Archive for the ‘2017 plus’ Category

Once upon a time, I used to use paper diaries; whether they were hardbound diaries or Filofax loose leaf type diaries, they all had one thing in common: around the new year, I had to insert everybody’s birthdays and anniversaries, those that I wanted reminders of, anyway.

The annual tradition of ‘filling out a new diary’ also gave one the opportunity not to copy a birthday or anniuveary across into the new year. Usually it was someone you worked with years back but realised you no longer were in contact with them, hadn’t been for three or four years actually. Or maybe it was the mother of an ex-girlfriend. Or – as you got older – it was the birthday or anniversary of someone who’d died… for whatever reason, you decided there was no reason to cop[y across the date. An easy decision for the most part, the decision not to copy it across. 

And then electronic diaries, and mobile phones with built-in calendars, and loud based agendas, arrived, and suddenly it’s a while different ball game; it’s no longer “do I expend the effort to copy it forward?”, it’s “am I too lazy to delete it?” It’s a harder decision to delete an already existing birthday or anniversary, to take the choice that – for whatever reason – you don’t need to remember this date any more, made even harder by the ability to instantly delete all future references at any point figuring the Year.  . 

It’s a difficult decision for several reasons, not least of which of course is Murphy’s Law: if you delete it, next year you’ll need it for some reason and you’ll have forgotten it. But even leaving that aside, with so many different meanings of ‘friend’ now, with so many social networks, and even more methods of communication and of stating in touch, when precisely do you “lose touch” with someone?

Because the truth is, no one loses touch with anyone these days; one or both of you have taken the decision not to stay in touch: that’s a whole other thing entirely. If you’ve not spoken to, emailed, whatsapp’d, Skyped, texted, seen, snapchatted, hung out with, or messaged someone in the past six months, odds are very heavily that neither of you particularly regret that absence. 

So why, when looking at my birthdays list, are there at least 50% of them that fit that description in the previous paragraph… And why are they still there?

If you know, shout out… because honestly, I don’t think they should be.

One of the joys of having my previous blog archived and searchable (especially since every so often, a rumour does the rounds that Livejournal is shutting down) is that if I’m looking for something specific I wrote in the past, it only takes seconds to find it.

One of the drawbacks, however, is coming across old memes I wrote and either (a) wondering where the hell my mind was when I wrote it, since there’s no way I’d write that now, or (b) being faintly irritated I’m so ‘stuck in my ways’ that lots of answers would be pretty much identical.
Amusing and worrying (for the same reasons as above) though, are the responses from those reading the blog when asked to describe me in one word, or to write a sentence or two about me. Some of the compliments that I remember being genuinely flattered (and sometimes surprised) by are things that, arrogantly I guess, I can still imagine people – though not necessarily the same people – saying about me now. 

Some of them though, honestly? I can’t see being used about me other than in jest, or sarcastically. It could be, of course, that they were used in jest back then, but I don’t remember them being so.

One set of answers in particular that amused and worried me in equal proportion was a set wherein people posted anonymously. Even if I knew – or guessed – who posted the comments back then, there’re literally only a couple that I remember now. Most of the comments below, I genuinely didn’t have a clue who posted them, and to be honest,  there’s not that many folks I’m still in contact with from back then. 

But those quotes about me are, as I say, amusing and worrying:

Quotes like:
– “You look much better now than you did twenty years ago”
– “You seem like a nice chap… but appearances can be deceiving.”
– “You’re an excellent father, and not just to your son.”
– “Sometimes you are like a dog that barks at phantasms and snaps at those who’d reassure you.”
– “You’re one of the kindest people I know.”
– “Sometimes you are a little self-obsessed.”

None of which I think I can dispute that much, but I’m not sure how many people would actually say that now, even anonymously. What amuses me and worries me now of course is wondering what people would say now, if they were anonymously replying to the meme. No worries; not about to run it again, tempting though it might be to do so.