Monday, October 26, 2009

5 Little Words #4

Thanks to our dear friend rxbambi, I've got 5 little words from her to comment on.  This nice little meme was started by Little Ms Blogger with 5 words for Bambi.  Check them both out!

Friendship

Friendship is really complex in our day and time.  For those of us who are "old" (I'm talking 40ish and above), the advent of all of the social networking sites has allowed us to connect with people we haven't seen or talked to in years.  Many of them we haven't even thought about since the last time we saw them.  When I signed up for Facebook, I had bunches of people from high school send "friend" requests.  There were a few of them that I was really happy to hear from.  There were several that really surprised me.  These people were not my "friends" in high school.  In fact, many of them weren't even very nice to me in high school.  Why do they care what I am up to 25 years later?  Why to I really care what they are up to?  

Part of it, in all honesty, is probably ego.  I have done well since high school.  I've got a PhD in biological sciences.  I've been published in scientific journals.  Other scientists have asked advice and have valued my insight and opinion.  I've had a 20+ year successful marriage.  I have 3 healthy kids.  Maybe I want some of those people to know that I didn't turn out to be a total fuck-up.  Maybe I want them to know that I've succeeded and have a great life despite not being in the "in" crowd in high school.
 
I friended most of the ones that requested it; and I have looked through their pictures and updates.  But that is probably as far as it will go.  I won't be looking them up if I am in their city of residence.  They may be on my friend list, but they are not really my friends.

On the other hand, I have reconnected with people that truly were and are my friends through both email and Facebook.  These means of communication really can help you stay connected to people far away.  We lived in Alabama for a time and I made some really good friends there.  I've been able to stay in touch and "see" them through email and Facebook in a way that written letters and even phone calls can't supply.  I just emailed one of them yesterday because her birthday is coming up.  I miss hanging out with her and her kids.  Maybe keeping up via computer is not as satisfying as seeing her in person, but I really enjoy looking at pictures on her Facebook page and seeing how the kids have grown.

Almost 4 years ago a friend of mine had her 40th birthday.  We were best friends since the 6th grade.  We survived high school together (even though we went to different, all-girl, private high schools).  We survived boyfriends and break-ups.  We were in each other's weddings.  Then distance separated us for quite a long time.  When I went to her house to celebrate her birthday, I was a little nervous.  We hadn't seen each other in so long.  Yes, we'd sent cards, and emails.  We'd talked on the phone a few times.  But we hadn't been together.  Well, it just didn't matter.  As soon as we were in the same room together it was like we had never been apart.  In my heart, I know that she is a true friend.  Jen, I love you! 

10 comments:

otin said...

I have more loyalty and love toward my blog friends than I do toward my high school friends.

McGillicutty said...

Yep have to agree with Otin on that one. I only have ONE friend on FB that I went to HS with... weird.
I have a lot from back home in dear old Blighty and the distance is certainly bridged with the computer.
I had a friend like you're talking about who I love dearly and for a while we lived only two hours apart, it was great to be able to visit her now and again. She's since moved to Virginia and I haven't seen her in about 5 years.. maybe I should hop a plane and surprise her!!!! Her name is Jen too.

rxBambi said...

I think McGillicutty should jump on a plane and visit us!
I've had a couple people ask about seeing me while in st louis, but it usually falls through. Like you said, they aren't "real" friends. Not even as real as bloggy friends...
Ok are you working out? I'm leaving now. You love me. I love you. We're a happy familoo.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Hey...since when is '40ish' "old"?! It's the new 20, right? ;)

Excellent observation about Friendship...like Otin, I definitely have more loyalty and love toward my blog friends than my high school friends.

♥ Braja said...

Hey you...:)
Friendship is a quality, it's not a location, or a time, or a place. A person is not a friend just because they were in the same room as you at a certain age. That just doesn't make sense. I think a lot of the letdown we feel with r/ships is what expectations we're trained to think are realistic. In what I've seen of Americans, this high school thing is a strong element, and people are meant to think that those we spent that time with are special. Mostly? They're not :)
I liked the post....

♥ Braja said...

And Otin's just trying to say he loves me....

:)

Brian Miller said...

nice...friends have more to do with intimacy than proximity...i had a bunch of old friends from hs find me on facebook...i guess once they realised i was alive and scoped a pic or two they were gone again. oh well, i'll stick with my blog buddies. great post! glad i followed the link over at rxbambi's.

Goose said...

People I went to highschool with have freinded me on facbook too and we were by no means friends. I wasn't popular either, but I'm "friends" with all the people who were popular back then...I don't really get it either.

Little Ms Blogger said...

I guess I go against the norm. I have friends from all walks of life and consider myself fortunate.

I'm still friends with people I've known since I'm 5, high school and adulthood.

One of my closest friends live in another state and one in Egypt. Distance has never been an issue for me.

I find as I get older, making friends has been a bit tougher (especially having no kids), but have met some wonderful people through work and, now, the blog world.

Barb, you have a PhD in biology. My sister is a neurological research scientist at Johns Hopkins and is also published, I wonder if you know of each other as it is a small world (that's what I've been told).

Btw, you're much better than I am. I have declined people on FB. If we didn't hang together in high school, we probably don't have interest in chatting. I also don't befriend past stalkers.

tori said...

My best friend from h.s. wrote in my inbox the other day that a girl from h.s. friend requested her "I don't know why, she was always telling me she was gonna kick my ass in h.s." she said. Don't know if people finally grow up or if there are other motives...
facebook has been wonderful for my recent move and feeling connected to my friends back "home".