insert guitar solo


Okay, I admit it. I’m hopelessly jetlagged and have to go to bed way before I usually write the blog, hence the shameful lameness of this week. I’ll be back in action after the weekend, but in the meantime, if one of you early risers (jesus, the responses from yesterday made me feel like most of you are up on the East Coast before I go to bed) want to ask something interesting about… oh, say, the value of friendship, please do.

0 thoughts on “insert guitar solo

  1. Anne

    Me! Pick me!
    Oh, I’m first. :-)
    I have had some difficult times in the past half-year or so relating mostly to work, but also to our son’s academic “adventures” as a high school senior. *Begins counting gray hairs. Gives up.* It culminated with my being laid off after 34 years with my employer a few weeks ago.
    My friends have come through like gangbusters. Old friends, new friends. Friends in real life. Virtual friends. Everyone has rallied around me with love, encouragement, sympathy, and even leads on future jobs, both freelance and fulltime. One old-ish friend has come to see me after years of being apart, and emails me almost daily to see how I’m doing. I’m …. verklempt.
    In a dark part of my life, I have found a lifetime of friends coming forward to say, We love you. You are good. We’ll recommend you. We’ll help you. We are here.
    Friendship: Priceless.

  2. LFMD

    Hey, I expected to hear about the big occasion at the Blake-Wms household. Does this mean that I have to wait until Monday to find out? Hmmph.

  3. CM

    Yeah, right, LFMD? I wanted to know, too!!
    Friendship – true friendship, when someone really wants to know how you are doing, not just so they can tell you how THEY are doing, is key. How many people in this virtual world would be there for us in a long, terrible tragedy? It’s hard to tell unless it happens. I try to be a good friend to all, but I know it is hard for people to reach out sometimes, too.

  4. Mindy

    I agree with Anne. Friendship is priceless, and sometimes it still surprises me — in good and bad ways. I was hospitalized during both my pregnancies and both times I was pleasantly surprised by the care and help we received from some and frankly, disappointed in the reactions (or lack thereof) of some people who I considered to be good friends. But I’ve also been surprised by myself in the past couple of years. I used to think that I was a good friend to others, but I’ve realized that too often that hasn’t been true. Oddly enough, and I’m sort of hesitant to say this, but Facebook has really taught me a bit about how little I knew/know some of my friends both old and new. As I’ve “friended” both former good friends and bare acquaintances from high school I’ve been surprised by some of the connections I’ve seen and some things I’ve learned about them. It’s really given me a whole new perspective on myself and my high school years. And frankly, it’s not entirely positive information. I’ve spent the better part of the last 20+ years feeling pretty bitter and disappointed with that part of my life, and frankly feeling a bit of a victim. I’m finally really seeing my own role in how my time there played out and it’s also made me reevaluate some of my later relationships as well.
    I’ve also realized that while some friendships can endure periodic droughts, you can’t neglect them for too long. Just like romantic relationships, they need care and attention. It can be hard to attend to with jobs, kids, and distance in the middle, but it’s definitely worth the effort. One thing I’ve tried to do is to remind myself often how much the online and real life support has meant to me during tough times and to remember to “pay it forward” and to tend to my friendships more often.
    To be honest, I’m often quite envious of the long-term friendships that are exhibited right here on Ian’s blog. But it does serve as both reminder and motivation that if you want something you don’t have then you have to work for it.
    Ok, end of my blathering. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

  5. josie

    No doubt the big occassion included little Lucy’s birthday celebration, right? I may come back to comment on friendships later…it’s a busy weekend and may not accomodate the attention required for such a topic. Enjoy your weekends!

  6. xuxE

    i’ve picked some really evil wolf-in-friend’s clothing type friends in the past, which sucks because i’m a loyal person so when it happens it just wrecks my whole world.
    but thankfully i’ve got a really good bunch of friends around me now – and especially since i know what it’s like to have it the other way – i’m extremely grateful and happy about it.

  7. Alyson

    I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships these days, as I’m finally solidifying some new ones in New York. I’ve been here two and a half years, and it’s taken this long to build a network.
    I had a huge network in Chapel Hill, and while I knew that it was unusual and magical, I didn’t know how difficult it would be to recreate that. I also didn’t know that I didn’t necessarily want to.
    I have a few friends here who have been kind, supportive, and amazingly fun. And I’ve been fortunate enough to maintain some of the friendships I left behind in NC.
    I’ve also been reading Anne of Green Gables, which is a great book when you’re thinking about your relationships with people. She talks a lot about kindred spirits, and it’s lovely to see those in your own life. One of the greatest comforts of this life is finding those who share your sense of humor. Laughing at the same things is a true, pure joy. I am so grateful to keep finding those people.
    The value of friendship can hardly be overstated. I’m glad to have so much of it.

  8. Anonymous

    I was raised in an odd little family (I do love them, though), where it was preached that, essentially, friends are nothing but trouble and will always think of themselves first…don’t trust them ~~ yada yada.
    “Family,” I was repeatedly counseled, should be the only people that matter. The irony in this tidbit of cynicism is that each of my parents were not only physically estranged from their respective families, but also pretty emotionally estranged. They didn’t go to any great lengths to stay connected to those from across the Atlantic, or those who settled in Boston for that matter. There was always a sense of “they can come to us if they want to see us.”
    Given, there are some extraordinary circumstances behind these attitudes; and for purposes of post-era analysis, it all kind of explains the dysfunction, so I continue to reserve judgment.
    The point is that I was probably well into my mid thirties before I realized that I was not such a good friend to my friends, and that this was not because I was a bad person, but because I had poor role models/training in how to be a friend. I have met some wonderful people in this last decade who amaze me with their generosity of time and spirit — all of which comes from a very genuine place within them (i.e. zero ulterior motives, zero judgment). I aspire to be like them.
    I continue to grow in my ability to be a friend this way, and am actually trying to coax my beloved yet dysfunctional nuclear family out of this dark spot they’ve created for themselves.
    So, the value of good friends is the opportunity to be one in return. It’s very fulfilling!
    (Since I’ve shared personal family info, I’ll have to anonymize this one)


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