Tag Archives: Friendships

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

13 Nov

Renewal with friends

Renewal

When you’re tired and weary.

When you feel beat down by life.

When your mid-life malaise is all that you see.

When you feel unbalanced.

When you get lost.

When you can’t recognize yourself.

When you reach for chocolate and it’s not there.

When you breakdown because of the last straw.

When you need to restore yourself to your original factory condition.

When you need the 2.0 version of yourself.

You reach for a place where you can find it.

You reach for a place where someone sees you, and then you see yourself.

Friendship … girls night out … wine … laughter … renewal.

The Red-Head in Apartment 3B

29 Oct

You’re unpacking your car and they’re out there in the open.

Neighbors.

Most of the time they’re friendly. They give you the nod. The wave. The hello. They let you borrow butter. Sometimes they’re too friendly, chatting it up like they’re your best friend trying to get latest gossip. However, other times they’re your nemesis and you do whatever you can to avoid them.

In any case you know you’re place. You know the relationship. You know the good, the bad, and the ugly and you respond accordingly. But what happens when you get the phony? You know, the one that smiles and says hello, how are you one day, and then completely ignores you the next. You know, they look right at you and pretend you’re invisible, and you look like a dumbass with your smile and your hello-hand up in the air.  What the hell?

I’m not a fan of this sometimes-I-say-hi-to-you neighbor. You either say it or you don’t. I can’t be guessing the type of mood your in, I’m not a mind-reader 3B.

I understand that the neighbor relationship is a tricky one. It has many stages. Sometimes you start off as best buds, you know watching each others cats when you’re out of town, or watering your plants. Then you have the basic pleasant conversation at the mailbox, nothing deep, but regular friendly chit-chat about the growth spurts of your kid, your dog’s diet, or what gym you’ve been going to because apparently you look great. However some neighbor relationships are just the quick hello-how-are-you what’s-up-with-this-crazy-weather conversation. Then you have the half-smile and nod relationship. And finally you have the I know you live near me, but I don’t think we have anything in common so I’m just going to ignore you neighbor.

It happens. you have someone for every category. You get over it if someone chooses not to talk to you, no big deal.

However what happens when you have a neighbor that began with the smile and hello, then progressed to the conversation by the mailbox, then it transformed to the ignoring part … all in the span of a month. What’s up with that? Crazy neighbor.

This was 3B.

I wasn’t buddy-buddy with 3B, far from it. We were just hello-how-are-you neighbors. That’s it. But then I noticed her Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde disorder. You know…nice to you one day, and then completely pretend you’re not there the next.

I’m not a big fan of that. If you talk to me, great. If you don’t, you don’t. But I don’t like these mind games. These half-assed salutations. So … 3B … if you’re going to say hello, say it, and say it consistently, otherwise keep walking. I don’t have time for phonies or half-assed hellos. I’ve got gray hair and my time is valuable. Dude. My hellos are valuable.

Hmph.

Neighbors. An interesting group.

 

Weekly Image of Life: Celebration

27 Oct

Celebration.

Celebrate friendship.

Celebrate college football.

Celebrate the post-game.

Celebrate with Framboise and other icy cold beverages.

Celebrate with The Band and its leader … Chantel.

Celebrate your inner youth.

Celebrate laughter.

Celebrate memories.

College reunions … a cause for celebration.

Hangovers … not so much.

However, this celebration still rocked.

.

 

Host of Weekly Image of Life Challenge: This Man’s Journey

The Lurkers

17 Sep

You ever have that one couple that always seems to pop out at the most inopportune time?

You’re at the park, packed up, ready go, practically walking on the sidewalk trying to make your way home because you have to make dinner, give the kids a bath, and put them to bed. It’s a race. A race for your sanity and you’re just trying to win because if you’re late everything gets screwed up and the bedtime battle lasts longer than your patience can withstand.You’ve got everything timed just so and then …  they come out with their kids waving hello, and striking up conversation about arsenic in apple juice. What? Yeah.

The Lurkers

You try the nodding thing for about three minutes but then the conversation continues and now they’re talking about effectiveness of balancing bikes as your kid is riding his bicycle with training wheels. You wish the encounter had some kind of Bat Cave exit.  But no … there’s no way of getting out of it immediately  without looking like a jackass. You so wish you had Larry David there for back up because you know he’d come through for you.

But you’re solo.

So you do your fifteen-to-twenty-minute polite talk because your kid likes to play with their kids. Their kids get your kid all riled up running up and down the grass, and you’ve just finished an hour-long baseball, soccer, golf, hide-and-seek, and tag marathon. You swear you don’t know where this energy is coming from. All you can think about is how to stop this, because your bedtime battle will definitely be extended.

However during the conversation you notice something about the couple’s dynamic. You hadn’t really noticed it immediately, but now you’re pretty sure of it. Whenever couples hang out, there always seems to be the cool, nice, easy-going one and then there’s the other one. The chink in the chain — the one with all the trivial pursuit game questions for conversation starters.

No one wants to hang out with that.

So then I realized that sometimes the chain needs a break, thus the constant flagging me down when I’m trying to rush home, probably because she’s tired of the trivial pursuit type of conversations. You feel bad because you realize that the lady is really nice, she just got the short end of the stick.

But even though you feel sympathy for your fellow chick, you can’t keep going with this charade. So you start with the signals — the hey-son-you-got-five-minutes-left warning, the hey I-think-my-kid-is-crying-because-she’s-hungry reason, and the yeah we better get going soon because it’s getting dark and the moon is out.  But the dude doesn’t get it. He keeps talking about the effectiveness in compost.

But she does. So she calls for her kids and says she needs to get dinner started. You sigh in relief and try to wave your kids in as quickly as possible and blurt out the words good-bye, before he starts another conversation.

You escape. Finally.

But three days later you show up at the park again at a completely different time, hoping not to run into anybody, but you know that there out there somewhere — the lurkers. They’re out there.

 

What Happened to My Phone Call? Stupid Facebook.

27 May

I remember how the phone used to ring and I would answer it. We’d engage in conversation and laughter. I’d learn little idiosyncracies and they would learn mine.

We’d hang out. In person.

I thought I was special, someone deserved of a phone call, a personal visit, a sit-down lunch in a booth with placemats and a wine list, where conversation commenced and personal information was shared. But now … I’ve become one of the masses. One of the hundred-plus under the “Friends” category.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

It hit me. I was no longer special. I’d been dumped and Facebook was the reason.

I have to admit it was a good idea to begin with … reconnecting with old friends and childhood acquaintances. People could post pictures of their kids without being the annoying intrusive parent who constantly pops out photos of their kids at the office when people don’t even ask them. Everyone posted what they were doing, when they were doing it, and what they liked. They had their own paparazzi, however this media outlet publicized the positives — accomplishments.

But then slowly I began to see important notices — milestones — on the website. Stuff like buying houses, new jobs, baptisms, births, and engagements.

Now that was all fine and good for old friends or acquaintances, people with no regular telephone frequency. Even for friends in another state. But what about close friends?

I realized … I guess I wasn’t that close. What up? What happened to my phone call? Stupid Facebook.

Just the other day I realized that someone I had known for over ten years bought their first house.  I found out at the same time as 122 other people. I thought, no wonder I hadn’t heard from them. I would call and leave messages. But no response. And then there it was posted on Mark Zuckerberg‘s invention.

“We just moved into our new home!” Pictures included.

There were no more conversations. No more idiosyncracies. No more placemats. I got notified just like everyone else.

I understand moving is crazy. It’s a hassle. It’s a bitch. I’ve done it four times in eight years. I know it’s overwhelming. But I call. I let my close friends know, then I send out an email letting the rest of my world in on it.

But technology has allowed people to reach the masses. Let everyone in on their business. It allows you to share your joys, your triumphs, your memorable moments as fast as they happen.

But with all this sharing and the new technology that allows you to do it, even from your cell phone, I’ve lost many good friends. I’ve gone from a good friend to friend No.54.  I’ve become one of the masses. Stupid Facebook.