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Be friending

Went to my butcher store, St. Jamestown Steak and Chops, this afternoon to buy a pot roast for Sunday dinner. Ran into a neighbour, an eccentric woman who lives up the street and whom I’d sat next to on the streetcar last week. She’d said she’d send me a Facebook friend request.
“So you don’t want to friend me?” she asked. I was astonished.
“I never got your request,” I said.
“I sent it,” she said, “but in any case, you only have 90 or so friends, so you don’t want to friend me. I post constantly, I’m one of those people, I’d drive you crazy. When I have friends like that, I limit their access rather than de-friending them because I don’t want to hurt their feelings.”

And I thought – if my dad who died in 1988 heard us, he would have no understanding of what we’re saying. And yet it’s perfectly understandable in 2014. In fact, she didn’t say “limit access,” she said something more technical only I don’t remember what it was.
She also said, as she left, “I’m looking forward to your book.”
“What’s your book?” asked the server, a young woman with tattoos, multiple piercings through her cheeks and gigantic black rings stretching her earlobes.
“It’s a memoir about the Sixties,” I said, “and my love affair with Paul McCartney.” Her eyes grew wide.
“Did you really hang out with Paul McCartney?”
Be still my beating heart. I told her the truth, but wouldn’t it be fun to play for a bit?

I like Facebook. That is, I like lurking, reading what my 90 or so friends are thinking about today. But it just does not occur to me to post things there; I blog. Soon I will have to learn to tweet. And there too, my dad would be utterly confused.

It’s so very winter. More snow today; we are overloaded with snow. But I am busy; I had a meeting with the publisher and emailed an essay to the CBC Literary Competition. I’m going to enter competitions now, because it’s great to have deadlines to get pieces finished. I don’t care if I win, but I want to finish. My tenant Carol said today, “It’s as if you’ve had a breakthrough with your work. What happened?”
“My mother died,” I said. “And I’m free.”

Today, doing a final edit of the manuscript, starting work on the next essay, doing an assessment of a writing book proposal for a publisher. But now – Randy Bachman is on. If I have ever needed to dance around the kitchen, it’s this cold and snowy night.

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2 Responses to “Be friending”

  1. Anonymous says:

    You inspire me to make an appointment with myself to write. And sketch. The daily trivia always seems to elbow out everything that isn't subject to a previous commitment. And now Michael Enright is reviewing Pete Seeger's career, so I must go. George

  2. beth says:

    George, that's just what I meant – the great thing about deadlines, no matter how arbitrary, is that they give us a sense of urgency and focus. Because otherwise, who cares if we do these arcane artistic things? But one should always stop what one is doing, no matter how urgent, to listen to Pete Seeger.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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