Updating Friends

So I contacted a long ago friend regarding a mutual friend.  She updated me on the friend and then added this:

“I think of you often. Let’s see, the low down on the family. Ready, go! E is working in A. He loves the job, kind of, but hates the commute. He is still working for the same company as he was in IL. He is hoping to get a transfer closer to home soon, I just started a new teaching job teaching 8th grade ELA. I love that my job has so little pressure compared to the last one. I was really unhappy at my last job. The learning curve for new procedures is there but all in all, I can see things settling in. Did I mention a big raise too!
Eli is in his senior year. He wants to attend GA Tech to study chemical and Bio molecular engineering with an emphasis on sustainable and renewable energy sources. Yes, this will cost me a fortune! I am happy he is so focused. He works at a grocery store, is in marching band and about 5 other clubs. I never see him! Ab is in 8th grade. She plays flute, is a goalie for school and rec soccer, does track, and is currently the punter for the middle school football team. CRAZY! Liz is 7 and in second grade. She is old beyond her years. She wants to be a cheerleader. Not really interested in sports. We have a dog Oreo. The most spoiled dog ever.
How are things with you? I feel like I have lost track of your life. Where are you teaching?
How the hell am I supposed to respond to this??   With the truth??  Something like this?
“Well, I’ve had a broken engagement and 4 of my babies died since I last saw you so I’ve been lost in grief for a while now.  The only thing going ok is my job which is a different position but in the same school as the years we worked together.  Overall each day is a struggle. CRAZY!  I have two cats but am thinking of getting a few more.”
Ugh…..

 

 

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4 comments on “Updating Friends

  1. Lord help! If she has been thinking about you, has she never checked with a mutual friend? That is a version of the “My life is wonderful!” Christmas letter. I hate those things. They are all about building themselves up no matter how much it hurts someone else. It must be nice to live so cluelessly naive. Maybe say something about well, my life hasn’t been nearly so great. 😦

  2. I doubt her life is as perfect as she paints it to be! I have no idea how to respond to that, other than to put a positive spin on it, if possible.

  3. I would be honest. If she had no other way of know what the last few years have brought you, why not tell her? In June a former co-worker of mine lost her 2 year old son. Fortunately I had stayed in touch with people that still worked with her on Facebook so I was told in time to go to the wake and funeral and offer the truly meager comfort I could (there is no way to comfort a grieving parent, all you can do is hug them and be there.) If i hadn’t stayed facebook friendly with two of our co-workers I would never have known. Believe me I wanted to know, so I could support her, become a closer friend and offer an ear or shoulder if needed. Just because I wasn’t in her life every day anymore doesn’t mean i stopped caring. If the situation were reversed wouldn’t you want to know?

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