Ruby

I don’t have a lot of friends at school yet. I’m just not that good at making friends. Recently, for one of the first times in my life, I took the initiative to sit with people I didn’t know. I acted really weird and awkward the whole time, laughing too loudly at jokes not directed at me and not being enthusiastic enough about being compared to some girl from Good Luck Charlie. I was being utterly embarrassing, and I got nervous. When I’m nervous, I fidget, and I began idly drumming my fingers loudly on my metal R2D2 lunchbox until a girl forcefully grabbed it from me, got up, and left. Lunch was over.

Another time, in study hall, a few girls sat down at the table I was at and eventually I joined their conversation. I used the word “precise” in a sentence; I don’t remember exactly what I said, but one of them raised her eyebrows at me and asked if I was trying to make her look stupid. I shook my head.

I have had better luck with people I already knew. I texted an old family friend I’ve never really been close to (unless you count, like, age five, when everyone’s close unless you hate them) and we went to my little brother’s school playground to talk about her social life on the swing set. Then we walked into town and ate ice cream, watched Clueless on her VCR, and I went home. That was fun.

Two girls I know from camp sit with me in class, a nice gesture considering that they already have friends and I’m the new kid. I appreciate it a lot.

I’d like to be one of those girls with a million friends who always looks like she’s happy and having fun, but it’s really hard, you know? I don’t like spending a lot of time with people. I feel more productive and safe and comfortable alone. It’s nobody’s fault for not running to be my friend when I don’t even know them; I know I can’t expect people to come to me. I just worry so much about failure in my friend-making endeavors that I’ve come to enjoy being alone more than being with people. Maybe it’s just how I am. I don’t really mind it because I like being by myself, but I always feel like maybe I’m missing out on something. ♦