They Said to Tell You Hello

“Hey, I ran into the Jenkins today and they said they missed you and to tell you hello. They’ve been thinking about you and want to get together.”

I stared at him as my mind screamed “Bullshit!” My phone number is the same. So is my address. They know both and so if they really wanted to get in touch with me and say hello or get together for coffee and a game of Go Fish, they know where and how to find me. But they don’t want to do either of those things, so why say that nonsense to our children?

It’s a knee-jerk guilt reaction. They feel they have to say those things because they once knew us and we did hang out quite often. However, now we have nothing in common and instead of just asking how everyone is doing, they feel they have to make some type of false effort to show they truly are caring people. Again, I call bullshit. Asking how we are doing is enough to show there was some interest at one time and covers the polite thing to do pretty well. There is no need to go above and beyond saying things like they were meaning to call and they wish we could get together. Why would we get together now when we haven’t for the past seven or more years?

This was even done on Facebook recently when someone said, “Hey, you should tell them that we need to get together.” The weird thing was that I’m even on this person’s Facebook page. Why not just message me and say it? It’s ridiculous and a social game I will not play.

Needless to say, if I want to get together with you, I will make the necessary overtures that implies such a notion. I won’t tell your children or send messages to mutual friends. We’re out of junior high so there doesn’t need to be a go-between. It’s silly.

And it’s hypocritical.

Former friends even told my son once that we were still friends because we were on each other’s Facebook and talked all the time. That was bullshit, as well. Well, not all of it. We were on each other’s Facebook, but we didn’t converse. They may have scrolled through my updates and silly photos and check-ins, but neither of us talked or commented on anything of the other person’s. It’s more like a nosy stalker relationship as opposed to friendship.

To be honest, I don’t like Facebook’s use of the word “Friend” and much prefer Twitter’s “Follower”. That’s what we do, after all. We follow each other, rarely commenting or making mention of anything the other one has done. We may know everything the other has shared, but that makes us tabloid readers, not friends. Conversation is not reading each other’s newsfeeds, but actually having a dialogue with the other person, sharing stories and ideas. It’s communication.

In today’s society it is just too easy to find someone if you really wanted to do so. There is no need for pretense that you’ve wanted to but just hadn’t been able to yet. That may actually be true, but if it was something you really wanted to do, you would find a way to make it happen. We have friends that if we haven’t seen in a while–and by a while I mean usually since last weekend–then we call and make plans to get together. We don’t allow weeks, months, or even years to go by before reaching out. This is friendship. Both parties making the effort to stay connected and included in each other’s lives. It’s not one-sided and it’s not a guilt phrase spewed because you saw someone’s child. These are friends that will last. These are the people I surround myself with. So should you.

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