So, thanks to the miracle that is Facebook, I have reconnected with many old friends and other people I used to know. (I’m thinking, quite a few of those “friends” of mine fall into the second category, which is to say that we were neither BFFs or enemies, or even frenemies. Most likely we were friendly acquaintances or just friendly.)
But I seem to know a lot of people. As in, 104 of them on Facebook alone. Just shy of 10 from that melting pot are immediate family members, and probably an equal amount of them are people I (currently) know from church. Then quite a bit more than those two groups combined are actually good friends that we do stuff with, or are at least in regular contact with, but who are the rest?
Some are blasts from the past. Some are from so far back you probably count them as family. Most are those friendly acquaintances and people you knew as a friend of your actual friend. What is it that always brings us back?
It’s really hard to incorporate people you haven’t been in contact with for awhile back into your life. Probably neither of you knows what you want, other than to say hi, but you do know you have absolutely fabulous memories of them and all the wicked things you did from age 5 to 20 and you at least have to say that to them.
Sometimes you try hanging out and it goes great and depending on how geographically close you are, you either start hanging out again or at the very least keep in regular phone and email contact. Sometimes you try hanging out and it seems to go well but then peters out and at least one of you is left wondering, “Should I try again or is this just one of those pleasant Hi’s & Goodbyes?”. Other times, their parents don’t pass your letters on and they don’t return your phone messages and you wonder, “Wow, what happened? I know we were pretty good friends for those 12 years…”
At any rate, I enjoy reconnecting with each and every one of these friends whether we played Unga Bunga on unsuspecting younger girls at a YW Cabin Campout or were just friends of friends who were always happy to be included in the bunch.
Somehow, wherever I am, I will know somebody within a five mile radius of where I am at that very moment and undoubtedly will run into them before the day is through. I find that really comforting. And just in case you don’t believe me, let me leave you with the following examples as proof:
Exhibit A – While traveling alone, by myself (as in not with anybody I lived with on a day-to-day basis) in New York City at the tender age of 12, I forced coerced my loving aunt into taking me to church one Sunday. This particular meeting place was in a building accross the street from the Met at the Lincoln Center (which apparently is now a temple!). All during Sacrament Meeting I had this feeling I was going to see somebody I knew. Like what 12 year old from Sandy, Utah is going to see someone she knows in some high-rise church accross from the Lincoln Center? Sure enough, as we were waiting for the elevator after the meeting, I SAW SOMEONE I KNEW!!! It was the sister of somebody I had known from my ward who had either just gotten baptized or married.
Exhibit B – While riding the train that circles Disneyland, I “overheard” two older-than-me ladies sitting behind us wondering aloud about something they obviously needed expert advice on. So of course, being the fabulous person that I am I had to turn around and help them out! One thing leads to another and the usual small talk commences. “Where are you ladies visiting from?”, etc., etc. You don’t say? That’s where I’m from! Do you know Jane Doe? What?! You’re neighbors?! And that other lady is their grandma?! What a small world!!
Exhibit C – I live in a small, not-quite-rural and not-quite-suburban town in the middle of nowhere. The spanish translation of my town’s name is “lard”. Seriously, go to your store and ask where the lard is. That brand name? That’s where I live. Anywho…. apparently when you don’t live in Utah, you are supposed to have the missionaries over for dinner on a regular basis. I found this quite appalling when we first moved here as when I was growing up that was just not done. As far as I remember, we did not have missionaries assigned to our ward. Well, being the ethnic cooking wonder that I am, I love to have the Elders over once a month to give them something I know they’re not getting at anybody else’s house. That, and because I also know that no matter how much they hate something they will still never say a bad thing about it. But they never hate my meals because I don’t really cook, I arrange products together with a minimal amount of actual prep work on these occasions (seriously, what white woman has each individual spice in her cupboard to create curry? Exactly. TJ’s Masala Simmer Sauce is da bomb!). So instead of making those poor boys be my gastronomical guinea pigs, they actually like it. Anyway, I have digressed. The Elders are coming over for dinner, they’re new (or on splits from some other area) and wow, that’s an unusual last name, Elder Bjorklund! You’re not perhaps related to…. are you? I thought so because you look EXACTLY LIKE THEM!!! Dude, your mom was my Merrie Miss teacher and I used to babysit your older brothers!!!
I rest my case.