I am frequently puzzled by people exclaiming about how important people are to them – their “besties” (lots of them), Facebook friends that “mean the world” to them and various and sundry other folks that seem to be only tangentially connected to them (e.g. the waiter at a favorite restaurant, everyone they went to high school with). How many best friends/important people can one have in one’s life? I remember having two friends from my dancing class when I was a kid; I thought they would be in my life forever. There were also the girls in elementary school who would include me in birthday party and sleepover invites. The sleepovers always ended up with me calling my parents for one of two reasons (fear of wetting a bed or floor at a school mates house or fear that the seances performed during the sleepover fun would actually have called President Lincoln or Bloody Mary back to the realm of the living). After my parents divorced I didn’t really see those any of these people much and somehow my life continued. Through junior high and high school I kept pretty much to myself – I liked some of the folks but didn’t have a best friend. Same with college. It seemed like some of the friends I made there who I thought would be lifelong important people to me had other agendas that precluded living in the same city with them, let alone ongoing friendship. It may be worth noting that I was pretty exercised when I found out that my mom had given my contact info to the secretary of my graduating class and I started receiving calls and mailings regarding reunions.
REUNIONS!!!? In all honesty, people are categorized as follows in my small world:
1) People I like/love (FAMILY which includes the few friends I have managed to make and keep over many years).
2) Everyone else.
I will likely never attend a high school or college reunion which is probably a condemnation of me and my crappy personality. Primary education was a necessary evil for me. College was an expensive surprise (as neither my high school guidance counselor or any of my teachers ever talked to me about attending). I did have some fun and enjoyed the company of some very nice people during this time BUT I have had nothing to do with them since my graduations. I guess I just don’t understand and have outed myself as a NOT POPULAR person in school.
On the other hand, I do and likely always will make every effort to be present for all family functions because those people are IMPORTANT to me. They see me at my best and worst. They have helped me and let me be of help in their need – they’ve seen my ugly crying and have tolerated my inappropriate levity related to bodily functions. They KNOW me and like/love me in spite of and, hopefully at least sometimes, because of this.
Ultimately I guess everyone is important people to someone.