22
   

Friends from our Childhoods

 
 
farmerman
 
  4  
Reply Wed 3 Nov, 2010 05:24 pm
@2PacksAday,
My friend Joel , even though his "real" life had grown and hed taken on a profession, he still (apparently) dwelled on some connection to his past that he wanted to maintain intact. I guess I was part of it and I now have to deal with a responsibility that, I gotta admit, has me somewhat confused and a little embarrassed . While I have a very happy life that has been Joel free for almost 30 plus years and , I really am missing several projects that need almost daily attention. I now have this kind of childish responsibility that I really am not looking forward to completing. (Yes Im getting a bit annoyed as the days creep on since last Sunday's announcement by Joels wife)
The entire funeral is Friday and since Monday,Ive had several contacts from high school acquaintences (who Ive had even less contacts with (including a, and I am not shitting you, "Class president 2010-2012). All these several people have similarly been contacted by Joels wife as people that Joel wanted at his "life celebration". Im just fuckin blown away that someone has been mired within their high school career that they elect actual class officers of people who are approaching their 60's. WTF!!!
Im beginning to think that Joel may have had some personality problems and was cycling downward to reenjoy his earlier "triumphs" . Im also thinking that my High school acquaintances are some redux of the "Stepford Wives". Maybe I juwst didnt get all the memos.
I think you hit on an important distinction of how several people that each of us know, only recall us in one context, one that each of us has filed away in a memory bank that is gradually being overwritten with new stuff.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Nov, 2010 05:40 pm
@ossobuco,
Oops, that's council. Duh.

Turns out that race is too close to call today.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Nov, 2010 05:44 pm
@ossobuco,
Yay, Debra Bowen did well, won by 15% points last I read. As I recall, she has long had quite a bit of bipartisan support. <claps hands happily>

Tangent to the thread, I guess. Sorry about that.

There's a new book on female friendships that seems to echo what Ragnel went through. I'll add the link, but will post this so I beat the editing deadline.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Nov, 2010 05:50 pm
Here's that book review:

Kelly Valen Explores the Dark Side of Female Friendships
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/11/03/DDCF1G43P9.DTL
2PacksAday
 
  3  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2010 12:23 am
Yes, I did decide to run for mayor....of course there is the matter of an election, someone could run against me and win....but at the moment, there are no other serious candidates.

I hope that all that I have done, and wish to achieve in the future has been done for the right reasons, I'm not in it for fame or glory....and trust me, the pay is minimal. There are things that need to be done, and are within our power to do so, but have been put off for way too long.....it is in my nature to solve problems....to fix things, so it all makes for a nice fit. If it were possible, I would do everything anonymously...that was one of the reasons I enjoyed being a coucilman...unless somebody came to a meeting, they never really knew what project I was working on, but as mayor I will be out in front for the whole town, as well as the county, to see.

I do have one underlying reason that has motivated me to a certain extent thus far, but only my wife and sister know of that reason, as it is a very personal thing....but it's slight, nowhere near the true driving force of my actions of simply wanting to improve the quality of life for the folks in my little town.

During my little mulling period, one of the main things that kept coming up was the fact of losing my identity....as an example, I frequent yard sales, I am a junk-junkie....we have laws on the books that limit the amount of yard sales that can be held at a specific address per year....I'll admit that might sound a bit "commie like" but we had several families that had "yard sales" year round....left the stuff outside on sawhorses covered with tarps...and those were often covered in leaves, snow....christmas lights, I should have taken a picture of that...etc. So now when I see a sale, and stop, I often cause a bit of tension, as I am in their eyes no longer Stephen the yard sale hound, but the code enforcer that's gonna fine them for having too many yard sales...or not having that car tagged yet, or whatever infraction they might have going on. "No mam' I'm jus here ta sift thu yo junk".

This all may seem way of the main topic, but to me it's all tied together, as all of this affects how I interact with others, friends old and new, and the distance.....some of which is my own doing, that grows everytime I move up the municipal ladder. I will cover the childhood friends aspect of this in detail, so maybe you guys can see what I'm really getting at.

ragnel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2010 01:20 am
@ossobuco,
Thanks osso. From the review it sounds like a book worth reading. I will keep an eye out for it.

The funny thing is the things I described upset me deeply AT THE TIME. Though I have never forgotten them, I didn't realise until writing about them on this thread, just how much affect they have had on my life. It has been such a cathartic thing. Now I am looking back on them, thinking, 'That really pissed me off, but it no longer has the power to warp me'.

The A2K therapy session strikes again!
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2010 07:12 am
@2PacksAday,
2PacksAday wrote:
Actually this very topic has been on my mind a lot....but it's much larger than just childhood friends...more to do with how my little town has changed so much in the past few years....but my thoughts have been heavily peppered with several of the friends I've made....and the reasons why I've distanced myself from them....from childhood and otherwise.
I wonder whether it is hardwired into us to become nostalgic in old age,
yearning for the friends of childhood.





David
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2010 07:27 am
@2PacksAday,
R u left, right or center ???

2PacksAday wrote:
Yes, I did decide to run for mayor....of course there is the matter of an election, someone could run against me and win....but at the moment, there are no other serious candidates.

I hope that all that I have done, and wish to achieve in the future has been done for the right reasons, I'm not in it for fame or glory....and trust me, the pay is minimal. There are things that need to be done, and are within our power to do so, but have been put off for way too long.....it is in my nature to solve problems....to fix things, so it all makes for a nice fit. If it were possible, I would do everything anonymously...that was one of the reasons I enjoyed being a coucilman...unless somebody came to a meeting, they never really knew what project I was working on, but as mayor I will be out in front for the whole town, as well as the county, to see.

I do have one underlying reason that has motivated me to a certain extent thus far, but only my wife and sister know of that reason, as it is a very personal thing....but it's slight, nowhere near the true driving force of my actions of simply wanting to improve the quality of life for the folks in my little town.

During my little mulling period, one of the main things that kept coming up was the fact of losing my identity....as an example, I frequent yard sales, I am a junk-junkie....we have laws on the books that limit the amount of yard sales that can be held at a specific address per year....I'll admit that might sound a bit "commie like" but we had several families that had "yard sales" year round....left the stuff outside on sawhorses covered with tarps...and those were often covered in leaves, snow....christmas lights, I should have taken a picture of that...etc. So now when I see a sale, and stop, I often cause a bit of tension, as I am in their eyes no longer Stephen the yard sale hound, but the code enforcer that's gonna fine them for having too many yard sales...or not having that car tagged yet, or whatever infraction they might have going on. "No mam' I'm jus here ta sift thu yo junk".
Thay think of u as a terrorist.






2PacksAday wrote:
This all may seem way of the main topic, but to me it's all tied together, as all of this affects how I interact with others, friends old and new, and the distance.....some of which is my own doing, that grows everytime I move up the municipal ladder. I will cover the childhood friends aspect of this in detail, so maybe you guys can see what I'm really getting at.
In my childhood, I was politically active; too young to run for anything.
Maybe I shoud have stayed with it.

Your Honor, after u r elected,
will u pass a law for fonetic spelling in your town ???





David
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2010 11:56 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
I wonder whether it is hardwired into us to become nostalgic in old age,
yearning for the friends of childhood.


Maybe some of us. Joel seemed to be so. I am not. (I do get nostalgic remembering good times with those I love.



WELL, I have to go and make the trip North for this funeral and a remembreance party on Saturday. Im getting more and more creeped out by how Joels life seemed to be missing something that hed s[end so much time reliving his past and preparing for its reiteration during a burial ceremony and a followup "Life celebration"


I told my wife that, take notes from this and do NOTHING even remotely similar to Joels.

My BIL had a bunch of pictures run through a e-frame so that people could electronically rummage through and view and comment. Then they went and told bullshit stories about funny events , then we buried most opf his ashes and we took the 1/3 or so and dumped them in the bay.
Lash
 
  3  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2010 03:38 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
I think so. Once I hit my mid-forties, I started remembering obscure moments from my childhood and smells (cooking, flowers) began to transport me pretty powerfully into the past. I began to really miss extended family who'd passed away decades earlier - when I hadn't given them much of a thought previously. I do think this is almost universal. My mother used to tell me as she'd experience the same thing.

My grand uncle used to come home from lunch every day when I lived with them as a child - circa mid-'60s - and I adored him...the sound of the front door opening must have stuck with me. The few times I've heard that particular creak/swish of a door opening, it sent chills across me. I could almost look up for him, and see him. I certainly enjoyed that familiar expectant childhood exhilaration for a half-second. Quite bittersweet.
0 Replies
 
2PacksAday
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2010 06:17 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Dave,

I think I'm void of that gene, but old age is still a ways off for me yet.

I am a righty...full bore....but I'm about a century off the mark....in my eyes Teddy Roosevelt outranks all others, with Barry Goldwater coming in at a somewhat distant second....as I'm sure you know, Teddy was a big proponent of phonetic spelling....enough = enuf....makes perfect sense to me...but the vast majority of our population scoffs at the idea. With text messaging being all the rage that it is, I could see the next generation or so being more apt to a change in that direction, since the type of shorthand they use is for the most part phonetic. The list of 300 words that the simplified spelling board came up with over 100 yrs ago, would still be a good starting point.
OmSigDAVID
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 12:27 am
@2PacksAday,
2PacksAday wrote:
Dave,

I think I'm void of that gene, but old age is still a ways off for me yet.

I am a righty...full bore....but I'm about a century off the mark....in my eyes Teddy Roosevelt outranks all others, with Barry Goldwater coming in at a somewhat distant second....as I'm sure you know, Teddy was a big proponent of phonetic spelling....enough = enuf....makes perfect sense to me...but the vast majority of our population scoffs at the idea. With text messaging being all the rage that it is, I could see the next generation or so being more apt to a change in that direction, since the type of shorthand they use is for the most part phonetic. The list of 300 words that the simplified spelling board came up with over 100 yrs ago, would still be a good starting point.
I cannot disagree, except that in my mind,
I put Goldwater (for whom my family and I voted) first.
I worked for Goldwater in 1964.

As of 11/21/1963, he was very far ahead in the polls.
That 's Y Kennedy was campaigning already in the State of his VP.

Lee H. Oswald assassinated Goldwater's Presidential career.





David
2PacksAday
 
  4  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 12:57 am
@OmSigDAVID,
I'm just a square deal kinda guy...but let's not derail FM"s thread any further with any hero....of the conserative persuasion....worshiping.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 06:02 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
WELL, I have to go and make the trip North for this funeral and a remembreance party on Saturday. Im getting more and more creeped out by how Joels life seemed to be missing something that hed s[end so much time reliving his past and preparing for its reiteration during a burial ceremony and a followup "Life celebration"


Farmer, I'm wondering if this particular choice of "life celebration" is as much his wife's preference as his. (perhaps a little more so, even?)

I don't blame you in the least for feeling rather unnerved by the whole thing. Good luck.
Are you going to make that confession?
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 06:50 am
@msolga,
I'm still in touch with my two best and closest friends from my young childhood - both have the initials DP (a coincidence?) - Donna P. who I met in first grade when we were both six years old and Danny P. who I met when we were both eight and I started taking piano lessons from his mother.
They both still live in NJ where we all grew up, so I see them both every time I visit my family.
We always have stuff to talk about - as we're still interested in the same sort of stuff - just as we always had stuff to talk about back then. I never made any pacts with either of them - except the unspoken one that informs all of our communications and meetings- as in, 'Here is a person who knows and understands and loves you- and always has.'
I would do anything for them as I know they would for me - a light will go out in my soul when/if either of them die before I do.

My teenage friends and I did make a pact to meet on New Year's Eve ten years after we all graduated from highschool and went our separate ways. There were about ten of us - me, Liz, Carolyn, Debbie, Cathy, Charlie, Vernon, Bruce, Bert, and Danny.
But ten years later, Bruce was in the navy and overseas, Bert had died of AIDS, Danny and Charlie were in a fog of cocaine addiction (which Danny has since kicked-hurray! but Charlie succumbed to), Vernon was married and apparently henpecked (his sister Carolyn told me) to the point his wife didn't want him hanging out with girls he used to know- and all of us girls were either pregnant or caring for young children (Liz had twin boys for her first babies - and she was very frazzled).
So it didn't happen.
But I'm still in touch with all the ones who are still alive - so maybe we can make it happen next New Year's Eve - now that all our kids are big and we won't have to drag them along and bore them to death with all our old stories.
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 01:56 pm
@aidan,
aidan wrote:
. . . But I'm still in touch with all the ones who are still alive - so
maybe we can make it happen next New Year's Eve - now that all
our kids are big and we won't have to drag them along and bore
them to death with all our old stories.

By all means do it!

You have a window of opportunity and who knows when it will close
again?
0 Replies
 
2PacksAday
 
  3  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2010 01:50 am
Been trying to figure out how to keep this to a minimum, on subjects such as this....it's way too easy for me to go into a 10k word tirade.

My litte town and the entire area in which I live is very polarized, we're all poor folk, but some that are just a bit better off spend their entire lives masking just how poor they really are by many ways and means, but the one that is married to this topic....the biggie....they take on a persona of just being "better" than others, and of course the only real way to complete this, is to take every chance they can to humiliate or ridicule those they find to be their lesser.

There are several ways to deal with this if you are on the receiving end, ignore it...try to be accepted/join in....stand your ground/fight them {which was and still is my option} or simply run away, which is to say move away at the first possible chance....this is what my two friends did {and many, many others}. Of course this is from my pov, but what they have done by leaving, is they gave up, and not just in the tucked their tails and ran sort of way....but they also gave up their roots, their ties to the community, and all the positives you gain from growing up in a small town.....they have to start over in a new town, and more to the point their children have to start over.

My oldest friend has no desire to be anybody but who he is, he never had that "I wish I could hang with those kids" thing going....and I respect that personality trait in someone more than any other. But he was often very angry "at the world" and by the time we were teenagers and I guess the hormones kicked in....he became the most pessimistic person I've still yet to meet. It became a chore just to be around him, and our friendship waned, once he had moved away, his personality softened a great deal, but every year his attitude of "I got out of that hell hole, why don't you" grows stronger and becomes more arrogant...this is the friend that laughs at any idea of me having any kind of authority...yep he LOL's in my face.

My other friend...we became friends in Jr high, and spent a lot of time together in high school, nearly inseparable....now, he is the type to covet others...he always wanted to be one of "them", but he kept this hid from me pretty well....he was a closet social climber....we were well out of high school before I ever knew he had those feelings, and he has them bad. A few nights before our 10yr HS reunion, we spent nearly two hours on the phone, mainly him opening up to me about how bad all of our experiences had and still bothered him. He is a very...very macho guy, so for him to do that was a major thing, so I told him out of respect for our friendship, I would not go...and even offered to round up the old gang and go in and just beat the livin hell out of the sob's...break tables and all that jazz....he was so upset that he didn't even want to do that. I'm sure he had been dwelling on all of it, in the months leading up to the reunion...and it finally boiled over.

This friend is actually not from my town, but from another even smaller town in my county...but it's one in the same....in his instance, he also hated his town, but moved to the town where we went to school, were most of the kids that looked down on us lived....in essence since he couldn't beat them, he joined them. During our phone convo, I tried to tell him that all that HS crap did not matter....he has a great job, a very nice house...pretty wife..etc...but none of it phased him. That was 10 yrs ago, and since then he seems to have finally accepted it all, and got passed it...well, all of it except for me. Any notion of my accomplishments, or even my childrens, is totally ignored...the last time something really nice happend....some of you may remember from last year that my oldest daughter was elected home coming queen.......when I told him I got a blank stare and then he just turned and walked away. This is the friend that goes into shock anytime something positive happens in my life...he becomes a confused mute person, and stumbles away.

He knows as well as I do, that while we were in school there was no way in hell that we could have ever "won" something like that, simply because of the social structure. The school has changed a lot since then, and without going into great detail....I'm really trying to keep this "light"....we were the first group of kids that went to the new reorganized school dist....meaning before us, each little town had it's own school, and we were all thrown in together, so it's only natural for the "host" city of our new consolidated school to have most of the social power for a decade or so. His children go to a private school, mine go to the same school we went thru....my childrens foundation has already been built....I stood my ground...I stayed the course....and every now and then it yields a nice return.....and the same applies for my little town....I stayed.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2010 03:46 am
@2PacksAday,
Interesting post; I 'm growing to appreciate your rational thought.
It is at a premium; so many nuts around here; (the C.I.A. burned down the W.T.C).

I 've always found human psychology to be intrinsicly fascinating.


2PacksAday wrote:
Been trying to figure out how to keep this to a minimum,
on subjects such as this....it's way too easy for me to go into a 10k word tirade.

My litte town and the entire area in which I live is very polarized, we're all poor folk, but some that are just a bit better off spend their entire lives masking just how poor they really are by many ways and means, but the one that is married to this topic....the biggie....they take on a persona of just being "better" than others, and of course the only real way to complete this, is to take every chance they can to humiliate or ridicule those they find to be their lesser.

There are several ways to deal with this if you are on the receiving end, ignore it...try to be accepted/join in....stand your ground/fight them {which was and still is my option} or simply run away, which is to say move away at the first possible chance....this is what my two friends did {and many, many others}. Of course this is from my pov, but what they have done by leaving, is they gave up, and not just in the tucked their tails and ran sort of way....but they also gave up their roots, their ties to the community, and all the positives you gain from growing up in a small town.....they have to start over in a new town, and more to the point their children have to start over.

My oldest friend has no desire to be anybody but who he is, he never had that "I wish I could hang with those kids" thing going....and I respect that personality trait in someone more than any other. But he was often very angry "at the world" and by the time we were teenagers and I guess the hormones kicked in....he became the most pessimistic person I've still yet to meet.
Maybe clinically depressed ?



2PacksAday wrote:
It became a chore just to be around him, and our friendship waned, once he had moved away, his personality softened a great deal, but every year his attitude of "I got out of that hell hole, why don't you" grows stronger and becomes more arrogant...this is the friend that laughs at any idea of me having any kind of authority...yep he LOL's in my face.
That sounds like fear-based behavior, from a weak ego.
What u wrote sounds like he is jealous of u,
that he privately looks up to u, from a sense of painful inferiority.
Maybe that is his technique of dealing with it.
From what u 've written, here n elsewhere,
it sounds like he holds u in awe.





2PacksAday wrote:
My other friend...we became friends in Jr high, and spent a lot of time together in high school, nearly inseparable....now, he is the type to covet others...he always wanted to be one of "them", but he kept this hid from me pretty well....he was a closet social climber....we were well out of high school before I ever knew he had those feelings, and he has them bad. A few nights before our 10yr HS reunion, we spent nearly two hours on the phone, mainly him opening up to me about how bad all of our experiences had and still bothered him. He is a very...very macho guy, so for him to do that was a major thing, so I told him out of respect for our friendship, I would not go...and even offered to round up the old gang and go in and just beat the livin hell out of the sob's...break tables and all that jazz....he was so upset that he didn't even want to do that.
Jail (prison??) and a lifetime criminal record lies in that direction.
Is that compatible with your mayoral campaign strategy ?




2PacksAday wrote:
I'm sure he had been dwelling on all of it, in the months leading up to the reunion...and it finally boiled over.

This friend is actually not from my town, but from another even smaller town in my county
Is the size of the town significant ?
If so, how ?



2PacksAday wrote:
...but it's one in the same....in his instance, he also hated his town, but moved to the town where we went to school, were most of the kids that looked down on us lived....in essence since he couldn't beat them, he joined them. During our phone convo, I tried to tell him that all that HS crap did not matter....he has a great job, a very nice house...pretty wife..etc...but none of it phased him. That was 10 yrs ago, and since then he seems to have finally accepted it all, and got passed it...well, all of it except for me. Any notion of my accomplishments, or even my childrens, is totally ignored...the last time something really nice happend....some of you may remember from last year that my oldest daughter was elected home coming queen.......when I told him I got a blank stare and then he just turned and walked away. This is the friend that goes into shock anytime something positive happens in my life...he becomes a confused mute person, and stumbles away.
It sounds like he deems himself in serious competition with u;
that he measures himself by how well he compares to U,
or how badly he fails to measure up.
If so, then actually, in his mind he honors u (a lot).
To make the point with better contrast,
think of identical twins one of whom is a big glowing success,
and the other is average, mediocre or sub-mediocre. How do u think HE' d feel ?





David

msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2010 08:39 am
@2PacksAday,
2Packs, I'm finding it a little difficult to understand the nature of the estrangement between you & your former friends.
Would "political differences" have anything to do with it, do you think?

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2010 08:52 am
Excellent post, 2packs.
I understand it easily.
0 Replies
 
 

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