I’m walking down the street, or at the grocery store, or at a concert and then I see you. We haven’t seen each other in the real world for years, maybe even since High School. Only the occasional “like” on a post on facebook, if that. We used to be good friends. Had a lot in common. Talked about school, boys, and ya know, drama. But now, where to start?
“Hey! How are you?”
“I’m great! You?”
Blah blah blah blah blah.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m genuinely happy to see you. Happy to see you are alive and kickin’. Happy that you remember who I am, and vice versa.
But I HATE these random meetings. Why? Small talk.
We are both on our way to somewhere, in the middle of something or whatnot. We both know the conversation is going to be 1-5 mins tops.
How do you re-boot a friendship in 1-5 mins? You don’t. So you keep it simple.
When you ask me “How have you been?”
My actual answer should start: “Well, I’ve graduated, I’m working in a job that I don’t love but pays the bills, also I have a small business I run in my spare time and all the other time I have I put into….. “ you get the idea.
And don’t get me started on the answer to “Are you dating anyone?”
Instead the answer is “Things are great! How are you?”
And I know full well that you can’t give me a recap of the last 10 years either. I see you’ve got 2-3 kids, all adorable. I’m sure we could talk for hours about how challenging and rewarding they are. How your marriage is, what your hopes-dreams-goals-fears are. But this conversation is not going to happen here.
And that’s when the awkward “I don’t know what else to say” moment comes.
If we actually had an hour to sit down and talk, we could get into the details. We could re-discover what we have in common, and maybe have a REAL and MEANINGFUL conversation.
Instead, we just brush the surface and are almost never totally honest because, how could you be?
The conversation fizzles out, and we both go our own ways.
I usually find out more about my past friends from my mom who talked to their mom.
But hey, past friends, if you ever want to sit down, maybe get some lunch and REALLY re-connect, I’m totally down.