Tuesday, 20 May 2008


The weekend was a long time coming, I can't believe it had been October 2006 since the three of us had last been together. It's such a bloody cliche, but so true in this case, they're the sort of mates that you don't see for a while then when you do it's like we all just slot together and become the cliquey, irritating, close knit friends who walk around in our own little bubble of in-jokes and strange ways.

We've never argued, not really, even when we lived together we'd all just get on, alternating between stupid conversations about nothing at all and discussing the things we don't tell anyone else. The three of us went through so much at uni, they were there for the bits all my London friends missed; and four years later all I have to say is 'Oh god, do you remember so and so?' and one of them will know exactly who and what I'm talking about.

Most of all, it was so nice to remember that I've got two very good mates who consider me a friend in exactly the same way as I see them. It's something I've often doubted about with other friends; like in the back of your mind you'd wonder if they would put themselves out for you or make the same effort that you do for them. Drop everything, offer advice, take you out, or remember your birthday and send a card. I never seem to even doubt it with those two.

The thing I've found with nearly all my uni friends since leaving Hull is that for some reason it's been difficult to transfer daily face to face communication into keeping in contact long distance. At uni you're used to seeing each other on a regular basis, so long phone conversations never really came into it. Now we've all left and gone our separate ways, day to day contact is replaced by sporadic facebooking and 100 character texts, the odd picture message and a half day meet up every 6 months (if you're lucky).

In all honesty, I can't remember the last time I picked up the phone and rung someone that I haven't seen in a while. Even my housemate from my final year, someone I got on so well with and lived with for a whole year, has all but dropped off the radar. It's so strange. All I seem to do is make or be on the receiving end of short three sentence promises to catch up soon, meet up, go out. Why don't we ever just do it? Or instead of sending a message, why don't we just ring them?

This weekend was the perfect example of why I need to make more effort with the friends who aren't a convenient 5 minute drive away. If I make the effort and nothing comes back, then fair enough, I'm happy to let things drift into facebook territory. But I can't help but think that there are loads of old friends all drifting apart from each other because they think that the other person doesn't need them any more now they're back home after uni.

You don't even need to end the conversation with 'We must meet up sooon'. In fact, don't, you both know it probably won't happen. That's the whole point of the phone call.


blueskies2day said...

What's wonderful about the friends you really love is that even if you don't see each other or speak for a really long time, you can meet up out of the blue and everything is exactly the same as you left it.

Without noticing or trying, since I've left school, college and university, the people who mean the most to me have stuck around and always will. The other people... I see them sometimes and I like them... one by one, we'll lose touch a little.

It's so good that you have friends like your uni clique! :)

Reluctant Blogger said...

Interesting because I always assumed that friends would be more likely to stay in touch these days because it is so much easier than it was in my day (no mobiles, no internet, no Twitter). But I guess in a sense you still feel for a lot of these things that you should have something concrete to say to get in touch.

I am in touch with very few people now from Uni days (I finished 20 years ago), not even the person I lived with for 3 years. Odd in some ways but in others life is just like that - if you move about a lot you have to rationalise the number of people with whom you can keep in touch in a meaningful way. But yeah it is a wonderful feeling when you do see someone and you can just talk The Good Old Days without explaining who is who etc.

Clarissa said...

Do they know about your blog?

Clarissa said...

Just realised - that was probably a stupid question. I think you mentioned friends reading in the past?
*shuffles off to explore archives*

rosiewishes said...

I remember leaving school and having this conversation about who we'd keep in touch with afterwards... the friends I still have from then are not who I had predicted!

And now I'm leaving university I'm thinking the same thing. But I think I can work it out. Even during the long holidays it's been interesting to see who keeps in touch... I don't speak to my 'best friend' who I've lived with for 3yrs unless I call her, and I know that if I don't continue putting in the effort it's likely she'll fall off the radar. But at the same time, I know that when we do see each other we'll snap back into best friend mode, like you've just done this weekend!

I'm not looking forward to moving out of this house and living so far from my friends!

Robbie said...

Wow, that some major step to go from a false promise quick text of "let's meet up" to an actual phone call. I mean if it goes to plan then you have to put REAL plans together.
I don't think an of my friends were ever that brave, including me.
PS In that top photo, is it just me or does that girl look like her head is on backwards

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

blueskies - I'm glad I have those two as well. That's the thing, we don't speak to each other much inbetween meets but when we do it's like we're joined at the hip again.

reluctant - I think people do keep in touch, but it's a different form of communication now. In my view it's so impersonal - I'd rather not hear from someone than get a standard 'Hi, how are you? What are you up to?' over facebook and discover they've sent the same thing in a 'message blitz' to 5 other people.

clarissa - Nope, the only person who reads this that I know is my boyfriend. No friends / family allowed!

rosie - We had similar conversations. It was always a given that the three of us would keep in touch, but we often wondered who out of our housemates would get together. it's weird to think that some people you'll just never ever see or speak to again.

robbie - haha - that's exactly it! Strange how with some people you can predict everytime that the plans won't follow through. You can almost double book the day as your so sure it won't happen.

theperpetualspiral said...

It is good when you have friends that you can go a long time without seeing, yet when you do see them you have a great time and wonder why you don't do it more often.

Then you have the same conversation a year later when you meet again, and then again the year after that and so on!

weenie said...

You are fortunate to have such close friends. Me and my friends left uni over 15 years ago and since then, six of us continue to meet up once a year without fail, to catch up on news, get drunk like in the good old days and reminisce about when we were young and carefree! As there're so many of them, none of them are what I'd call close friends but I class them all as very good friends of mine. In between meeting up, we exchange Christmas cards, the odd email but I don't think I have EVER called any of them! Another friend I lost in touch with when she moved to Dubai - 7 years later she moved back to the UK and I met up with her and it's like there was never that gap in our lives! All it takes is a little effort with friends and you end up getting a lot of reward!


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