Friday BARB UP April 19, 2019

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On Friendship.

Last night, I went to the Corner Bistro to have a burger with two friends of mine. As one of us were recounting the story of our history, it occurred to us all that we were coming up on thirty years of knowing each other. Thirty years of friendship. This is growing old with people you love, that you’re not bound to by blood or law, but a true choice to stay in touch. This includes a text, a comment on a post, a dinner once a year. It is so important to me to let the ones I adore know that I adore them. Because: I know that I don’t know when I will see them again, speak to them again, hug them again. A few years ago, I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile, he was having lunch with a colleague, they were lingering in the lobby, saying their goodbyes. At the time, he was working with my best friend, and I’d get the occasional update from my best friend, how our mutual friend was doing. I’d spent so many nights, working closely with this man, tucked away in an edit session, when editing was linear, my ideas spilling out of me, he taking them, turning them into gold. When we were child-free. As we hugged goodbye, we promised we’d make time to have lunch, have a proper catch up; we’d only had time in the hallway to share photos of our daughters. A few weeks later, my best friend rang me up and told me our friend had passed away. He was the first of my friends to die, from natural causes. I was devastated. I knew I needed a better system of staying connected to people. I made a commitment to myself: to keep up with the people in my life. I don’t mean chasing rainbows; I mean, holding onto the people I loved, revered, cherished. Not taking friendship for granted has changed my life. My faraway friends know the minutiae of my life; the beauty of whatsapp makes efficiency and confession a lovely pair. I may not see my friends who live further away, but we are connected. For my friends who live in the same city as I do, however, seeing them is a sporadic venture, and I understand it, I know that the juggle is real—work gets in the way, partners take priority, the uptown/downtown or the interboro dwelling life  is a barrier. Texting has changed the landscape of connection; it’s so easy to send someone a bitmoji, let them know they are on your mind. For me, it’s filled with meaning. It’s not that difficult, really, to stay connected. As we age, we run out of time, quite literally.  That first friend to pass away is a sobering reality: we are finite. What’s important is making the time to connect. Keeping in contact with the people who have been a part of your life, even for just a moment, a blip, but enough for that person to be on a feed, a social media link that allows you to have a glimpse at that person’s life, even with our disdain for its intrusion, we do it, we watch each other, a tether to one another in the absence of true IRL connection, not because we are lost, self-absorbed, whatever but because we can, we can communicate in this way, and in this way, we continue to know one another. And so, I will use whatever method I can to watch my friends, to keep up with them, to be a part of their lives and they a part of mine—through email, through texting, through a feed, through phone calls, even IRL. For I never want to miss that chance I have, ever again.

Amy Poehler: “Female friendships have been key for me in the last couple of years, in terms of how to find true, deep, deep, deep laughter.”

Ruth Wilson Gilmore: “Instead of asking whether anyone should be locked up or go free, why don’t we think about why we solve problems by repeating the kind of behavior that brought us the problem in the first place?”

Even Anne Hathaway has experienced ageism.

Scientists can be sexist too!

What’s your take on the Playboy Bunny, circa 2019?

23andMe is not a straight line to BRCA gene identification.

And now have a laugh with Janelle James.


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