Saturday, January 6, 2018

Ghosting Friends

Just read an article about ‘ghosting’ and since ‘friends’ is one of my favorite subjects, why not waste a cold, like really cold snow imprisoned afternoon watching play off teams try to make the big leagues in really, really cold weather to make me feel warmer and wasting your time reading this far.
Ghosting is the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication. Benching is just the modern incarnation of what we used to call leading someone on. Part of what makes benching so attractive is its plausible deniability.
Today with all the communication between people not requiring face time, this seems as normal as making a profile on Tinder with a photo of a fashion model and stats that would make Kim leave Kanya. Since I don’t do chatting or Tweeting or whatever other form of shooting out quick quips to entertain the microwave-mind society I can only relate to the theme ‘ghosting’ from past experiences?
If the definition is about breaking up a relationship (friendly or more so) with a tweet or a text or a sad face emoji, then maybe fading away would be better than the harsh reality that you don’t care about the other person’s emotions. Are we that harsh? You decide.
The cars are moving faster now so I guess the roads are getting clearer. If everyone drove the way they drive when the roads are covered in ice, it would be safer for those of us exposed on two wheels but that is just a dream that speed limit is obeyed. Although the temperature is in single digits some of the snow is disappearing. It is so cold it is not melting. The snow is evaporating. A quick buffet fixin’s and all is gone. That makes tomorrow’s decision a bit tougher.
Enough about me, this was about ‘ghosting friends’. My take on that subject are the photos from long ago (before there were selfies and someone else had to hold the camera) with groups of people smiling and looking very happy to be in each other’s company. If they are not family, they are friends. Might be a party or a holiday or a day at the beach with possible schoolmates or team members or just random folks who like to hang out together. As you look at the faces, can you name the people? At one point you were all friendly but times change.
Some go to college far away and some stay home. Some get married while others stay single. Some start families. Some buy houses. Some go to jail.
There are many reasons we lose touch with people we held so dear long ago and still we classify them as friends. Who are we kidding? I’ll let you decide.
The wants and needs change, the amount of money we make and spend, our values and even political affiliations will become evident when we meet again. On re-introduction we do the normal description of job title, housing area, offspring, pets, cars and hobbies.
Other than talking about ‘ole times’ and filling in the gaps to stories each remembers differently, there may not be friendship anymore. It is the normal progression of life. Different experiences can be discussed but without an intense session of ‘who, what, where, when and why’ we can nod politely and ask for another glass of wine. How could that person turn into this person? I’ll let you decide.
Memories fade and a few reminders might jolt a time and place but that was then and this is now. They don’t know who you are anymore than you know them.
Now and then the reconnect clicks and you pick up where you left off. Still it is rough around the edges because of time and space.
Some friends are purposely ghosted because another meeting would be harmful. Maybe the parting was not pleasant or even costly, so why remember? Maybe declare to yourself the face in the picture has departed this life and put a period on the relationship?
Some friends were nothing more than muscle to help you move your overwhelming boxes of books and records or people who sold you dope so you stayed connected with them for another score or some were just people who were in your team or club or band who spent so much time together were named ‘friends’. There were friends who were roommates who you bunked with in a dorm or an apartment, and then there were friends who you could touch and allowed to touch your body. Those were ‘special’ friends.
I’ve been ‘ghosted’ and have ‘ghosted’ (sorry Mr. Bennett. Not sure of the conjunction function). When people moved away and lost touch other than a card in the mail or an occasional visit, they fall off the radar screen. Some people become interested in something that is not your cup of tea so they go their way and you go yours. Some find a new ‘special’ friend and you move down the priority list. Some feel promoted to a different caste and lose interest in former selves. Is this good or bad or just life? I’ll let you decide.
Unfortunately photographic evidence can touch a brain cell to remind you in your dreams why that face was important in your life. Maybe these are our ghosts?
I’ll let you decide.

The television has been placed for viewing if I can figure out all the remote controls, the wine is breathing and the dust has not settled from removing the phone line plug with another one for this evening project. “Walk Away Renee” is on the play list that seems appropriate and the guitar stands ready for some strumming. The snail mail has been thrown away so maybe check one more if any of those ‘friends’ on social media have anything interesting to say. I’ll decide.

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