Tag Archives: friendship

Fro-yo with Andre after work

I got off the subway and I ran into Andre, he must have been in the same car as me, but I didn’t see him, which is fine, I mean, if I saw him, like if I looked in his direction, I would have been like, should I wave? Should I go over and talk? But this was better, just, here were, bumped right into each other. “Hey Andre, what’s up?” and he was like, “Oh hey man, just coming home from work.”

Did he see me on the subway? Like if we hadn’t run right into each other, would he have said hi? No, that’s a crazy thing to think about, and besides, we were on good terms now, mostly good terms. I mean, the last time we saw each other, we didn’t have like a direct confrontation or anything. Maybe enough time has passed where a random encounter like this didn’t have to be awkward or forced. Maybe we really could be friends again.

“So what are you up to?” I asked, “Do you want to go grab a drink or something?” He told me, “I’m actually on my way to that new frozen yogurt place a few blocks down. Do you …” and normally I would have said something like, frozen yogurt, gross, something way too aggressive, like I would have been joking around, kind of, but that’s not really a funny joke, it’s just me opening my mouth and putting people off. So what if I think frozen yogurt is gross?


“Sure, let’s do it, I love fro-yo.” And even though I paused to consider my words before speaking, fro-yo still slipped out. Why did I say fro-yo? Who says fro-yo? “Ha, fro-yo,” he said it, he said ha, but he wasn’t laughing. Was he making fun of me? I have no idea where fro-yo came from.

We get to the frozen yogurt place and it’s got this Greek name. “Hey Andre,” I ask, “Is this one of those sour yogurt places?” and he said, “Well, all yogurt is a little tart, just add some honey or fruit, it’s really good.” The cups were all the same size, and so I incorrectly assumed that it was like at Seven-Eleven, when you fill up a Slurpee, you fill it up all the way to the top.

I held down the crank on the yogurt machine and made myself a ridiculously oversized serving, way too much that I’d actually eat, and I was just complaining about Greek yogurt in my head, I don’t know why I automatically went for as much as the cup could handle. And then I got to the register, the clerk made me put it on a scale. “You have to pay by weight?” I probably said it a little too loudly, Andre looked over from the next register, he had like a golf ball sized portion in that oversized cup, “Thanks a lot!” he tried to avoid my gaze as he paid the cashier and left her a dollar in the tip jar positioned in front of the register. “Thank you sir!”

A tip jar? “Twelve seventy-nine,” the cashier interrupted my train of thought. I’m serving myself yogurt, spooning on my own toppings, putting the cup on the scale … what would I be tipping for? Here’s a tip, thanks for letting me buy yogurt from this yogurt place. I dropped the twenty cents or so in the tip jar, but the cashier didn’t say anything.

Andre and I walked toward the back and I tried to be like, “A tip jar? Can you believe they …” but he cut me off, he started waving toward a group of people in the back. They were all like, “Hey Andre! What’s up man?” and I didn’t know anybody. I think I maybe recognized a face or two from Andre’s grandmother’s funeral a while back, but I couldn’t think of any names or anything.

I waited to be introduced, but nothing. Andre took the last chair at the table so I had to go to a different table, this one lady was on her laptop and so I kind of had to interrupt her, “Hey, excuse me miss, can I use this chair?” and she said, “No, I have my backpack on that chair, sorry,” and even though that’s totally not how you do it, like, take your bag off the chair, you don’t get two chairs, I kept my cool and asked someone else at a different table.

Finally I’m back with Andre, with his group of friends, he was talking and I couldn’t really squeeze in between where he was sitting and where his two friends were sitting on either side. I found a sort of empty spot at the other end and I tried to do a really quick round of introductions, but it was all just, “Hey,” “Hello,” stuff like that, nobody was really talking to me.

After ten minutes or so of unsuccessfully trying to interject myself into the conversation, I made a move to get up. Nobody said anything. I walked over to Andre, “All right man, I’ve got to get going,” and he was just like, “All right dude, see you later,” like that was it, no objection, no effort to make plans for some other time. Like why invite me out to yogurt? I didn’t want yogurt. I fucking hate Greek yogurt. I tried not to show how pissed off I was, but I didn’t feel like interrupting everyone to say goodbye so I just made a beeline to the door, dropping my yogurt in the trash on the way out. It must have been too hard of a drop, because some of the yogurt wound up flying up out of the trashcan onto the wall, the cashier was like, “Hey! Wait!” but what was I going to do, ask for a mop and a bucket? No, I took off, I didn’t look back. How about buying a bigger trashcan for your stupid oversized yogurt cups? Fucking fro-yo, fucking Andre, never again man, never again.

I’m the nicest guy in the world

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I take that phrase to heart. Whenever I’m with a group of people and I’m not being addressed directly, I think to myself, what the hell? You can’t think of something nice to say about me? Not one thing? It doesn’t have to be anything over the top. Hey Rob, nice pants. Thanks, I just took them right out of the dryer. That wasn’t so hard. I’m always saying nice things to people. Hey, nice haircut. What a great story. Of course I like that sweater you got me for Christmas. I like it so much I almost hardly ever wear it, because it’s one of my most prized possessions, and I don’t want to risk spilling anything on it.

But sometimes I take it a step further. Like maybe if you’re not saying anything to me, not only do you not have anything nice to say, but maybe your head is filled with all of these terrible things you wish you could be saying to me, but you’re holding it all in, because, well, your parents always used to say to you, “If you don’t have anything nice to say …”

So I hate it when I run into people and I’m like, “Hey what’s up? Great to see you.” See? That’s something nice that I just said, that it’s great to see you. And that person will just be like, “Hey? What’s up?” I’m sorry, but what’s your problem? What’s going through your head? Are you pissed at me? Am I bothering you somehow?

And I want to get all up in that person’s face and tell them what I really think about them. Looking at me funny, not saying anything nice to me. Well you know what? I think you’re really ugly. And your car’s a piece of shit. And all that stuff about great to see you? Well, even if it was great to see you, it’s definitely not great to see you anymore. And I want to tell you that. But it’s not nice. So I don’t say anything.

But that’s not nice either. So I tell you that I like your jacket. And you still don’t say anything. So I say that it’s great to see you again. I know, I already said that. But what else am I supposed to say? Nice shirt? I can’t go from jacket right to shirt. It’s too much of an emphasis on appearance. On clothing. Nice sneakers.

And now it’s just blatantly obvious, to me anyway, that I’m trying to draw something out of you, something nice, about me. Something nice that you can say about me, instead of just standing there, not saying anything. You can’t even pretend can you? What’s your problem?

I’m getting angry. And that’s not going to draw out any compliments. I go inside, inside my head. I go into my brain where I keep a repository of nice things that people have said to me, about me. I find a memory, one time I’m playing baseball, and it’s my turn up, and I had struck out like the previous six at-bats, so finally I get a piece of the ball, there’s a clink. It’s a grounder, it has almost no momentum. It stops before it even rolls to the pitcher. He actually has to leave the pitcher’s mound, to run up to the ball to grab it before he throws it to first. It was close. I thought I was safe. But I got called out. I walk back to the dugout and one of my teammates says to me, “Hey Rob, nice hit.”

And that was a nice thing to say. But it’s not making me feel better. Something’s wrong, something with this memory doesn’t add up. And then it hits me all at once, that that guy wasn’t really being nice, he was being sarcastic. I had just naturally thought that, since I hadn’t even come close to hitting the ball before, and now that I at least hit it, not the best hit, but a hit nonetheless, I thought it was a genuinely nice thing to say. But it wasn’t. That guy shouldn’t have said anything at all. Or he should have said, nice try. Or he should’ve said nice hit, but he should have meant it, like, really meant it. That sarcastic prick. I couldn’t see the sarcasm immediately, but now I can, and I’m trying to use this memory to calm me down, and it’s not working, and I’m not saying anything right now, and that’s bad, because if you’re not saying anything, it’s because you’ve got nothing nice to say, and I’m the nicest guy ever, much nicer than you. I’ve complimented you like twelve times already and you’re just staring at me, not saying anything, slowly backing away, turning around, making a run for it.