Rear Window Ethics Rear Window Ethics: Chop-chop

Friday, July 16, 2004

Chop-chop

I've been thinking a lot recently about the period of life I've just completed. Socially, it's just one gigantic transition period. You spend your childhood growing up, friends come and go, but in general you are in the same place or at least same type situation. You go through high school, have the best friends in the world, and then after four years – CHOP – you all scatter to the corners of the earth. You see each other infrequently, your lives grow in different directions, and sooner or later you lose contact with all but the truest of friends.

You go to college. Well, if you and your family can pay for it, you go to college. There you start off fresh, not knowing anyone, but with everyone in a similar situation milling around, friendless, in this academic and social microcosm. Making friends comes rather easily in this environment. Then, after the fastest four years ever, CHOP, you all scatter to the corners of the earth.

Suddenly you're in a completely new place: the real world. You have a job (or in some places, don't, so you pretend to have a job and make one up that barely pays the bills...), you barely see your college friends, let alone those few solid ones from high school, and for the second time in five years you're left with another blank social slate. Except this time people aren't wandering around campus with glazed looks in their eyes, searching for someone – anyone – to latch on to. Now you have to work.

You work to meet new people. You work to keep your college friends close. You work to pay your rent, your bills, and your notables DVD Club subscription. Your cell phone's free long distance tries its best to keep you connected to everyone, but soon the long conversations turn to short ones, and then to emails, and then finally to the last thread of communication: the mass-email. No one has much money, so visits are few and far between.

There are no impending chops looming on the horizon. You're settling down and if you move it's a decision you make for your own reasons. You realize that you can form relationships with people that won't necessarily be cut or stretched prematurely, but part of you doesn't feel like you even want new friends. You want your old friends, and you want them with you.

Yeah. That's a lot to chew on.