Sunday, March 18, 2012

Need a Kidney, Take Mine

Thursday, we met with friends at a local Cajun "kitchen" restaurant. These 2 people (married couple) have been in our lives for nearly as long as hubby and I have been married. Even after, 40ish years, we have the absolute best time together.  

 These are the kind of friends that really are just a smidgen removed from being my  family.  The only thing that differentiates this category of friends from  being  related to me...well other than DNA, is:

A.  I might not be a perfect match if either of them needed a kidney. Still, if they needed one,  I would go get tested. I would not give them both kidneys even though I would want to.

B.  They don't have all the collective baggage resulting from the in-family fights and who-said -what-to-whom, so they can hold a long term grudge.

C. They laugh at my jokes. (safe to say my family thinks I am more weird than funny)

D. They are open to the fact that I walk "kind-of-sort-of"  in the middle as far as politics go. (which is to say socially liberal, fiscally conservative) (Note: if any of my "faithful-to-their-party" relatives are reading this...relax, take a deep breath)

E. These friends don't have to attend family events but they would be welcome.

F. They are supportive of my habit of using 4 letter words.

The reason, I am even talking about FRIENDS this morning is that I am a tad concerned that the  word "friend" is being made more and more insignificant as it is routinely applied to everyone you come into contact with.  It is diminished by it's over use.

Let's start with Facebook.  Oh no...don't you jump to the conclusion that I am a hater.  I AM NOT!!!! I think Facebook has it's place.  I do.  Reconnecting with old friends and following the "out of area" people that are in your life...great. Trying to re-establish a connection with the friends that you should have done a better job staying connected to....PERFECT.  I am all for it.  But...and you knew there would be a BUT in here....

Facebook's use, in a lot of cases, is  less about connecting with true friends and is more about
networking, advertising, posting personal preferences on what you think every one else should believe, and all manner of "less than friendly" purposes.

Still, for those of you that use it to support and console others, put funny clever little things on status updates (that would be of interest to anyone other than yourself), send out holiday and birthday wishes and the like...rah, rah for you. No harm in any of that.  The harm is when you put all your energy into thinking every person that you ask to be your friend is in the same group that would give you the aforementioned kidney.

I have heard from a number of people concerning all the angst they feel because someone de-friended them or didn't comment on one of their status updates. Are you KIDDING ME???? You are getting depressed and angry because someone didn't respond with a LOL or LMAO or some other frivolous endorsement of compliance.  If you are taking social networking  so seriously that you are fretting about "updates" or "tweets" from  people that are less connected to you than a spouse, partner or child, you need to stop. Really,  Stop, Step back and Walk away.  However, if you are depending on Facebook as your sole communication with your immediate family and they fail to respond to your status update..indeed there is a problem. (Husband, I am at the desk next to you, I assume if you need me you will talk, not tweet or poke. Am I wrong?)

Which leads me to another matter of great importance.  As I do like to see what clever little jokes, posters, anecdotes are posted on Facebook AND I find those clever one-liner Tweets on Twitter a absolute hoot...perhaps I have been  negligent by not responding often enough. Are there people out there that are losing sleep over un-acknowledged comments on my wall.  I wouldn't want to force someone into seeking a psychiatrist because I am not being a good friend or follower.

Same goes for my blog friends...when I get busy and get behind reading blogs, does that mean I get assigned  to the "BAD FRIEND" crowd?  I hope not.  If I don't agree with every thing you post, do you mentally unfriend me?  Again, I hope not.

This isn't exactly
what I look like
in person.
One of the things about the world we live in today is there are a number of friends (see there is that word again) that we meet on-line.  We wouldn't know them if we bumped into them on the street but still there is a connection.  I can tell you after 200+ blog posts and reading thousand of  other writer's blog posts, there are a number of people that I feel a real fondness..yes, fondness for.  I would hope that if we met in real life we would be friends...friends in the real sense.  The kind of friend that I would give that kidney to.  It is, unfortunately, possible that a real life meeting would torpedo the fondness, blow the imagined connection to smithereens.

So here it is my friends....

For my Facebook friends...I like you.

For my blogging friends, I may or may not always agree with you but love reading your point of view just the same.  I would like to think we would remain friends if we met in person.

To my face-to-face friends, do you need my kidney?

Just a little poem about the little nuances of being a friend:

It's just the little homey things,
The unobtrusive, friendly things,
The won't-you-let-me-help-you things
That make our pathway light,
It's just the jolly, joking things,
"The-never-mind-the-trouble things,
The laugh-with-me, it's funny" things,
That make the world seem bright.

For all the countless famous things,
The wondrous, record-breaking things,
Those "never-can-be-equalled" things
That all the papers cite,
Aren't like the little human things,
The everyday-encounter things,
The "just-because-I-like-you" things,
That make us happy quite.

So here's to all the simple things,
The dear "all-in-a-day's-work" things,
The "smile-and-face-your-troubles" things,
Trust God to put them right!
The "done-and-then-forgotten" things,
The "can't-you-see-I-love-you" things,
The hearty "I-am-with-you" things,
That make life worth the fight.



Thechubbychatterbox said...

Love that Facebook picture! So true.

Bodaciousboomer said...

If you're a bad friend than I am too. And I just don't believe that. So there.

Jayne said...

I agree. The term "friend" is overused. That whole thing of who can collect the most "friends" on FB is a little demented. I'm very fond of most of the people I interact with online, or else I wouldn't do it, but the giving-of-the-kidney -- that's the true test. I'm blessed to have some of those types in my life and I never confuse the two. Lots of good points here, Cheryl.

Nicky said...

This immediately brought to mind another quote about friendship:

Friendship is like peeing yourself
Everyone can see it
But only you can feel the warmth it brings

I think we would be very good, organ-donating friends in real life. I know I already like you enough to offer you a kidney bean, so really, a kidney's the logical next step.

Cheryl P. said...

Good, I am glad I am not on your "bad friend" list. And you could never be on my bad friend list...ever...never.

Cheryl P. said...

You make a really important point...being able to differentiate between the people you meet and are fond of versus the people in your life that would alter your being...the "matter of life and death" kind of friends.

Cheryl P. said...

You are a friend indeed, Nicky. You never fail to make me laugh and what a blessing that is in a friend. I will be ever vigilant to let you know the minute I need a kidney bean. One never knows when that particular need might arise.

Sorry, though, I have to sign off as I just peed on myself.

oldereyes said...

Love your post. Muri and I have always talked about how loosely people use the word friend ... and how great the kind of real friends you talk about can be. I'm not a Facebook hater either but I think it can be very narcissistic, more about me than you. Occasionally, I get that feeling about blogging, too, but I love the writing so I ignore it. I often feel guilty about not making my blog rounds often enough. I won't even promise to try to come around more often, but I will try.


Cheryl P. said...

I totally agree about FB leaing toward narcissim depending how people post their updates. "I am in the line and the bank" or "I love Cheerios more than Wheaties" OH PULLEEZ.

As far as blogging goes, I too am consisently revising trying not to use the I perspective as much but in all fairness to is a web log after all. A journaling of either our life or our thoughts. Hard not to be narcissistic to a degree. I have never read one post of yours and took you for being self absorbed.

Yes, same here. I try to read as many of my favorites any given day as I can...still not enough hours in a day. If I am in a real rush, I might read and not comment.