Thursday, July 13, 2006

sealing wax

we are such movers and shakers! in my adult life, which hasn't been a good ten years yet, I will have lived in five different places in four different cities in four different states, not counting dorms. i've changed my mobile phone number once, and my license plate about four times. i have keychain discount cards for grocery stores up and down the east coast. i know how and when to get cardboard boxes for free, and at this point, i could probably parallel park a u-h.aul blindfolded. and i am not alone. i purposely put names, addresses, and phone numbers into my little blue book in pencil only. 'cause everybody i know moves and changes their number and/or e-mail address constantly, depending on jobs, marital status, internet service providers, bad credit - you name it, people will find reasons to tell you that something about how to find them is different this week than it was last week.

perhaps part of what lets you in on whether or not somebody really wants to stay in your life is whether or not they let you know they will be moving, but even more so, whether or not they leave their new address with you. when they change their number, have they called you to tell you, or do you just get the "not in service" message when you dial the old number? i can think of some folks right now that won't be getting my new contact information...

people always say that they want to keep in touch. i know i've said it. and each time, i've had the best of intentions. but i think it really depends on a few circumstances. 'cause right now i can think of some people i really wanted to keep in touch with, and it just didn't happen. because we are such movers and shakers, it's difficult for many of us to create a space in our schedule to really, truly keep in touch. then one day, you may bump into each other one day and remember how nice it used to be way back when you were still in touch - before the phone calls went from daily or weekly to monthly or quarterly, or even worse, annually or semi-annually. the problem with letters is that noone writes them anymore. there used to be an art to it, with practiced and beautiful calligraphy, special stationery, and wax seals with monograms. then we all got long distance. and mobile phones with night and weekend minutes. instant messaging, text messaging, and e(lectronic)-mail. everything has to happen quickly. our communication is getting truncated, along with the length of our friendships.

then there's that awkward feeling you get when you think about someone you said you'd keep in touch with, that you haven't spoken to in an awfully long time. it's a silly feeling, by the way, because the phones work in two directions, and they haven't called you either. in fact, they thought about you just a week and a half ago, but didn't call you 'cause they thought that you would be angry with them for not having called. plus your life has changed. their life has probably changed. or maybe, (and this would be a worse possibility) they haven't changed at all, but you have. or you haven't changed. but they have. so instead of reaching back and catching up with the friend, you just say, "i wonder how so-and-so is doing..." and shrug the whole thing off. "they ain't even thinking about me, anyway! humph."

well that's stupid. i guess if we all always said that nobody would have any friendship. i figure we should do the best we can to keep things rolling. be honest with each other. be good to each other, and be diligent in reserving time with our friends, no matter how far away they are. you never know what goodness they have within themselves to keep giving to you as you both grow. and you should be there to receive it and give of yourself, even if it means you have to buy stationery.