Friday, July 6, 2012

Causing a Commotion

Causing a Commotion

It seems my previous post caused a bit of a commotion. That wasn't my intention. I was simply having a moment last night, when I was missing an old friend. Someone who I used to run around and do everything with who "got" me. My friendship with Karla was effortless. We couldn't even argue without breaking out into laughter. I remember this one time she got mad at me and we walked around (we worked together) for about thirty minutes not talking and scowling at each other, and then suddenly we both broke out in fits of laughter. Our anger was absolutely comical to us.

Karla and I had all these funny quirks, too. For example, I used to chew Extra spearment gum. I'd put a stick (back when gum came in sticks and not chiclets) in my pocket and then it would get good and warm...and soft. I'd take it out, split it in half. Karla would get half, and I'd chew the other. And she always made some comment about my warm, soft gum. Sounds stupid, but to us, it was funny.

She and I could pack in the food, too. We were both skinny as rails, but would go to Red Lobster, order the steak and lobster combos, cheddar biscuits, and a platter of popcorn shrimp. And we'd chow down. Same with Taco Bell. Taco Bell was our place. LOL. And she'd always buy my food. I don't know why. Maybe she was just thankful for the warm, soft gum. :)

We sang together, we danced together, we did everything together.

And then I moved away. She took the move personally, feeling like I was leaving her behind.

Moving was the right thing for me to do, but sometimes I wonder what would have happened had I just stayed where I was. Would Karla and I still be besties today?

Oh well, I can't live in the past. And unfortunately, a lot of friendships seem to have evolved into virtual relationships today that can be ended with the click of a button. And that makes me sad.

Ironically enough, I found out just this morning how true that is. I made the hard decision to pull out of an anthology last week due to professional concerns with the publisher which I won't go into here. I will just say that my concerns were valid, and from a business standpoint, I couldn't justify locking myself into another three-year contract with them, so I pulled my story. It was the right decision. I know it was. Everyone familiar with the situation knows it was and was supportive of my decision. When I notified the author sponsoring the anthology, I got zero response. She didn't even reply. What she did do was click that unfriend button on Facebook even though my decision had nothing to do with her.

Am I hurt? Yep. I didn't know my "friendship" with her was based solely on what I could give her instead of a mutual understanding and comaraderie as authors. But oh well. I'm glad I know that now. Now I know where I really stood with her, so her unfriending me doesn't sting as much as it would if, say, she had been Karla. I'll forget this person in a year or two, but even after twenty years, I've never forgotten Karla.

The point is, see how easily friendships can come and go today. When you're face-to-face with someone, it's so much harder to "unfriend." You have to work through it and you're forced to talk when you're face-to-face. You can't just click the unfriend button, so those face-to-face friendships are more personal and "real." They hit you harder and deeper because of the physical presence they have in your life. Face-to-face friends touch all your senses, whereas virtual friends, by default, can only touch a couple, so the connection is more powerful.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate all my virtual friends, and there are many of you who I wished lived next door to me so we could hang out, philosophize, and ponder life together, and maybe even get into a little trouble with together. You all make me laugh every day, and I appreciate that you're in my life. So please don't think I'm knocking any of you for being virtual friends instead of face-to-face ones. I just miss having someone I can turn off the computer with who will still be there when I turn around, or who I can go sit out on the porch with. Someone who I can actually go to the movies with and share a bag of m&m's with, without having to take out my phone and send a text message.

I guess I miss Karla.

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