Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

To all the friends I've lost before

I've been watching this cool meme on LiveJournal in which one writes something to ten LJ friends, but does not identify to which friend one is writing. Although I somewhat admire the notion and the mystery, I'm afraid that if I just write "hey you're cool" ten times it will seem unduly flattering. I love my friends' list, though, and someday I'd like to write a post with a message to each individual friend.

I thought that I might achieve a more respectful distance from the subject matter if I wrote my messages anonymously to people who have defriended me. I am quite good, overall, at being defriended. I subscribe to all the right theories that a "friends list" is a communication convenience rather than a demarcation of one's literal friends. But still, sometimes I get de-friended, and say to myself "hey, I was trying to really *be* a friend" or, improbably but truly, "hey, that person is just way more cool than I am!".

But people friend and de-friend for all kinds of reasons. I rarely de-friend unless someone is needlessly offensive, but I fully support anyone's friending and defriending. Yet, sometimes I wonder about those who de-firended me.

It's a bit silly, to even think about such things, when I have a really cool friends' list, to think at all about a software convenience. But sometimes I do. Yet this new meme is great, because I can take a very generous (if not quite complete) sample of those who de-friended me, and play this meme a different way.

So for this morning's insomnia, I present:

1. It's rare to see such a fascinating writer discovering her power, mixed with such old-fashioned self-destructive behaviors. In hindsight, I probably should not have criticized Los Angeles, because I think it was one of my sardonic LA posts that got me defriended.
2. When you're fond of journaliing that you're hunting for authentic human connection, my own belief is that you don't de-friend folks for saying that not all post office people are bad. But I love the way that each journal is its own sub-created universe, and I have to admit you're an interesting person, even if you de friended me.
3. You write great poetry. Great poetry alone does not quite sustain. The little graphic post about how the people you've defriended have lost their tickets to ride your train was a bit tacky, but well illustrated. But I completely understand the basic removal, as we are so very different.
4. You know, you're really cool and I'm sometimes quite boring and repetitive. Live long and prosper.
5. We have lots of common friends, but we neither of us quite really "connected", did we? But you're a nice enough fellow, I think.
6. Your colorful and somewhat outre posts enlivened my friends' page, although I suppose it was all not "work safe". I was more surprised that you friended me than that you de-friended me, because I am so much more boring than where you are right now.
7. You deal with a lot of turbulent emotions. You are such a good person, and such a talented person. I wish you had stayed in LJ.
8. I am so glad you came back! Especially with that charming e mail. Don't ask me why, because I don't have some pat answer. But you're pretty cool, you know?
9. I admired, and worried, a bit, about your attempts to be brave even when things were dysfunctional in your life. You're clearly a genuine decent human being, although a very human kind of being.
I never minded that you de-friended me, because I am just so wordy and I know that you needed the space on your reading list. You were wise to build a circle of people with whom you really connect. I wasn't one of them, but I hope you found them. I hope that you found a way to accept your feelings about the things that anger you, instead of denying them and then beating yourself up for having them.
10. I always thought you have the coolest handle, but we never really connected at all. No surprise that you let me go.
11. I thought your LJ persona amusing, but completely understand if the feeling was not, in the long run, mutual.
12. You are such a kind person. I think you should have stayed on LJ.
You obviously cope with a lot in your real life, though, and I hope that the respite from a weblog has helped in other ways.
13. I always thought it amusing that you de-friended me literally the same week that you said how much you enjoyed reading my journal.
I would make a metaphor, but it would come out unduly suggestive and literal. This is one of the few times, though, that I have been defriended, as near as I can tell, because the would-be friend of your enemy is not your friend.
14. I did feel badly that I don't answer polls about whom I lust for or requesting me to say something risque, as I recognize this makes me seem like an unfriendly friend. But you're cool and I'm cool and we both know each other are cool and that's a consolation.
15. You are my favorite LJ microcosm. Add 300 people, never comment to any of them, then delete everyone, with a post using a profanity.
Really brash and LJ-drama-y, but I think you came to it without meaning to do it that way.
16. Why delete an unfinished novel? It has a certain pleasing half-etheredness left half-done. I love that so many of my "friends of" are literary side projects, often dormant.
17 I love the way you switched betwen weblog services, sometimes deleting here just after you announced it was your only favorite.
You're cool, though you're nothing like me. But now you're gone.
18. Your thoughtful, intricate journal should not have been deleted.
You should start again (if you haven't already, and just didn't tell me). I know, a bit, that you live in the aftermath of a bit of soap opera, but you're really finding a new way, and that's cool.
19. You know, you're really cool and I felt a bit badly that you deleted me. But I live under no illusions. I know what works and does not work in my journal. I also know that I repeat myself over and over. You're one of the very few people I kept on my friends' list for a while after you de friended me. But then I realized--"how one sided is that?". So I came to my senses, and just say, fare you well, you're a good fellow.
20. My goodness, I don't think we really interacted at all. Makes perfect sense that you thought so, too.
21. Gee! I didn't mind when you de-friended me, but you are someone that makes me think "she's WAY cooler than me". You give me hope that people will somehow continue to be cool even in this very un-cool era.
22. I think I am not religious in the same way that you are. On LJ, this rarely makes a difference, but I suspect that here it did.
Of course, I may not have commented often enough, either.
23. You're in a lot of pain. But I think you're basically a good person. I do get worried when journal keepers spend a lot of time making rules that limit living ("don't ever disrespect my favorite band! that means you hate me!"). I'll bet in person you're actually a really interesting soul, but journals sometimes show more pain than personality. I wish you well.
24. My goodness! Such an interesting person, and I thought we communicated well. I liked your posts, but I completely understand.
25. You came, you wrote interesting posts, you never commented, you left. It's cool the way the seasons of the year work on LJ.
26. Sometimes when strangers peer into alternative ways of living, it's mutually rewarding. Sometimes, it's just alternative, and not revelatory. I think that my way of looking at things was quite different than yours. I hope things work well for you.
27. Being from the same home town is not enough. I always felt badly that time that we IM'd, and I was not as supportive of your frustrations as I might have been. I forget that IM lacks the nuance for such discussions.
28. We didn't really have much in common, but it's cool to know that LJ has hip people like you in it. I didn't realize you were from Texas until after you'd dropped me, which tells me I should be more observant.
29. That was the kindest "I'm de friending you" note. I knew all along that you're a decent person under all that crust and vinegar.
30. All that talk of musical instruments intrigued me, but I completely get that nothing I had to say interested you, and that's cool.
31. I suspect you dropped me over a mildly political joke I placed in reply to a comment to someone else. But who knows? You may have just been bored. Either way--brilliant writer, but hurting so much.
I wonder if there is any other kind of brilliant writer sometimes.
32. Hey! I thought we could have been real friends! But I was totally wrong,and, with hindsight, just plain clueless. I am so surprised that this one stung a bit, as I know that my posts bored you solid. But the fault is mine, to be stung and un-perceptive, not yours. It makes sense to me that folks who want to run "friends only" journals pare down to folks with whom they want to be friends. It bugs me, the idea of irritating people when I'm trying to be friendly. I completely get that at some point, you said "who is this guy? He just burbles on as if he knows me--but he doesn't". It's too bad--I hate to extend myself to try to make a friend and completely fail. But it happens sometimes, and you're entirely cool to drop me.
33. You are such a cool musician. But I am not nearly interesting enough, and I'm sure my frequent posts cluttered your friends' page.
Still, I'll read your journal sometimes, because you have some cool projects going. I think, as I rarely do, that you made a mistake here, because we have things to learn from one another. But it's your party, and I'll not cry.
34. Undelete! Now! I didn't even get a chance to ask for my illo after I donated to that cause. By the way, what is an "Illo"? I have no idea. I think it's art, but it may be plastic. I would have asked for a butterfly, I think--assuming an "illo" is not a shoehorn.
35. I am still not sure if you were a serial adder or an interesting person I did not give a chance to know through my own sloth and cuation. But c'est la vie. The userid had a sort of "don't touch me, I'm electric" feel to it, that did not help me make up my mind.

Also, to a few kind readers, not on my friends' list:
a. I miss seeing your lurking anonymous posts. Did I drop the ball on our nervousness exchange?
b. go ahead and say "hi", sometime. It's a shame to read so often and not interact.

That was kind of fun, in a "boy, am I odd and needy and friendless" kind of way. But I am glad that, by and large, even the people who DE friended me on LJ were really cool. My current friends list, in the words of a "whut r u doin" LJ'er, "rocks!".

I never dreamed that weblogs would be so much fun.
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