Saturday, November 24, 2012


I have been imagining this moment - my great re-entry to the blogosphere. I imagined it like tapping on a microphone at a club about to perform, making sure everything was operative, only to find that there is no one in the audience. So it doesn't really matter if the mike works, or I say the right thing, or my voice cracks. Because even if someone sneaks in, it will be too dark to notice.
I haven't checked this blog since my last entry. Even tonight, I wouldn't read through it - too scared to check in with the past which will serve as undeniable proof of how much time has flown by. "They" tell you it will, but who likes listening to "they", anyway? Since I last wrote, I birthed a whole other child. He's three now, and we officially have a brood. An embarassment of riches on some days, just an embarassment on other days. Last time I was "here", I was really here -- present always, a full time stay at home mom with playdates and endless restaurant meals where you really make yourself believe that a child with no teeth should be in a public dining establishment, as the floor becomes their dumpster. Now I work more than I play with any one or any thing. I never stopped craving the work place, the stupid things like dry clean only clothes and steaming Starbucks at the desk. And now I have it, and more. And at home, they have me less. I will write about this more - this fallacy of balance, the answer to what is really "doing the right thing", the crushing guilt that comes when your children verbalize their joy when they think you might be picking them up from school. Just once. This month.
I have found myself thinking a lot about friendship as adults, amidst all the kids and the jobs and things like mortgages and life insurance. I spent much of my young life perfecting the art of being a good friend. This is the time when letters were written and folded into small smeared squares and mailed. When phone calls were long and tethered to a cord. I was a gold medalist in the olympics of good friend-ness. I trained for years. And I loved it - so rare did it dissapoint me, the investments and the choices and the texture that good friendships added to my life. Their importance never went away. Not even when I got married. There was somehow even more that I needed then, to unpack, analyze and validate the mind blowing phenomenon that is forever.
And now, everyone can be a good friend. Thanks to Facebook, which did not exist when I started this blog. A few "likes" and a "happy birthday!" and there you are, scoring the friend points with people you scarcely remember. But real friendships, the ones that need nurturing and status updates that are real and not contrived for Facebook sake, there is suddenly no time. How do you make time? Is it just me, who is disappointing friends on a daily basis for not being there, not knowing? You may not feel it on a day to day basis - the days are too full. But you will get a cryptic email from a dear college friend and convince yourself that it's cancer (when thankfully, it's pregnancy). Or when you find out from Facebook that someone who you know considers you one of her one-and-onlies had a son in the hospital. You find out the same way that her ex boyfriend from high school does, or the weird colleague whose friend request she couldn't ignore. So on a day to day basis, it may be OK, being to full, too frenzied, too disconnected. But will time stand still? Will these missed moments be forgiven? And as badly as I feel, knee deep in neglect, I feel equally righteous. Wouldn't a good friend understand that where I am is not a reflection of who I am or where I want to be? Are real friendships immune from benign neglect, are they supported from a foundation of irrevocable understanding that does not require constant contact even if it means missing some big things? What does it mean to be a real friend?


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