I sort of let friend requests pile up on Goodreads. I’m over a thousand friends at this point and I seem to get a new friend requests every other day. But every 3-4 weeks, the number hits about 15 and I think, ‘Time to sort through them.’
So, with the greatest intention in the world, I tell myself I will be real selective this time. Only people with lots of books. Who actually write reviews. In English so I can actually understand them. And share my tastes.
I open the first profile. She has marked 397 books read…but only written 1 review. I click on “compare books” just in case. We rate books 75% similar. I feel vaguely guilty about not accepting. We’ve got common tastes! So in she goes.
The next profile has only read only 19 books, written 0 reviews, and has a profile entirely in Arabic so I can’t understand a word of it. But I click “compare books” anyway. We have Gulliver’s Travels and Oliver Twist in common on our read list. I waffle for a moment and decide to make a decision later.
I can read the next profile only too well. It proudly denotes the user’s age (14), birth date (September), boyfriend’s name (Liam), likes (Justin Bieber), dislikes (celery & her sister). She has written 0 reviews and appears to mostly to read 1 Direction fan fiction. But I know instantly I will accept her request and keep half an eye out for her. She’s too young and revealing too much information. Could be a fake account, of course. But if it isn’t, she should have someone watching out for her.
The next friend request hails from India and describes herself as an “aggressive reader.” She also marked Heidi as her favorite novel, which strikes my sense of humor. I glance at the books we have in common and her review of The Fault In Our Stars is four words long: “I did not cry.” Still chuckling, I hit accept.
The next request is from an author. I’m leery of accepting authors. They usually want you to read their books. Which sometimes works out. But too often doesn’t…
And so it goes. By the end I’ve usually accepted everybody and feel vaguely disgruntled with myself for doing so. But each profile promises something new and interesting!
But I like friends! So if you’re on Goodreads and read my blog, definetely send me a friend request.I’ve always got room for more.
Today was unusually full of people for me. My boss actually came in to work (he volunteers so that isn’t intended to be as passive aggressive a statement as it sounds) and then I was in a brainstorming meeting that lasted almost 4 hours. And then I went and visited a friend and her kids!
And by golly if I wasn’t hoarse by the time I got back!
But it was lovely to talk and see my friends and visit, however briefly. And if that means I turn into a chatterbox…well, have to get it all out! I never know when I will see people next!
My friend Tori wrote some thoughts about coming of age in the “purity” movement and as I have been part of many of these conversations (and life experiences!) she mentions, I thought I’d share her thoughts instead of a post from me today. I always love her blog posts! ❤ I might try and sketch out some of my own thoughts one of these days.
I needed a little black dress for a bachelorette party I’m attending (In Montana in less than a week! YAY). It was sheer luck that I actually found one that fit me right away. The following conversation about took place between me and Alex:
Me: It shows my cleavage a bit though.
Me: That doesn’t bother you?
Alex: Does it bother you?
Me: Nooo… I just want to make sure you’re okay with me wearing it. You’re sure?
Alex: Of course, I trust you, it’s not like you’re going to go try and get a bunch of random dudes’ attention with it while you’re out partying. If you’re comfortable with it I am.
It was a weird feeling. Because while I knew I didn’t think it was wrong, and obviously Alex didn’t care, I still felt a little guilty buying it, like I was doing something wrong.
I love buying gifts for people. But problematically, most of my friends live far away and I am not always so great at following up and mailing the gifts.
Case in point: today I mailed my friend her Christmas present.
Actually, today I mailed 7 packages. And got two letters out. And then came home and realized I forgot about another possible package. Whoops.
It all ended up being quite the adventure, though. I dragged Bethany with me and the first post office I went to didn’t have any big enough boxes in storage for most of my gifts so then I went to Office Depot to pick up supplies and realized I could send through FedEx there. Turns out, it would have been a lot faster to grab the supplies and gone back to the post office because none of the employees felt confident about working their super slow computer to print the labels and everything took 5x longer than I expected.
But they did half-jokingly offer Bethany and I a job after seeing our great packaging skills.
By the time we left , I realized I accidentally left another gift in the car so then we went to a second post office where I apparently grabbed the not-yet-on-sale Father’s Day envelope instead of the actually on-sale Mother’s Day envelopes. (The one I grabbed was blue and seemed a better option than pink and hearts. IDK.)
I usually do trivia Wednesday nights. It started casually this summer. I joked that they called me when they couldn’t find anyone else to join the team. For a while there around the holidays when I heard nothing from them, I thought they’d dropped me entirely. (‘Voted off the trivia team’ is not a badge I wore proudly.)
But turns out, they just weren’t doing trivia. Life commitments cropped up. And over the last few months, I’ve become as much a regular as anyone. An Ole Fashion Part of the Team.
Due to schedule conflicts, we went to a “different” trivia tonight. And the place was so packed, we actually didn’t get a spot so we didn’t go to trivia at all. We all trooped over to a nearby restaurant.
And I feel really grateful for it.
I’m grateful for a lot of things. I’m grateful for the friends who’ve reached out over the past week. Sograteful. I’m grateful for the friends who’ve stood by me as I’ve processed my initial waves of grief. I’m grateful for my family.
But I was struck tonight with gratitude for little things like tonight. Time to pass around the latest political gossip. Time to shake heads at the recent season of The Bachelor. Time to compare beers and sandwiches and talk about job interviews and opportunities. All those little moments of friendship that I’ve missed living in Madison. And I’m grateful for it.
People assume that because I read an enormous amount, I am good at trivia.
Fun fact: I am not good at trivia.
At least, not bar trivia. I know nothing of sports, pop culture, geography, or music. And guess which topics dominate?
Some friends invite me every few weeks to join their trivia group and I go and I usually provide nothing to the team. At most I can claim a knowledge of history, but one of my teammates is a far bigger history buff than I am and usually knows the answer. (Though, actually, once, several glorious months ago, I answered a sports question: it was pole vaulting. And I suppose the one time a law question came up, I got that too)
But last night…I did it. I knew the answer to the question and no one else at my table did. Such a moment of triumph. And the category? Literature.
So if you ever need someone who can recognize an Emily Dickinson poem at your trivia night, I’m your woman.
Merry Christmas Eve, friends! I hope you all have a wonderful day. I’ve got the house to myself for a very brief moment before the rest of my family returns from various Christmas related activities. It is quite peaceful. I hit my final reading goal for the year.
I will probably keep saying this what with all the holidays one after another but…thank you to all my readers! To friends and family and strangers. I appreciate your continued support and love. It keeps me motivated.
I recently gave a law school bound college student a piece of advice I am bad at following: I told him to make sure he finds non-law school friends.
I actually have quite a few non-law school friends. (And arguably very few law school friends at the school with me!) But I have not developed a consistent network of “in real life” friends here in Madison. So if I know you here, you’re probably connected to the law school…somehow.
Some old AFP co-workers invited me to a belated “friendsgiving” tonight. It sounded rather awkward as I did not know who the host would be or who else was invited. But after a day spent helping undergrads prep for the final Saturday…I jumped at the chance of being around ‘adults.’
Or at least non-students.
And I sure am glad I went. Most, but not all, of the people present worked in politics. But I was the only student. It was fun. It was casual. And most of all, it was a refreshing reminder about how normal people my age live and talk.
So I guess if I was giving advice to that same student, I’d tweak what I say. Instead of non-law school friends, I’d clarify…in real life non-students. Preferably ones your age. Because even you cannot be all law all the time.