When I was in DC last October I had the chance to read Jeanne Marie Laskas, an old favorite of mine, in the Washington Post Magazine. In her essay, "It's a Long Story--When you have too much to share" she spoke to a secret guilt of mine that causes both anxiety and regret.
Robin is mad at me. Or, she should be. It's been months since I've written to her, and so much has happened. I want to know about her new baby, Willa. ...I want to know all about her new house, and I want to hear how she's coping with a year so chock-full of change.
The wanting is the easy part...The telling is the hard part. There is just so...much.
"There's been so much to tell you that I don't know where to start, so I don't start at all." ..."I feel like I'm losing a whole category of good friends all because of an inability to....condense the plot of my life."
"Just call her!" Of course. But once again the commitment of time required to do the job right (17 or 18 hours of gabbing, minimum) isn't practical.
How cathartic to read that I'm not the only one guilty of not calling or calling too infrequently, and talking for what seems like 17 or 18 hours just to catch up. If age has taught me one thing it's the importance of keeping up with my friends and relatives, at least with my good intentions, if nothing else. I'm trying, I really am. It's always worth the effort, and the more time that goes by the harder it gets. How do you make that call when you haven't spoken in over six months? It's just plain uncomfortable and awkward.
I hereby resolve, in the interest of my happiness and the happiness of others, to diligently connect with all those friends and relatives with whom I have shared "life's important plot points", but who unfortunately aren't a part of my day-to-day life. This is something my mother did when she was alive, and something my mother-in-law continues to do. It would make them proud to see me do the same.
And to all of you who may receive my phone call, when you see my name and number on your Caller ID, I pledge that I'll be watching the time & promise to limit the call to 15 minutes! Promise!