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Monday, September 29, 2008

Make new friends, but keep the old…

by Karrie McAllister
Guaranteed, all of the scout alumni are finishing the title with “one is silver and the other gold.” In fact, some might even be attempting to sing the ever-so-popular round, even as a solo.
I, myself, sang that around many a campfire when I was a kid, with the new friends I made way back in Girl Scouts. Someone would direct us in small groups by waving their arms around in an attempt to appear like a real conductor while looking more like a flying bird, and as sure as the s’more is tasty, we’d sing the round.
And even though it was just a silly song so many years ago, I now know what real truth rings through those few simple lines.
Today I had breakfast with a relatively new friend. We both amazingly ditched our children, leaving them in the fragile care of our husbands, and discussed the big issues in life over coffee over French toast.
It was fabulous. The conversation, that is, as well as the French toast. It’s not often that two people connect on such an everyday level, and after my breakfast I spent the entire day with a smile (and a little syrup) on my face.
New friends are something special for many reasons. We usually get acquainted in the here-and-now, and have something recent in common. We get together and discuss daily changes in our children and our own lives. We talk about current events and something good we made for dinner this week or how we feel about the new changes in the grocery store.
Easy stuff, but stuff that makes a difference in our lives. Important stuff.
Now, contrast that with old friends, the friends that I once sat around the campfire with and sang Girl Scout songs.
The same old friends that I have reconnected with on Facebook.
In a moment of weakness and sulking about the fact that I’m over 30, I went against my better judgment and signed up for Facebook. If you are unfamiliar with this web service, it’s a site where people can connect and re-connect, chat, and share about their lives. You can look up people you know and invite them to be on your “friend list,” and only then can they have access to the photos and life updates that you post.
And of course, she with the biggest friend list wins.
So in my quest to add to my pathetically small friend list, I started searching into my past. I sifted through college friends and high school friends, all the way down to the little boy who lived across the street from me when I was growing up. He’s not so little anymore.
I found old friends that I hadn’t talked to in ten years, and in just the click of a mouse we were reunited. We have since chatted and written and have even talked on the phone to make plans for a lunch date. When we meet, no doubt our conversation will not be about the new grocery store or what’s for dinner, though. It’ll be about major life happenings: careers, marriages, children. Big stuff, but stuff that makes a difference in our lives. Important stuff.
I’m sure we’ll also reminisce about the old times, too, and laugh about all of the songs we used to sing around the campfire.
Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold…but they’re both on Facebook.


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