Misanthropy, Bops, And Tales From The ‘Bu

by anna on May 21, 2010

Periodically, Mr. Right-Click will get a bee in his bonnet about how I don’t have any friends.

I do have friends. In theory.

But not you know, local, close real life, in-person people that I really want to hang out with most of the time. As I write that, I’m really hoping that there’s not somebody I’m going to alienate and there probably is.

It’s like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry says, “I already have three friends — I cannot handle any more!” That’s me. I cannot handle any more than that.

Or like when somebody says something racist and they try to prove that they’re not really racist by saying that some of their best friends are black? I’m like that with people. Some of my best friends are people. Really. I mean it.

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When I was younger, I was kind of one of the smart kids, I guess, but I didn’t completely fit in with them, either, mostly because I did not let myself. I have never really been comfortable with the concept of fitting in. Kind of a “Wouldn’t be a member of any club that would have me,” kind of thing.

But in any case, the smarter kids were more accepting of me. Most of them did not seem to have a problem with me, and they were my friends. As it happened, the group of kids I went through school with had a large group of smart kids, so some of the smart kids were also cool kids. Which doesn’t always happen, you know. So this was kind of weird. Because I was kind of not fitting in with the smart kids and not fitting in with the smart kids who were also cool kids at the same time.

My friend R and I always referred to the cool kids as “Bops.” It was “the Bops” this and “the Bops” that. There was a “Bop” party somewhere on the East side. We could go but who knew whether the Bops would want us there. All of the Bops are wearing those stupid jelly sandals again, did you see this?

Well, anyway, part of the smart kids were mixed in with Bops in my year, and this kind of mixed things up. And by the end of my Senior year, I found myself going to parties with Bops and smart kids, and equally not fitting in and fitting in with both groups, equally confused and identifying with each, equally amused and annoyed by each, finding fodder and infuriated by each. By the end of the year I was almost a Bop by Default, much to my chagrin. It was weird. I would have Bop friends and Smart friends, and some would talk to me in some contexts but not others.

Life is weird. It goes in cycles. People are weird. Sometimes they both make me want to punch things. Other times they make me want to hug things. Now that I’m older I have to try to remember the times that have come before and just laugh.

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I’ve been working out with Travis for several months now and occasionally, to better pass the time whilst torturing me with a round of Steppers! he will regale me with tales from life as a sort of single 22-year-old male in Los Angeles. I say sort-of single because technically Travis has a girlfriend, but you know how 22-year-olds are.

I have lived in or around Los Angeles my entire life, but never have I heard of Malibu referred to as “The ‘Bu” until Travis told me about going there a few weeks ago with a friend and his girlfriend, and seeing some “exceptionally well maintained cougars” to whom he yelled out something wildly inappropriate, as they crossed an intersection, after imbibing a few too many beers at a Mexican restaurant.

To clarify, I made a point of asking Travis if his girlfriend had been in the car at the time that he said these things to these “cougars.” After he confirmed this, I then asked for his girlfriend’s phone number, so that she and I could have a little “talk,” as well as the approximate ages of said “cougars,” just so that I know, for future reference, what passes for a cougar these days, in case it should ever come up.

Say what you will, but there is a certain wisdom in the simplicity of the 22-year-old male. It is not unlike that mentality I myself had in my mid-twenties, when I thought I just needed to find an investment banker to marry and all of my problems would be solved. Some days, Travis’ tongue-in-cheek life plan includes trolling The ‘Bu for a wealthy cougar to take care of him. On those days, we discuss how I can write about this on my blog and spin it without alienating all of my readers for being totally antifeminist. Other days, we discuss making a workout video for Travis’ “army of totally shredded housemoms.”

Life takes you strange places. Sometimes you don’t realize it until you’re discussing a spinoff series of CougarTown blog posts with a 22 year old personal trainer in between rounds of sumo squats.

{ 18 comments }

Liam O'Malley May 21, 2010 at 8:58 am

As I was reading this, I couldn’t help thinking of that timeless classic Nicholas Cage film “Valley Girl,” and Randy the punk trying to fit in with the Val Gals in a hopelessly West Side Story kinda way. I’m sure that’s a gross oversimplification of what your life (or anyone’s) was ever actually like, but man that was – and is – a funny movie.

anna May 21, 2010 at 9:01 am

Well, I have never shaved my chest hair in a V-shape like Randy. WAIT.

See, Randy fit in with the Hollywood Punks, though. I don’t have the Hollywood Punks exactly. I have always kind of not exactly fit in perfectly in any world. Because I’m a hermit misanthrope I guess.

magpie May 21, 2010 at 11:55 am

sometimes i get a bee in my bonnet that my husband has no friends. does mr. right click have friends?

anna May 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm

In theory. :)

We are both kind of homebodies. But he has more local friends than I do.

Noemi May 21, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Well, shit. I am moving to Huntington Beach in a month, and here I was hoping we could be friends.

anna May 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Well, that depends. Do you have beachfront property? :)

Noemi May 21, 2010 at 1:41 pm

HA! Unfortunately for you, that just made me want to be your friend more.

anna May 21, 2010 at 4:01 pm

lol

patois May 21, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Oh, God, your reply to Noemi is hilarious! You anti-feminist, you.

lynn @ human, being May 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm

I can’t have more than 1 good friend at a time, because … well, that’d be a book. But for some reason, I never had a problem having more than one BOYfriend at a time. Still don’t, but my husband won’t let me ;) . If I had the money to stay well-maintained, ‘Bu-style, so I could be a cougar I’d do it in a heartbeat. ha!

anna May 21, 2010 at 4:01 pm

You sound like trouble, Lynn. Perhaps I should introduce you to Travis.

Kate May 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm

It’s more the “exceptionally well-maintained” part than the “cougars” part that makes me want to start (stop?) biting my nails again. What counts as exceptional? I fear my occasional eyebrow wax and facial is no longer enough. Freakin’ cougars are ruining it for all of us.

anna May 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm

If I know Travis, he is referring to the condition of their bodies more than anything else. Though I’m sure they had perfect hair, nails, skin, eyebrows as well. But he’d be looking at their body condition, probably.

Jenni May 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I was always friends with the cool kids, but not actually a cool kid myself.

anna May 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm

yeah, how does that work exactly? Isn’t that what makes one a cool kid? By being friends with them?

Heidi May 21, 2010 at 8:15 pm

The cool kids at my school turned out to be: The Pregnant Prom Queen; The I’m on a Constant Regimen of Penicillin Romeo aka Oh, and Pass Me Some Coke, and Do You Want to Fuck?; Dead; In Hiding; Total Convert to Extreme Right Wing and Creationist Pastor; and Physical Therapist.

Real Cool.

Kader May 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I wish I had more local friends. Unfortunately, 2 of the very few local friends I’ve had have now moved to distant lands. So I’m down to only a few. The reason there are so few? I don’t really like most people. I mean, there are nice people and friendly people. But, I guess, I don’t like standard “nice” and “friendly.” So, I only have a few local friends.
I do suspect that if we were local, we’d be friends due, in large part, to our dislike of everyone else. Such a good foundation for a friendship! (Actually, I think it is kind of a good foundation. Which is disturbing. Probably.)
I love the concept of the Bops. I went to a very small school, so lots of the Bops were also the smart kids. I didn’t really fit in there, and none of my friends liked each other. So it goes.

michelle May 25, 2010 at 10:23 am

Friendship is a hard thing. A real friendship involves care and maintenance. And I put enough into my husband and family. Meeting a person who’s worth the effort? It’s like finding Mr. Right all over again.

Married Mother Looking for Friend. Needs flexible schedule for outings, sense of humor compatible with mine, must not have any number of irritating habits that make my skin crawl, must be easy to talk to and tolerant of all of my zany quirks.

Who has time?

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