Ghost : Catching Up

Met up with a rather old friend last night for dinner and chat. As he’s between jobs and since it’s the holiday season, he’s taking his time to text and call up friends individually to catch up with them. He lamented that when he contacted them, most of them would exclaim that they too had thought of meeting up some time. To that, he would respond along the line that… ‘Nope… some time is too vague… it would most likely be procrastinated indefinitely. Let’s fix a time now!’

He remarked that he had attended a few wakes recently, and felt that life is too unpredictable not to express concern in time. He wondered why was it that he’s usually the one who calls up old friends, while they are kind of passively reactive. He wasn’t sure if there was something wrong about him. I asked, ‘Imagine himself on your deathbed… Would you regret not meeting certain people one last time?’ If there is a long list of folks on his mind, chances are that his attachment to them is pretty strong… too strong. I added that most friends tend to become super busy once they get hitched and have kids. It’s natural that the focus of attention is shifted from friends to family. Yup, he’s single.

Maybe I was a little guilty for not taking the initiative to re-connect with him, plus too lazy to update him on the complex changes in my life. Instead, I asked tons of questions about what’s happening in his life, and just listened… and quizzed him further. Here’s the ironic part. He called me to catch up with me, but I didn’t leave him enough time to ask about what’s up in my life. It turned out to be me catching up with him instead. And the funny thing is, I don’t think he noticed this.

I’m this kind of friend… ghost-like, hard to fathom, there but ‘not there’. Reminds me of my teenage days, when I once helped a friend pen a love letter for his ‘crushee’. Quite happy with that proposed on paper, he relaxed and slipped into a nap. I then crept out of his house and cycled home… with a grin of gladness… for having been there for him, for having been helpful… I hope!

6 thoughts on “Ghost : Catching Up

  1. I have this type of friends too..trying to catch up with me when I feel there really is nothing much to catch about me..I think they are really bored..ran out of things to do perhaps?I understand that they are trying to show care & concern as a friend but…I am not interested in their lives & most of the time they rattle on & on about whats going on in their lives..haiz :angel:

  2. What a shame that you’re not interested . . .
    I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year . . .
    New year is a time for celebration of love, life, and friendship . . . it’s a time to be grateful for friends and to wish them as much joy as they bring to us . . .
    so let’s celebrate friendship and hope that it’s magic continues for ever . . .

    Happy New Year . . . eirenety. :love:

  3. As I don’t mind me not being the centre of attention even for a one to one gathering, it’s not a problem to me ^_^

    It helps to be genuinely interested and concerned about the friend one is with. Even if a friend is bored, I try to spend time with him or her. Er… Cliched maybe, but… that’s what friends are for? I try to ‘sneak’ in Dharma advice here and there to help them too 😉

  4. It’s always nice to have gatherings once a while, catching up each other’s life. Genuine friends will show concern and care. If catching up is about showing off what one has done, that would be totally meaningless. I’m someone with nothing much to catch up on my side. So, most of the time, I’m the listener. Sometimes, what the person needs is a pair of listening ears, and for some, being heard out is really therapeutic. And like shian mentioned above, we can always inject some Dharma in the conversation to make the chat more meaningful. =]

  5. I am guilty of not catching up with friends and even family members and sometimes when something serious happens, I realised what a lousy friend I have been. It’s really not easy with all the commitments we have. Sounds like excuses. We will learn it the hard way and we will appreciate life better when we saw death more frequently. I realised that when my close friend died from cancer and I was still thinking that her illness wasn’t so serious. I was so naive till the moment I saw her wispy body and soul less eyes. Nowadays, I try to catch up with my friends, not on how they are doing but more on how they are feeling. I guess it helps.

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