Do you have friends?

28 Jul


Do you have friends?  Many of you would recoil in puzzlement and concern then ,reply “Of course I do!”  Some of you may think about the question and respond with something more esoterica like “Do any of us really have friends?”  I say we do have friends.  We make friends all the time.  They may be transient friends, that last only long enough to have a brief conversation about the weather then you hand money to them, and they say “Thank you come again.”

They could be co-workers, service providers, your child’s teacher.  What I am puzzled about are long time friends.  You know the one’s you had when you were a kid, or young adult.  Of course you may be a kid, or young adult so this may be news to you.  I guess a couple of years ago now I joined Facebook.  One of the things I thought was so neat about it was the ability to reconnect with people that you used to know, friends if you will.

Since Facebook was originally geared to schools finding past high school and college friends was easy.  I went about finding and befriending several of my class mates from Deer Park High School (Deer Park, Texas).  I knew that while I was in high school I wouldn’t say I was close friends with anyone.  There were a couple of reasons for this.  I lived in a small community called Lynchburg.  Lynchburg was bordered by Highlands (Texas), and Baytown.  Lynchburg has a ferry that has been in operation for many many years.  The ferry will take you to Deer Park.  For some strange reason Lynchburg children are in the Deer Park Independent school district some ten miles away (and that is if you go across the ferry!)  Baytown (measuring distance to it’s Western most boundry) is about 50 feet from Lynchburg.  I think the closest Baytown school was about ten miles away.

There were nine people in my elementry class, as Lynchburg did have an elementry, but for junior high and high school, we were bussed to Deer Park.  I mentioned the distance if you went across the ferry, well the bus weren’t allowed, by the district, to cross via ferry.  We had a forty-five minute trek, each way, through the Baytown La Porte tunnel.  That’s forty-five minutes one way.  I went from one teacher a day to six (plus) and from nine students in a class to thirty-two!  Virtually any friends I had were lost in the mix of classes and sea of students.

So reason number one, shock!  There was just so much that had changed in my social environment.  Instead of freaking out in a stressful situation I have a tendency to withdraw and stay calm.  Work through the problem, or ignore it.  Part of my problem with social situations was  I am an only child Plus to older parents (that weren’t very social themselves).   I just didn’t have the social skill set to succeed in this new environment.  Which I guess blends me into the second reason I didn’t make many friends in high school.

I was never nervous about speaking to people.  I don’t fear conflict, of course back then I did from the stand point of being beat on by the older boys.  Nothing I have been concerned about since I have grown into a man though.  So I thought that due to my social successes in the work place, and maturity of not only myself, but the people I went to high school with it would be a nice level playing field and it might even be fun to better know many of the people that I at least observed in school.

Several of the past high school Facebook friends were very nice.  They invited me to several get togethers, all of which were fifty miles (one way) from the city I moved to from Baytown.  So I declined the invitations, but tried to indicate that I was grateful for the invitation.  As most of you know you HAVE to bite the bullet eventually and go to something irregardless of how logical it is that you shouldn’t attend.  People will just stop asking, and be offended.

After several months of just being myself in my comments and posts, it dawned on me.  These people aren’t my friends.  I never spoke with them “much” when I was in high school, in person, so why am I virtual friends with them now?  I “unfriended” all but a very few of my past high school aquatints.  Later I removed the rest of them.  During the process I decided that my two, who I would consider my best “young adult time frame” friends, just weren’t interested in me or my life.  I had made several attempts to rekindle the friendship one even involved me driving to the workplace of my past friend to look him in the eye and say hello.  That was over a year ago, and there has been little or no contact.  So I unfriended them as well.

I look back over my life and I think about the people that made a difference to me.  I wonder what they are doing now and how their lives have turned out.  It would seem that isn’t true of me.  In other words no one looks over their life and says “Hey I wonder what Tony is doing these days?”  If they do it hasn’t been important enough for them to find out.

I don’t blame anyone for this, with the possible exception of myself.  I never took the time to invest myself into someone else’s life so why would I expect to be someone of memory?  Don’t misunderstand.  I’m not depressed about this.  I’m just thinking that it is strange how different my life (at least appears to me) is different that so many other “normal” people.

I’m not alone, nor am I lonely.  I have several friends, and my best friend is my wife of eighteen years.   I really enjoy my children and I consider them my friends.  Even at work I mostly keep to myself, but I try to make time to listen to people and interact with them.  I enjoy it and I guess they do as well because they continue interacting with me.  Well I guess they find me more interesting than doing their job. ;o)  Actually I know I can be very interesting although some of the subjects I choose to talk about may make people’s eye’s glaze over.  I try to be observant of this so I know when to stop the discussion, or change subjects.

So all in all when I get to my final days on this Earth I believe I’ll look back and see that I had friends (outside of my family) that enjoyed my friendship,  albeit briefly, but it is highly doubtful I’ll get a call, text, or e-mail saying “Hey how have you been?  Whacha up to old friend?”  I guess that will be okay.  I guess it will have to be.  ;o)


Since the writing of this post I’ve actually been contacted by people I was once friends with.  I’m fairly certain that it didn’t have anything to do with this post.  What I have found is I’m not a good friend!  I don’t think I’ve changed much over the years.  I enjoy some people but for the most part I get bored with a person quickly and go back to my normal life.  There are a very few people that I really enjoy talking to.  Generally, and not surprisingly, these are people that I have things in common with.   I may not like the way I am from time to time.  I get a little depressed because I don’t have people looking me up because of fond past memories, but truth be told it is just simply because of who I am.  Who I choose to be.  So if you get depressed about not having many friends, you can change that if you want to.  Personally I’d rather have a few quality friends than have to compromise who I am.  Actually that is really it in a nutshell.  I don’t like trying to please a lot of people.

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  1. Susie Muckleroy

    July 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    WOW,. I knew it was like that, but reading it, just sounds soooo sad!

  2. Tony Muckleroy

    July 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Well I guess it is, but really it’s been my choices. It’s like having money, spending it as you go, looking back and wishing you had saved. Problem is you still want all the stuff you bought as well! lol