Friday, February 28, 2014

We Use To Be Friends

At last count, I have 775 Facebook friends. Somewhat less than a friend with 4,992 but certainly more than another with only 21. So why am I so bothered by the few who have unfriended me in real life?

Like, a couple of weeks ago. I decided to go out on a Friday night and see a band.  I got to the front door at the same time as the guitar player's wife and son, and we exchanged pleasantries.  She told the bouncer that they were on the guest list, they entered, and left me to pay the $22 cover charge to get in.

Did I mention that she and her husband were in our wedding and Wingman was in theirs?  Boom.

I've had many great friends over the years.  There were the ones I had in grade school when sleepovers and boys were we all could think about.  There were the ones I had in high school when... hmmmm.... sleepovers and boys were all we could think about. There were the college friends with a purpose beyond sleepovers and young men.  We studied, worked and planned our professional futures together.

Then entered Wingman, and the dynamics of friendship changed.  My friends weren't just mine anymore-they were also his friends, and his, mine.  As a tight group of five couples, we were in each others weddings, godparents for each others kids, helped each other move and decorate our homes, celebrated holidays together.

One Sunday while I was working, Wingman took the boys to a play date. Somehow, a discussion led to an argument with the wives of his two close friends.  He was asked to pack up our kids and please leave. The next day, he called to apologize, but the die was cast, they refused to accept it and did the unspeakable: unfriended us. Plural.  Him and me.  That really ticked me off.  I mean, what did I do?  What did my kids do? The babies got thrown out with the bathwater. It ultimately meant no more shared barbeques, no more birthdays, no more New Years Eves or Super Bowl parties.

Don't cry for me Argentina, there were and are plenty of other friends.  Of course there was always my BFF, but she still got invited to their parties-without me.  There were the parents of our kids' school, sports or scouts friends. People we shared wine with every weekend, but who morphed and changed as the kids' interests changed. And thankfully through social media, some of my old grade and high school and college friends became our/my friends again.

The Huffington Post did a piece on the five types of friends worth keeping forever. Tops on the list was "friends who make the effort". Surprisingly, the ones I hear from the most are the ones who've suffered some really serious illnesses or tragedies in their lives and now look at every day as a gift.  They're my Timex watches-took a lickin' and keep on tickin'. And three of them refuse to be on any type of social media-preferring REAL face time to clicking the Like button on Facebook.

Although I hoped differently, nothing changed with those two couples after Wingman died. And I say it's OK, but I don't really mean it.  The hoarder in me wants to keep everything and everyone from my past.  But when son #2, his wife and I ran into one of the women and her daughters, we found we had little to say to each other anymore.  Just like the birth certificates from those old Cabbage Patch dolls, they once had meaning, but have little to do with my life now.

Still, it would be nice to be on the guest list every now and then. Those $22 cover charges cut into what I can spend on a glass of wine.

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