Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Topic of the Day: Has Anyone Surprising Reached Out?

Early on in the quarantine…

back in those hazy days of late-March and early April, when NYC was suddenly the epicenter of the virus and making news for morbid reasons (remember the refrigerated trucks?), a handful of people I hadn’t heard from in many months and sometimes many years reached out to see how my family and I were doing. I didn’t hear from any exes, but a couple old high school friends sent messages, as well as some college pals, and one or two long-ago readers of my now-defunct personal blog even checked in. I reached out to an old friend I hadn’t talked to, for a variety of reasons, in many, many years when I heard she was diagnosed with cancer just before quarantine began. She replied with a very sweet note about how she’d been checking in on my social media throughout the years and was happy to see me doing well. It made me feel both nostalgic and wistful about how some relationships that help change the trajectory of your life or impact who you might become can fade out of your life, sometimes without much fanfare.

Despite the brief re-connections I made in those early days and weeks of quarantine, I think I may have been more surprised, actually, by who didn’t touch base, though I reminded myself that the pandemic was affecting everyone, that it wasn’t just limited to New York, and that I could also reach out if I felt moved to. In a few cases, the silence was affirmation that my feelings about certain old friendships were right: If I’m not the one who checks in and if the conversation isn’t fully about the other person, there’s really no communication between us. (Pro tip: those aren’t real friendships, and it’s totally fine and healthy to let go of those, guilt-free, which I feel good about doing.)

So, I’m curious: Has this period of quarantine brought any blasts from your past? Have you reached out to anyone you haven’t spoken to in a long time? Have any past hurts been healed? Have any truths been revealed? Do you feel the same or different about anyone you may have been surprised to hear from (or not hear from)?

8 comments… add one
  • Copa May 21, 2020, 2:31 pm

    Hmm. So with one of my childhood friends, who later went on to become a college roommate, we were always very close even when there was physical distance but we drifted apart when she met her now-husband several years ago. After they got together, our once-frequent phone calls stopped. She had less need for me, I guess, and I quickly felt like I was the only one making the effort. So I scaled back, then stopped altogether, and she never picked up the slack. Eventually I mourned/accepted that we were old friends but no longer close friends. We’re talking more now than we have in years, mostly by text but there has been some FaceTime in there. It’s been nice, kinda bittersweet. Curious to see if this will be some kind of friendship reset, and though I love her and do miss our closeness… I don’t really see us being close again.

    I also had an old high school friend that I almost never see or talk to (we reach out when we’re in one another’s cities, but that’s the extent of it) reach out to ask if I wanted to Zoom. And I was down! Another college roommate who I still talk to sporadically did the same.

    I’ve probably been the blast from the past for some people, or that random acquaintance sliding into their DMs.

    I don’t know that there’s been anyone that I thought I’d hear from but haven’t. A few years ago I had appendicitis and it was BAD, I was in and out of the hospital for weeks at a time for over a month. That was a period of my life where I really noticed who was around and reaching out and who wasn’t. The pandemic hasn’t had that same effect on me in terms of reassessing my friendships.

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  • Cleopatra_30 May 21, 2020, 2:41 pm

    The most surprising was my ex of 5 years ago from my undergrad, he was one I had written in about. Wasn’t a particularly turbulent relationship, but being my first serious one and someone I did love at one point it was hard breaking up, and staying that way. Learned a lot from that relationship. Anyways, he reached out to me 2 weeks ago as apparently I was on his FB messenger as ‘active.’ He kindly wrote that he saw my profile picture and hoped I was doing well. Aside from a couple messages back and forth that was it.

    I have had other guys, who were casual in nature, pop back up after months of no contact. So those have been more amusing than sentimental.

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  • Bittergaymark May 21, 2020, 4:57 pm

    I did a much longer update earlier but it vanished.

    All is well in the desert. Charley brought out CLEM this weekend for a visit. CLEM is short for Clementine — and only my favorite cat in all the world! She hasn’t gone anywhere other than the vet in years… but she seems to be right at home. She struts around proudly with her tail up and keeps finding new places to nap. She’s eating and drinking normally. Oh, and using her vacation home litterbox like a world traveler.

    She also hilariously matches everything in this house. Did I subconsciously design this desert escape all around her? One wonders.

    Outside, it’s a cool 84 degrees. Meaning I will start planting the new Ocotillos and Paloverdes shortly. 🙂

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    • Ange1 May 21, 2020, 6:31 pm

      Please post cat pics immediately thankyou

      Also to answer the question my MIL started sending me any news article she could find about corona truthful or not, that was about the only change here. I had to mute her 😒

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      • Bittergaymark May 22, 2020, 12:29 am

        There is one on my facebook. Mark ilvedson. 🙂

      • Ange1 May 22, 2020, 7:05 pm

        She’s SO cute, what a sweet little face

  • Hazel May 22, 2020, 9:41 am

    Clem is beautiful. (just looked at yr pic.) Some of the best cats attach to people over places and make themselves at home right away :).

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    • Bittergaymark May 22, 2020, 10:33 am

      She definitely feels at home here as Charley brought her and of course is still here. Plus she knows me VERY well. I suspect she might get spooked a bit if we went out for an extended period of time or something — but that won’t be happening.

      She’s eating up a storm out here. Hasn’t tried to scratch a thing. (Not that she usually does. ) And she found her vacation litter box almost immediately. She’s definitely digging her little vacay…

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