Friday, March 16, 2012

Counting Friends

I always seem to start working on this with the words: I don't know what to write. And then I blithely write about my day as if someone would be interested. Really? There are roughly twelve of you that are interested in any of this. Twelve people in the entire world. Well, thank you. I look forward to seeing you on my stats pages. Truly, I do. Okay, I'll admit that I'm a little OCD about it. The names of the countries alone are exciting to picture in my imagination.

Sorry. I get carried away.

Thinking of you twelve people makes me think of counting my people. When Nick is having trouble falling asleep, I tell him to name the people who love him and take a deep breath in between each name to picture their faces. Sometimes I do it with him. I always start by saying, Dad, then Mom, and move along the names. When I can't think of someone new, I go back around to the people who love him best, starting with Dad and Mom. Yet I've never done this myself.

For my list, Nick and Mike come first. They are my foundation, my reason for living. Then there's Adrian, who feels like my second son. He comes and goes as he needs.

Can I count Seth, Buddy, and Teddy? They may not be people, but I talk to them a lot and they're great for hugs and laughs. They are my animal family.

I have three best friends. They make me laugh. They let me cry. We listen to each other. They have very interesting stories, these three women. I'm not at liberty to tell you their stories.

Then it gets complicated. Do I count the cashier at the market as a friend? He talks to me almost every day and I know that he likes to do upholstery, that he's worried about chemical additives, and is very cheerful anyway. What about that friend I haven't seen in almost a year despite the fact that she lives down the road? I still love hanging out with her when I can and we seem to click right back into place when we do see each other. She has three boys and I figure she's worn out by them. I hope that's all it is.

I have forty-five actual people on my iPhone list. One is a person I need to delete. I only had his number because I made the mistake of inviting his son over to our house. One person on my contact list has died. I don't have the heart to delete her. She was a wonderful woman. There's actually a woman in there that I do not know. I did once, but I don't now.

I'm reading another book called 'I Remember Nothing,' by Nora Ephron. I liked it immediately, being drawn to the title. In it, she has written an essay called 'Who Are You?' In it, she writes of the times she's talking to people she's met but doesn't remember or friends whose name she can't recall right then. It's only funny because I've struggled through the very same moments, though I don't have the luxury of having met a million people who want to meet me, who are my biggest fan, who saw my latest movie. She has an excuse. I don't. Damn.


Sorry, I just got distracted by my email. I have 85 email contacts. I also have 137 unread emails. I've been horrible about checking my email since I've been spending so much time on Facebook. There are 903 messages stored there. It sounds worse than it is. I check it on my iPhone too and so it's hard to catch them both up at the same time. I need to spend some time deleting, but I don't want to. I probably should go through my email addresses too and make sure I need them all there, but when I do, I know I'll manage to delete someone I need.

I have 70 friends on Facebook. It feels as though I can follow their status updates fairly well. I know some people who have 354 Facebook friends! How do they keep up? These people talk about the weather, complain about rude drivers, or look at vacation pictures. They talk about the school board meeting, politics, or how they're doing during the power outage. They get book and restaurant recommendations and highlight funny UTube videos. My current favorite is the cat that wouldn't walk on the treadmill. Poor kitty. I don't think I'd have wanted to walk on that boring treadmill either, but this little guy was so sweet about it.

The funny thing is that not all of these lists of friends is the same! Oh, there are the core people in each, but lots of them are different groups. I have friends from my quilt group, my book group, my email friends. I have one friend I have never met except through email. Can you believe that? She's wonderful! To tell you the truth, she's much nicer and more thoughtful than I am. I have friends through Scouting, friends from Nick's school, church chat ladies, and friends from the whitewater rafting company that Mike used to work for. I sometimes feel inundated with friends, but mostly, I feel blessed by them, even by the cashier at the market.

Thank you for listening, jb

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