Saturday, January 31, 2009

We're going to a retro-party tonight at Lynn and Char's. Char is a party maven who loves theme parties. Last year she and Lynn hosted a 60's party which was lots of fun.
Tonight's we are to come dressed in eighties attire and to bring a photo of ourselves from the eighties. Char mentioned that we'd be playing Trivial Pursuit. At least she's not going to make us unscramble a Rubik's cube!

Perhaps there will be opportunity to post some party pics on the blog tomorrow, but in the mean time I'll show you what D. and I looked like from a slice of time in the eighties:

Retro, nostalgia, reminiscing, reflecting, introspection, extrospection, all words to give us a glimpse into our past and fuel the blog monster's demand for new and mind boggling missives.

With that, it must also be noted that my drive to and from work gives me two hours (one each way) to entertain my muse. With the party approaching, my mind has been occupied with thoughts of friends , past and present, and behaviors. I think about what friends are. Many people that we call friends are in reality just acquaintances whose company we enjoy in various circumstances, but not someone that we'd share intimate details of our lives, nor discuss serious feelings with, that might reflect poorly on us if we were to reveal them. There are of course "best" friends, casual friends, people we just know, and nodding acquaintances. Then there are "good" friends who when the chips are down, turn out to be something different than we thought: "fairweather" friends.

Have you ever had a "fairweather" friend? Most of us have or at least know of someone who had a "fairweather" friend. But have you ever been a "fairweather" friend?
Years ago, when I was a sophomore in high school, I met a fellow who was a freshman at the time. We met in vocal chorus class, and, as baritones, sat beside each other. So began a friendship that grew over the years. We shared not only an appreciation of singing, we pursued similar career paths and both became CRNAs. V.L. wasn't an athlete, nor did he enlist in the military, yet we became the closest of friends. Although I never called V.L my best friend, our friendship ranked right up there in the very close friend category. Oh, the stories I could tell, but that will have to wait for another post or two. For this post I want to expose myself as a "fairweather" friend to V.L. when the chips were down.

In the seventies, V.L. and I came to be co-workers, friendship intact, we made a good team. Into the eighties we pursued adult lives and each had family responsibilities and we lived in separate towns. While these things didn't diminish our friendship it did limit the time we had to spend together. During the eighties our group was feeling a work load pinch and it was decided to hire another person. We had been through a similar hiring a couple years prior that had turned out disastrously. This time we approached the hiring with more caution. We interviewed the prospective candidate as a team, everyone being given equal input. During these meetings, the decision was made that if we did hire this person and it turned out that we had over estimated our needs that the new guy would be the one to be let go. You know; last hired, first fired. Every member of the team, to a man agreed, even the boss who was ultimately responsible for this decision.

Time goes by, the work load not only doesn't increase, it drops off to the point where the income was not sufficient to meet expenses; i.e. payroll. For reasons that add nothing to the story, the boss reneges on his promise and fires V.L. Nice right? Bullshit. What did I do, or say? Not very much if anything. I didn't stick up for my friend who had been treated unfairly. I didn't say: If V.L. goes, I'm going too, this is highly inappropriate and unscrupulous. It's not like we would have trouble finding new jobs; we've always been in high demand. On balance, V.L.found a much better job at three times the salary, albeit in another state. Professionally, his circumstances improved astronomically compared to mine. Yet I regret not supporting him in his time of need. I proved to be a "fairweather" friend. I'm not proud of that in the least.

In the past my son J. asked me if I had a chance to live my life over, would I do any thing different. At the time I said no. Today I'd say yes there are a couple of things I'd do differently: I'd be a better friend when called upon to do so.

I have a couple other regrets revolving around my experience with "fairweather" friends, but we''ll leave that story for another day because I'm off to an 80's party.

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Blogger willow said...

OMG!!! (that's my response to the pix) :D

10:38 PM  
Blogger bonniew said...

Before I saw willow's comment was to be OMG! Nice pics!

10:02 AM  
Blogger paisley said...

someone told me once,, you are exactly where you are supposed to be.. and in situations like this i reflect on that,, as to have come to his aid may have taken you from where you were supposed to be... i dont know that i believe in predestination,, which is evidently what this points to,, but i do know it has given me comfort in the past....

i think all of us have been fair weather friends at some point in time or another.. i assure you ,, you are not alone.....

8:09 PM  
Blogger Kay said...

If the photos you've posted of yourself on your blog, you looked a lot different in the 80s to how you looked in the 60s!!! What a radical change! But that's what the 80s did to people isn't it? Have fun at the party.

2:36 AM  
Blogger Flossy said...

Enjoy your party - not sure about that photo! Very brave...

And as for friendship - it's an always evolving thing...

2:46 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

Funky photos. You look pretty groovy there.

Is your hangover finally over?

4:35 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

hey sorry i missed the party...had a date with my Honey!

7:20 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

I dont think that picture even looks like you!!! Dee has a young looking face that really hasnt changed much.

As for being a were young, we all learn as we grow. Im sure we all have things we regret and wish we had done differently.

8:01 PM  
Blogger PEA said...

Well look at you with the long hair and beard...isn't it amazing how back in the 80's we thought those styles were so cool?! lol I recognized those beautiful eyes of yours right away:-) D looks as beautiful today as she looked back then!

I think we've all experienced being a Fairweather Friend or having had one. It's so easy to say years later that we should have done this or that but at the time it's not something we thought of doing, even if it meant standing by our friend. Human nature I guess. xoxo

4:00 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

TeeHee I'd like to have skipped the 80's but then I'd have no kids. lol

Reflecting on regrets is wasted energy. Just keep being the good man you are. :)

Most of my friends are close but not BFF close. I have been and have had fairweather friends. Such is life. *sigh*

8:45 PM  

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