My Magpie & I have recently been working our way through the TV show ‘Friends‘ from beginning to end. The experience is heart-warming, and sad. We are both old enough to remember what friendships looked like when people were still choosing to connect in person, to connect deeply, and to make these connections a priority in their lives.
How disconnected have we become, now that our relationships exist mostly as soundbites – fleeting flashes of our lives… tiny, carved out chunks that can’t possibly contain the fullness of who we are..? How great the tragedy, that we actually believe that a smartphone is a suitable substitute for a friend?
I remember this:
I remember meeting up, and hanging out from dawn to dusk – building treehouse, or riding bikes, or collecting bullfrogs, or jumping off the dock , or just laying around in the grass for hours and hours. I remember the gang coming over ‘just for a while’ and finding ourselves 3 days later, still laughing & talking & enjoying one another’s company. I remember meeting up for coffee at noon, and becoming so engaged in conversation that we’d just keep on buying refills until eventually, we HAD to leave because the coffeehouse was closing. And even then, we’d manage to spend another few hours together, even if it meant sitting in a parked car, in the snow. I remember creating things, and solving all the problems of the world, and the experience of being ‘known’.
I remember ‘hey, let’s go camping this weekend’ and ‘hey, that project you’re working on – I’ll give you a hand’ and ‘hey, let’s rent a flick tonight’ and ‘hey, friend, let’s spend some time together, because I like you, and I value you, and I want to be around’. I remember a time when “I’ll be there for you” meant we’d be there. For real.
It meant we’d show up. It meant we’d stay. It meant we’d work through our shit & come out stronger on the other side. It meant we’d put out the effort, and put in the time. It meant we’d make our friendships a priority. It meant we knew what loyalty was. It meant we shared confidences and KEPT them. It meant we’d see each other at our best, and at our worst, and we’d love each other even more because of it.
I remember when, if we said “I’ll be there for you”, we understood what we were saying, and we wholeheartedly meant what we said.