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THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

I'm posting this early because I'll be away tonight...

12 April 2003

strip - 1.jpg (55503 bytes)On one of my e-mail lists someone this morning asked for advice about sending a birthday card. A friend with whom she'd had a rift was celebrating a birthday. The friend is always a big one about sending cards for every event, and often complains that she feels her relationships are one-sided and she has to do all the work. Yet the writer of the message I read didn't know whether or not she should acknowledge the birthday by sending a card.

"Expect nothing in return, not even any particular reaction. Give from yourself, not for a result," came the response from another reader of the same list.

I could relate to the writer of the original message. There are people who have disappeared from my life because it just became too much effort on my part to keep the relationship going (let's call them the "C list" people). Messages were never answered, all the contact seemed to originate with me, though things were always quite cordial when I did go to the effort to make the first move. When I would decide to sit back and find out if the other party would think about contacting ME first, they rarely did. No--they never did.  (Sometimes those people are at a distance; sometimes they are here in this very town.)

There are other people (the "B list" people) who would have disappeared from my life for exactly the same reason, but their friendship is important enough to me that I keep making the first move. I keep sending cards, e-mails, making telephone calls. It's always wonderful to have that contact again, even though the person on the other end might not think about me again until I make the effort the next time--or if they do think of me, it's too much work, apparently, to initiate an interaction.

And then there are other people (the "A list") in my life with whom there is a regular give and take--we both write, we both send cards, we both work at keeping the relationship alive. Those are the special relationships.

But it doesn't minimize how I feel about either the people who have disappeared from my life or the people with whom a continuing friendship seems like beating my head against a stone wall sometimes. (I am probably also a "B list" person in someone else's life, I realize!)

It's not always easy being a friend of mine at a distance. I have always been a voluminous writer, an obsessive "contact-er." I learned long ago not to expect anybody to match me, letter for letter. Way back in grammar school years, I was writing to Judy Lucchesi every day from my vacation and happy to receive one letter from her during all the time I was away. I always try to let people know that I don't expect the same volume from them that they get from me.

While it often saddens me that there are people who don't make the effort to work at keeping a relationship going, the relationship is important to me, and so the contact that I make with the "B list" people is almost a gift I give myself. I write to say "I'm thinking about you," "You're an important person to me." "I still value our friendship." The B-list person may not respond frequently, but I'm always thrilled to have that contact again. To know that the friendship is alive, even though we may go months-- sometimes years, perhaps--without reaching out to touch each other. (And when we touch each other again, it will be because I've reached a point where I miss that other person so much that I need to do the reaching out.)

(I'd like to point out that there are some glaring omissions in the strip of photos accompanying this entry. It was a combination of time constraints and not being able to lay my hand on the photo I was looking for at the time...so don't get your knickers in a twist if I left you--several of you--off...I just simply ran out of time. However, if you think you're on my "B list," why not drop me a line and move up to the "A list." LOL.)

Quote of the Day

We need to have people who mean something to us, people to whom we can turn, knowing that being with them is coming home.

~ B. Cooke

Yesterday's Photo

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Where are they now?
Michelle Cicceroni, Gail Tarzia, Judy Lucchesi (circled), and Janet Wilhelm
(and me, of course, in the pink pj's)

1956

One Year Ago
And Yer Pointe is?
(My toes)

Two Years Ago
Boston to Davis in only 16 hrs
(The long trip home)

Three Years Ago
Adventures in Decorating
(We're going to fix the bathroom!)

(and that was only 3 yrs ago)



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 ;
Pounds Lost:  68
(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

On the Odometer

Blue Angel Total 873.6
2003 YTD Cumulative:  375.2

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