|Scan of an old University of Chicago|
postcard - to me it epitomizes
As I have been anticipating her visit, straightening out the apartment, helping my husband clear his office which is also our guest room, getting work off my plate, and planning outings and a little side trip, I realized what a great privilege it is to have a friend visit. I mean really travel, in her case across an ocean, just to visit me and my family.
When I saw another friend recently at my former online writers' group conference, he thanked me again for having visited him and his wife two years prior. I was a bit puzzled by this. Wasn't I the one who had to thank him, because they had hosted me, showed me around, spoiled me? Of course, yes, but I am now realizing that it is also a great gift if a friend comes to visit, takes time out of his or her life, just to be with you, to see how you live, and what your life is like. It is a true act of friendship.
On that note, an interesting op-ed on friendship appeared in the Wall Street Journal this past weekend: Aristotle Wouldn't Friend you on Facebook. Basically, the author argues that the friendships of millennials like herself are less personal than those of her parents and grandparents: "Why visit a person, write a letter, deliver a card, or even pick up the phone when we can simply click a 'like' button?" She's bemoaning this, and I have to say I agree. I cringe at the fact that I had to find out about a good friend's mother dying via a cryptic Facebook post, and I consider myself fortunate to still have plenty of friendships that are personal. In which, for instance, a friend comes to visit.