"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Should Old Acquaintances Be Forgotten?

That's the traditional question posed each year at the stroke of midnight as we bid adieu to the old year and welcome the new...

It's that whole "Auld Lang Syne" thing.

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne..."

The words "Auld Lang Syne" actually translate from old Scottish dialect to mean "Old Long Ago", and the song is all about love and friendship in times past.

So, should our loves and friendships from long ago be forgotten?

No! Yes! It all depends...

I mean, where would Facebook be if we all decided to forget our old acquaintances?

Dear God, one of the few bright spots for me in this otherwise dismal and depressing year has been that, thanks to FB, I have successfully reconnected with dear friends from college and high school and ye ol' newspaper reporter days. Friends that, due to time, distance, and just life in general, I had inadvertently lost touch with.

These are the folks that "knew me when", for better and for worse...and STILL accepted my friend request, or sent me one. Amazing!

Yes, FB is AWESOME! A tad voyeuristic, perhaps...but awesome nonetheless. And it continues to grow in popularity because there is something very comforting and reassuring about chatting it up -- even if only briefly -- with old acquaintances on a fairly regular basis.

On the other hand, there are, I would think, some old acquaintances that probably should be forgotten. They should never be brought to mind, and certainly NEVER stalked, er, searched for on Facebook...

Yes, I am talking about old high school/college boyfriends or girlfriends -- former love interests that, for whatever reason, back in the day, went awry. It just stands to reason...

Exception to this rule: If you truly just happen to run into said former love interest at the grocery store during the holidays -- as in Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne"/"Met my old lover at the grocery store, the snow as falling Christmas Eve, yada, yada, yada", I suppose it's OK to chat it up in the frozen food aisle for a minute or two...no harm done. But otherwise...

True story: I was in the midst of a mani-pedi last spring in Minneapolis when this gal in her early 40s sitting in the massage chair next to started yammering into her cell phone to somebody or other about how her old high school beau found her on FB. She was absolutely GIDDY! He had broken her heart long ago...

You don't have to be Dear Abby to realize that chances are good you will find that same once-giddy gal -- now rejected and broken-hearted (again) -- and having gulped one-too-many vodka gimlets this New Year's Eve -- trying desperately to connect with her lost/found/lost again love via drunk FB'ing, or its evil twin, drunk dialing/texting...and all under the guise of "merely" wishing an "old friend" a Happy New Year.

I can hear Miss Lonely Hearts now..."I jusht wanted to shay Happy New Year... "

Ugly stuff. Ugly. Perfect fodder for that schlocky Dr. Phil...

But hey, what the heck do I know? While everyone here in Podunk is out having fun and dancing the old year away at the community building, or throwing back glasses of cheap champagne at Chuck's (I'm just assuming it's cheap, I don't know that for a fact), I am, once again, spending New Year's Eve at home, blogging philosophic about the pros and cons of forgetting old acquaintances...

I just think that if we are going to sing "Auld Lang Syne" we ought to analyze what we are singing about...

Anyway...

If I had a glass of champagne (cheap or otherwise), I would raise a toast -- a "cup o' kindness", as it were -- at midnight to not only the 192 friends I have connected/reconnected with on FB this past year, but to all acquaintances...those long forgotten and those trusty pals forever remembered...

Thanks for being a part of my life!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne...
We'll take a cup o' kindess yet
For auld lang syne...

Love and hugs...with hopes and prayers for a kinder, gentler 2010...

2 comments:

corson@crmu.net said...

took time off snowblowing to have a quick read. from jeff

thank god i have a friend like you. yes we must get lives next year new years we are planning something special start thinking and saving cause its going to happen. blessed to have a friend like you. ps it wont be the legion either. ha ha

cbranden said...

ann..I wish I'd known you better back then...I would've loved my lil 5'3" bud to kick around with and get into devilish girl mischief!

Our connection through a mutual childhood friend fused our friendship and if there ever were two souls who were meant to be, their names would be annjanuaryann, and MeanMeagan....aka Ann and Cari
haha!
Facebook is our drug of choice, our island of retreat, our safe haven from the norm. We know where to go to find friends, give opinions, comments and much needed venting, but above all, facebook is all about feeling...feeling the love. In some capacity large or small, it FEELS right and gives everyone the power to either observe, participate or just remain idle...their page mostly devoid of projects, causes, information or photos; just lame ducks on a pond not swimming, not flying.
It's simply about what I have come to learn through the years.
You cannot control ANYTHING in your life except what you do or what you say. Period. The rest are just choices.
I have chosen to be a friend to you. You have given me reasons to be a better human being. This is all right. This is all good. This is meant...TO BE.

yours,
MM