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Friends, Acquaintances And Facebook Requests

John Wright


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First, I do not do face book


Second I tried to do Friends Reunited


Third I am fascinated by how many people expect to have dozens of friends


I have recently had a time of reflection. My partners drinking and bizarre behaviour worsens and I am often on my own or in contemplative mood.


Recently I visited family and friends in the UK, and as a result some other older friends have contacted me


I have had odd reactions from them and my own reactions have been strange to analyse


last night Pam, an Anglo, Ugandan Indian I was at university with rang me. We talked for a long time. First contact in nearly 25 years. Married, divorced and son just done A levels, place at Manchester to do law. She was always someone I had regretted falling out of contact with. We are going to meet.


A week ago Jonathon, a school friend from primary school called. Ist contact since I went to university. He lived about 6 doors away when we were kids. Jonathan would in modern parlance be diagnosed as Aspergers, I am sure. But he has coped, married and widowed brought up a daughter. Never worked much, but hey he sounded happy. He now lives in Morecambe on the route to the boat. I really want to see him again and catch up. Jon is 1/4 Manx his grandmother was a Looney! From peel no less


About a month ago I went over to have work done on the motor home. I spent four days going around family and friends. Mixed bag of results or what?


Geoffrey, 85, welcomed me with open arms and we spent a greasy morning under his MG VA getting the brakes to work as it had failed its MOT. He hasn't changed in 50 years. Now on his own, but remarkably fit and well. When my mother died we spent happy times at Christmas and bonfire night at Geoff's. He had three children same ages as myself and sister. two girls and a lad. I popped in to see the eldest daughter in Rossendale, no personality thirty years ago, none now, husband worse, moaning how her dad was going to give everything to her brother and not her.


Next a cousin. My father was at school with her father and they grew up together, best men at each others wedding. Her dad has just died aged 90, Soliciting regularly to the day he died. He was a diffident profoundly honest introspective man, married to a daughter of an Anglo Indian Raj family. The house was always uncomfortable auntie could not relax or show affection. Woe betide any one who moved a cushion in the lounge. My cousin is a teacher and married to a solicitor. Intelligent. She moaned about an Indian moving in to her nice 1970's estate and how they would have to move as there would be an invasion. She admitted never having been to IKEA (too down market) and whilst she warmly invited me to stay for tea i disappeared. I couldn't have stood that conversation any longer. But I still like her and will see her again, just in smaller pieces next time


The I went to see Lorraine in Norfolk. Long trip for a two hour visit. Now fully recovered from her bereavement and we had a lovely chat. She really is my only actual close living relation in my adoptive family, sister and niece and nephew apart. The other uncles and aunts are remote cousins or close friends of my adoptive parents


I then called on my natural mother, half sister and her kids. I do like them but the relationship is false. You cannot make up for 50 lost years.


Finally to see parents of kids I grew up with, neighbours who are still there in Hest Bank. Again a warm glow and some later contact by the old friends


I am not sure but I think I am coming to the conclusion that it is the friends you make in early life who are most significant


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I think a lot of people add 'friends' as people they know rather than people they see on Facebook. Those who were are friends with keep in touch, remember our birthdays and events and are a part of our lives in some way, though some we will not see for months. Family on the other hand are an odd lot - and it's true you can't choose them and even I contemplate how the heck they turned out like that, how can I be related to someone so different or bizarre?! But you can make your own family with your friends or close relationships and be thankful for those who welcome you with open arms or there at the end of the phone at some god-awful hour just to listen. I think society tries to give the impression that all should be well in all families but I haven't met a 'normal' one yet!

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I agree that people from your childhood are very special.


Apart from my life with my husband and children, my childhood holds the best memories, warmest feelings and fondest folk.


Maybe it's because you make these relationships in the innocence of youth, so there are less barriers of any kind? It's also a time of discoveries together. I loved being young and still having all my family around.


Hope life is brightening for you John.

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