Before I go on I want to make a distinction between friends and acquaintances.
To me an acquaintance is someone that I know and can have some casual conversation with me. They may know things about my life and family but that is where their knowledge of me ends. They don't have any idea how I feel about things and what the issues in my life are. They just know me from coming into my video store, when I work on their computer or maybe when I work with them on the road when I do comedy. They see my public persona. It's not an act, I'm just not willing to let them too far in.
That's what friends are for. My friends (and have very few) are the people I trust. They know what's going on in my life. I trust them enough to share it with them.
My problem is that sometimes I let my life get in the way of my relationships with my friends. That's what happened with Greg and Lisa.
Greg is the Assistance Principle at a large middle school and Lisa works for the department of social services. Not only are they great people, they are a great couple. I have to admit at times I am a little envious of them. You only have to be around them for a few minutes to see that not only do they love each very much they have a great relationship. I hope that someday I can be in a relationship like theirs.
It's funny how I became friends with them. It all started 10 years ago when I was picking up my kids from school. Greg was the principle of the middle school and he always made it a point to be outside when the kids were getting out of school. He would stand in front of the main doors no matter what the weather and talk to the kids and the parents as they were coming and going.
For years I would just say hello and make small talk while I picked up my kids. Of course I was looking forward to seeing my kids but I also used to look forward to my little chats with him. I would also chat with him at the home basketball and volleyball games. My girls played in middle school and he used to make it a point to come and watch the games. I never knew it would go any farther than that. I figured once my kids left middle school that would be it.
But high school changed all that.
My girls played basketball and volleyball and so did his daughter. All 3 of my kids are in band and so was his son. So I would see him and his wife Lisa at the events and pretty soon I started sitting with them. I started to look forward to seeing them as much as I looked forward to watching my kids participate in sports or band.
Then they started inviting me to their parties. I usually pass on things like that as I'm a little shy, but I went to theirs because they made me feel wanted. I have always had a good time at their parties and that usually never happens. I've had them over to my place and made them dinner.
Just when things were getting good they moved to Colorado Springs. Greg got a better position and it was great move for him. They were gone by August of 2005 and I had only spoken with them a couple of times since then and I missed them a lot.
But you know how life is. You get busy and pretty soon you start letting things slip. I didn't see them at all, I just talked to them on the phone every once and a while.
Lucky for me I worked at the club in Colorado Springs last week. When I told them I was going to be there they insisted that I stay with them. I took them up on the offer and had a great weekend with them.
It reminded me of important they are to me and how much I missed them. I'm not going to lose touch with them again.
I was reminded that good friends are hard to find and I need to keep those relationships strong.
I hope you will do the same.