Saturday, September 22, 2007

Friends; why I'm lucky to have any

I've had the great fortune to meet a lot of neat people in my life but often, because of my lifestyle, I've not known them very long--maybe 6 months to a year. I liken these friendships to affairs; brief, intense, and difficult to sustain over distance. There is what I consider the lip service paid to the promises to visit one another, the mutual recognition that it is unlikely to be the same between you ever again, and the refusal to acknowledge either of these things.

Recently, I've tried to be honest with these great people and just let them know that it is very unlikely that I will ever come to see them wherever they move to. If work brings me through their town (directly through, I'm unlikely to take detours), I'll give a call and hopefully we can hang out. I’ve now abandoned any pretense that I will visit even my closest friends. As a deeply lazy person, I just don't have the energy or will for maintaining active relationships with what are honestly close work acquaintances.

I have a small wonderful handful of very close friends and that is all that I will work to maintain. I'm otherwise taking away from folks who I love to give to those I really like and I’ve got great friends. Really great friends. I really have no idea what they get out of our relationship. As friends go, I’m not really a great friend. Sometimes I’m a pretty crappy friend and in general I’m a pretty lazy friend. Aside from the emotional energy involved in all relationships, I really don’t have very many close friends because I eschew the actual physical energy required to maintain those relationships. I’d like to think that this conservation of “friend energy” means that the people I chose to focus my mediocre friend powers on get the very best that I have to offer.

The picture above is of one my closest friends at her wedding a few weeks ago. I am truly lucky to know her. I was happy to be invited, I was delighted with the occasion, but I could not wait to leave. Weddings are psychically disturbing events. Everything is distorted, the emotions, the ceremony, even the love everyone has gathered to celebrate. It is positively overwhelming and exhausting. I wept--wept, listening to a mix CD she made for the guests. I wept to “Peace Train,” “Rocky Mountain High,” Alabama’s crossover hit, “I’m In a Hurry;” I was certifiable for the three days I was there. Who cries to that music?

Although terminally single, I nevertheless succumbed to the heady chemistry of the event and made mental notes on how I would plan and execute my wedding day. For example, I will not call out my single friends for the bouquet toss. Once you are in your 30’s, there tend to be less single folks so it feels like the land of misfit toys standing there feigning interest and excitement about a beautiful bouquet that we know will not change our life if we catch it. At this wedding there were 4-5 of us and a 13 year old girl who ultimately caught the coveted life-changing bouquet.

Thoughts on the bouquet toss aside, I think at the conclusion of my friend’s festivities, I felt fairly committed to not having a public ceremony. Immediate family and the handful of my friends that tolerate my mediocre friendship only. And their spouses, their kids, and their dates if they don’t want to go stag. But that’s it. Oh, and his people too. Recognizing that line of thinking would have my friends crying to Rocky Mountain High and seeing very little of me, the person that they had come all that way to celebrate with, I came up with a new plan. Real immediate family for the actual wedding and a travel voucher toward airfare to visit us at our home. I think I’ll save the reception for a milestone anniversary, like 10 or 20. 5 if we need some cool kitchen appliances.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Amos Lee: Why I think he probably has a lovely soul

I saw Amos Lee in concert about a year ago. I had never heard of him and a friend had a free ticket. I was so moved. When it was over I honestly felt he had left a piece of himself in the room. I felt like I knew him. He provoked in me that feeling that there are beautiful souls still out there, still feeling everything sharply, loving deeply and with complete abandon, still hoping for peace in a completely adorable and naive way, just lovely in all the classic ways. I started writing him letters that I could never bring myself to send. The silliness of writing to celebrities and the hope that they will nevertheless find your correspondence compelling and want to be your friend or something...well, I just couldn’t allow myself that frivolity. I wonder why he is not more popular--maybe he is more popular. I’m hardly the one to look to for the pulse on what is popular. If you’ve never heard of him, google him, he’s got a myspace page and a label homepage as well.

Year of the Dog

I realize it is actually the year of the pig, but for me, it is always the year of the dog. Dogs rock. My dog rocks even more.

The facts: I'm a woman in my early 30's, terminally single, and not sure if I lament the 'S' status because society conditions me to feel incomplete without my "partner" or "soulmate", I truly am missing my better half, or I'm just fearful that people will assume I'm gay (not that there is anything wrong with that). I have a wonderful dog that I dote on like I imagine I would dote on a child, and a job that pays the bills and keeps my dog in the style to which she has grown accustomed. I have exceptional neighbors and even better friends and all in all, I have been and continue to be very blessed.