Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Just? A Friend

I have a buddy. She and I have known each other for twenty-seven years. We were co-workers. I was a new hire and she was one of the veterans assigned to show me around. We didn't work in the same department until I got promoted a few times, over a few years.

She was accounts payable and I was (eventually) accounts receivable/credit & collections. We both reported to the controller (and what a piece of work he was--another time.) Prior to my assignment to accounting office services we were just elevator and break room buddies. 'Hey, howya doin' kind of buddies.

During the years that we worked virtually, side-by-side, we shared confidences. She knew of my crumbling marriage, mom, brother(s) and kid(s) issues. I knew of her cheating boyfriend who had at least two outside children (one of whom she ultimately adopted,) her mom and brother issues.

The company was sold and the new owner re-organized. She was one of about 60 to be laid off. She and her mother sold their house, bought a new house in a small town very much south of Chicago. She went to work in a doctor's office and she, her mother, daughter and (I guess) no longer cheating boyfriend, settled in to enjoy the slower pace of the smaller town.

In the beginning we kept in touch with letters (me,) emails and cards. Time passed and it became e-cards and a few emails. The emails were fewer and farther between and the e-cards stopped. Then the forwards began. Chain letters, electronic blessings, *funny* stories, pictures, inspirational and patriotic messages; any and all matter of junky noise.

Out of some sense of camaraderie and in honor of what we once meant to each other; I opened, read and forwarded as instructed. At some point I stopped the forwarding. Then, I stopped opening. Now, I'm deleting on sight. I'm a few beats away from coding her address as spam.

We haven't *spoken* since her mom died two years ago, just days before my buddy's birthday. In the interim, I sent cards, letters and 'hey, howya doin emails.' What I get back is the chain; forward this to ten people and receive a blessing, or open this for funny pics, or some other junky noise missive.

I have a buddy that I thought was a friend.

On the other hand, I got an actual letter, written on paper, in ink, from another former co-worker who told a funny story about her thirteen year old, almost six foot tall, son, Moses. She seems to always get a letter to me around my birthday. Whenever it arrives, it never fails to amuse and uplift.

See ya, I've got a letter to write.


  1. Gaaa, yeah I really hate those damn forwarding blessing & joke emails. Well, just email her & tell her you really want to hear about her life every so often, but you have gotten to the point of deleting all the jokes & stories.
    Do you think she would take the hint?

  2. Makes you wonder what the hell she's thinking. How do you go from confidant to junk email sender? Especially since you made attempts to reach out to her. That's just weird. People can be so strange.

    Have fun writing your letter.

  3. Isn't it amazing how technology puts you in your place? 10 years ago we didn't have such obvious signs for a deteriorating friendship. Now there are a strict set of rules and you know where you stand by the category you're put in. a) phone calls/snail mail
    b) email/IM
    c) text messages
    d) forwards

  4. Letter? Write? Like on real paper with a real pen? With real handwriting? Cursive even?

    Wow. I'm impressed. :)

    My handwriting has deteriorated with the advent of computers. It takes real concentration to write legibly, unless I'm blockprinting which has become my new norm.

    Oh. And I never forward email crap to friends. Or enemies!

  5. You wouldn't want my handwritten letter, as the text would be too small to easily read. As a compromise, I type all correspondence regardless of medium; actual letters get my actual signature lol

    It is odd when a friendship wanes, and certainly a loss. Still, I'd rather lose contact altogether than be relegated to recipient-of-forwarded-junk-email land. You have my support in categorizing he as spam.

  6. Well, at least you know she's alive. I have a friend who doesn't even bother to email me anything regardless if I send her an email about what's going with me or a forward.

    But since she only sends you forwards, I don't blame you for just letting her go.

    Handwritten letters are the best!

  7. Sometimes letting go is best.

    Friends come, friends go.

    You'll always know the "keepers"


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