have gotten home two hours later than usual. As I’m sitting in the kitchen, eating dinner alone trying not to feel pathetic, they come in all bright-eyed, gushing about the latest place they just went out to dinner at or the newest place they just had happy hour at with our friends. I say “Ohhh…sounds fun” while feeling even more pathetic. I can understand why it would slip their minds to invite me since they all just spontaneously go straight from work.
Last night, all our friends came in with them. They all greeted me cheerily. We all camped out in the living room, chatting amicably, until the conversation – again – turned to work gossip. They talked for 45 freaking minutes about it. I just sat, curled up in my chair, trying to engage but there’s not much I could do. I can only make so many jokes like “Yeah, I hate when Tina does that!” which are only funny because we all know I have no idea what they’re talking about. I felt like going back up to my room and reading, since that would be more fun than sitting and not being able to join in a conversation. But as I debated, abruptly standing up, saying bye, and going upstairs would seem dramatic and a little bitchy. It would make my point though, right? I don’t understand why, when they’re all going for their spontaneous dinner or happy hour outings, they can’t exhaust talk about work until they turn blue in the face then come home and hang out with me and talk about something else.
Lately I can’t help resenting them and resenting my situation. I resent that for the next few months, I’m not going to really have any friends as they’ll all be engrossed in “busy season”. They’ll all have a new, tighter bond having gone through busy season together. I resent that I feel so left out. I resent that when they do make effort to include me by changing conversation topic, the ebb and flow of the conversation is still peppered with inside jokes I don’t get so I never truly feel a part of it. I resent that I have no other friends here I can turn to. I resent that I don’t know how to make friends anymore. In college it was so easy. I resent that I don’t have work friends and that I am no closer to making any work friends as nobody seems to remember that I’m here. I resent that I don’t know how to change this problem.
I also acknowledge that I am a part of the problem. Sometimes my book is SO good that I don’t want to hang out in the kitchen for hours with Colleen & Dana, so I don’t. I also am way too content sitting in lately, reading, versus going out and spending money so when they say they don’t want to join our friends and go out, I don’t push it. I’m very okay with just hanging in, not spending money, or just being by myself. But not this much.
I know I’ll probably have to address it with them, but I just feel so pathetic and clingy.
I guess it’s a good thing the holidays are coming up…although going into the holiday season feeling lonely already is depressing.