Sunday, September 29, 2013


We were greeted with unseasonably warm, almost desert-like, weather on this first fall weekend which made it all the nicer to spend time outside with friends. Flavio had to work Saturday so Guiri and I met up with my friend and her yellow lab for some beach fun and lunch. Saturday night our gym friends hosted a paleo potluck inviting everyone on the challenge for a meat-fest in their gorgeous backyard. It was a fun barbecue and we all agreed it was a totally different experience to party sans alcohol. We enjoyed sitting outside and relaxing with our gregarious gym group. This morning we hung at the dog park and then made breakfast at home. Since then, Flav's been watching football while I've been grading papers and researching Halloween decorations. All the cheesy gold spray-painted pumpkin tutorials remind me to re-read this gem on fall decorating.

Flavio thinks this is an overshare, but something minor happened on Saturday afternoon that kind of surprised me and I want to discuss it in my journal, aka my blog.  I was in Trader Joe's and ran into someone I used to see regularly at my old gym. We were often workout partners and she approached me in the produce section, gave me a big, excited hug and said, Oh, it is sooo great to see you! We chatted and she introduced me to her husband as her "favorite workout buddy ever" and she mentioned how we should meet up for a drink sometime. I told her I was now doing CrossFit, she told me she was really into Bikram yoga but wanted to come try my CrossFit, followed by five minutes of other niceties, blah, blah, blah. At the end of the conversation I told her it was great to see her and that we should be in touch, and is she on Facebook? Yes! Find me! And let's get together! she said and gave me another hug. I told her I'd add her and when I did, she rejected the friend request.

My point in bringing this up is that many of our interactions today are fake. I work with a lot of international students and they've often told me how strange it is that they meet Americans and think they've met a new friend, but then outside class, or later on, the person acts like they don't know they exist, and my students are often hurt. I can honestly say I'm not at all hurt. I do think it's strange, but I could care less that she didn't add me - I'm finally reaching a point in my life where I don't worry whether people like me and she is not a person I ever sought out as a real friend. But this small interaction brings up bigger questions about human connectedness. Why all the theatrics of Wow, it is so great to run into you! Let's get together! when she could've just said a friendly, more genuine hello-and-how-are-you and moved on? -  Which is what I would've done had she not exhibited such an over-the-top charade. Or, I might've avoided her all together - I don't know. And of course my suggestion of adding her on Facebook was all smiles and hugs and was my own fake way of making a semi-connection with her. I think we both knew from the beginning that we weren't ever going to be friends and that's okay, yet we pretend otherwise. Why? Even if she had added me on Facebook, that would've been fake. In a world where we're more in need of meaningful connection than ever, we do these dances to create boundaries that prevent truthful interactions and it feels not right.  I don't have a solution and I've touched on this point before here, but maybe it's important to just be aware of this puzzling part of our culture and try to be better than it, to do our best to always act with genuine feelings and still be nice. Thankfully, juxtaposed to this small weirdness was a delightful weekend with real, great people who remind me there is still a lot of authenticity to be found.

I could go on, but I'll stop this overly rambly post here. We're off to our friends' house to watch the very last Breaking Bad. What is going to happen?! We don't have cable and I can't risk a spoiler so we're stoked to watch it with them live. We're bringing Pollos Hermanos (rotisserie) chicken. We'll miss you Walter White.


  1. For a moment I thought you were talking about me but then I realized that I did not run into you this weekend. I can totally relate to the whole weirdness of running into fake friends. People put on huge radiant smiles and spout compliments until their teeth hurt from the saccharine sweetness of it all. But having said that I'll admit to being your FFF (Fake Friend Forever :P)


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