this past december i made a new years resolution to meet each of my facebook friends. at the time, i had 325 friends–well above the facebook average of 130. i wasn’t sure who all my friends actually were and some friends i hadn’t seen in such a long time that their posts declaring that they were having fish tacos for dinner did nothing to solidify our bonds of amity.
so each day i make preparations, travel, do whatever’s necessary to meet my facebook friends. during the year, i have gotten used to flying although not so much used to having the t.s.a. give me the once over.
yesterday was national unfriend day, declared by our country’s leading social commentator jimmy kimmel. i decided i would figure out if i have been unfriended by any of the people i was going to meet. i knew about claudia from dortmund and miss s. from turkey but i was surprised to find out that an astonishing eleven people have un-friended me. although, to be fair, in one case it was my son joseph’s girlfriend deactivating her account and then when she reactivated it i didn’t make the friendship grade. and i have unfriended two people, both because they were harassing me. and three people have become so famous that i am no longer a friend but am merely a fan. if you have a facebook account, see if you can figure out if you were unfriended by anybody yesterday.
luckily, there are some friends who have made me feel quite welcome this week. f2fb friend #257 jean louis-boury invited me to the home he shares with his wife bella (who became my facebook friend today!) and their six children. the six children range in age from two to twenty four and i find it awe-inspiring that they were able to accomplish this without the use of extra spouses. we chatted over a bottle of champagne while some children did their homework. at some point, the two youngest wanted to go visit grandmom who lives a few blocks away. one of the brothers volunteered to drive them over. the bourys are a very cool, very loving family!
oxford university professor robin dunbar, author of how many friends does one person need? believes we are capable of juggling only about one hundred and fifty friends. maybe so, but if you join a rotary club, you’ve automatically got yourself four million friends. although you don’t necessarily have to expand your christmas card list. yesterday, at winnetka’s rotary meeting, i invited f2fb friend #258 don van arsdale. he had been at the winnetka rotary until he took a job in nearby glencoe’s park district. i was astonished to realize that in the two years since he had gone to glencoe, i had only communicated with him through facebook. also at rotary was f2fb friend #259 bill finke who sat with us and we caught up during the luncheon portion of the meeting.
i miss having don at the winnetka club. every thursday meeting, he had some new book he was reading–usually history and if i picked up a copy i would always discover that it was great. and i admire don greatly in part because he once walked the camino di santiago. well, not all of it. but he’s planning on doing it again at different points in his life. the camino di santiago, known in english as “the way of st. james” is a following of the old pilgrimage routes leading to the santiago de compestella where a cathedral holds the remains of the apostle st. james.*
*learn more at http://www.caminodesantiago.me.uk/