Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The De-Evolution of Friendship

It used to be you met someone, became friends, and hung out doing friend things. You introduced them to your other friends and everybody got together and everybody had fun. It was a sacred group, a private club of sorts where secrets were kept and memories were made.

You compared your friends to the friends on “Friends” or the friends on “Sex And The City” or even the friends on “Golden Girls.”

Was your best gal pal a Phoebe, Rachel, Monica, Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda, Dorothea, Blanche, Rose, or Sophia?

Was your best guy pal a Ross, Chandler, or Joey?

You and your friends got together in-person and did things together in-person. Oh, remember the time when you got so drunk… and that other time you woke up in bed with…  well… fill in the blanks with your own experience.

Now, with Facebook and Texting in-person friendships have gone the way of the music CD and the land-line telephone with in-person social intercourse being replaced by social media.

I have a couple of close friends I haven’t seen in months. Months! It never occurred to me that it’s been that long until recently when I was telling someone about what my friend was telling me. I suddenly realized it wasn’t a voice conversation with my friend but texting. I tried to think of the last time we got together in-person and my memory could not go back that far.

How did this happen? Why did this happen? 

What is even sadder is that it’s just the way it is these days. Text me. Don’t call me. It’s easier to text.

This has been a gradual de-evolution of friendship. It's something I hardly noticed but eagerly participated in through my tapping fingers on my cell phone texting keyboard.  Why drive across town when I can interact with my friends from the comfort of the couch or the comfort of the bed or the comfort of the toilet anytime day or night?

As I look out the window at people on the street I noticed they’re walking alone and they always seem to be texting…

So, instead of the Friends theme “I’ll Be There for You,” there’s a new song on the horizon… and it’s called “I’m Just a Text Away.”

I’m Just a Text Away
I’ll answer every night and day
I’m Just a Text Away
Emoticons say all I have to say
I’m just a Text away
Dear friend forever in my cyberspace
I’m Just a Text Away
But damn I can’t remember your face…

Friday, June 10, 2016

My Fear of Flat

Everybody fears something.

Some fears are warranted and some fears are downright silly. Well, silly when you’re not the one who’s fearing. I have a silly fear…

I fear flat tires.

When I see people on the side of the road with a flat tire I immediately pray to the God of Flat Tires to have their tires suddenly inflate so they can go on with whatever it was they were doing before the dreadful “Hsssssssssssssssss” and lopsided drive that forced them to the side of the road. (Can you sense my anxiety when reading that sentence?)

My fear began years ago when I was a husky teen (aka fat-assed). Yes, I was husky and frequently bought pants in the husky section of Sears Roebuck. Some people would say it was baby fat, but once puberty hits, it’s no longer baby fat, it’s just plain ‘ole fat.

So there I was a teenage fat-assed kid with the back tire of my Sears ten-speed flat. I walked my bike up the street to the nearest Shell Gas Station to fill my tire with air.

The first thing I saw was my arch-enemy’s mother at the gas pump filling her car with gas.  I looked at her. She looked at me. There was eye contact, but certainly no acknowledgment. An omen of things to come…

I must confess, at that time of my life I was a virgin-air-pumper. I had no idea how to properly fill a tire, so I kept filling the tire until it felt real hard and full.

I then climbed on top of the bike to ride it home.  Once my fat-ass hit the seat there was a loud pop and an extra-long “Hsssssssssssssssss.”  My tire blew like an exploding fart that shakes your body to its core.

My arch-enemy’s mother heard it all and saw me and my fat-ass on my bike with a now exploded tire. That bitch smirked. Smirked!

All I could do was slide myself off the bike, pretend I wasn’t completely humiliated and wheel the flat-tire bike home.

From that one incident came a deep rooted fear of flat tires.

Whenever my car warning light goes on saying the tires need air, I immediately get myself to the car dealer and have them do it. 

I refuse to ever pump air into a tire again. I’d rather walk or crawl than to suffer again the fear-inducing ego deflation I felt when I over pumped my tire those many years ago.

And that's my silly fear... my fear of flat... tires.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Blinded by the Light of a Do-Right Angel

I try to be a good person and I try to do the right thing, but sometimes in my quest to be honest I get kicked in the nuts.

A couple of weeks ago I got kicked in the nuts, and my nuts are still sore.

Let me tell you my tale of woe…

I ordered a three-month supply of daily contact lenses from my eye doctor. Shortly thereafter a package arrived with my three-month supply. I was happy. My eyes were thrilled. I now could wear funky fun and colorful sunglasses.

Then a week later another package arrived with another three-month supply of contacts.

The Devil on my left shoulder kept yelling, “Bingo! Three months free!” whereas the Angel on my right shoulder kept singing in a high pitched falsetto, “A decent man would do the right thing!”

I kept vacillating between right and wrong, and with each vacillation the difference between wrong and right blurred. Should I? Shouldn’t I?

This inner struggle was overwhelming so I reached out to my friends for advice and soon realized all my friends are devils… well, not all my friends…  one friend appealed to my suburban Catholic upbringing and asked, “How were you raised?” Then I thought of my dead mother looking down from Heaven, shaking her head, and saying, “I didn’t raise you to do the wrong thing.”  

I was blinded by the light of a do-right Angel.

I called the eye doctor’s office and confessed I received a second package. I foolishly assumed they would embrace my honesty and send me a pre-paid return receipt.  I was so wrong.  

The woman in the office, who normally was a nice person, gave me bad attitude. She wanted me to hand deliver the package to them even though she knew I’m working 12-hour days and cannot get there. I work in one direction and her office is in the other.

When I suggested she send me a pre-paid return label she refused to pay for the postage.

I calmly reminded her I did not order the second package. It was their error (probably hers) and not mine, but she still refused to pay the postage. Refused!

Back and forth and back and forth we’ve gone and it’s still not resolved. All this over a pre-paid postage label.

This has certainly taught me a harsh life-lesson: No good deed goes unpunished.

I can see clearly now… and what I see is that I need a new eye doctor.