People are different.
I know. Shocker.
But let's rewind a little bit. Whrrrrrrrrrrr! *Play*
So I'm in Brazil. Visiting friends. Having the time of my life, if you remember. But for every high there is a low, for every up there is a down - I'm pretty sure The Sword in the Stone has a song about that.
See, for some of those friends, a few days wasn't enough. For some of those friends, a few hours of (what should have been) laughter and conversation was 95% complaining that I don't keep in touch well enough.
This, in a word, BIT.
This plunged me into at least fifteen minutes of complaining to My Man - until we came to that SHOCKING conclusion: people are different.
I have a very good friend, whom we'll call Jane, because that's not really her name. We've been friends a long, long time. Good friends. Best friends. In high school, Jane befriended another girl, Betsy, to whom she became quite close. I liked Betsy. I had no jealousy issues. I was glad to include another body in my circle.
But in college, Jane "dropped the acquaintance," as Jane Austen would say.
Betsy called. Left messages. Wrote emails. Sent letters. Yet Jane disdained not to reply.
I got mad at Jane. "Write her back!" I urged. "Call her back! She's your friend!" But Jane, in so many words, made it clear that it was not a friendship 'worth keeping up.' Jane only had so much room in her emotional friend box, and it could not include Betsy at the moment.
I've thought a lot about that Friend Box.
Everyone is different.
For some, picking up the phone and calling once a year is plenty enough to keep up the status of "best friends." For others, once a month is better. Some women are more every-day-ers, who need constant physical companionship to deserve the word Friend.
And I don't think any one of them is Right, where the others are Wrong. Just different.
I've come to the conclusion that a Brazilian Friend Box is quite large. They have huge emotional capacities, ready and willing to embrace everyone as a long-lost soul friend - and work hard to keep them that way. They write weekly - sometimes daily - messages. Emails. Phone calls. And it's still not enough. My friend Jane, on the other hand, has a relatively small Friend Box. Select are the few who gain admission. And she's content with a once-a-year phone call to stay a part of that exclusive club.
I think I fall somewhere in the middle.
I'm totally okay with months of silence from some of my best friends - among them, my college roommates. They rarely remember my birthday. I never remember theirs (although I could TELL you what they are ....)
And that's totally cool.
I used to know everything about them. I was intimately acquainted with every item of clothing they owned - where they got it, and how much they paid. I knew when they ran out of cheese. I knew the daily ups and downs of their emotions, and what kind of tampons they used.
Now, I don't know those things. I have no clue what's in their closets - or their refrigerators - or their bathroom cabinets. But I know THEM. I know the foundational soul-building part of them that makes them my friends. And luckily, our Friend Boxes are relatively the same size. It makes things so much easier.
We don't see each other often. When we meet, there's that initial coolness and the "what've you been up tos?" and then everything is fine. We're back at Apartment 80, discussing the deepest darkest parts of US with music blaring in the background, and trying on each other's makeup. (Heidi always had the best. )
They are in My Box. But so are the Brazilians. It's just that Brazilians need more frequent proofs of their membership.
And that's okay.
Because people are different - and so are their Friend Boxes.