Friends Like These, Huh?
“My only hope is that the Big Lebowski kills me before the Germans can cut my dick off.”
That was one of my dad’s favorite movies, you know. The Big Lebowski was a hilarious film with a surprisingly good story. How relevant is it to this post? Not in the least aside from the picture used for this. It’s from a scene where the main character, “The Dude”, basically tells his “friend” (Guy’s a nut) Walter to fuck off because he was being incredibly unhelpful, to which of course he leaves and The Dude says to the bartender: “Friends like these, huh” followed by his name, which escapes me at the moment. Odd occurrence as I jumped to that scene to get that screencap. Anyway. Star Wars: The Old Republic.
One of my friends hilariously described it as the TORtanic, destined to sink. I shared this belief, because I played the game was thoroughly unimpressed. Not as unimpressed as I was with DC Universe Online, mind you, but I could tell it had no business as a pay-to-play MMO. What BioWare had crafted was essentially Knights of the Old Republic with multiplayer. That was it. They crafted what was a single-player MMO which defeats the purpose of an MMO in my book. I remember two of my friends were REALLY into it, and talked me into a free trial, and what I told them could be summarized as “I think it’s a good game, but it’s not worth the price of admission” which is $60 for the game and $15 a month afterwards. VERY few games have been worth this in my book, City of Heroes was the first (Still occasionally play it since it went free to play) followed by World of Warcraft, which I was pulled into that by other friends. I no longer play WoW due to a lack of a large group to play with anymore.
So! I predicted to my two TOR-obsessed friends that the game would end up free-to-play and I’d play it then. Lo and behold, they announced the game will be going free-to-play! How about that! So, naturally, I had to commence some maniacal “I was right” laughter, to which… my friend decided to kick me from his Teamspeak server without a word. For what? Being right? Well damn. I promptly told him to go fuck himself and I signed off. Like The Dude. Huh. Guess the reference was kind of intentional there after all. So, I mean, this is eerily similar to an incident I had a while back with… well, I’m not sure if I’d call him a friend. He was friends with two of my friends, both of whom are important to me, so I tried to be friends with him. Hell, if I see him I still try to be civil despite our falling out. Basically, we were playing a game, insults were traded, I don’t handle insults well, and I make terrible decisions when angry. Actually, I won’t say terrible; let’s try I speak without thinking. OK, yeah, same thing, but still.
It doesn’t end there, either. See, as I mentioned before I am a creator. I ropleplay some of my characters on forums, not like DnD or anything, just collaborative story writing. I’m sure I mentioned it before, but the forum I RP on has a (well, THE) story moderator who is very set in the “I can’t be wrong” mindset. That is something that never fails to get under my skin. I considered this guy to be a friend as well, but he did two things that absolutely infuriated me to the point of basically telling him to fuck off too. First, he imposes a penalty on my main character because I failed to post before the time limit was up. I should have posted, right? Well, I had set for my partner (It’s a Soul Eater RP and my character is a Weapon) to pick up where I left off, but she was pretty much gone for a week with, you know, real life stuff, so I expected maybe just a little bit of understand there.
“No!” he cries! “You could have posted something, even if it was short!” and I didn’t say it, but the scent of bullshit was present. Let’s say I had posted a paragraph of reaction, which is about all my character can do in Weapon form when her Meister isn’t moving, I’m willing to put money on him saying it would have been insufficient to avoid a penalty. So, I get over that, and then I decide to take a writing challenge where we get to spend a good 1000 words or so expanding on a character’s backstory. I chose a different character, and long story short he decided to question ONE LINE of my submission, to which I just logged of the forum’s chat for the day. I looked back and he said he wasn’t going to make a big deal about it, but given I had only recently dealt with writing the penalty post for my main character, I wasn’t in the mood for ANYTHING he had to say about my writing, because he said I lacked initiative despite me being among the more active RPers.
But wait! There’s more. One of my IRL friends has been telling a lot of lies recently to the point where I can’t believe anything he says anymore, so I don’t know how to talk to him or what about. I feel like I can count the number of friends I have left on one hand. I find myself thinking about what my dad said in his letter he left for me when it comes to friends. See, my dad was the kind of man who had very few friends. He had too much pride to consider many people his “friends” because they all did something that made him consider them to be “losers”. See, he was a man who always had a dream, and people who didn’t have similarly far-reaching dreams were people he did not really understand. I don’t remember the exact wording… but he said not to spend my time worrying about “losers” like some specifically mentioned people in the letter. The friend who booted me from his Teamspeak server was one of them, and I’m starting to understand what he meant.
While I may be understanding it, however, it’s absolutely terrifying to think that I’ve got so few friends, and the list is becoming shorter by the day. I don’t want it to be that way is the bad thing! I want people who share ambitions like me, but also are capable of having fun. I play a bunch of online games, and I keep wanting to play with friends, but I have none left to play games with. I sit alone, grouping with random people who I will likely never form a connection with. It sounds like the talk of a child but I want people to play with. Real life is just too damn depressing to deal with when I don’t have to.