friend crushes: you may not be familiar with the term, but we’ve all had one. maybe it’s that person who only spends time with your ‘squad’ every once in awhile, who you wish would hang out with you a little more. maybe it’s someone from class who you partner with for partner discussions, but don’t have a good excuse to hang out with outside of class. maybe it’s some random stranger with really good hair, who you look at and think, ‘i would totally be friends with them, they seem cool’. i think we’ve all been there at some point.
that’s how gea and I felt about our next adventure guests, emma and alec. unlike past adventure guests, whom have been in band for the past couple of years with us and whom we have spent time with in the past, emma and alec are just Really Cool People who we wanted to hang out with a little more.
emma and i became friends in our drawing class sophomore year, and have had humanities together this year. gea became friends with alec during ap environmental studies this year, and i know him from being in math classes with him. since they’re twins, it’s like two friend crushes for the price of one.
now, i’m not actually much of a fan of friend crushes. they are problematic to me for two reasons:
- in my experience, in order to have any sort of crush on someone (friend crush or otherwise), to a certain extent you have to think of them in the abstract, apart from the reality of their human-ness. basically, crushes are kind of dehumanizing.
- anxiety. this anxiety is contingent on the dehumanizing part: you think this person is/these people are really cool, and become overly conscious of your own shortcomings, forgetting that the really cool people also are flawed because they are real humans, and are quite possibly as scared of you as you are of them (new friends are like spiders in this way).
not that friend crushes are all bad. the friendship between gea and i bloomed out of a mutual friend crush (though we didn’t figure that out until after the fact). despite the fact that gea and I are made of pure fear on a pretty regular basis, we figured that summer adventures would be the perfect opportunity to kick our fears/life generally in the face, and hang out with the really cool people who we are slightly afraid of.
so that’s what we did! we messaged emma and alec over facebook (most of the time when we were already hanging out, so there’s a good chance that they also think that we spend all of our time together). thanks to the pure fear that comes with friend crushes, we said some things that made us wonder whether or not they would develop a mutual fear or would hate us, like randomly messaging emma, telling her to make alec be friends with us so that we could kidnap them for adventures. you know, that sort of Normal Stuff.
eventually we got a hike at silver falls all planned out, and initially thought alec wasn’t going because he didn’t contribute to the group message, but he went! we got the full twin adventure experience.
the ride to and from the hike was kind of long, as was the hike itself (5 or 6 miles, i think? i know it took a while), and i’ve already rambled quite a bit about friend crushes, so i will try to concisely capture the hiking adventure in a series of bullet points: reasons to be made of pure fear, reasons not to be made of pure fear, and reasons to be optimistic.
REASONS TO BE MADE OF PURE FEAR
- when we got to their door to pick them up and it took them a bit to answer, gea kept trying to leave and i only kept her on the doorstep because i was afraid to face them alone
- once they answered the door, there was a good bit of loud anxiety sounds on gea’s part, which alec and I were already used to, but emma was not expecting. it was not a fun first impression to make
- there were some loud noises on my part as well: I was turned around in the car to talk to them, saw some cows out of alec’s window, then instinctively yelled “COWS!!” in their faces
- we had a hard time navigating, and eventually had to get directions from emma, which gave them a good excuse to do some backseat driving
- during the drive we couldn’t sufficiently make conversation on our own, so had to use our adventure buddy questionnaire
- once we arrived, we went to a cafe to have our picnic before hiking, and i mentioned once eating an apple whole (core and all), which emma apparently hates passionately
- i brought everyone water bottles and brought a bunch of little crystal light packets, and i was afraid that i would be the only one to use them. by the time i was halfway through my lemonade, no one had so much as opened their water
- both gea and i unconsciously overcompensated for our insecurities. gea was once told that she breathes heavily/weird, so during the hike she would sometimes make noise because she would become conscious of her breathing, then not be able to breathe naturally. i have a deep fear of seeming like i can’t keep up, so my brain compensated by giving me too much energy, so every time there was an off path or side adventure, i would go to it (like climbing giant tree roots or claiming a small cave opening as my home)
- gea and i very much have our own language and we have spent so much time together that we often unintentionally make references that others don’t understand, then inadequately explain our references. there’s nothing that alienates a new person like a bunch of inside jokes they don’t understand
- the hike was really long and we sweat?? like a lot??
REASONS NOT TO BE MADE OF PURE FEAR
- when we got into the car, i was instantly able to bond with them by admiring the tape ‘x’ (from the x files) on one of the windows in their home. it was emma’s room, but alec put it there, so i gave them 50/50 credit
- gea and i made loud noises, but alec sometimes makes noises that genuinely sound like a goat, so we were not the only ones
- even though we had a hard time navigating, it was a really good bonding experience because we were all lost in hell together
- the adventure buddy questionnaire is great because it does a really good job creating fun conversations, and they seemed to like it. also we can add emma to the waterbending group, and alec to the airbending group (good choice my man). gea may still be alone in the earthbending group 😦
- at our picnic, we all had tippy chairs (the kind that don’t have even legs, so you can tip them back and forth) except for emma, and all automatically tipped back in forth in them. once, when the conversation lulled, the only noise was me, gea, and alec tipping back and forth in our chairs
- once we had our picnic we talked, like, a lot. like normal human beings. it was nice
- after we had finished eating, everyone else made their bevs. emma and gea had raspberry lemonade, and alec had cherry pomegranate. plus my watermelon was a big hit!!
- when gea made noise, oftentimes we would make noise back. and my side adventures were fun, and often made for a good laugh (while climbing the tree roots, I lost my footing and slipped through dirt all the way back to where they were standing without falling on my butt)
- even though the interactions between gea and i may appear strange on the outside, emma and alec are twins and squabbled like siblings do. emma wanted alec to hold her padlock for her because it was jangling against her keys in her bag, then tried to hook it on the hole in his shirt and ended up ripping his shirt. we could make as many bizarre references as we wanted, and we couldn’t beat destroying your twin’s shirt
- the hike was just as long for them and they were probably sweating?? like a lot??
REASONS TO BE OPTIMISTIC
- they spoke in the same dialect of weird that we did: strange noises and assigning genders to things that are clearly genderless (often: -pointing at moss- “feel how soft he is!!”)
- they were probably as afraid of us as we were of them: whenever alec would say something, after the fact he would say “anyway” to divert attention away from himself
- they played in the water with us
- emma said that we should visit her at work, which is not something that you say to people that you hate
- they have never had a dog, and i have a great big adorable cuddly dog, which gives us an in for our next adventure
- we shared a love of good memes. there is no greater bond than a mutual love of great memes
- we often stopped to just stand and stare at the falls, and i have a lot of respect for people who will just stand around with me
- we got to adore a smol child together, who told emma that she liked emma’s flowers (emma was wearing a sweater with flowers on it), and that she liked my stripeys (i was wearing a striped sweater)
- each and every one of us identified with “depression era jewel”