Some Friendships Are Timeless & Some…Aren’t

I was about 350 miles into a 500-mile day when I decided I needed to grab a cup of coffee and stretch my legs.

The Starbucks whose sign I saw off of the freeway looked like as good a place as any to rest as did the sound of a red cup filled with 983 ounces of Peppermint Mocha and a couple of espresso shots.

Grabbed a table in the back where I could drink in peace and do some people watching. Didn’t take more than few minutes for a couple of women to grab the table next to mine.

Took them all of thirty seconds to start a conversation about the men in their lives and for me to realize how much some things have changed since I was in my twenties.

It is not just because my first thought regarding Tinder is that it is something I would use to build a fire either.

Nor is it because I didn’t use Google to try to determine if I wanted to date someone or not.

Mainly it is because listening to them talk reminded me that I stopped thinking like someone who is childless a million years ago.

Men & Women Are Different

When I stopped my intention hadn’t been to become a witness to the complete dissection of some men and how they interact/engage with women or to be reminded about how different we are either.

But the 18 inches between our tables made it impossible not to overhear their stories and since I wasn’t engrossed in my phone something one of them said caught my ear.

I couldn’t repeat it verbatim or tell you why it got me thinking, I just know that it did.

It was something to the effect of “you always know a lot from the first time a guy kisses you.”

That was enough to make me curious enough to wonder what it was they were talking about but not enough to interrupt their conversation to ask what it is you know after that kiss.

I thought about the stories the guys and I have exchanged over the years ab0ut women but I couldn’t think of a time when we had ever focused the way these women appeared to on kissing.

That didn’t mean no one ever mentioned it, but it was always in passing and never a focal point.

Most of those conversations ended years ago because once everyone got married no one spent much time sharing those kinds of details anymore.

It didn’t really resume after the divorces started to hit either, it was just something left behind.

But listening to these women next to me speak and thinking about some other conversations I have heard I figure that the dissection of men that women sometimes engage in never ends.

That might be right, might be wrong don’t know that it really matters.

best friend
Two-thirds of the way into my coffee the women moved from men into a discussion about breaking up with friends. That one really made me think a bit.

In part it was because I received a Facebook notification about some pictures one of the guys had posted.

He had just come back from a long vacation but I had no idea he had gone on one. Hell, I didn’t have a clue if that was the first or 987th one he has taken this year, last year or the year before.

Kind of made me sad to realize that I don’t know much about what he is doing now because there was a time when he was one of the closest friends I had.

Thirty some years of friendship and we are not exactly strangers but we aren’t particularly tight anymore either.

He never got married and never had kids so there are areas of life that our very different and since we no longer live in the same city the distance plays a role too.

We usually grab a beer when he is in town and hang out a bit, but those visits aren’t a yearly thing.

For a while I made a point to call or email on a regular basis. Whenever we connected he was present and everything felt normal, but somewhere along the way I got tired of feeling like it always  had to be me to make the effort to stay in contact.

So I stopped and here we are.

Some Friendships Are Timeless & Some…Aren’t

Two weeks ago my son asked me if he could make plans with a friend for Thanksgiving break.

“Dad, Tom and his family are coming back for Thanksgiving. I want to make plans to see him when he gets here.”

“How long has it been since they moved away?”

“Almost a year.”

“Call him and see about setting up a time to hang out.”

“I’ll try, he is not good about calling back. Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesnt.”

That led into a longer conversation about friendship and a comment from me about how some friendships are timeless and some aren’t.

Who knew a short time later I’d repeat what I said to him to me.

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10 Comments

  1. Jamie November 19, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    The younger set has a leg up on us in keeping in touch with friends via social media. I used to have a Rolodex with phone numbers (solo landlines) and addresses. As folks would move I’d scratch through the old address and write the new one and phone #. When I listen in on 20 yos it’s kind of depressing but then I think I was preoccupied by such things when I was 20. We would say if so-and-so was a good kisser. We just left it at that. No in-depth character analysis.

    • Jack Steiner November 20, 2015 at 9:29 am

      I still have a Rolodex in my garage and a couple of old phone books I used to put numbers in. But I have learned a few tricks with that younger crew and keep up with a lot of people on social media. I have mixed feelings, keeps me in touch with more people but the conversations are fewer than they used to be so…

  2. Janine Huldie November 18, 2015 at 4:26 am

    Definitely get this in spades and something similar happened here when I saw a very good friend of mine and what her recent postings on Facebook looked like. Sometimes we just grow apart as friends though and that is just the sheer matter of factness of it, especially as we grow older and go our own ways. So, truly couldn’t agree more with you, if I tried.

  3. Larry November 16, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I’m sure the guys these days are having similar conversations to what you had back in yours. Think about it – does it sound reasonable that your wife talked that way at one point with her friends.
    We’re just in a different place these days.

    • Jack Steiner November 17, 2015 at 12:22 am

      I expect the conversations are the same as we did, except there was no Tinder, Google Facebook or any of the other tech stuff they mentioned to review.

      If you wanted to know something you had to go out or hope you knew someone who could answer a few questions. Man, we are getting old. 🙂

  4. Daniel November 16, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Great post. I had this same thought recently as well. I put up one of my blog posts on my Facebook page on the anniversary of losing my mom to cancer. My best friend at the time commented on it, reminiscing about that time. He, and my other friends at the time were instrumental in me coming out of that time “okay”. But time and distance changes things. And being a dad, husband, etc as well. Relationships of all kinds take a lot of work.

    Consequently, I found your blog (again) because you used to comment on mine when I was a single dad blogger – Memoirs of a Single Dad. I think I’ll stop by again from time to time. 🙂

    • Jack Steiner November 17, 2015 at 12:20 am

      Hey Daniel,

      I remember you, been a while, it is good to see you again. Sounds like you have had a lot going on, hope most of it has been good, can’t be easy losing your mom.

      You are right about changes and life, so much going on and so little time, makes it hard to keep up with people.

  5. sailwawasee November 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    The older I get, the more and more this becomes very apparent. I recently said to one of my closest friend, it’s quality not quantity.

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