Catching up. Causing grief.

I loathe the phrase (or variations of) “we need to catch up soon!”  It irritates me to no end.  Seriously, Mrs. B and I once got into an actual argument about it — for the record, this argument was 100% my fault and the result of me being totally pissy pants.  I used to think it bothered me when people said this because I felt like if you need to say “let’s catch up” then we aren’t that close.  If we were really good friends, we would talk often enough for you to know what is going on in my life without having to schedule a phone date to “catch up.”  (Note: I am in no way knocking phone dates.  I think they are at times vital to long distance friendships and to not-so-long-distance ones when a phone tag issue arises.)

Here’s the truth.  I hate it when people say “let’s catch up” or “what’s new with you” because I don’t have anything to say.  And it makes me feel bad.  So I talk about other people’s lives — my sister’s pregnant, my roommates did this or that, so and so got married, blah, blah, blah.  But really, none of that is about ME.  Sure, some of those things impact my life but I find that I have less and less to say about my self and what I’ve been up to every day. And it totally scares me.

My parents were giving me a hard time recently about my regimented lifestyle and it sort of upset me, but really, they’re right.  Every week I go to church, bible study, kickball and/or trivia night, lose and gain the same 3-5 pounds, go to work, and workout semi-consistently.  That’s it.  Nothing else happens.  I have nothing else to talk about that is truly mine.  I can talk about my friends new jobs or break ups or dates or vacations, but I don’t actually have any of those of my own.

It makes me feel like my life isn’t going anywhere.  But then I type that sentence and I see how ridiculous it looks/sounds.  I do not have a dead-end job.  I am not “too old” to change anything and everything about my life if I want to.  Really, I’m at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exciting things that will (hopefully) happen in my life.  But when someone asks what’s new with me, I immediately feel stagnant.  It makes me wonder how other people respond to that question…

Do they talk about the new person they’re seeing? Or their new car? Or some promotion they just got at work? Does the response have to be something big and exciting? Or can “what’s new with me” include the book I just finished reading and the new drapes I bought for my living room? Because those are the things I have to talk about.  Sure, I can talk about work, but I honestly don’t think that my non-attorney friends want to hear about it and I don’t want to sound pretentious or pompous or any of those other snarky adjectives commonly associated with my profession.

I think I probably read way too much into it when people suggest we catch up.  They aren’t looking for me to tell them about all these grand, exciting things happening in my life.  They just want to know how things are going, if I’ve seen any new movies, what events (big or small) are important in my life right now.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  And I need to stop being such a freak about it.  And adding excessive pressure to myself.  And thinking that my life is so miserable because I don’t get to tell my friends about my flavor-of-the-week every time they call.  It’s okay to just talk about Mel Gibson (even though every major media outlet in the world has already talked him to death, in two days) and the new bike gear I want to buy and how obsessed I am with the Pioneer Woman.  None of it is that exciting or new or worthy of celebration, but it’s my life.  And it’s a good one.  And I should be grateful and proud of that.



Filed under Etc., Friendships

4 responses to “Catching up. Causing grief.

  1. GeoffersonSpin

    Tell people how you are going to be riding your bike from Tulsa to Oklahoma City and they need to give you money for it!

    Seriously though, I think up until now life has changed really rapidly for us. College always brought new and exciting things. Law school flew by and there was plenty of drama and stuff to whine about. Then came the job hunt and starting a new job and all of a sudden being thrown into the “real world.”

    Now, everything sort of slows down. We look from where we are standing and instead of having another graduation in a few years we have a retirement in 30, or 40, or never. The big news and changes come slower. Marriage is hopefully only once. A new car might be every 5-10 years. Buying a house is pretty rare. I think we have officially reached the point in our lives where it really is about “the little things.” It’s definitely about the curtains, and bike schwag, and the lady I saw this morning who was within inches of being hit by a car (look both ways before crossing, people!) and I think that’s okay.

    It certainly isn’t going to make us feel any better about where our life is going and how boring and mundane it feels, but perhaps when we look back in 30 years it just may seem a little more exciting and interesting than we thought. Or not. Maybe we really are doomed to be boring, miserable, insufferable people for the duration of life. 😉

  2. Mrs. BW

    We had to “catch up” but I still consider you a very close friend, and it’s almost like we were never apart. When you have to catch up with someone after five years, mostly they want to know what you’ve been doing the last five years–or the basic plot of it! Mostly when people ask me that I talk about the books I’ve been reading, the news items of the week that have me the most upset, because like you said, week-to-week not much changes in my life.

    So I will defend “catching up” if it has been a period greater than a year.

  3. idwsj

    I think “catch up” is just code for “let’s hang out because i think you’re cool.” I don’t think anybody actually cares about whether you have anything meaningful to say, it’s just that they are there with you. So talk about anything!

  4. Pingback: Do you do you? « Quarter Life Confused

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