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.