I just heard from my friend Young Ja, who text-messaged me once during camp. I was half-asleep and closed my phone, because, well, camp was all I had time for then, really.
Okay, fine. But it took another month and a half before we talked, and even then it was because she called me. I intended to call her, but I didn’t get around to it. She’d begun to imagine I’d left the country… something I wouldn’t actually do without at least meeting her once or twice to say g’bye. I mean, we’re close. Even though we’re not in touch, she’s among my closest friends in Korea, or anywhere. Hell, I played saxophone at her wedding, which is where the photo over to the right, over there, is from.
So anyway, it got me to thinking: in some ways I’m a really bad friend.
- Sometimes I feel like ranting, or go on the defensive, and as a result at those moments I don’t really listen well. Sorry Myoung, Jason, John, Shawn, Mike… ah, hell, sorry everyone.
- Sometimes I’m terrible at keeping in touch. Sorry Young Ja, Mike B., Astrid, Hyun Hwa, Jack, Thai, Seong Hwan, John W., Il Hyuk Hyeong, Joleen, my folks… and plenty of other people I can’t even think of when I am apologizing to them .
- Sometimes I am dreadfully judgmental and reject people when they fail to meet my expectations (which seem reasonable to me but not to several of my friends. But I’m not really completely sorry, just the same, to Mike A., John G., and John S.
- Sometimes I let things sit that should have been postedor even bought and mailedmonths and months ago. Sorry Keisha and Marvin, Ritu and John, Jack, Helen, Jessie, and Jean-Louis and Christine. If it’s not already there, it should be in the post by the end of the month. It’s coming.
- Sometimes I apologize too much. Er…
Now, I’m sure I could make an argument about how these are all excusable in this or that way; not posting things or calling people because I’m too busy, defensiveness based on the difficulties of growing up the oddball in smaller communities with less tolerance for difference, but in the end, I know other people who are extremely busy and still manage to get these things done. I just don’t seem to get around to them. Which doesn’t mean my friends aren’t important to me, it’s just… that obligations to them slip from my immediate to-do list rather too easily, I suppose.
There are lots of ways in which I think I might be a good friend, but I don’t feel like getting into some kind of balancing act here. I think, instead, it’s time to call it a night…