Saturday, April 21, 2012

Silver and Gold Friends

I went to real summer camp when I was a kid. No air conditioning, no en suite bathrooms. I had to walk to the casita (the bath house filled with Daddy Long, to the ceiling) in the middle of the night. With a flashlight so bears wouldn't eat me (I'm pretty sure there are still bears in the Granbury, TX area, so watch out). And, of course, I had to shake out my shoes in case a scorpion crawled into one during the night before I could even go to the casita. With spiders. Like I said, real camp.

And because it was real camp, we sang camp songs -- all the time. I still remember most of them (although, nowadays, I frequently can't remember what I originally needed when I walk into a different room; I call this Roomnesia and I'm pretty sure I should be famous for discovering it. And rich). What was I saying? Oh yeah......  Here's one I remember:

Make new friends
But keep the old.
One is silver
And the other's gold.

I've been thinking about friends lately. I have friends that I've known since kindergarten, which was, like, two hundred and fifty six years ago. Some are more recent, of course. It's not like I've been on a desert island writing fabulous blog posts and working on my tan. I do get out every now and then.

I reconnected with a semi-old friend recently (circa 1970). The circumstances of the reunion aren't great, but the visits have been wonderful. I'll admit, there was a time I (briefly) hated her guts. We were going from 8th grade into 9th (ie high school --- yikes!). I was a cheerleader in 8th grade and tried out for a spot on the high school team (certain I would make it because of all my vast experience). So did she. On crutches. All she did was yell a lot. I yelled and the same time. I guess you just can't account for the sympathy vote (yeah, she won). But, because I was such a gracious, magnanimous person, I forgave her and we remained friends. Then I went away to boarding school my sophomore year, where I made new friends. But we would hang out together some when I came home on vacations, and we were debutantes together (yes, really) in college. Later on, we were busy raising families and lost touch. We'd run into each other at parties or restaurants, but never actually got together. Until recently.

It's interesting to hang out with old friends you haven't seen in awhile. You have a shared history that's comfortable and familiar, but there's this whole other life you've both lived in the meantime. Some of it has been awesome, some of it kinda sucky, and you wish you had been able to help somehow. And part of you wants to share all the dirty little secrets you've been hiding the past X years because that's what you used to do X years ago, but part of you realizes that, in some ways, this person is also sort of a stranger. It's really the best of both worlds -- familiarity and discovery, laughs about antics from the past and some new ones you've yet to experience. And it's way cool to see how we've "grown up" (not so much for my friends, because, well, I just haven't grown up that much....but I think you already knew that). I've enjoyed it and look forward to more times together. Maybe get into a little mischief too. It could happen.

I found some of my new friends via the blogshere. I've only been blogging since January, so they are really new friends. And we've never, like, actually, met. I mean, IRL (in real life, for those of you who are terribly out of touch. Don't you wish you were cool like me?). But I feel like I know the bloggers I follow, ya know? I probably have more information about The Bloggess than anyone else via her new book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened. I pre-ordered so I wouldn't have to fight somebody over one at the bookstore. And I'm actually going to meet her when she comes to Dallas on her book tour. Eeeeeeeeee!! 

I've gotten to know other bloggers too and I can't wait to see what happens next in their lives. I've celebrated with Jules on her inspiring journey to the smoke-free world of smaller boobs (soooooo jealous on both counts). I've cried with courageous Lauren who has had such a difficult time lately, but always comes back with a smile....and cheese (and she's hilarious, but she really needs gemstones and babies, RYAN, to make everything OK). Lauren will also be in Dallas to meet Jenny and, if I recognize her, I truly hope that I don't scare the living shit outta her by, I dunno, maybe squealing and jumping up and down like a twelve year old at a boy band concert. Sorta undignified for a 54 year old, but not out of the realm of possibility, I'm sorry to say. Then there's RingFingerTanLine. I get vicarious dating thrills AND tempting recipes from her blog. Bob the Water Cat is hilarious; Metta Drum is deeply spiritual. I could go on, because there are some truly awesome, funny, transparent, real people  writing out there (not like there's mannequins or zombies writing the other blogs, but you get my drift, right?).

I love my and old, silver and gold. They're all priceless to me!

How do you keep in touch with old friends? Where do you find new ones?

Have you been there?


  1. OMG, Claire…My poor hubs…he was in here when I started singing, “Make new friends,” because, alas, I went to camp, too. And had worms in my hair. Well, because they were spinning their whatevers down from the trees, so you can imagine how little sleep we all got, getting worms in our hair, and faces, and screaming bloody murder every time it happened.

    At any rate, I had to back up and read to the hubbage your blog, and then SQUEALED like… a damned 12 year old at a boy band concert or whatever. Just sayin’.  Well, you know…when you mentioned little ol’ me in your blog. (Will I EVER get over that?)

    For the record, you rock, and I am going to hit up Lauren and RingFingerTanLine, and have been meaning to visit Bob the Water Cat, because this string of words has been popping up a LOT lately, and Metta Drum? I’m into deeply spiritual a whole lot more than I am into “devoutly religious.”  Sorry, Mom. (She’s Catholic…)

    Have a fantabulous night, my FRIEND (yes, apparently, according to the song, you are a silver one, as am I)!

    Much love!!!!!

  2. Claire, what nice things you have to say about me!  Seriously made me smile A LOT.
    Courageous isn't something I think of myself as being all that much.  But you just made me feel a little bit braver.And if you recognize me in Dallas you had better come say hi.  I'll be wearing jeans, a light purple tee shirt that says "Filing Jointly in 2010" and Grey Converse sneakers with purple and white polkadot laces.  For real, that is what I am wearing.  Now you'll HAVE to recognize me.

  3. I'm not sad to report that I have no real "old" friends, just people I used to know and wave at as we go by.  All my old friends love drama too much and I am over that crap, I mean, stuff.  My daughter is my oldest and best friend and she is 32.  LOL. She has to be my friend, I make her.  :D
    My new(er) friends are bloggers and spiritual friends (NOT religious) I have found online.  I didn't put my blog on here because I don't do it on mom blogs lol but I will do it this time since I know you appreciate the spiritual genre.  Anyhow, I have made more genuine friends online than ever in person. The town I live in is close minded and not at all how I believe so it's not easy to be friends here. I am able to scroll through blogs and one link leads to another and before I know it I am lost but have found some cool folks to talk to!  Actually I have been on the phone with many of them so we know as much about each other as anyone else ever has known about me.  I have met two of them in person, spent a week with one.  You know when someone is true and real and fits with you, even online.
    So, there ya go.  I write books instead of replies ya know lol.

  4. Well, when WE meet (I'm sure we will some day) we can sing the song in a round! lol

  5. Woohooooo! I'll be stalking...I mean, looking for you!

  6. Me too -- definitely NOT religious! lol  Making new connections is awesome!

  7. Now I'm all weepy.

    Seriously, your mission in Dallas is to get a photo of the 3 of you together. Lauren, Jenny and Claire. That's what I want for my birthday which is fast approaching. And you will get a gazillion legend points if you are holding something that says "Hi Bob." on it. 

    This comment will self destruct in 5 seconds.
    Dun, Dun, Dun-da, Dun, Dun, Dah-da . . .

  8. I've now got friends located in three (very) different countries thanks to living abroad - though in fact they're spread out thinner than that right across the world. I love joining new societies & clubs when I relocate, then I start meeting people quickly.
    Things like Facebook & Twitter help make keeping in contact easier - I can find out their news in "real-time" as it were. However, NOTHING beats a coffee and a catch-up face-to-face. They probably don't count as proper friends unless I could fill 2 hours in a cafe chatting to them. :)Enjoy your pilgrimage to see the Bloggess!

  9. Challenge accepted Bob.  Challenge accepted.

  10. You better believe it, BOB!

  11. FB has helped me way more than Twitter in reconnecting, but the face-to-face is awesome. And i'm really looking forward to seeing familiar (sorta) faces, like Jenny and Lauren. Can't wait!!

  12. Come in here close, you two. Group hug. Group hug.

    Psych! Not until you complete your mission. As usually IMF will disavow any knowledge, what was I saying?  OMG the cat just farted on me.

  13. Awwww, hell yeah!  I have been known to fly to Texas, so I have been on a plane. :)  I can do it again. Ain’t skeered no more. :)  If I come, can we go for a ride?

  14. Hells yeah! DO IT!

  15. OK, Bob, I looked up IMF. What, exactly, did you mean by that? International Monetary Fund? InfraMammary Fold? Irish Medicines Formulary? Those make the most sense, but I'm still not sure......

  16. Oh my gosh, Claire. (face in hands. disbelieving) 

    Tell me you jest.

  17. Impossible Mission Force (from the Mission Impossible movies - hence the self destruct talk and the omnious music in Bob's first comment.)

    Also, yes I am a huge nerd.


Yes! I've been there, Claire!