Sometimes in med school, it takes a little bit of time to find your niche, to find a group of friends that you click with. I had some friends I made in med school that I absolutely loved. But before that happened, I made “friends” with two girls named Tina and Roberta (not quite their real names).
I’m not sure how I made friends with them, other that we were all in the same place at the same time and struck up a conversation. Tina was one of those genuinely sweet girls who was very hard not to like. Roberta’s favorite saying was, “I’m not here to make friends.” So basically, she was the reality show bitch. Although at the same time, she complained that she always hung out with the same people (me and Tina) and it was lame and she wanted other friends. But she was intelligent and I respected that, and I’m not that outgoing, so it was easier to just be friends with them.
Tina and Roberta had a special bond though that they formed because Tina didn’t have a car at first, so Roberta chauffeured her around everywhere. Also, they both had long distance boyfriends in the same city. It was very obvious that they were extremely tight, and I was just a third person who hung out with them.
The three of us were lab partners, plus one other guy. Tina was having roommate issues, in that her roommates were the “popular” kids in the class (does this sound like junior high school yet?) and they were constantly making plans with each other and not inviting her, and basically making her feel unwanted in her own house. Ironically, she would then turn around and make plans to study with Roberta right in front of me, and not invite me.
I remember one particular night when Tina told me she was thinking about going to the anatomy lab on a Saturday night to study right before an exam. I told her if she did that, she should give me a call and we’d go together. She eagerly agreed. As it turned out, she never called me, then on Monday, she mentioned that she had been studying at the anatomy lab on Saturday night with Roberta. I felt kind of hurt about that. But I’m not into confrontations, so I didn’t say anything.
After I got past the initial couple of months of being overwhelmed by med school, I realized I needed to make new friends. Luckily, as I said, there were other nice people in my class. And the new friends I made were way more fun than a girl whose motto is she’s not in med school to make friends.
However, our “friendship” couldn’t just dissolve quietly. It had to explode in a really public way.
One weekend right before a big anatomy exam, Tina and Roberta made plans to meet up with a TA named Maria to go over material in the lab. I think I was standing there so they were forced to tell me about it and invite me. I remember prior to going over to the lab, I called them to ask if they wanted to go over together since Roberta was in the same dorm as me, and Roberta told me that she was waiting for Maria to call her (for some reason).
Anyway, it was getting late, so I eventually went over to the lab by myself. After entering the lab and getting gloved up, I noticed Maria was already there. She was in the middle of teaching a bunch of other med students and I kind of tagged along for the remaining 20-30 minutes she was there. Then Maria said she had to be somewhere and she left.
Over an hour later, Roberta and Tina showed up at the lab and Roberta was LIVID. “You knew we were waiting for Maria to call us!” she said accusingly. “Why didn’t you call me to let me know she was here?”
I suppose it was a reasonable question, but I didn’t have a cell phone (this was back in the olden days and I was always a few years behind on technology) and I was already dirty from the lab and I didn’t even know her number offhand. So it wasn’t like it was easy for me to call her. I just assumed they would be heading to the lab soon, like I did. It was Maria's responsibility to call them, not mine. Roberta didn't even want to invite me along in the first place and now she was pissed that I hadn't gone out of my way for her.
At first, I tried to apologize and explain that I didn’t have a cell phone, but Roberta pointed out that there was some public phone I could have used in the med student lounge. She basically told me it was really bitchy that I hadn’t called them.
Finally, I said, “Well, how come you didn’t call me that night you two were studying in the lab?”
Tina got this “oh god” look on her face, but Roberta shot back with, “What does that have to do with this? Why are you bringing that up now??”
Anyway, I don’t do well with confrontations. So long story short, I left the anatomy lab crying.
Tina ran out after me. She finally confessed that Roberta had been explicitly telling her not to invite me to study sessions for the last two months because she didn’t like studying with me. I guess she assumed that I intentionally tried to ditch her since she had been doing the same to me.
Things were kind of awkward after that. We all apologized and were back on speaking terms, but I wasn’t friends with Roberta after that. I sort of remained friends with Tina, because I do think she was a nice person, but it was really never the same. And now, ten years later, I get a bad taste in my mouth when I think about either of them.