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Sara Al Mheiri: Cheesy friendship movies
June 20, 2014
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I slammed the door and jumped onto my bed face first. I put in my headphones and blasted the first song I could click on to drown out the world. And when I say the world, I mean my college friends. How could they do such things to me? I thought we were best friends? Didn’t my high school teachers always tell me that’s where you will meet your future bridesmaids? Yet, there I was. Lying on my bed, feeling so isolated and angry at the world but especially at myself. I picked up my phone to check the time zones and figure out which friend to call and sob my heart out to. High School friend.

All through high school, teachers, parents and the media fed us the notion that high school relationships, and especially friendships, would never last. The movie, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, perfectly exemplifies what happens once you say your goodbyes to your old school. I know it’s a silly tween movie but my brain has just shut down on ideas so bear with me; trust me it will make sense. It’s about four young best friends whose last existing tie to each other is a pair of magical jeans that fits each of them perfectly. It’s the only thing that brings them together and helps them communicate. Now, bring that plot back to real life, subtract those worn-out jeans and instead replace it with old fun memories of the days where life was a whole lot simpler. That’s technically all my high school friends and I talk about. How we used to do this and that and oh, remember the time when Mrs Whatsherface told you off! Or so I thought (about the friendship, not Mrs Whatsherface).

That’s not the case. At all. In fact, all I want to do is slap just-recently-graduated-from-high-school Sara. Really hard. For thinking this was going to be the case with my best friends. The people who I grew up with for more than seven years. Those long, painfully awkward seven years where they watched me grow from an awkward mono-browed teenager to a grown woman who was on her way to an unfamiliar territory confidently. I often think to myself, if they stuck by me all those years when I looked like the not-so distant cousin of Quasimodo, why turn my back on them all of a sudden? All because ‘you were going to meet new, cooler people.’ I remember the last day so distinctly, where I merely walked away, with my head already erasing their names in order to make room for my college friends. To be fair, my graduating class was only thirty something, so you do get a little bored from hanging out with the same people all day, every day. But still.

I went off to college, ridiculously excited. I felt like the little puppy who was finally allowed to go to the park and meet the other dogs and humans. Constantly wagging my tail and sniffing other b..ts (again bear with me and my well-thought out analogies). I barely spoke to my old friends and when I did, all I talked about was what I had been doing with my new friends. Never asking them what they had been up to. The thought never even occurred to me, until one day, one by one my new, “cooler” friends began to drop like flies. And the homesickness began to kick in. I would sit in my room and just stare at the painstakingly made posters filled with photographs of our youth that all my friends made for me. You idiot, I thought to myself.

When I went home last Christmas, I made a vow to myself. Never cast away your family ever again. The grass is never greener on the other side. Although there were, and still are, a few patches of ravishing emerald grass, to whom one day, I will be making photo-filled posters of our crazy days at college. Now that I am back here, in Dubai, for the summer holiday, I often think... oh, sorry I have to go. I didn’t even pay attention to the time, I’m going to be so late for the mini celebration for my best friend that we are having at a fancy restaurant. It’s fine, I’m pretty sure they’ll forgive me.
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