Sunday, February 13, 2011

Today's fortune: February 13, 2011

Today's fortune: A fond memory will soon lead to a renewed friendship.

I've been fortunate enough to make a lot of friends in my lifetime, but just like everyone else, I find it difficult to keep in touch with most of them.

This fortune is good, because it makes you think about lost friendships. Facebook is a wonderful invention for keeping track of your old pals from high school and college, and I take advantage of that as much as I can. But really, how close are you to your Facebook contacts? I have "friends" on Facebook I've never met, some I can't even remember why I friended them in the first place.

That being said, I believe Facebook can be used as a tool to re-connect with real, flesh-and-blood friends. And I tried to do that today. After digging deep in my memory banks, I contacted friends from three different stages in my life.

The first stage: high school. When I was a student at Liberty High in Liberty, Missouri, I participated in debate and forensics. I was pretty good at it, too. As a sophomore my debate partner and I won trophies at a few tournaments. Later, I focused on forensics, and I even made it to the state finals one year in prose and poetry reading. I know, it's not very manly, but at least I was reading poetry about baseball.

One of my fondest memories was on the other end of the success spectrum. My friend Tiffany and I decided to compete at a tournament with a duo interpretation piece, basically a short scene we acted out together. But instead of practicing the routine, we usually just joked around and played pranks on one another. As a result, the routine was a disaster. We both forgot our lines and basically bumbled our way through. It was a rather lot of fun. I sent Tiffany a Facebook message today asking if she remembered.

The second memory came from a two-month stage in my life where I worked as an intern for the Department of Education in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2000. The internship was through a college honor society, and about 18 students took part in the program. We all lived together in a dorm building at The George Washington University. It was the first time I ever lived away from home, and I had the time of my life.

One of my friends was a Bulgarian woman named Stanislava. Stani has a really thick Bulgarian accent to go along with a New York City attitude. Somehow, we got along very well. Once our group went out to dinner, and Stani ordered dessert. What Stani said was, "This is so good, I think I am having quadruplets." But these are the words we heard: "Thees ees so goot, I tink I am havink qua-da-rupplets." I asked Stani today how those qua-da-rupplets were treating her.

My final blast from the past is much more recent. Last year, I worked as an office operations supervisor for the U.S. Census Bureau. It was a great job, but it could also be quite nerve-racking at times. To blow off steam, sometimes the people there would have rubber band fights. It was an innocent diversion that kept us all from going insane. Once, my friend Andrew took it a step further and tied five rubber bands together to make a mega-band. He shot it all the way across the office.

On a Saturday, when only a handful of people were working, I asked Andrew to tie several dozen rubber bands together. During our lunch break, we all went out to the parking lot. Andrew stood in the bed of my pickup and held one end of the stretchy string while somebody else walked the other end out as far as they could go - about forty feet away. We were making guesses on how far the mega-band would travel. I was hoping we could shoot it over the building. But the band only flew about five feet. I sent Andrew a message today asking if he kept the mega-band.

I don't know if any of these memories will trigger a renewed friendship. I hope they all do. But it's good to remember the good times and old friends from the past.