NYT Prompt 010: My Friends Were Strangers

Prompt: What are your best sleepover memories?

My childhood was a little strange when it comes to the area of friendship. Oddly enough, we weren’t really encouraged to make friends so sleepovers were few and far between. That isn’t to say that we did not have friends or that we never stayed at a friend’s house and vice versa; we most certainly did do those things. The concept of friendship simply wasn’t a big deal. At least, not to me. Growing up, we never stayed in the same school district for more than two or three years – my record for longest stay in one district was three and a half. As a result, I built most of my friendships with strangers online. In the early 2000s, technology was evolving so quickly that the way I would talk to these friends is no considered extremely outdated. (My father caught me using AIM one day before I left California and he was genuinely surprised that the instant messenger was still around, let alone being used.)

When I think about it, I can only recall two times when I took part in a sleepover. One was my own, consisting of only myself and two friends. Another was at a different friend’s house, and I think I was the only guest, actually. I really didn’t care to get out much, and to be completely honest, I still don’t.

Since entering adulthood, my parents have apologized countless times for not encouraging us to have and maintain friendships. While all of my siblings are extroverts, I am an introvert. It is my suspicion that my parents may, in some part, blame themselves for this – they shouldn’t. I simply prefer to spend time with myself, because I prefer my own company.

On the bright side, I do still maintain many of those friendships. The longest standing one began in 2003, and I still talk to her on a daily basis. That counts for something, right?

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