I am fifty one years old. I live in Winnetka, Illinois. I was at one point a waitress, a drill press operator, a roofer, a telemarketer, a lawyer, a somewhat lazy romance novelist and regional historian–I’ve done my time at Pizza Hut, Micky D’s, Burger King and two law firms. Then I switched to being a mom which made me an automatic volunteer. My son Joseph is a filmmaker in New York and my son Eastman is in the Timara program at Oberlin University. They’re not at home. They don’t need me. I need to meet my friends because. . .
I can and frequently do spend days not interacting with my friends in a “real” way. I’m scared of travel. I’m scared of flying. I’m scared of just about anything outside my door. I have panic attacks. I believe there is nothing more annoying than an emergency room doctor saying there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, it’s all in your head.
I probably use facebook to keep in touch with my friends in a way that may be good or might just give me a false sense of intimacy. I find MySpace a little jarring. I am hopeless at Twitter. LinkedIn makes me feel like an underachiever.
On December 31, 2010 I would meet all of my facebook friends. I made a spreadsheet. I sent out emails. I followed up with phone calls. I figured out how to divide my friends into geographic zones. I flew out of Chicago nearly every week. In October, my son and I started a seventeen day nineteen city thirteen friend around the world trip. I was scared every step, every plane, every train, every friend all the way. But we did it. I ended the year with friend 292. I saw ninety percent of my friends–there are some friends who want to be “just” facebook friends.
This year, my resolution is simple: I want to meet ten to twelve facebook friends who are new friends. Friends who need to get out from behind the computer for whatever reason. I will travel anywhere. I am taking suggestions. I am trying to pay back for all the friends who supported me during the past year.
Oh, and losing ten pounds wouldn’t hurt.