my new years resolution is to have “face time” with every facebook friend i have. including the facebook friends i’ve met only once. including the facebook friends i play scrabble with online and have never had an expectation of meeting. including the facebook friends i accepted friendship requests from because i wanted to be polite and i have no idea who they are. including the facebook friend who is my dad. … .
my father and mother put me up for adoption when i was three years old. the children’s home and aid society of chicago placed me with the patrick family. that didn’t work out very well and i left that family for some foster homes before i simply ended up dropping out of high school and starting at the first college that would accept me without a diploma. i tracked down my father when i was twenty five. he lives in tallahassee with his wife barbara. i have a half sister casey. she was born just a few months before i met barbara and justin. she is now an actress in new york.
during january i did a great job with my resolution–staying on target, knowing that there will be some trips overseas that will eat up a lot of time, like mumbai, seoul, taipei, italy. but i have looked forward to it all because i’m fifty years old and my kids are out of the house and this might be the last time i’m free to do this.
but this is february, when most people give up on their resolutions. i came to tallahassee thinking i would see justin (face to facebook friend #30) and casey (#31) is to join us. i was going to rent a car and meet up with dale morgan, the smart philosophy student i went to college with and have never seen since graduation. with jonathan boyd, whom i have never met but play online scrabble with. with sammie scruggs, who saw my picture and sent a request and i said yes, thinking “uh, who are you?” and with sarah roberts who sang at a wedding and we had a really nice conversation and we promised to keep in touch and we friended each other and then. .. . ignored each other. i have had to cancel all these trips because my father is not in a position that i can leave him on his own. barbara is out of town. casey is just getting into town.
and i have gained five pounds. so i can’t even say that i’m doing a good job with the new years eve resolutions i’ve made before.
was this a stupid idea? to think i could meet over three hundred friends in the course of a year? or do all things worth doing have to appear to be impossible? i have worn a bracelet most of my adult life. it is inscribed with the legson kayira motto “i will try”. i have to decide whether i will now.
February 5th, 2011 at 2:40 pm
Okay. We’re Facebook friends but we’ve never met and I’d like an opportunity to do so so I have a reason to push in one direction. That’s the full disclosure part right there.
Despite the fact that we’ve never met, we’ve communicated back and forth quite a bit since our first encounter on a matter of business and we’ve probed into a lot of different areas of our lives and, needless to say, I’ve formed some opinions about you.
I can’t begin to imagine that you would ever do anything less than try very hard to complete a task you’ve set yourself, even one as personally challenging as traveling the world and meeting more than three hundred people in the space of a year.
I know that you go through some ups and downs emotionally on a regular, one might even guess daily basis. I also know that you reach out to those around you and draw strength to continue from the many and various communities in which you are a member (hometown, theater groups, family–in the broadest sense, friends and on and on). The illustration of all this, of course, is the amazing range of people that you have as Facebook friends. I’m pretty sure that you are the only FB friend I have with whom I share no other friends but I’d bet that there are quite a few others for whom that’s true. Your outreach is extraordinary and I think that therein lies a great deal of your strength and that is how I have the confidence to predict that I’ll get my chance to meet you, that you will continue to try, always, throughout the rest of the year and that you will succeed in your self-defined mission for 2011.
While you’re pondering all this, consider that you started all this just before we started experiencing some majorly awful weather and that simple winter doldrums are probably contributing in a big way to your current mood.
With love, great respect and unbounded expectation, I remain, your Facebook friend,
February 5th, 2011 at 6:27 pm
oh, man, john, i have been so completely amazed at how much i learn about every day with this project! mostly, i realize that friends are everything!
i don’t think we have facebook friends in common, it’s true, but i can’t wait to meet you! i’ll be coming into new york at the end of february. . . so figure out what’s great and cool in new york!
and yes, every single day i think this is ridiculous but then i remember how much fun i’m having!!!
yours very affectionately and respectfully, arlynn