At my age I’m what many people would call a 90s baby. The generation of real RnB and nickelodeon when it was at its peak. The 90s were the greatest years of my life and the lives of most of my peers. No true responsibilities, no bills, no politics and penny candy was still a thing along with 25 cent bags of chips. One thing that I realize about the 90s is how straight forward the music was. The lyrics to some of my favorite songs were as simple as my life back then. Love songs were exactly that. There was no misconstruing a man’s confession of love because he blurted out the word “bitch” when he said it. I can’t say the same for half the stuff on the radio today. Don’t get me wrong, I listen to some of the new age RnB but 90s music is the true definition of feel good music… for me at least. Make me a 90s playlist and put it on repeat.
Rain fall I fall leaves fall we fall to the ground all at once. The world all becomes dark at the same time. Seasons change with our moods. Winter brings the darkest deepest stages of depression. A confession that many of us reluctantly admit. Darker faster, days ending quickly. It’s all pretty shifty compared to the summer.
Caution: unless you have a really good reason, don’t miss acknowledging the day I was born!
Anyone who knows me and knows me well knows that I’m big on birthdays. And not for the fact of receiving gifts or getting drunk, or partying. But mostly because it acknowledges the day that someone you care about was brought into the world. Now, some of my favorite gifts received include t-shirts, underwear, socks, and my personal favorite, cards (The simple things). As a writer I know the struggle of finding the perfect words. So to me the effort of finding a card to essentially say how you feel about someone is a precious gift. It’s thoughtful and fun to do.
Now that my nerdy interest in birthdays has been revealed, let me follow that up by saying if someone misses my birthday, we are no longer friends. Now let’s be clear on what I mean by that. I’ll take one missed bday (rarely). I’ll even take a late “happy birthday” text. What I will not tolerate under any circumstances is someone who claims to be a good friend of mine but does not acknowledge my birthday. I find it extremely ass backwards to be a friend and not acknowledge my birth. I don’t care if I haven’t seen you in years or spoke with you in months. What’s probably a bigger pet peeve to me is that I don’t forget birthdays even if that means adding them to my personal calendar. I tried an experiment on Facebook where I used the hide feature for my birthday. You wouldn’t believe the lack of text, calls and emails. It was terrible. But it just made me think that social media hinders us from being genuine to our friends. Is it possible that unless we receive the notification we would never remember our best/good friends birthdays? That’s disgusting to me.
I say all of these things to say that technology is ruining our lives at the same time it makes them better but also to say that I sadly no longer speak to people who I thought were my friends.
In childhood, after family, friends are the most important people in our lives. For some of us, friends before family are most important to us. I remember as a kid losing friends and silently sulking for months. It hurt me. Because I didn’t feel like anyone could show me how to underdog the swing, or do pull ups on the monkey bars like certain friends could. It was the ultimate heart break. Growing up into my early teens, I realized that some people are different. And the friends you made in elementary would not always be the ones who followed you to junior high. In middle school I didn’t have many friends. A lot of the girls my age were “fast” or just immature and I felt I didn’t want to be involved with them. When I did find friends in junior high it was like a different world. Connecting and planning with people who had the same goals and aspirations as me. Wanting to go to college and have a career etc. Even in junior high those things were important to me. And just like in elementary I wanted to take those friends to the next round with me. And then, I got to high school. High school is when I realized, everyone can’t go. Some people failed, others moved, others chose different schools etc. But for whatever reason I was back at square one. In high school I found out why everyone couldn’t go. There was so much drama in high school and friendship seemed nearly impossible to maintain for a perspective college student. Girls were fighting over boys. Girls were fighting over girls. There were gangs and cliques and none of these things made it likely to find that one friend who would swing from the monkey bars with me. As an adult now I’m suffering the consequences of my losses. I’m practically afraid to make friends. Sometimes afraid to be myself, in fear that I may say the wrong thing and I’ll be left standing next to the sliding board alone. Only this time I’ll be standing at the copy machine or the bar. Friendships and the way they are built are forever changing. In my years of practice I’ve learned not to expect anything and never get overly excited over common interests. Tons of people love music but that won’t always make them a good friend. I’ve also learned that some friendships are one sided. For some people that’s ok. Not for me. If I could go back and give my younger self any advice it would be to find friends who want the same things as you and some who don’t. More importantly I would tell myself not to continue giving to someone who doesn’t reciprocate. Last but certainly not least on the topic of friends, as I sit writing this I find it interesting that I will never forget those old “best friends.” The ones that didn’t make it. Arnold in elementary, Ashley in junior high and Sharon in High School. I always think about how their lives turned out and what schools they went to. But I’m also wondering, how come I can’t forget?