Friday, October 7, 2011

Am I a lone reed?

"Kathleen, you are a lone reed. You are a lone reed, standing tall, waving boldly in the corrupt sands of commerce."  -Frank Navasky


Do you ever have that thing where you say something out loud, and the moment the words leave your lips, you wish you hadn't said it out loud?  Almost like you jinxed it, even if you don't believe in jinxes?  I just had to go and say that my word for this year is 'contentment.'  What I have been struck with this week, several times, is the irony that I am seemingly alone, or perhaps one of very few people, looking to have deep, meaningful connections with real friends. 

I invited every friend I have that a) lives in my relative corner of the world that I b) thought would be interested, to join us in some of our traditional fall festivities.  With the exception of my parents, and one VERY wonderful pair of friends, everyone has declined.  Everyone is too busy, or in too much of a hurry.  The kicker is that several of them has since mentioned that they went ahead and did it without us.  So the idea was good.... 

Several events of this year have resurfaced in my concious mind, and I don't know what they add up to. 

I had a date with a friend; I arrived at our meet-up where I proceeded to sit and wait for 35 minutes without any sign of her.  Finally, I decided that something unforeseen must have happened so I went back to my car, and there she was - talking to another friend.  And she informed me that if I just had a cell phone, this wouldn't have happened.  It was my fault.

I have a friend who on one hand, has repeatedly said she loves my pictures, but on the other hand has said that if she had to pay for my pictures she would take her own because, "I just can't justify paying for pictures." Then she went and bought a camera that cost twice as much as my first digital SLR. 

And don't even get me started on that popular networking website everyone belongs to!  Thanks to a tip from one of my younger cousins, I was the first person I knew with an account.  But it got to the point where I realized that "friending" had very little to do with friendship, so I quit.  And of course, I have not been invited to some things because people have to "go out of their way" to invite me. 

I love blogs, I love Ravelry, and I love Flickr.  But I want to look someone in the eye, hear their voice, see emotions on their face.  I want to go see a friend's local band because I knew they were good back when no one had heard of them, and not because I'm networking.  I don't want someone to say to me, "Okay, you can be right," because, frankly, they don't care either way.  I want friends who don't answer their phone in the middle of our conversation, because the conversation we're having is satisfying.  And I want a friend who accepted my invitation not only because it was a good idea, but because they knew I'd be there. 

I feel like I'm wading knee-deep against the blowing sands of commerce, and technology.  I guess I'm having a midlife crisis. 


Dad said...

A daughter after my own heart!
In fact, while technology does us no favors here, I suspect it has always been difficult to get beyond surface relationships. But it is worth the effort; because here and there, someone will connect that will be a lifelong traveling companion.
And in the meantime, your pursuit of contentment (and things like shalom = well-being, and joy which goes a lot deeper than happiness) makes life rich.

KariBeri said...

It is okay Karen and please do not take it too personally or blame yourself. Some people lack a filter or just do not have the brains to realize they are being rude. Im sorry I did not reply to the trip to the berry farm. Its been really hectic on my end and very difficult to take my boys places because my eldest is quite the handful. I understand your need for actual human contact, I crave that too. But I would not worry about people who do not respect you or your time. all you can do is put an offer of friendship out there, and you are such a good friend for even offering to have a gathering!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

(((hugs))) Both me and my daughter don't "do" the social networking thing. It doesn't affect me much, but it does my 17 year old daughter. She's the last one to know of any of hers friends news because she doesn't subscribe. Funny how life has changed...what's wrong with the way we did it before!

Candace said...

Oh Karen, how thought provoking and a little bit sad. We've experienced the same thing this year with people who have been excited to come visit the Squash House then make excuses at the last moment. Mr. Squash and I are glad that we have each other as best friends at times like that. I do want you to know that I come here as a true friend. You have touched me in many ways getting to know you as a blogging friend and I do look forward to meeting you in person some day. I don't "do" those other sites or networking, either, but through blogging I've made just a few very dear, close and lifelong friends - and you are one of those!
Cheers and love!

Thimbleanna said...

What a great post Karen! I think people are often just very involved in their own worlds -- and it's truly no reflection on you. I often feel guilty that I can't (or true, sometimes won't) accept offers from others, but with working full time, aging parents, a big house to take care of, yadda yadda yadda, I just feel like I can't spare the time. And then I think I really should change things so that I can accept an offer here or there. (Maybe I'm just feeling that way now, with so much to do to get things around here ready for winter.)

Anyway, hang on to your principles. I HATE facebook. I do have a small family account to keep up with my kids, but that's it. I just can't stand the format and all that fake "friend" stuff! XO

StarSpry said...

This is a very interesting and somewhat sad post. I'm sorry things haven't been working out as far as connecting with people. I agree with the other comments that it isn't your fault or's other people who aren't being the friends they should be. I always feel bad when I have to turn down an invitation, but a lot of times I feel like I can't afford to participate in the outing. I hope things are getting better!!