Loved her writing but would not show up at her back door with a bottle of wine. Ghost- friend sounds like she had it right - it is all about Laura.
Agreed. I enjoyed thew writing, and the insights, but she doesn't sound like someone I would want to share too much with. This is probably really unfair on my part, I don't know her at all, I just read one article she wrote.
Did it seem like her constant defense of Facebook/twitter/social media was somehow directed at her Charley-friend? She doesn't use the social medias, we learn that early on. And from there on there is a constant but subtle campaign going about how these are actually okay, and good for isolated people and working moms, and they help with healing and connecting, and on and on. I'm not saying those are right or wrong, good or bad. I just think she is trying to defend herself to her friend - that isn't her friend anymore.
Hi SEnkey, I had to revisit this to see if I could answer your question. I think the social media usage is not the big issue here, although it is one of the only ways the author can connect because it is without any real obligations or interaction. What the deeper issue seems to be, for me, is that the author is disturbed by this friend leaving her “without explanation”. And that is despite the author saying she is a terrible friend and disappoints all of her other friends, who seem to forgive her. I know individuals that admit to being really shitty friends, husbands, siblings, parents etc. and that somehow in the admitting of that, they are exonerated and free to continue such selfish, childish behavior. The author even blames her Southern upbringing for her lack of intimacy, as all feelings were forbidden from discussion. But at what point don’t you question these parental and cultural beliefs and take responsibility for yourself and your behavior? She seems emotionally stunted and living more from her head, as a lot of intellectuals tend to do, ignoring their hearts because they lack the emotional intelligence and courage it takes to be vulnerable. She said she admired and valued the friend that left her, which makes me think that she admires that this friend was not going to accept her crappy friendship. This particular friend had much better things to invest her time and energy in and that’s what the author is obsessed with finding out - what could possibly be better than her?!!! I think the author is like a spoiled child, used to others forgiving her and kissing her ass, which oddly makes her think less of them in the end. She seems narcissistic to me and those types will always have their own best interest at heart. I’m not sure if this rant answers your question but it was fun to revisit it, as I think it’s more clear to me! So thanks!
Agreed. It's almost worse when people are aware of failings but remain uninterested in changing. We all know people who lack self awareness, scratch that -we all lack self awareness in some areas. But most people work on the flaws they are aware of. She seems to be saying - sorry, not sorry. "I have these "flaws", but it is up to you to deal with them, because they don't bother me." That seems worse than a person who is a jerk without realizing it.
Exactly! Well put!
So well said!
Whaaat!?! What a primal scream! True 10. I love when writers put truth above all else. I guess some people might have bad feelings about the narrator, but I found her to be highly relatable.
Agreed, Bill. It gave a lot to think about in my own life and friendships. Oops. Does that make it all about me now? :(
Ha! It’s always all about me.
I have been thinking a lot about this and I think I have a possible answer: Let’s all be hella selfish about the Big Picture BUT as giving as possible in the moment. That seems like a reasonable way to address an otherwise unsolvable problem. I hate constantly doubting whether or not I’m too self-focused or, the opposite - giving myself away too easily.
I believe that my friends and family have experienced that when I’m with you, IRL, I’m REALLY with you. And, since the Big Picture is just a bunch of small pictures anyway, it makes life quite joyful.
So I guess the summary is: Dial-in, for real, to the humans in your proximity. Everything else falls into place.
great insight..... It is very personal, I agree with everything written but there was so much omitted, I think older friendships do fade because of changing lifestyles but new relationships that are more current do crop up ..... I value my older friends and do try to keep in touch with old school buddies, and work buddies and all kinds of older relationships, but the newer people I become attached to seem to be in the same emotional space that I orbit.... It is still super fun to run into old friends and catch-up, then we end with the "We should try to keep more in touch." ...... but we seldom do.
Basically just automatic 10 from me for any article that references the greatest poem of all time:
The Art of Losing
By ELIZABETH BISHOP
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.
—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.