Re: Happy Days

1

You can talk on your cellular txter?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 3:30 PM
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My friends, it seems, are largely from the internet. Sigh.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 3:31 PM
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calling each other up and chatting for one or three hours a night

Gaylord.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 3:33 PM
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I did the 1-3 hr calling thing in HS, but we had this awesome new technology- 3 way calling!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 3:37 PM
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3 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 3:42 PM
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Come on, guys, let's have a 3-way!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 3:44 PM
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I'm a little jealous. Almost all of my current friends are post-college. I'm not great about keeping I'm touch.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 3:45 PM
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Actually, we had this idea where one of the people on the 3-way call also has 3 way calling, so they can bring in a 4th who also has it, who can bring in a 5th, etc... More of an orgy than a 3-way.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 3:46 PM
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Megan has a lot of friends. Most of mine these days are from college.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:04 PM
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ogged, does the name of your high school consist of two words? The first ending in w and the second in r? Mr. oudemia went to that high school.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:10 PM
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Also, the easiest way to tell who you really consider your friends (as opposed to those of whom you have fond memories of friendship) is to pare down your wedding guest list. Then you see who can actually attend.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:12 PM
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Ha, yes, oudemia. When did he graduate?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:18 PM
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Thought so! He's old. 1985 or 1986 I think. And had Persian neighbors with whom his family was tight -- but they were just halfsies, I think, so I probably haven't been in your house or anything. His town started with a W and ended with an e.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:24 PM
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He's old. 1985 or 1986 I think.

Hey now, I graduated high school in 1986.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:27 PM
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Ah, ok, I graduated in '91, so no overlap, but I'm pretty sure I know the Iranian family you mention.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:29 PM
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Gah! Students from that high school made for damnably annoying freshmen.


Posted by: hermit greg | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:31 PM
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We are universally reviled.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:32 PM
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They fed in large numbers to my undergrad institution -- but just the weirdos who took a particular teacher's great books class.
As to that other family: Dad's a doctor? Mom's a translator?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:35 PM
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dammit, and I had forgotten that ogged went to that smug and curseworthy institution. the paradox reappears.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:36 PM
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just the weirdos who took a particular teacher's great books class

Whose last name began with an L and ended with an R? I took her class. We're still a little bit in touch.

I didn't know the Iranian family that well; only knew of them. The one I'm thinking of had a last name that started with H and ended with I. There's another possibility and their family name started with an S and ended with an O. This is fun and ridiculous.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:38 PM
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Didn't y'all have this conversation before?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:39 PM
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One of the things people really hate about people from this high school is that they're always talking about it, Parsimon.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:40 PM
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To try to be fair, the ones who went to the place I started graduate school (and teaching freshmen) seemed to be most anxious to leave the state, and many found the easy-flowing alcohol downtown attractive. Not that different from many freshmen, but perhaps we drew on a particularly obnoxious segment of the population...


Posted by: hermit greg | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:42 PM
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20: Yes to the teacher. Mr. oudemia is still a little in touch with her too. He liked her a lot.

As to the family, your people are thick upon the ground, apparently. This fam's name started with an M and ended with an N. Seekrit language!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:44 PM
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I have one good friend left from h.s., and a couple with whom I'm in touch about every three years. Four solid friends from college, not counting Mr. B., a handful from graduate school, and a couple from that job I had. Plus you assholes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:46 PM
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She was a great teacher, and that was a great class.

I don't know that family!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:46 PM
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He's old. 1985 or 1986 I think

et tu, oudemia?

That hurts.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:47 PM
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22: I see. It was high school, after all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:48 PM
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I have three very close guy friends. One from high school was an amazing swimmer, devoted LDS, and huge gun collector.

The other two are college friends.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:48 PM
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14, 27: Yes, but the secret is that I am only a few years younger than that. I am older than ogged, even.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:49 PM
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30:

Older than Ogged doesnt exactly make you old.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:51 PM
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I'm old on the inside.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:53 PM
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Megan has too many friends.

It doesn't surprise me that trying to fake-smash people (taekwondo) doesn't lead to lifelong friendship.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:56 PM
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34

31: will, just roll with it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:56 PM
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Is ogged not understood to be the default human being, at his own blog?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:57 PM
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34:

I was just throwing you a softball since you dislike such age complaints.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:58 PM
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I am the default! You're all deviants!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 4:59 PM
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So who holds the title of "default female human", as the closest to him in age?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:01 PM
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Did anyone here know a Swedish guy with a last name beginning in L and ending is S, from a town the name of which was two words, the first beginning with a B and the second ending with an N? He was doublejointed in both thumbs and smoked Camel straights.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:02 PM
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40

38: w-lfs-n.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:03 PM
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For a long time, during college and well after it, my best friend was my best friend from high school. Then she became ultra ultra Orthodox. I still see her on occasion (our parents live near each other), but it's not exactly like we have tons to talk about or that her husband thinks I'm someone she ought to talk to.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:06 PM
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39: Good ol' Lammerstras from Bape Ann! Sure! What a guy. I remember he used to stick both thumbs up his ass while he was smoking a cigarette: wild!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:07 PM
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43

Froz and I have been friends since high school. He's my PLP.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:08 PM
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44

One of my close friends has been my friend since we were five, give or take a few years.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:10 PM
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45

Well, I know two guys of that description! Not just one. And they don't even know each another!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:12 PM
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46

4 friends from HS -- one a recent re-connect.
7 friends from resort jobs.
2 friends from undergrad.
No friends from law school.
4 friends from law firm.
1 friend from old (1991-2001) neighborhood.
Gender balance: 7 men, 9 women.

Several nascent but developing internet friendships.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:12 PM
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47

Close friends:
1 high school - male (from swimming)
1 high school - female (former gf)
2 college - males (from swimming) (after they married, add their wives)
1 college female (dating)
1 post law school former fiancee (female) (also known as the sister of college female above)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:17 PM
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Further to 46 -- I sent out Holiday cards today, so I got to think about everyone's status.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:23 PM
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everyone's s/b everyone I know's


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:24 PM
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I am older than ogged, even.

All you goddamn kids get off my lawn. Except Emerson. And Parsimon, I think.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:25 PM
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Oh, come on, this place is infested, infested! with oldsters. Biohazard, Tassled Loafered, kid bitzer, Knecht (I think), the list of people who are not just old, but actually over 40, is nearly endless.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:28 PM
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I have a couple of people whom I'm still occasionally in touch with from high school (and one from before that), and a few from college. But no close friends from either of those eras anymore. Time passes, you lose touch. I have several good friends from grad school and beyond. But I'd say probably only one close friend these days, by my definition of that term.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:29 PM
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not just old, but actually over 40

Ow! My rheumatism!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:31 PM
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54

You get off of my lawn, sonny.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:33 PM
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I described myself as "pushing 40" recently, which scared me a little.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:34 PM
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54 to 50, naturally.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:34 PM
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57

We are all of us 47 years old.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:34 PM
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I am just happy to see Napi around bc he is WAY older than me.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:34 PM
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36:

I was just throwing you a softball since you dislike such age complaints.

You've got to be kidding me. "Is this my reputation?", I asked, wounded.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:35 PM
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I haven't done a count, because I'll inevitably forget people. I think it's something like this, counting friends as people I'd call up out of the blue, happily do a favor for, ask a favor from, stay with if I needed to, etc.

Five guys and one woman from high school.

One guy from the college era, but not from college.

Two women from grad school, and one from the grad school era.

And I have to admit that I consider a bunch of blog people good friends at this point.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:37 PM
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All you punks get outta my yard, and no, you can't have your ball back.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:39 PM
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People with friends from long-ago school days must be pretty good about keeping in touch. I'm not, and I've often kicked myself for it, but then again, if I'd had email back in the day, I probably have kept contact with more friends. I wonder if ease of communication has been a big factor for the youngsters around here.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:41 PM
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63

Jesus, they have email now. And interesting stories.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:42 PM
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Ogged, when I ran into a graduate of your fine high school, it managed to come up (as it always does) in a conversation about him being from the area. When he mentioned his high school, I just started laughing. Apparently he still doesn't understand why everyone finds it so funny, but it's a common reaction.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:43 PM
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And I have to admit that I consider a bunch of blog people good friends at this point.

Thanks. I feel close to you as well!



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:43 PM
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And I have to admit that I consider a bunch of blog people good friends at this point.

At this point most of my friends I either met on BBSs or the internet, or met via people I met via BBSs or the internet, so I stopped feeling weird about that long ago.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:44 PM
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Back before email I kept in touch with several friends from summer camp using letters a few times a year. Then we got each other's email addresses and never communicated again, since all of a sudden it was too easy to communicate and we didn't know when or why to do it anymore.

I kept in touch with about ten people from high school using AIM for the first three years of college. Then I stopped using AIM because it was annoying, and was out of touch with everyone for a while.

Facebook is much better for that purpose. All of a sudden I know where all these people are and what they are up to. Now if I ever leave this city again maybe they can become my friends again with an infusion of face-to-face contact.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:47 PM
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~w ~r, the HS for the town of W~e, among others, has had a reputation throughout the postwar period. My wife's cousins went there, but she went to the huge school to the south where Mean Girls was actually filmed, although apparently set sociologically in that other school.

Nobody from high school anymore, and no good way to get back in touch.

Nobody from college, although I hardly knew anybody anyway.

Nobody from the jobs after.

Friends from when I was in grad school, not including my wife, about a half dozen.

From law school, two or three.

From my long-standing job, about a dozen people, and others whom I could easily reconnect with if I worked downtown.

From our congregation, dozens.

Most of my friends, the closest of my life, are near neighbors of mine. We have startling tastes and styles in common, and our children have grown up together.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:47 PM
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When he mentioned his high school, I just started laughing.

This happens a lot to my pal who went to Lick Wilmerding.

they have email now. And interesting stories

True. I'm working on it. As soon as I've got these kids out of my hair, I have some recent re-contacts to follow up on.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:48 PM
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I'm terrible about keeping in touch with past friends. I almost completely socialize exclusively with people I know from current activities. I'm thinking about changing jobs, which means I'll probably lose many of my current friends too. Consequently, I wouldn't say I have any really close friends, like anyone I'd talk to on the same comfort level as with my wife.
The one exception is someone from high school, but he went and became conservative and helped start a war in Iraq. Even so, we've invited him to visit and he blows us off or makes excuses not to, so I guess he's off the list.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:51 PM
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Wow I managed to completely burn my bridges after high school. I don't think I have seen or heard from anyone I went to high school with in a couple years, and the longest conversation I have had since I graduated was probably 10 minutes. All the friends I currently have are from college. I think some of the reason is that most of the people I hung around with in high school were smart and had ambition so left the frozen tundra for greener pastures. I, on the other hand, lack at least ambition.

I am surprised that I don't at least run into anyone that I knew from high school. I can't imagine everyone I knew left and while I live in a sizable town by mid-western standards it isn't that big.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:55 PM
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I wonder if ease of communication has been a big factor for the youngsters around here.

I'd love to accept this, but there was the telephone, after all.

I'm just terrible at keeping in touch; or I burn bridges, become estranged from my past selves. I'm not thrilled about it, but I tend not to find it weird, either. Some of it is circumstantial: where I came from is not remotely where I am now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:58 PM
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I've four friends from high school or early days (one I knew from elementary, another from junior high) who I consider close friends, even though we don't talk much. We have an email list that we send junk to that we want the others to see, but I haven't talked on the phone or spent actual time with any of them since about 2005, and the only one who lives in RI I've been avoiding since 1999 or so--and he lives around the corner from my parents. Still, I've no doubt that if I showed up on any of these guys' doorsteps out of nowhere, drunk, broke, and in trouble, they'd help me. Even if they didn't want to, I have the tapes.

Aside from that, no friends out of the current moment. I get irritated when I meet people I used to hang out with--I've no desire to revisit the past, they are not part of the present, and that's it. There's one person from grad school I've recently exchanged a couple of emails with, but that's an exception. Another from grad school regularly reads my blog, but has never commented or said anything about it to me (I know this in part from the other grad school person.) Even though he lives a few minutes away, I've no plans to contact him. What would be the point?


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 5:59 PM
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74

I'd love to accept this, but there was the telephone, after all.

But remember how expensive long distance calling used to be?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:03 PM
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75

But remember how expensive long distance calling used to be?

I do! You have a point. So I'm clear?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:08 PM
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My definition of friends is the same as Ogged's. Which makes this...

I consider a bunch of blog people good friends at this point

...insulting. Hmmmmph, Ogged. Hmmmph.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:08 PM
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Having just made my holiday card list, I found that I was using just this type of chronology to remember people. Family (who I consider friends in many cases), teenage years, a handful from college, and then various jobs. Also a few folks from my old neighborhood, and my closest ex.
send fewer than 40 cards.
I remember as a child making fun of my parents for their griping about the nuisance of handwritting messages on the back of 150+ photo cards every year. I told them that I would never be writing holiday cards if it was that burdensome and annoying. Somehow I seem to have reinterpreted the task, or maybe I have lower standards. Of course, I send only about 40.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:09 PM
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I thought y'all were talking about the Breakfast Club high school, but a little research has proved me wrong. (Robert Kurston's horrific Esquire piece, "My Favorite Teacher", was also at that school, not Foow Barr.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:09 PM
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75: You're clear! But you never call.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:10 PM
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Oh, what about good friends who are older people? My daycare mom, my college buddy's mom. I used to have a couple more, but I lost touch because I'm a bad person.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:10 PM
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When I was 25 or so, I had my first museum job, working as a guard. A number of the other guards were college kids. As one year came to end, one kid who decided Chicago wasn't for him and was transferring all of a sudden realized what it meant: wide-eyed, he said to me, "You know, we're probably never going to see one another again." "Uh, yeah," I replied. It seemed to be a new experience for him to have a sort of temporary friendship that didn't outlast the shared environment.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:11 PM
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Further to 75: In fact, yeah, I'll cop to retaining some (okay, a lot) of the same attitude to phone calling these days. Long distance, for no particular reason but to chat, don't really do it. It's stupid, very, but it must just be an ingrained pattern.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:12 PM
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83

78: very nearly the Ferris Bueller high school, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:12 PM
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good friends who are older people

For me I think three fall into this category. Eleven years older than me, 12, and 20+. Maybe a couple of others if I thought about it. Oh -- my mother's best friend, who I am still in touch with.

Long distance, for no particular reason but to chat, don't really do it.

This does feel very generational to me, and financially meaningful. At work I never think twice about calling anywhere in the country and talking as long as I want, at any time. In my personal life I have a sense of who among my close friends has a cell with unlimited long distance, and treat them like local calls. But for people I don't know -- I'm pretty scrupulous about offering to call them back if they have to call me, or trying to time a talk so it is on a weekend/after 9 p.m. if I know they have restrictive contracts.

I'm probably an outlier, though. I make phone appointments for long chats with my two dearest friends.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:19 PM
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82 -- Skype. I'm not a user, but my kids use it all the time.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:20 PM
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I inadvertently and quite fortunately established some traditions over the last few years that keep me in contact with some old friends. One friend of mine from HS with whom I also went to college meet up in New York with another college friend every year during the Tribeca Film Festival and see whatever the big blockbuster is and hang out. My other friend from high school works in art; this year, we stayed with a friend of hers for a few days in Miami, where we were both attending the big art fair.

Nearly all the friends I made in in college live in Austin, DC, or New York, so I'm able to see them fairly regularly. And even if I weren't, I'm sure I could show up at any time asking for a kidney and get one.

All the friends I made after college have blogs. And more likely than not we met through blogs.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:26 PM
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Skype. I'm not a user, but my kids use it all the time.

It's not a technology problem; it's an attitude.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:33 PM
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83: And supposedly the term "Breakfast Club" was coined at Ogged High.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:43 PM
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I organized my wedding party around a kind of tour-of-friends: sister, friend-from-birth, high school friend, high school ex, friend from first college, friend from transfer college (best man; my sister was pissed off that she wasn't best man, but I gave her sergeant-at-arms). I keep people pretty consistently as I go along, and while I stay in close touch with very few people, I feel that if I were to move to NY or SF I would have ten or so people I could be pretty close with pretty quickly.

Paring down the wedding list was not easy.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:44 PM
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I'm sure I could show up at any time asking for a kidney and get one.
that's really heartwarming without exagerration
my 10 mo niece recognizes me through Skype
thank you Skype inventing demigods


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:45 PM
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I no longer feel weird about my imaginary internet friends, especially since some of them are no longer imaginary (I mean, I've talked to them on the phone, met them in real life and etc).


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:50 PM
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OT: I found this week's Modern Love unusually good. Coulda done without the thankful-bourgie bookending, but the story inside is great.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:57 PM
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From elementary school and middle school: none.
From high school: four, one of whom was in the wedding party.
From college: In terms of crashing at someone's place? About 12. In terms of regularly talking to them, about six, plus their wives.
Grad school: still here, expect that I've made one or two lifelong friends.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 6:57 PM
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I mostly lost touch with all of my high school friends soon after I went off to college. I've reconnected with a couple of them now that I'm back, but I've already mostly lost touch with my college friends.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 7:01 PM
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This reminds me of the recent ASR paper about the declining number of close friends people have in the U.S.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 7:07 PM
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Knecht (I think), the list of people who are not just old, but actually over 40, is nearly endless.

Easy there, young whippersnapper. I haven't reached the four decade milestone yet. I surmise that I am the same age as LB and a year younger than Apo.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 7:13 PM
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I've lost touch with just about everyone (excluding cousins, of course) from elementary school. But I still know about some of them (who they're married to, how many kids they have, etc), through my parents and other family. Many of them have never left the place where we grew up, and some of them are still friends with one another. If I had never left, I would no doubt still be friends with some of them, too. My parents' friendships are like that.

Geographic mobility really changes things, in terms of who we're friends with, and why.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 7:14 PM
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I've got a couple friends from high school that I talk to every now and then, but don't get to see more than every couple years. One "older" friend that is my godmother and I have known since birth. Three friends from college, one of whom has visited me a few times, and the other two that I just email with from time to time. Six friends from law school that I see fairly regularly, and one new friend from my new job.

I count my sister as my friend 'cause I talk to her like every day.

And I have a cousin in Egypt who is near my age and I grew up with and rarely talk to, but when we do see each other it's like long-lost friends talking for hours and hours and he's more like me than probably my siblings or any of my American cousins.

And then blog people!


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 7:30 PM
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Y'all do well to remember that the four decade milestone is an artificially calculated number and nothing more. Not only is it not horrid to meet such an age, it is delightful.

(Thus concludes a constrained installment in: Don't make me laugh, dummies!)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 7:38 PM
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Y'all do well to remember that the four decade milestone headstone is an artificially calculated number and nothing more. Not only is it not horrid to meet such an age, it is delightful.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 7:39 PM
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Gonerill, you disappoint me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 7:44 PM
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I disappoint myself, parsimon. I'm afraid it's practically a daily occurrence.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 7:47 PM
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(Completely irreverently: Have you considered yoga? I'm off to bed, for oldsters in a wind storm.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 7:56 PM
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As a fraught-with-meaning milestone, 40 is an artificial number, to be sure. And yet.

On the one hand, I think we're all so tied up with today's cult and culture of youth that we can't even enjoy adulthood anymore. On the other hand, I also know that, once born, we're all on our way to being six feet under. It's only a matter of time, and how goes the enemy?, as the saying once went. And 40 is closer than 20 or 30 to the inevitable end point of that inexorable path.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 8:01 PM
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51,104: Biohazard, Tassled Loafered, kid bitzer, Knecht (I think the list of people who are not just old, but actually over 40, is nearly endless.

So we are using one of those primitive counting systems: 1,2,3, nearly endless. So when counting ages by tens Invisible Adjunct is right: 40 = 'nearly dead'.



Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 8:04 PM
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When he mentioned his high school, I just started laughing.

This happens a lot to my pal who went to Lick Wilmerding.

Lick my left! Lick my right! Lick my, lick my Wilmerding!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 8:04 PM
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On the one hand, I think we're all so tied up with today's cult and culture of youth that we can't even enjoy adulthood anymore.

Focus on this part.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 8:13 PM
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So when counting ages by tens Invisible Adjunct is right: 40 = 'nearly dead'.

If you believe in life everlasting, then one year is not much different than four score and twenty: a mere drop in the sea of eternity.

But we none of us really believe that anymore. So we, quite reasonably, tend to panic over the difference between 30 and 40, or 40 and 50, and etc., because we're now on secular time and we no longer believe in eternity. In which case, yeah, 40 is nearly dead, or near enough for discomfort. As is 1 or 2 years of age, for that matter, but in which case, 40 is definitely much closer than 1 or 2 to the inevitable end of whatever brief time we have to exist on this our earth.

(Well, this is the sex-death-religion blog, isn't it? I speak of death and religion because I cannot, or will not, speak of the other).


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 8:29 PM
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"40 is nearly dead, or near enough for discomfort."

So the reason I have no friends is cause I'm dead? I knew it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 8:58 PM
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But we none of us really believe that anymore. So we, quite reasonably, tend to panic over the difference between 30 and 40, or 40 and 50, and etc., because we're now on secular time and we no longer believe in eternity.

"No longer"? Speak for yourself, Christian. Some of us never did.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 9:00 PM
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110: Well, I don't claim to speak for the Christians, Teo. I'm just a Catholic, after all.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 9:12 PM
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Megan has too many friends.

I'll dump them as soon as they stop being great.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 9:15 PM
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I'm just a Catholic, after all.

As you well know, I'm ecumenical in my denigration. You're Christian enough for me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 9:17 PM
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I'll dump them as soon as they stop being great.

Anybody can do what's easy, Megan.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-16-07 10:04 PM
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If you believe in life everlasting, then one year is not much different than four score and twenty: a mere drop in the sea of eternity. But none of us really believe that anymore.

So last night I am watching The Little Drummer Boy with my daughters (puppet animation retelling of the story from the song--obvious knockoff of the Rudolph movie). Daughter One starts inquiring about the truth content of the story: Was there really a Little Drummer Boy? Did the Baby Jesus really heal his injured lamb?

We frequently have discussions about the difference between fiction and reality, and we've even discussed fictionalized reality in the context of the Little House series. In general, I try to present Christian doctrine to her as straightforwardly true; there is time enough for her to become disenchanted when she's older. But I found it incredibly difficult to navigate this particular maze: "No, the Little Drummer Boy is just a made up story. But there really was a Baby Jesus, and the Three Kings really did follow the star to where he was lying in the manger." I didn't go into detail about how the Nativity is in the canonical gospels whereas the Little Drummer Boy is not.

Then she asks, "Is Jesus dead?" And I gave her the doctrinally sound answer that Jesus died, but then he came back to life. "How did he do that?" she asks. "Because he was the son of God," I tell her.

Then she says, "I don't believe that baby Jesus healed the little lamb." Somehow I think my half-hearted attempts to raise my children in the Christian faith are doomed to fail.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12-17-07 6:22 AM
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My niece, when she was maybe 7 years old, was instructing me in how some people believe in God, but she didn't. Her tone and words struck me as superior and dismissive, and I cautioned her that one ought to be respectful of other peoples' beliefs.

She was visibly taken aback. "You don't believe in God, do you, Uncle politicalfootball?" It was obvious that when she was running down believers, she thought she was talking to another one of the cognoscenti, and she was horrified that she may have insulted me.

So she clearly already understood the lesson I was trying to impart - she just instinctively placed me among those with sufficient common sense to be in her camp on this issue.

Knecht, it's fascinating to me how different parents deal with issues of religion. My kids, if I'm lucky, will be like my niece, whose parents were always very straightforward about their nonbelief, but I've got another nonbelieving brother who has raised his kids in the Church. I think there's a lot of value in that approach, but I could never do it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-17-07 7:48 AM
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I've got another nonbelieving brother who has raised his kids in the Church. I think there's a lot of value in that approach, but I could never do it.

Every time this comes up ... that's nuts. If you don't believe, don't bring your kids up in the Church.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-07 7:54 AM
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On the original topic, when I was in high school - 30 years ago - my circle of friends and I used to say that we expected to be friends for life, even though we acknowledged that everybody said that about their high school friends, and it was seldom true.

We were right, though. Those friends - and the people I met through those friends - are still the people I'm closest to. I'm unreasonably fond of all of them.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-17-07 7:59 AM
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that's nuts. If you don't believe, don't bring your kids up in the Church.

I'm one of those grinches who doesn't want his kids believing in Santa Claus, but I wouldn't be too upset if they came to believe in Divine Jesus - even though I find the two beliefs similar in their substantive merits.

I am grateful for many aspects of my own Catholic upbringing.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-17-07 8:14 AM
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re: 119

It's something I find infuriating about 'mericans*. I don't want to get boring or offensive about it, though.

That said, it just seems fundamentally shallow and insincere. I don't personally believe, but I have some respect for people who do and are sincere in their beliefs. But, people who act like they do, but don't? There's something fairly sickening about it.

* and don't get me started on the bourgeois fucks in this country who send their kids to church [despite being non-believers] to get into a good religious/parochial school. Scum the lot of them.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-07 8:22 AM
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Equally tedious, though, at least to me, are those who insist on all their questions and doubts being answered before they will consent to participating.

I agree that there must be a threshold level of belief and reverence, and also a willingness to suspend final judgment. Unbelievers who send their children to religious school seem to me to be wasting their and their children's time only if their unbelief is palpable and unmistakable; I encounter people like that. People who can't articulate and don't go along on some doctrine though, are a different matter. They are often unaware of what others believe, of how nearly everyone has doubts and heterodoxies, and so on.

Best is when your beliefs are articulable, when you can answer your children's questions honestly about how you might differ from such-and-such traditional belief, and when you're not sure.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 12-17-07 8:40 AM
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even though I find the two beliefs similar in their substantive merits

I've never taken any of my kids to church, and prevented my ex from taking Keegan to church (to appease her father) by roughly the logic in 120. Somehow over the past two years, the ex transformed from a mushy, ill-defined spiritualism into a raging atheist, so it all worked out for the best.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-17-07 8:41 AM
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But, people who act like they do, but don't? There's something fairly sickening about it.

Word.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-17-07 8:44 AM
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I'm with Apo. My son has been in church only for funerals and perhaps weddings.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-17-07 9:26 AM
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I agree with 70 and 71 -- bad at keeping up long-term communication. My current friends are two people from work, one friend who I met through a mutual friend I have since lost contact with, one or two people at Drinking Liberally and at Friday Night Magic, and that's it. There are seven more people I'd get in touch happily if I was in their area or vice versa, one of whom I actually do try to keep in touch with, but I haven't seen them in years.

Ooohhh, though, that reminds me, one of them is in the DC area! I might drag a guest to the meet up after all!!!!

I also have between one and half a dozen Internet friends. Those are more in World of Warcraft than on blogs, and it's really hard to count them. On blogs, I at least have a pseudonym and whatever background comes up in conversation, but in WoW most people have multiple pseudonyms, which can complicate friendship -- I know Fyranne and Ayllia are the same person, but what about Lugie? He (they?) knows I'm Furryous, but does he also know I'm Kinderkreig? -- and there's even less personal background, although there is some. But on the other hand, there's a lot more help and stuff. I can talk with blogfriends, but I don't really know how well they handle assholes or what priorities they put first or how willingly they'd do a favor or anything like that, and they don't know that kind of thing about me. On WoW, you find out about that stuff pretty quickly.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 12-17-07 9:45 AM
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