The benefits of being sick before friends…

This post will soujnd a little bitter, but if I am honest with myself that is probably how I feel 🙂

My friend B’s son is in the hospital with a potential fatal tumor, and while I don’t know his son (and feel awful for his son!) my first instinct was to visit Friend B for moral support.  To be honest, I didn’t want to visit since I battle fatigue and my own health issues, but he did not visit me when I was in the hospital for a week with a potential fatal lung disease; but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to be the better person and to go, except I spent he a busy week with family commitments and frankly I am exhausted.  So I texted him I wouldn’t make it.  Out of curiousity I went back and checked my texts/emails from when I was miserable and battling lung disease, and not one of my three childhood friends (including B) checked in with me the entire six months i was sick.  Not even a “How are you doing” although Friend B reached out to ask if I co uld help plan a surprise party for another friend.  What I learned then was that I truly have two great friends who visited and brought food – but my childhood friends were no help.

So, I have this to say: I will not be visiting my friends when they are sick.  I wish them all the best, but am not going to put myself out visiting. True friendship is about support, and I’d rather invest my time and energy where the support is potentially mutual. 

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The benefits of being sick before friends…

Christmas Party was a success last night

Wife M hosted our annual Christmas party last night, a party I don’t necessarily look forward to but also understand her need to have so support. She had to do a lot of the prep on her own this year, since were were gone last weekend and I had to work this week and she is on break.  It turned out well.  We had maybe 40 people there despite the Seahawks game, and it was all people we enjoy.  We had the food prepped by a local taco stand which was fun, and served Champagne mixed with a little tequila.  Everyone seemed tired, perhaps from the election, and the party was done by 10:55.  Our first party was six years ago, and it was special and memorable, and we expanded from that.

Christmas Party was a success last night

Thinking of my new friends from Fall 1988

I headed away from college in 1988.  Althought it was less than 100 miles from home, I was looking forward to getting away and meeting new people, and didn’t expect to return home very often.  But I literally knew no one where I was going, so would have to meet new people.  My first day, I was adopted by a small group of close friends, and for the next several weeks I hung out with them, eating meals with them, going to parties with them, etc.  They were funny and nice, and I laughed all the time I was with them.  Then at one of those parties, I met another couple of people and started hanging out with them, too.  This would continue for the rest of that year — branching out and meeting new people all the time.  I loved it.  I can still see the people and hear the conversations and hear the music that was popular on the campus at the time in the dorms.  For whatever reason, the people I’d meet that Spring would stick and I would remain friends for ilfe with some of them, but I haven’t seen most of those people from Fall of 1988 in over 25 years. When I knew them they were just getting started in life, and now many of them are nearing 50.  I am sure they are different in many ways and I would probably not recognize them (some may have even passed, and I wouldn’t know since I am not great at scrolling back and reconnecting with people I knew from decades ago) but I will forever see them as 20 year olds with their lives ahead of them.  Am thinking about them this morning, for some reason.  

Thinking of my new friends from Fall 1988

I love parenting teens (truly)

Son R and daughter L – just a grade apart – each had a couple of friends over last night.  The group talked (and laughed) all throught he night, just 5 teens sitting in our living room chatting about who-knows-what and occassionally howling with laughter. This morning, all of them are crashed in the livinr room.  Really, I love having teens. There is a lot of energy and you never know who is going to show at the house, and honestly there isn’t much for me to do (just a few years ago a “sleep over” was a lot of work for me 🙂 ).  I love these days, and will miss them as much as I miss the school-age days whent they have passed.

I love parenting teens (truly)

Social Engagements, especially parties, are work for me.

This weekend we had a few social engagements, including a party late on Saturday and a birthday party in the evening Sunday.  I tend to love coffees and smaller/shorter engagements, but larger gatherings where there is a lot of small talk with people I’ve never met before or haven’t seen in awhile, it is draining, especiallly two nights in a row.  If I am honest with myself, these engagements are work and not highly enjoyable for me.  Honestly, because work pays the bills, I’d probably rather be at work.  But the thing is, having friends and having a social wife means having to put a smile on my face and fighting through these things the best I can.  All part of the trade-off of live.  But I am paying the price for it today (Monday), though.  🙂

Social Engagements, especially parties, are work for me.

Our friend Bonk

Last Fall, my wife arrived at our house with a kitten.  He was a cute little guy who’d followed her home. I recognized the kitten – I’d seen him in front of our neighbor’s house a few hours earlier.  “I think he is lost,” M said.  But he didn’t have a collar.  We took him to a 24-hour vet to see if he was microchipped — but he wasn’t.  What else could we do?  We bought him some food, a little kitty bed and some kitty litter and housed him for the night.  He was a curious little guy – he explored our house, purred up a storm while he explored our couch, and even sniffed the dogs.  Our older dog, T, went to sleep, and T2, the younger and smaller one, ran away to the other room.  We actually really liked having the little kitty… In the meantime, we posted ads on Craigslist, our neighborhood websites and so on.  I’ve never been a cat person, but even I was hoping on some level that maybe we could  keep him. But the next day his owner reached out to us.  He’d slipped out the door ujnexpectedly when she’d removed his collar for a few moments. She was ecstatic he was safe.  So our friend Bonk was gone, just like that.  But I still think of him from time to time, like right now when Johnnie in Night Of rescued a cat.  

Our friend Bonk

Dreamt is was my birthday, attended a huge party, was joy riding in a retired police car…

Dreamt that it was my birthday and wife M threw a large party for me.  The party was on a huge field with a grassy beach below (not unlike the Scottish and Irish countrysides we were just at), and I was late coming home from work so wife M had turned it into a pseudo surprise party.  There were a lot of people there, including Mike B from my dad’s 1980s softball team, my long-deceased grandma and my deceased aunt (people were both commenting how attractive they were, saying that must be where I got my good looks), and my college friend Jeff H.  It was a very crowded party, but the field in front of our house and the beach below were so big it didn’t feel overly crowded.

Now the dream veered – my police friend B wanted to take me for a ride in a “retired” squad car so we drove along Broadway in Seattle.  We were chatting when a real police car passed us going the other way, so B quickly veered into a parking space, but that quick action caught the attention of the police, who pulled in behind us.  B was alarmed (and I felt guilty he was going to be in trouble) so he leapt out and tried to radio the squad car behind him to try to talk his way out of trouble as a professional courtesy.  But they weren’t responding as he radio’d them, so in frustration he instructed me to stay put and walked back to the police car.

As I waited for him, a metro bus slammed into our car and intentionally rammed us forward.  I realized we were in a bus stop zones, so let the bus continue to push me forward while I scooted to the driver’s set and braked the car passed the zone. As the bus passed, the driver and I exchanged profanities, and I stepped out of the car to call metro to complain about him as I wandered down Broadway.  But the line that answered was a restaurant, and the staff there was also rude to me, so I crossed the street, walked into that restaurant (so conveniently located across the street), and exchanged a few more profanities with the staff (the restaurant was closed in preparation for dinner) before telling them it was my birthday, which cooled them off a little bit.

Finally, I used their restroom, marched out into the street, and walked along a back street behind Broadway that doesn’t actually exist in an attempt to try to relocate the police car.  Here, the dream ended…

I get why Jeff H and even B was in the dream, but why people who I have not seen in so many years?  Interestingly, I barely had a chance to speak to my grandma, who I loved dearly and who died in 1980 – if she were at my birthday party I’d make a special attempt to talk to her. I think friend B was in my dream because he called me recently to see if I was going to our high school reunion.  Europe had a vivid influence on my dream – the fields near our house were like the Scottish and Irish countrysides, and the back alley behind Broadway was like so many small lanes crisscrossing the cities of Europe.

 

Dreamt is was my birthday, attended a huge party, was joy riding in a retired police car…