Monday, December 2, 2013


One thing I am thankful for is that my friends on Facebook didn't go overboard saying what they were thankful for on Thanksgiving. I don't know why is rankles me so, but I can't stand holiday sentiments on Facebook. Drives me batty. Bah, humbug, I suppose.

Maybe it is because it seems "preachy" to me -- like, people telling me on Veteran's day that I should thank a vet for my freedom. It's probably irrational to react this way, but, I am admittedly weird. Sentiments that are punctuated by holidays just anger me. Valentine's day, for instance. Yuck.

(That kid had better get out of the goal
if he wants a save...)
But I would be a liar if I didn't admit that the holiday season does get me into a kind of "taking stock" mode. It's a result of certain circumstances in my life around the holidays. I don't want to boil it down to a Facebook post, but it is worth mentioning, here. I am very grateful for the kind of friends I have. Let me sum up:

I am not good at returning calls. I try to steal every free minute, after professional obligations and family obligations, to write, compose or to "recharge" by seeking silence and solitude. Because of this, I could be seen as a bad friend. I once got wind that, in frustration, a friend once told another: "Chris is all about Chris."

That's not how I see it, though. When I heard that, I felt like telling that person: "No...that's not it. I know it must look that way, but, I am not all about me. It's just that I am so often about everyone else, I need to hide my the silence..."

And I take friends for granted, most of the time.

The thing is, I, as a friend, feel like friendships endure, despite absences. To me a real friendship does. I never hold grudges over un-returned phone calls. I don't blame others for lack of contact, because I know that these things don't necessarily come out of a lack of concern for me. Maybe they just come out of confidence in our relationship -- a feeling that we don't need to always be connected in order to be good friends.

As I said, I'm lucky. An example: Some years ago, a friend (we'll call him "Blair" -- because that's his name) was trying to get a hold of me to invite us to a party. Weeks went by, and for one reason or another, I kept forgetting to call back. One morning, after I had left for work, but still very early, my wife was awakened by a knock on the front door. She threw on a robe and went downstairs. Looking out the window, she saw a six-foot-fourish, bald man standing on our front step with his back to the door. Blair. She opened the door. Blair turned around, one eyebrow raised in his idiosyncratic, Mr. Clean fashion, and he said, in booming tones, despite the early hour, "I will not be ignored."

That pretty much sums up why I still have any friends. They won't tolerate my tom-foolery, but they never see it as a deal-breaker. I am grateful for that, indeed.

To a writer, setting things down is important. So here it is: Although I might not exhibit the best of friendship etiquette, I deeply value those who have been and continue to be my friends. While I might not be dependant on constant company -- or even on frequent company -- I still value those relationships more than I might show. In fact, to some extent, I have come to understand that I need them.

So, okay, I'll get holiday-sappy. Thanks, to my real friends: Mark and Joe (my oldest friends); Scott, Pete, Blair, Billy and, of course, Julianne, Sheila, Anita and Emily all of whom have been part of my life for so long -- thanks for tolerating me as an often-absent friend. And to those to whom I have been close, but that I never see, anymore; I still consider us close, at least in my heart -- especially Sean and Cathy -- but there are so many I see rarely and but who mean so much. (You know who you are, Iovino, Marc and Marny, et al.) Last, and most definitely least -- especially Kurt -- (I kid, I kid -- well, not with Kurt) the band.

All of you  have been part of my life's tapestry for so long. All of you have taught me something about life; all of you have shown me loyalty, compassion and concern -- and love (which is a dangerous thing for me to say, especially to the band, because the taunting and homoerotic comments will now begin...)

Thanks for sticking with me.


  1. Dude, we're not even friends, i didn't know your last name until i got the email; i'm just trying to get with your wife.

  2. Nice to know I'm not a real friend...much less obligation.

    1. No, you fool. As per that sentences construction, you fall under real friends. At least you were meant to. I suppose I shoudl have used parentheses to idicate Mark and Joe were my oldest friends, but the colon indicates that everyone that follows is a real friend. You know what. I'm revising. You're off the list.

    2. Understanding of the semicolon is essential.

  3. DAMN IT!! Seven years of college, most of them an English major....down the tubes.

  4. And after all still seems confusing to me. Can we have our English PhD friend have a look. He may know more than both of us about this particular subject.

    1. You mean our PhD friend I mentored into the writing classroom back in grad school? Sure, check with him and let me know if you guys need help. Weenie.