What happened to friends?

Friends are the people you can call in the middle of the night when you’re in jail. Or ask to come pick you up on the side of the road when your car breaks down. Or help you pull off a gargantuan task you’ve (over)committed to (“Sure I can make homemade chicken salad for 200 by tomorrow”).

That’s what friends are for, right?

Apparently friends perform those functions less and less, as we turn to professionals for meeting our needs.

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Guest Post: Agam’s Birthday Project

Today’s guest post is from Agam Rafaeli (pictured in the hat), who will introduce himself below. I (Cary) had the chance to meet him at the recent wedding of Joey and Rebecca Katona, when Joey told me that Agam was someone he particularly wanted me to meet. In the spirit of the post below, Agam and I were both eager to make a new friend and connect around our mutual love of Joey. So we slipped away from the band during the reception and spent a little time getting to know each other.

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“Dissipating the fog of irony”

I continue to write about Christy Wampole’s New York Times article on “How to Live without Irony,” which I consider really important.”  To catch up on the conversation, read my two prior blogposts, and then come back here.

Wampole wrote:

Where can we find other examples of nonironic living? What does it look like? Nonironic models include very young children, elderly people, deeply religious people, people with severe mental or physical disabilities, people who have suffered,

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Living without Irony

I found this article so stimulating. Christy Wampole wrote “How to Live without Irony” which appeared in The New York Times last week. I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Yesterday I wrote to our SPACIOUS subscribers about how SPACIOUS is intended to be an anti-irony movement*. We aim to create channels through which you can experience others with wonder, curiosity and delight, foregoing the sarcasm, skepticism and irony that are almost expected in some circles.

Read more Living without Irony

Random shuffle of friends

My iPod got stolen. Admittedly that’s a “first world problem,” and in the scheme of things it’s not a bad problem. When it was stolen, I didn’t replace it and figured I’d just be quiet more or listen to a limited selection of songs on my phone when I’m out and about.

And mostly that’s been fine.

Yet I’m thinking about how sometimes you don’t want to decide what to listen to, and you don’t want to listen to a themed playlist or a particular artist.

Read more Random shuffle of friends

Are you a fish living in water?

Have you ever seen someone in the grocery store who looked like he was looking for conversation more than looking for food to buy? Or have you been that girl who thought you’d wander the mall in hopes of striking a spark of human connection… just because you were lonely? I’m not talking about romantic pursuits; I’m talking about basic person-to-person engagement, something that used to be unavoidable and is now something that we cannot take for granted.

People used to sit on porches and talk to those who came by.

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The Sound of One Hand Clapping

My brain got a little wacky over the weekend. I’ve had far too much time alone lately, much of it sitting at a computer. And when that happens, I get crazy. I feel despair. I decide I have no friends. I am certain my life is not worth living. I’m positive that there is nothing I’m involved in that will come to fruition or prove valuable. I globalize (“Because I’m discouraged today, I’ll always feel this way.”) In short, I lose it.

All it takes to return me to some degree of normalcy is human contact —

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Family Form Follows Function

Old school: a leather-bound address book with handwritten entries, by family, alphabetically arranged.  Updated each year to reflect changes in marital status, births, deaths, moves.

The new normal: iPhone entries for each person, reflecting only that individual person’s email address, cell phone number and — rarely — a street address.

What does the format of an iPhone’s Contact section do, in and of itself, to affect how we think about people? It’s my contention that it’s a significant mind-shaper,

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Amateur vs. Professional Lovefests

I was whining about Valentine’s Day in my last post. About it being amateur night and all. I sound like a super-cranky, sour grapes sourpuss (does anyone use that word any more?). And I’m not.

I had a perfectly nice Valentine’s Day (and yet my husband’s and my celebration is yet to come… saving it for the weekend).

My complaint about such Hallmark holidays is that they’re all about the expectations, and then they never match up, and those involved end up feeling crappy about their perfectly good relationships.

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The Myth of Sisyphus & Email

What are we all DOING? Checking our computers and phones with Pavlovian urgency, while cursing the fact that we can’t get away from our desks or phones or tasks.

I sat down to write today and soon felt a vague anxiety. Nothing had been bugging me a few minutes before. I traced the feeling to a sense of being overwhelmed that emails just come in faster than I can get them out. It’s the myth of Sisyphus for a modern age —

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