Tag Archive | Newsweek

Stand by me

I read an article in the Oct. 22 Newsweek about how hard it is for 20somethings to find friends who will last through thick and thin.  I keep thinking about the article, by a mother-daughter team, Robin Marantz Henig and Samantha Henig, which says social media makes it harder for young people to form intimate relationships.

I’m sure that’s true. But what has stuck in my mind is the premise that lasting friendships are formed in your 20s. “The friends we make in our 20s are not only BFFs; they’re also our first truly chosen friends, people we discover as a result of our adult decisions – where to live, work, or study – as opposed to our parents’ choices,” the article says.

Most lasting friendships are the ones you make between 22 and 28, according to research cited in the article.

What’s struck me about all this is how it’s so not the case for me. The major lasting friendships of my life were made at almost 3 (Kelly) almost 11 (Pam), 15 (Anita).

Just before my 13th birthday and just after Pam’s we lived at the Indian Hills pool.

At just turned and almost 15, we were a little surlier about having our picture taken on Pam’s parents’ boat.

Granted, I was married young to a man who a. wanted to keep me socially isolated and b. succeeded by being so unpredictable that no one wanted to be around him. (I wrote about that in an earlier post, American Girl.) My sister – and Pam, after she moved back to town – were the only people I could really count on to stand by me in my 20s. Kelly had moved to Northwest Arkansas and was long-distance by then.

My two good friends I made in my 20s both dumped me – one because I remind her of a time in her life she’d rather not remember and the other because she decided to change her lifestyle and I no longer fit in. Both stung, but I understand.

By my 30s I was working and no longer isolated, and as I was turning 33 I met Rhonda, who was turning 30. She’s been around through thick and thin since the day we became friends (which was not the day we met, but soon after).

In our later 30s, Anita and I joyfully reconnected – she’d moved back to Arkansas after her divorce – and we celebrated my 40th birthday together as I was moving toward a divorce.

Then in my 40s I met Jan, Starla, Dauphne, all people I can count on and consider myself lucky to know. At 50, Susan became a stalwart of my life, and just recently, Julia and I re-met – we know we had to have met in a previous life or have some kind of tie, because the connection was instant. We’ve led very different yet bizarrely parallel lives in many ways.

Pam and I were just talking today about how that article and how “universal” truths are sometimes not so universal, no matter what research shows. She’d popped in for lunch since she was in from Heber Springs for a yoga workshop.

We can do that popping in and out thing without a hitch, though we never learned to do it like Samantha or Jeanie – but not for lack of trying.

Part of the reason Pam, Anita, Rhonda and I differ from the study is the southern gothic lives we’ve lived, I’m sure. None of us took the “go off to college at 18 and make lasting friendships” route. We all did life the hard way for years.

For Pam and me part of the reason is because we grew up on Blackhawk Road in the wonder years and those friendships never die.

Yes, Pam, I know. I still need to write that book.

My iPhone thought Pam and I needed the soft-lens/cheesecloth effect at 57 …

… but we thought we’d do a “photo-booth close-up” reprise, all noses and teeth like in the old days downtown. We don’t care – we’re just happy to be here and to be together.

Save me

I always like to give credit where it is due, so let me just take a moment to mention that Capital One popped in this week to save me from hackery. Someone used my Visa at 2:20 a.m. to make an iTunes charge of $40, and the watchdogs knew it wasn’t me. 

I awoke that morning to an urgent email asking me to call the fraud department. Since we’re leaving the country next week, Capital One also overnighted me a new card.

Customer service at its finest.

Not very long ago John got the same email when someone had use his Capital One Mastercard to charge $100 at iTunes (I smell a racket), which is especially odd because he never buys anything at iTunes. (Unlike yours truly, who doesn’t want to know what she’s spent.)

Don’t know how they’re doing it, but the iTunes hackers are out there. Beware.

What’s in your wallet?

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The new issue of Newsweek came in the mail to save me from pre-Olympics fatigue. I was already bored with the summer games until the cover shot of Hope Solo reminded me that soccer was a summer game. 

If you haven’t read her story, you should. She’s an amazing athlete and has an interesting life story. And she doesn’t take any crap from anyone, which is a quality hard to come by for some females.

Not to mention she’s beautiful. But not as beautiful as her skills.

She’s a keeper. By that I mean a goalie, if you’re not soccer literate, the one who saves the team from getting scored on. But she’s a keeper, too, if you know what I mean.

And reading about Hope (whom I always want to call Han, as in Solo, another of my faves) reminded me of how much I loved coaching the North Little Rock High School girls soccer team the first three years of its existence.

Saved me from a lot of things as I was going through a tough divorce. And gave me so, so much. I love those girls to this day, especially the left fullback, who happens to be my daughter. She’s the one with all the hair in the photo.

The NLRHS Lady Charging Wildcats, spring 1998

But they were all special, every year.