As I hit my late 40’s two things started to occur with great regularity. First, my busiest social activity became attending the funerals of friends’ parents. While sad events, for sure, they were also a wonderful opportunity to connect with those, “long-time friends that you just never seem to see much anymore”, you know…the college gang that still gets together once a year…maybe (in a good year)…but hey, a funeral makes such a gathering possible. Even out-of-towners come to town for a good funeral.
The second thing that started to happen was divorce.
But unlike funerals, divorces are NOT a good bonding opportunity for long-time friends, just let me tell you. As the now unhappy couple splits…everything in their life is unhappily split, including friendships. And much like the question, “who gets the dog?” in a divorce, another big question is which friends “go” with which spouse…who gets custody of the divorcing couple’s friends?
The other day I made a photo album as a gift for a special friend. She has been a friend of mine for over 30 years; we met as next-door college dorm neighbors. I had a lot of photos to choose from, many were taken pre-digital era, of course…so had I not had the photos I could have still dug out the negatives and made prints (well, assuming there are places in the world where you can still make prints from negatives, I suppose). I think about the young people today, with their total reliance on their smart phones for photos…what will they have when they get older and want to look back at their youth? Continue reading
Lately I have been going to a lot of funerals, most are friends’ parents…guess that is to be expected, our parents are definitely at that age…but what is weird to me is that funerals have become the only opportunity some of my friends – especially the out-of-towners – and I seem to have for a “social gathering” these days. Are we really that busy? Or is it just that we are currently stuck in that phase of our “social cycle”?
College Partying → Dining Out With Friends → Careers → The Weddings Begin → Baby Showers → The Second Weddings Begin → The Great Void (Due to Parenthood? Or Becoming the Caregiver of a Parent?) → Parents’ Funerals → Children’s Weddings → Children’s Babies (Grand-kids!) → Friends’ Funerals → Your Own Funeral
A few years ago I finally signed up for a Facebook account after several friends who post their photos online sent me requests to “JOIN!” I felt a bit strong-armed into it, but when I received yet another friend’s, “Either sign up or never see me or my photos again…” (Well, they really didn’t say that exactly), I finally relented and signed up. It only took about a week for me to realize that Facebook might just be some evil sociologist’s grand social etiquette experiment…it is just so prone to social “collisions”…read on.
We’re Friends, Yet Worlds Apart: Contrary Political and/or Religions Beliefs:
Ever Wonder How You Are Friends with So Many People Who Wouldn’t be Friends with Each Other?
It didn’t take me long to regret a Facebook post; because it didn’t take me long to realize that my friends and family on FB were a very diverse collection of folks, especially relating to political and religious views. My friends list consisted of conservatives and liberals, atheists and strict fundamentalists, and everything in between.
I had decided to post a video of a gay-rights speech that a friend of mine had posted on his wall. I thought it was very powerful, moving and right on target so I immediately wanted to “share” it on my own FB wall. It echoed my strong beliefs on the subject, so I ventured out of my privacy zone and posted it. Just like that. Easy…and isn’t that what FB is all about, sharing your life and thoughts with people in your life?
How many of you out there love “Sex and the City”? Well, it’s my favorite show of all time. The other day I saw the episode (again) where Carrie helps get a stuck diaphragm literally “out of” Samantha. Carrie takes a stiff drink and “goes in” to help…
I am proud to say that I have friends who would do that for me. I am even prouder to say I have never required them to do so.
Forever friends are never obsolete
Lifetime friends. I have many…not a singular core group like in Sex and the City, but unbelievably good friends who I have discovered at different times and in a variety of interest areas of my life. Some are from my childhood, others are from my wilder college and young single’s days, still others I met early on in my soccer mom transformation; becoming friends while hauling strangers’ kids to yet another field trip and meeting up at fundraising events. They are actually an incredibly varied group from all walks of life. I trust them. I love them. I laugh with them (and sometimes, at them, as only a great friend can). And there is a huge comfort in knowing they are out there, at the other end of a text message, always willing to be supportive or make just the right joke for a particular crisis or situation.