Thursday, December 01, 2005

Small Craft Warnings (Fair-Weather Friends)

I've always had good friends in life. I've never had "best" friends because I don't believe that no one person can truly know me inside and out to the point where I'd consider that person knows me "better" than anyone else.

Back in grade school, I didn't worry about having friends because I had so many cousins that I was never without a playmate.

When I relocated to New York City several years ago, I didn't think about losing friends and diminishing experiences. Gone are the long-term and valuable friendships with people I thought would always be there. Perhaps they were meant to be in my life for a limited time, like a special sales offer at a retail store. Act now! Act fast, these people with their accompanying joy, smiles, pains, and insights are yours if you don't think twice about it.

Oftentimes its hard to accept that some people aren't genuine or that they are fair-weather friends; or perhaps they were genuinely fair-weather friends and I expected more.

I was either raised to be independent or had to be by default as the oldest of three. Being a big brother and mentor to many can leave little room to be a younger brother and mentee to others with more experience and insight.

People I knew in Houston have disappeared from my life. They're married with children, divorced with children, or competing with their former selves as interminable students. I can't fault them entirely. Houston and New York City are two different worlds. My concerns here are not theirs, and I left behind the sights, sounds, and smells of Texas. I noticed the disconnect in letters, postcards, and e-mails long before the actual absence.

People here on the East Coast are a different breed. The rhythm of New York City is unlike any other city. I've met and partied with many . . . the cold truth running up my spine as I write this. Again, don't think about it too much. My role to many was that of a big brother, so I shouldn't complain that they've moved on having grown in different ways, out of boredom, or lost in the sea of New York and nearby cities.

Friendships are supposed to be different from families, although there's no written rule that families should provide unconditional love.

The existences were what they were, and I pray that we're all the better from having been in each other's lives. Each year the electronic address book changes, fewer birthday and seasonal cards arrive, and most aren't keen on writing e-mail.

The reality of it all, after these many years is that meeting new people is an investment of time and energy. I have never assumed or claimed instant friendship after meeting and hanging out with someone. I'm guilty of taking care of people in lieu of real friendships. Time to clear the carnage and go about finding and maintaining adult friendships, sans the emotional and spiritual disposable diapers.

1 comment:

Calliope said...

Perhaps as a result of being raised an oft-traveling army brat, I’ve accepted the fact that most people will quickly pass in and out of my life fairly quickly.

I don’t necessarily consider them fair-weather friends. God knows I’m equally bad at staying in touch. But I try to cherish what we had together, when we had it, and to recognize that an important moment is an important moment, no matter what precedes or follows it.

To (geekily) quote one of my favorite musicals, Into the Woods: This was just a moment in the woods... leave the moment, just be glad, for the moment that we had.