Friday, January 19, 2007

I find it odd

I have never been a person who had lots of friends. Oh, I have work friends. You spend 40-plus hours a week at a place and survival dictates that you have a group of people you can go to coffee with or lunch. But work friends come and go as they get new jobs and move on. So you develop this attitude like a kid who moves alot growing up. You keep work friends in perspective. They come, they go. When they go, they are gone.

Anyway, most of my friends now are blogger friends. It is a bit like having imaginary friends. You never actually see them, but I'll be darned if they aren't more real than any non-virtual friend. I get involved in their lives. I get to know their quirks. We tease each other. We support each other. We get mad at each other and we forgive each other. But like my work friends., they come and they go. When they go, they are gone.

This is another aspect of aging. You get used to this pattern of friends, real or virtual, coming and going. I don't pretend to understand it. I've just grown to expect it and accept it. I can't say I ever have really gotten used to it. I have always envied people who have had life-long friends. I'm not sure whether it is just me that lacks the life-long friend gene or it is a myth that they exist.

Maybe that is why I blog. Maybe that is why Norm hung out at Cheers where everybody knows your name. Sometimes you need to be in an environment where people accept you...know you (or think they know you)...and are happy to see you. Because if there is really no meaning in life, at least you want to mean something to someone.


Anonymous said...

I started the ol' blogging thing in late 2004/early 2005. None of the people who would visit me in those early days are the same people who stop by and comment now. Two years from now, if anyone is still reading, I expect them to be a whole new crew. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? It's kind of like wondering if it's good or bad that all your cells are replaced within 7 years or so. You have no control over it, really.

On a completely unrelated note (I think), three out of four of the Mamas and the Papas are now dead. Yet two Beatles live. Talk about pointless...

Naughti Biscotti said...

The longest friendship I have maintained is 22 years. She is one friend that I have left from highschool. Our friendship has lasted because of her, not me. She makes a point of staying in touch.

I have a lot of work friends as well, but like you I realize that they come and go. There's a group of about 4 of us that have been there from the beginning. We huddle together like tragic cutback survivors waiting to be rescued.

I've always wanted a huge group of friends that I could invite over for parties. It will never happen. I can't seem to maintain that many friends and I suck at throwing parties. I suppose I will always be the type to have a very small, tight-knit group.

With blogging buddies, you can't help but wonder what they're like in real life. I've met two so far, and I was surprised with personality traits that don't come through over the internet. I'm sure I was equally as surprising to them.

JP (mom) said...

I think we crave connections ... I also think blogging is like real life insofar as you'll meet a lot of people, many of whom will become aquaintences, and a few who will become true friends with communication extending beyond the comment box.
Too bad you didn't photoshop yourself in the Cheers bar! JP

Whitesnake said...

12,000 kms away, yet you and I have the same feelings on this matter.

You have put into words what I have tried to say.

Sometimes,(for me anyway) there are the odd one or 2 whom young form a relationship with.

I have become a hard man in some ways, yet I continue to flirt with the skirt and keep those whom I have come to know as well as one can, close to my heart.

You Sir, are 1.

Hayden said...

thank you for saying this.

I am one who has had lots of friends from time to time - and that is the issue, it's from time to time, and not OVER time.

Always, it was because I made the effort. I organized the parties, the outings. It takes a huge amount of time and effort to have RT friends in your life. For the last too-many years I've been so engaged in other things - first some major home-based drama, and now school - that I've become quite isolated. I didn't make the effort, and it seems that if I don't make the effort, it doesn't happen.

Lately I've been wondering about it, faulting myself. Wondering - what is wrong with me that no one else is making the effort? Everyone's lives seem (from the outside) to be so contained, so complete with friends that one more is a luxury they don't have time for. Or so I imagined.

Now I think - maybe it isn't me. Maybe this really is a product of the way we work and live today.

In the cities we seek the anonymity to not having someone peering critically over our shouldar and gossiping, but perhaps the price we pay for that independance is isolation.

Lately I've been thinking that the price is too high.

anna said...

I know that people come and go, and it's just the way it is. Although I've accepted that, I don't like it and find myself missing some of the people who are no longer in my life. I especially hate the way some bloggers just disappear without a word after you've developed some sort of virtual friendship with them. That just seems rude.

Alex Pendragon said...

This is a whole new area, with a whole new dynamic. Once, we remained rather close to home, expected to work at the same factory Dad did, or take over the farm, or somehow remain in close proximity, connected to your community and/or family, generation after generation. We even expected the kid we sent off to college to come back and put his new smarts to work for us. Well, now, the American family is far flung, as the kids move off to more exciting places, with careers that don't gel with the old home town. Visiting Mom and Dad at Christmas now more often than not involves an expensive plane ticket or a very long trip in a loaded down mini-van. And, we leave our friends behind much the same way, forming new ones, and our circles of friends become as tenuious as our roots have become. With Blogger, we form new circles, new connections, new communities that span those distances, and although they cannot measure up to the small town, everybody knows your name foundations we used to enjoy, well, this is what we have, and we make the best of it we can.

Hopefully, Freedoms place will be in it's own way a throwback to the home town we all left behind, a place we're everybody knows you, and you never have to leave, no matter where you go. As long as I have a computor, I'll be here, unless Sheriff Buffalo throws my sorry ass out of town.......

JP (mom) said...

YEAH! You did it :)

You rock, Tim Id! Cheers, JP

Time said...

I'll make a deal with you. Ditch the sock monkeys and I'll still be reading your blog in a couple of years. And two Beatles will always beat on of the Mamas and the Papas any day.

Anonymous Shandi,
Although I think it would be fun to have a blogger's convention and actually meet all of my favorite blogger's, I also think it would be kind of like pulling the curtain aside on the Wizard of Oz. I think in some ways we know more about the inner workings of each other than the people we know in the real world, but when faced with each other we'd have to deal with the facades each of us wears in everyday life. Plus there is no Photoshop in the real world to make me presentable (though I do have pretty nice teeth) :)

JP, Thanks for the suggestion. Cheers!

Even though I don't speak Aussie, I always seem to understand where you are coming from. Cheers my friend.

I've struggled with that concept of putting in effort to maintain friendships. Trouble is, there are so many things in life that take so much of our energy like work and family. I've always wished that having friends in your life could be that one thing that is effortless and easy.

I know what you mean. When someone stops stopping by my blog I can't help but internalize it and wonder what I have done. But the reality is that life just happens to people and they move on.

THE Michael,
Don't you wonder if our virtual village is just as susceptible to human foibles as the real one?

Anonymous said...

I went to 14 schools in 12 years. After the first half dozen moves it was just too painful to make deep friendships that would have to be abandoned in just a few months. I don't know a stranger, but my true friends are easily counted.