Tag Archives: friends

Just A Little Something I Need To Get Off My Chest

Dear Friend,

I just needed to get this off my chest. I’m going to apologize in advance because I know what I’m about to say will be difficult to hear. But it has to be said. I can’t take it anymore.

Could you please just (loud truck noises due to construction next door) before you (more loud truck noises). It really makes you look stupid. It’s as if you never even (sounds of jack hammer and other tools of destruction). I mean, seriously. Did you really think I meant to (truck beeping as it backs out into the road)? Of course not. So stop acting as if I did.

Think before you act. Carefully (more jack hammer sounds) and then make (jack hammer, jack hammer, jack hammer). That way we can all benefit from your opinion on the subject. And I might listen. But until then I think you should just (trucks and jack hammers again – the sounds of progress!).

Thanks.

I feel much better now.

Jane

25 Comments

Filed under How We Roll

I’m Dumping The Labels And Embracing ALL Of My Friends

My grandmother knew how to have friends. She had many. Some were closer than others but she really knew how to nurture the important ones. I loved how she handled the balance.

When I was growing up I wanted to be like her but I couldn’t. I wasn’t the life of the party. I didn’t like being the center of attention. I was picky, I told myself. That’s why I have just a few close friends. I had varied interests in high school that kept me from connecting with just one group. I was an athlete – I had a few close friends there. I sang and was involved in theater – I had about 2 close friends in that group. And I was in some accelerated classes – a bit of a nerd, if you will. Since I was involved in athletics and theater the other “nerds” thought I was cool. Many of them really wanted to be my friend but they were “nerds” and I was an idiot high school student. I stayed on the fringes in my nerd classes.

My daughter is my opposite. She has about 10 best friends at age 17. And then about 50 “close” friends. Her Facebook friends number over 1000. Everyone she meets she considers a friend. I’m not sure this is a good thing.

And now, in my adult life, I have about 5 good, close friends I could call on with any problem, any joy. I’m happy with that. It’s a good number. Not as many as my grandmother and certainly not as many as my daughter – but I’m hoping she’ll become a little more discriminate as she gets older.

What I didn’t count on when I started my blog were the friends I’d meet here. Submom from The Absence of Alternatives, in one of her recent comments here,  pointed us in the direction of a very interesting blog post about internet friends and distinguishing them from “real friends.” Melissa Ford  believes there is no distinction. Friends are friends. Whether you met them in a class, at a party, in the mall or online.

As I revealed in a previous post, I met my husband online. This isn’t anything I was ready to shout from the rooftops. When people would ask how we’d met I’d often say, “At a health seminar” which was partly true. But not the whole truth. And I was ashamed of the whole truth. Meeting online, back then anyway, seemed desperate, unseemly.

When I talk about any of you to my “real-time” friends I preface it with “online friends,” as if, somehow, you are all less than or “un-real.” My real-time friends (who don’t blog or converse online with people they’ve never met in real-time) don’t get the level of intimacy we bloggers are able to achieve with one another. They don’t understand how I feel like I can truly “know” any of you. But reading Melissa’s article has me thinking – and I’m thinking that I know some of you better than I know my real-time friends.

And the more I write about this the more I am ready to abandon these labels of “real-time” and “online” when it comes to my friends. Quite honestly, there are days when I spend more time with you here than I do with my other friends.

The beauty of the internet is that it strips away pretension. Here we are basically the same. Sure, we can decorate our blogs to reveal certain things about ourselves. We can pick and choose what we want others to see. But for the most part, the ability to make judgements about others based on income level and appearances is more difficult.

Our writing reveals our true selves. Good, honest writing is what I’m drawn to. And good, honest friends are what I’ve made here. Real friends. In real-time. Oh, we haven’t met face to face but the time I spend with them – reading their posts or emails, commenting back – is very real and takes a good bit of my time.

So, like my grandmother I am nurturing the relationships that are important to me. And I want all of you to know, every minute spent here in Blog World has been worth it.

18 Comments

Filed under friends

Never Say Never and Never, Ever Do This!

I once had a friend in Savannah. Whose name was not Joan, Sue or Hannah. Her opinions were right. Every day, every night. And she often lost friends over na-nah.

Ok, so I made up that last word. I’m using it as in “Na, na, you can’t catch me!” I couldn’t think how to use the word banana and still get my point across. And I didn’t really mean to start this out as a limerick; it just sort of happened. Anyway….

This friend would always say, “I would NEVER give my child soda,” “We ALWAYS honor our son’s bedtime,” and “My child will NEVER watch Spongebob.” She was an always and never kind of gal. I’d laugh and say, “Never say never.” And sure enough, as the years went on, she’d live to eat her words. We all do. But here’s one “never” that I’m pretty sure about….

When your dentist tells you that your teeth are for chewing food and that’s it? Believe her. I was checking in with Jennifer at My Wildlife’s Words and found this post. And she was brave enough to post a picture. I have the same tooth but mine is already fixed with cosmetic dentistry – I’m assuming she’s on her way to the dentist now.

About 8 years ago my daughter and I were hanging out. She was doing her homework. I was grading papers. I needed to take a staple out and couldn’t find the staple puller. I looked at her and said, “NEVER do this!” and proceeded to take the staple out with my front teeth. CRACK! My tooth was chipped. Great lesson for her. Painful lesson for me. But I can safely say to you now, “NEVER use your teeth as staple pulling tools. ALWAYS use your teeth for chewing food ONLY.”

Take it from me – the Never Say Never Gal.

I mean it this time.

17 Comments

Filed under Lessons Learned, Soapbox

Journeys Shared Are The Journeys Worth Taking

life

I’ve made a conscious decision in my adult life to focus on people who reciprocate. I don’t mean in a tit-for-tat kind of way. I don’t keep score. I have some friends from far away that make an effort to visit and some that don’t. With some friends we need to talk a few times a week and with others we can pick up where we left off after months of no contact. I suppose my criteria is different depending on the relationship. But for the most part,  it has to feel like we’re both making an effort to nurture the relationship.

A very wise man once gave me the following visual about marriage. He said that there are times when a marriage is like this – and he made a fist with one hand and covered it with the other. And then there are other times when a marriage is like this – and he reversed his hands. But for most of the journey a marriage should be like this:

hands

He interlaced his fingers, joining them together.

That visual made such an impression on me. I was in a relationship at the time that was so lop-sided. I was codependently orchestrating our journey. I left that relationship – thank goodness. I’ve applied this visual to other parts of my life, both with family and friends.

I recognize that we need to carry the other person sometimes. We all have struggles in our lives where we need others to pick up the slack. And sometimes, we’re the one who needs to be carried. Being able to lean on your friends from time to time is essential. But for most of the time, for most of our journey, we need to be working together to nurture and care for each other.

Journeys shared are the journeys worth taking. I surround myself with people who nurture me and allow themselves to be nurtured by me. People that listen with their heart. Act with compassion and kindness. See with loving eyes.

These are the people who I make time for.

P.S. After reading what I’ve written I realized this may sound preachy. So not my intent. I’m struggling right now with my relationship (or lack there of) with my parents. I think I wrote this to validate my adult decisions.

10 Comments

Filed under family, How We Roll, Marriage, People

Facebook is the New High School for Adults

Don’t look so surprised. I know you’ve thought it, too. Sure, you can try to fool yourself. I joined to keep in touch with friends and family. I like being able to share pictures of how much our kids have grown. I lost touch with Nancy in college and we’ve reconnected! Isn’t that wonderful?

Yes. It’s great. If that’s what it’s used for. But there’s a whole new element that no one talks about. We expect the younger set to be catty. After all, they’re young. That’s what they do. And also not surprising is the fact that females between the ages of 18-24 make up the largest groups of users on Facebook. (http://www.istrategylabs.com/2009-facebook-demographics-and-statistics-report-276-growth-in-35-54-year-old-users/) But the group with the largest growth, up 276.4% from last year, is females ages 35-54.

And we haven’t changed. We’re still the same catty bunch from our high school years. Don’t tell me you didn’t look at Karen’s profile, notice that she was still single at age 45 and think, ‘Yep. I always knew she was gay.’ Or how Susie has really put on the weight – you’ve aged much better than she has! Or how “Cutest Couple” divorced within 5 yrs – you predicted that, too. And if you keep these thoughts to yourself, it’s fine. It’s normal.

What isn’t normal, at least from the perspective that we mature and get wiser in our old age, is continuing the catty trend publicly. In our neighborhood “friends” of mine post pictures of their Poker Party Bash (wasn’t invited), John’s 40th Surprise Party (wasn’t invited), Renee’s Birthday Dinner (wasn’t invited), Debbie’s Birthday Night on the Town Celebration (wasn’t invited). I serve on committees, play Bunco, play tennis and go to bookclub with these people. Our children play together at the pool. I thought we were “friends.”

A friend of mine who was invited to the Debbie Birthday Bash refused to be in the pictures they were taking. They asked, why? She said, “Because you’re going to post these on Facebook and someone who wasn’t invited is going to feel hurt. I don’t want to be a part of that.” A discussion stirred up feelings on inadequacy, insecurity, etc. They explained that they wanted people to know they lived a full social life. They wanted the guy that ignored them in high school or the clique of popular girls that always excluded them, people they were “friends” with now on Facebook, to know that they had beautiful friends, fancy cars, gorgeous homes and went fabulous places.

The following night the pictures went up. They all looked fabulous. They all looked like they were having the best time. And about an hour later, Debbie posted the pictures of the Renee’s Birthday Dinner – an event that occurred two months ago, an event  my friend wasn’t invited to. I guess Debbie got the last word.

3 Comments

Filed under Growing Up