Sandwiched in between two meetings with good friends I don't see often enough seems the perfect time to do this short "friend meme," though I discovered that because of cross-over in real life and computer life, it's more difficult than you'd think to answer these questions. The first difficulty is how to separate people who are related by marriage or blood from people who have no connection like that. For that reason, I am automatically NOT considering Walt or the kids, their spouses, my mother or my cousins in answering these questions.
1. Who's your best friend in real life...why?
Now see, this question is difficult to answer because how do you choose among Peggy, who is really more of an online friend now, but with whom I have spent a lot of time and who knows my deepest secrets; Char, who has been a best friend for so long and who also knows my deepest secrets; and Lynn, whom I don't see nearly enough and don't hear from all that often, but who is also a great confidante and knows my deepest secrets. I can't choose from among them, so I'll have to choose all three.
Or should it be a male friend, which would put the choice between Ron and Steve, both of whom have been such an important part of my life but, again, are now more online friends than face to face friends. (But much as I love them, a male friend, even a gay one, isn't quite as fulfilling as a female friend.)
2. Who's your best online friend...why?
This could also be Peggy, since I will probably never see her face to face again, so all that is left is an online friendship, but since I put her in question #1, I should pick someone whom I have never met, or maybe only met once. Again, that leaves me with two people. First would be Bozoette Mary, whom I did meet once in Washington, D.C. and whose blog I have been following forever. Secondly would be Kimberly (aka Indigo), whose daily question site, "That's My Answer" is one that I wouldn't miss every day. I've never met Kimberly, but we have had lots of exchanges about not only questions for TMA, but our respective blogs as well.
3. Who's your most quiet friend...why?
After having spent two weeks with her, and often straining to hear what she says, I would say that my choice for "most quiet friend" would have to be Pat. Not that she is shy and retiring, but only that she is sometimes so soft spoken that you miss what she is saying....and she usually has interesting things to say.
4. Who's your loudest friend...why?
Olivia, whom I met on CompuServe many years ago, who morphed into a face to face friend, but who had the audacity to move to Idaho, where I never see her any more. NOBODY has ever accused Olivia of being soft spoken!!!
5. Who's your oldest friend...why?
No contest here. Char will have to take the prize for being the friend I have continuously known the longest, but my Scrabble buddy, Joan, who is a bit older than Char would have to win for being the oldest in years.
6. Who's your newest friend ..why?
Well, that's a lot easier to answer. I'll go to the recent trip and choose Sheri, whom I met for the first time at the first pre-trip dinner, where I learned that she had been reading my journal for years. How can you not like a person like that? But then I got to know her better during our two week Bataan march and found her a delightful person. I also started reading her blog and keeping up with her, Ashley and Bongo that way.
...and then there is a whole 'nother classification of friends that doesn't really fit into any of these categories...where do I put the CompuServe group, women I've known for more than 10 years, with whom I interact every day, but also with whom I have spent a lot of time over the years, so they don't fit into the strictly "online" friends, but our level of intimacy doesn't quite reach what I have with Peggy, Charlotte or Lynn...yet they are still a very important part of my life and I don't want to leave any of them out either! Pat, Mary, Trisha, Cathy, diane, Sian, DR,...and Bill, our honorary member of this women's group. (I hope I didn't leave anybody out accidentally!) Or the women I'm meeting on Saturday, from the old Women's Health office -- Lynn (already mentioned above), Lynn, Lynne, (yes, there are 3 Lynns) RoseMarie, Mariana, Lisa, Marsha, Dory and Barb. Or the women I still feel close to from the days I worked at The Secretariat -- Melody, Shirley, Cindy (my dentist), and Roberta. Or Diane, who doesn't really fit into any other category, and with whom I used to exchange e-mail several times a week, but who got busy with her grandchildren. Or Jeri, Jeri's godmother, who has been a good friend forever, but now lives in Arizona and has a new love interest, so has been rather scarce lately.
I often bemoan the lack of good friends in my life now, but as I did this meme I realized that the problem is not good friends in my life, it's good friends in this town. When you look at all the people I've listed here and add the close friendships I have with my family and extended family I realize am very fortunate to have so many really good friends. I just wish there were more opportunities to get together like I am doing this week, with two groups of friends to just sit and chat or do the crazy kinds of things Char and I did for years and Peggy and I did both here and in Australia. I miss those sorts of things, but I am more fortunate than many people in having a richness of friends in my life.