Thursday, July 22, 2010


Throughout my life, for a number of reasons, I've lost touch with close friends. Off the top of my head, I can think of a number of people that I've really cared about, who, either due to hurt feelings from a silly disagreement, or just kind of drifting away after a while, it just happened. And those few days, turned into weeks, and even into years. I often thought about them, with mixed emotion, wondering whose fault it was that we weren't talking anymore, wondering whether they missed me, or had simply forgotten. Had I become just an old friend on a page in a photo album who didn't fit into their new life, or did they think of me from time to time as I thought of them?
I suppose it is a testament to true friendship that many of these paths have crossed again. I'm not sure how, whether I reached out, or they did, but the important thing is that it happened. These friends are back in my life, and I'm glad they are. Immensely glad. And when they came back in, it was as natural as if no time had passed. A couple of them are regular readers--and I love you guys.
It happened again tonight. A few weeks ago, via facebook, I reconnected with a close friend from high school who I hadn't seen or spoken to in about six years. (He has never met Big Man, so it's at least six years.) We were close friends and academic rivals in high school, stayed in touch throughout college and our 20s. We even went to our 5 year high school reunion together. Always a sucker for an open bar, I went to his brother's wedding too. He was always like a brother to me, and we used to argue like siblings, over everything and anything. Back in the day, we'd get together every time he came in from Boston, which was at least a few times per year.

He told me he was going to be in town for the day visiting his dad, and asked if I wanted to get together. So I invited him over for pizza and to meet the family. I'm so glad I did.

Unfortunately, it was a work night for Big Man, so he was in bed when Robert came over, so they didn't get to meet. Next time, I will make sure it happens. And there will be a next time.

Over pizza and wings, McScreamy's fussing, and Dani's zany energy, we spent a few hours catching up. It was as natural as if I'd seen him last month. Welcome back, friend.

I will make every effort to not let a lapse in contact happen with anyone I care about again. It seems to me that with every new technology, we as people manage to become more distant. Cell phones constantly interrupt conversations, because people feel compelled to answer them at the dinner table and everywhere else, despite the fact that answering them interrupts an actual face to face conversation. Email means that you don't actually have to call people on the phone and talk to them, or god forbid, write an actual letter. Facebook lets you keep track of a ton more people's lives, but at a greater distance.

I'm going to make more of an effort to stay in better touch with the people I care about. In touch for real, with calls and visits. Now that Big Man is back to work, and I'm home evenings, I can make calls, or invite folks over for coffee or wine, or to play with Dani and Tori. And I will.

Just as my daughters will learn what to expect from a marriage by watching Big Man and I, they will learn about friendship, first from observing ours, and then by forging their own. I will teach my daughters to be good friends by working to be a better one to mine.

Tonight I was reminded about the importance of friendship, of making and keeping connections for a lifetime, from one of my oldest friends. For that, I am thankful.

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