You do insane things when you can't sleep. Things like mentally flipping through your address book and thinking up things that you would have liked to have written on your Christmas cards if only you weren't such a wuss. There are a couple people in particular to whom I would have liked to have written some harsh words, but I never will. I'll just make myself crazy by doing it in my head in the middle of the night.
Things I wish I would have written in my Christmas cards (in quasi-alphabetical order, a couple of you may recognize yourselves):
S-Actually, I meant exactly what I said on my card. I wish we could just go have dinner and coffee and catch up with each other. It's high on my list of priorities.
D-I suppose time and distance just does in a friendship after awhile. Part of me thinks I should keep trying, part of me wonders if I'd even recognize you if I bumped into you on the street.
S-We need to spend more time at the Swamp. And driving around in an old pickup truck.
L-Family relationships will never be my strength. Don't hope for too much.
S-Damn. I wish I hadn't wasted all those years hiding. If I'd known how things would turn out, I would have done things completely differently. Life sucks, and I made it suck more.
D and K-It's hard to believe you even care sometimes. I'm thinking I should probably care a little less.
S-Yeah, I never understood the marriage thing. I just did not get how you could go from laughing at him one day to marrying him the next, and I probably never will.
M-Ha, can you believe I actually wrote the card this year? We owe you so much, and I should definitely write to you more often. Maybe we'll move back to Oregon some day.
A-Oops. I didn't send you a card. Well, you're online so much it doesn't seem necessary. Sorry.
L-Bruce is still out in the garage. I'm not sure exactly why you disappeared, but I hope you found what you were looking for in a husband.
J-I'm afraid to track you down because I don't want to find out that you're dead.
D and D-I thought you would intimidate me less as I got older. Every time I talk to you, I feel like a total failure. Don't you think I should grow out of this already?
K-I can't believe I sent you an e-mail in April and you didn't read it until December. That is completely lame. But I still like you.
D-I think we both know I'd be dead right now if it wasn't for you. Congratulations on everything good. You're the best.
M-Sorry, I'm broke. I swear I'll send you something good to eat if I ever get a job. I swear.
C-I lied, like fourteen times. I could have stopped at your place on our way to Indiana, but I was too much of a coward. I was embarrassed to have you see me. If I had any guts at all, I'd tell you this, but I'm not going to.
S-I was so worried about your present, I don't even remember if I sent a card. If I did, I hope I wrote something about how much your friendship means to me. I'd say that more emphatically, but I'm embarrassed enough as it is.
B-Cool. Every time I hear from you, I think a) damn, I like that girl and b) thank god I left academia. It's totally ridiculous that we haven't seen each other since Jack-in-the-Box.
T-You're off my list. Since I probably bored you to death in the first place, I don't think you'll mind.
F-I'm too insecure to be your friend. I can't keep up intellectually, and it bugs the hell out of me.
K-We've had some really great times, and I am really glad you're my friend. If you ever tell me I need to lose weight again, though, it's over.
T-Where the #*$#! are you? You can't just show up once every five years and think that's okay, because it's not. I deserve better than that.
B-Hey, it snowed in Seattle! We may have a friendship based on memories, but damn, good memories they are. Catherine has to put up with the frozen pipes story every winter.
A-I guess I understand why you left town w/out saying a word. Congrats on C. and the baby. You know where we are if you ever want to talk.
B-Damn, I owe you an e-mail.
L-I wouldn't have guessed you'd be the one I'd keep in touch with out of the entire group. Turned out to be a good development, though, didn't it? Let's do London.
S-Divorce her and move home.
M-Thanks for keeping in touch. Everytime I hear from you, it's like a little bit of home. I miss everything, even crying on the fifth floor of the library. Wish I was there.
J-Okay, I'm really trying. How many times can I track you down? Thank god your mother likes me and doesn't mind being used as a mail stop. I'm not saying I'm going to give up, but I am registering a protest. Listen to your mom and keep in touch with me.
B-Yeah, you're like J. only without the mother. In your case, though, I am giving up. I tried. And tried. I get the message.
P and D-I hope you're both okay. It's not like you not to write.
L-I refuse to feel bad about leaving graduate school. Maybe you didn't mean to make me feel bad on purpose, but that's what happened. I am not a failure, and I'm not wasting my life.
K-I'm not worried, we'll pick up where we left off. S. might be 20 years old by then, but I'm not worried.
D-Well, I screwed up our friendship, I know that. I appreciate it that you're at least talking to me now. I know we're never going to get back to where we were, but something is better than nothing.
L-I give up, I really do. What do you want me to do? I like you a lot, I really do, but you've got to put more effort into our friendship. I'm tired of giving you the benefit of the doubt, so I think I'm not going to do it anymore.
P-How much do we have in common?
D-Yeah, get married, disappear. That's how it works.
L-Time and distance. I think things would be good if we moved closer, though.
M-Sorry, but I wouldn't have married you, anyway. So much for our friendship.
D-Congratulations on the baby and the job. I still think what you said about the war was the stupidest thing I've ever heard. But I like you anyway.