Friday, December 4, 2015

Finding Christmas

On our way to town, Ginger mentioned a blog post she had read. A person well known to those who push boundaries had been at it again. Instead of the usual anti-wireless rant, he was singing cellular smartphone praises.
Accompanying his pro-instant communication words was a photo of people on a train a hundred years ago. They were isolated from one another by the newspapers they held outstretched at eye level. Riding along, they read about the world and contemplated it in a frame of mind relative to their beliefs; together, but alone.
I have often had this same thought. When others are crying out at the disconnect modern communication devices have created, my mind wanders to the people who have found their way into my life because of them. Today’s smartphones, tethered to the internet, have taken the world and made it our neighborhood. A friend for everyone awaits online. It’s wonderful – to a point.
Year after year Christmas sneaks up on me. I know it’s coming, the signs have been up for weeks, and yet it vanishes without a memory. My small and contracting family barely makes a family these days. And even if it did, we all have different tangents to address. As for Ginger, she's indifferent to my idea of a celebration. That leaves making this holiday memorable to friends.
Pondering this issue at length, the other day I came up with a fun and easy solution to my search for Christmas. I would tell everyone that I would be sitting at a certain establishment, between the hours of 4 and 8 pm, on December 12th and to stop by for a drink. The location was to be a piano bar, serving excellent bourbon*, to the sounds of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Since I couldn’t find such a thing in Louisville, The Old Seelbach Bar would have to do. It’s close.
While imagining the fun of seeing friends, sharing a drink, and swapping great stories, reality hit me. Chances are pretty good I’d be there by myself. Time and again, I have read the old adage, “If you have more than one true friend in life, then you are a lucky man.” I believe that’s true. Now, more than ever, in a society where everyone is called “friend,” true ones are difficult to find. I’ve been lucky enough to end up with a few. There’s only one problem.
This would have been a nice touch - an ugly sweater get-together.
Thanks to modern communication devices, my friends are out of reach. All but one live hundreds to thousands of miles away. Smartphones and the internet are largely to blame for this.
Combine a background of flying with technology and people are sure to spread out. Living almost anywhere and keeping a job is possible and that’s what many do. Add that mobility to families and some will live where the wife wants to live. Others will pick a place where their Olympic-bound child can get the best training. And others will be helping out elderly parents in some random town. Whatever the case, there’s a great chance friends aren’t going to be anywhere near each other. That sucks.
I wonder if my Samsung Galaxy likes bourbon?

*Reading over this now that it's done makes me laugh.   Although I rarely drink, someone who doesn't know me very well would likely think otherwise.   Oh well, when I do something I try to do it right.

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