Ok, I freely admit I am one of the world’s worst people for keeping in touch.
I know, I know, it doesn’t really tie with the image I like to portray, of being someone who really cares for my friends.
But allow me to give some justification of the pragmatics of it all…
Well, firstly, I usually think I don’t have many friends. This is basically based on the premise that I don’t expect to have many friends. I just don’t think I’m good enough at being a friend to justify having tons and tons and tons of people who get strung along expecting some evidence of friendship from me.
Ok, so based on this, you’d think I ought to manage quite well at keeping in touch. If I really did only have 10 close friends, I should manage just about fine! Thats them all contacted once-a-fortnight, with weekends off!! 😀 Sounds simple enough, really!
But, actually reality is faaar different. I guess I probably have more friends than I give myself credit for…
For example, I don’t neccessarily call everyone friends to their face always… as a kid, calling your teachers your friends was a Big Deal… so I kinda learned early on to “blur over that one a bit” 😛 Like, saying I feel indebted to people.
Indebted in a pleasant way, I mean. Where I like to acknowledge all the help and guidance and patience I have benefited from, and *want* to say thankyou. There are many people I respect and admire, who I want to remember. And whether or not they would count me as a friend, or even if they remember who I am… I like to think that I am their friend, no matter whether or not there is any return of the sentiment.
So actually, when I start counting properly, it really is no wonder that I’m continually having difficulties with the msn
max_number_of_contacts==150 issue. So, at one friend a day, that immediately cuts it down to being in touch once every six months, approx.
Which is probably about where I’m at, actually. But for me that really doesn’t feel like enough somehow. Maybe I’m just too intensive, or something, but twice-a-year contact you seem to never-actually-reach the “just being friends” bit when you spend all your time talking about bits of life that have been and gone.
Which probably kindof illustrates my main problem: there is a massive time-commitment in keeping in touch.
Now, thats not to say I grudge my friends the time. In fact, spending time with friends is one of my favouritest things.
But what I do regret is using my time what I consider inefficiently… Let me explain:
Sending an email is lovely, and can bring a smile to someones face. But it is one thousand times less enjoyable than actually seeing someone for real.
So, if I’m going to take time out to write an email- and it does take a good hour or two for me to write a decent email – then why not spam everyone at once. That way, everyone gets to stay up-to-date in bite-sized chunks (or in three-volume copies, in my case!). And also, it means if I spend one evening a fortnight spamming, it means I have another nine evenings left to meet up with people for real, or phone those not geographically close enough for meeting.
It isn’t anywhere near as personal that way, for sure. And it does cut down my ‘inner circle’ to a very un-modernly clique priveledged enough to exist non-virtually. But I may as well be willing to recognise the reality and say “Yeah, its not personal – deal with it!” And then, to make it personal, do the real things that matter, like talking for hours about something that interests us both, instead of the mundanities of life.
Hehe, maybe I should start a blog…!!
As far as blogging is concerned, probably more personal-ness comes via comments that are left – like when in an email you respond to “my Mums not been well” with “so how is your Mum these days”… well that reciprocal part seems to be well-served by the commenting functionality.
So, now that I’ve havered a bit, what’s the real deal? 😛 Well, I think all my wonderful friends out there could leave me a comment…