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Signs Of Life

Columns by Pamela Majteles

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Old Friends

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Posted by pam on January 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Originally published September 17, 2010

Reprinted with permission from Bay Area News Group – East Bay

Lately, I haven’t been treating my friends very well. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t taken the time to see them or even thought about them at all.

That’s something Fred and Ted, two of my oldest friends, would never do. They always put their friends first. I’ve watched them do it time and time again in Big Dog . . . Little Dog, a book I repeatedly read to my son when he was in preschool.

But my son has moved on to kindergarten, and his taste in reading has moved on too. He’s no longer interested in spending time with Fred and Ted or our other old buddies such as Carl, Bingo, Jack, Owen, George, Jeremy and Little Quack, all characters in books we used to enjoy. So we’re shutting them out.

It’s a rotten way to treat your friends. You’d think my son and I would know better considering all the lessons on friendship we’ve gotten from these books. But to be fair, we’ve never read about a situation quite like this – how to tell your friends you’ve outgrown them and you’re moving on. A little awkward, I’d say.

I’ve been trying to imagine how our old pal, Carl, would take it, if we said we were ready to move on. He wouldn’t get too worked up. Carl’s a Rottweiler with the attitude that life’s too short to worry about other people’s issues. (Every year for him is seven dog years, you know.) He does exactly what he wants all the time. If Carl wanted to still be friends, regardless of what we said, we’d still be friends. Pretty doggone simple.

Our old buddy, Bingo, would probably see it as a challenge, if we said we were looking for new friends. A little friendly competition, she’d say. When Bingo races cars, she does everything she can to win. She works harder than the other racers, who happen to be male, in order to get ahead. (Yep, typical.) I can’t see Bingo letting anyone edge her out.

I don’t think we’d run afoul of our duck pal, Little Quack, if we said it was time for us to go. In fact, he’d do everything he could to help, because no one’s as good a friend as Little Quack. He always treats others the right way. As far as friends go, Little Quack swims circles around everyone.

Boy, just thinking about all these guys makes me miss them. I can’t imagine better buddies. After spending so much time together over the years, I’ve come to really know them.

At the moment, I’m still getting to know our new friends. My son is into reading Greek myths right now. They’re the classic tales of gods, such as Zeus who tosses thunderbolts around when he gets mad, and goddesses like Athena who has been known to turn others into spiders when she’s crossed.

Truthfully, I’m finding it a little hard to warm up to this crowd. Also, I can’t help thinking when the time comes, they won’t make it as easy to say goodbye.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.

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