With the explosion of social networking, I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately about relationships suffering because people are now isolating themselves on the internet, hiding behind “false personas” and “superficial connections”. I have to say that in my experience (so far, anyway) nothing could be further from the truth.
Thanks to Facebook and blogging and email, I have never enjoyed so many tasty hors d’oeuvres of friendships in my life. I get to keep up with old but hardly-seen friends and I get to meet new ones. I know these are not the same as real-life, in-the-same-room, no-holds-barred, you-know-all-my-secrets kind of friendships, but they have turned out to be pretty scrumptious just the same. And very satisfying.
These tapas friendships offer a lot of different flavours in one sitting: the spicy one, the soft one, the sweet, the crunchy, the wild. Each “dish” feeds a different need in me. And each one has sustained me in a different way, much like the finest meals have done, just in smaller portions and in more unexpected preparations.
Tapas friendships seem to offer a lot of unconditionals––maybe because there are so few expectations. No one takes it personally if you don’t engage with every thought. And support is so easy to offer because there are no grudging personal histories. Oh my god, the support! Who had this kind of support 10 years ago? I mean, really? I never even knew it possible to feel such warmth and affection on such a grand scale. And who doesn’t thrive with extra and unexpected servings of attention, love, and encouragement?
In fact, we might be on to something. Maybe we can get rid of those chunts who insist on using the internet to spread hate and villainy by feeding the world one tasty morsel of loving friendship at a time. To one deserving diner at a time.
So don’t be offended if I consider you my tapas. Trust that it means I think you’re tasty and satisfying. And if you let me have yours, I’ll let you have mine.
Deb: I love the tapas friendship. Because in my experience––to your point, Barb––the tapas friend has surprised me again and again. It seems like tiny little tapas (yes I know tiny is redundant), but when the chips are down it serves up as a main course complete with salad, soup, and your choice of rice pudding or chocolate mousse. Because the bottom line is ... people constantly surprise me. Friends I have expected the world from, have sometimes let me down, and friends I expected very little from have stepped up and killed me––just killed me––with kindness and support.
But it does not matter because ultimately, I will happily take all the love and friendship you can give me. At this point in my life I relish every kind word and motivating speech. I will take any positive words, accolades, reinforcements, regards, kudos, loves, likes, or “she’s okay”s that you can offer. Bring me the antipasto of friendship and I will supply the bread and the oil. Happily and gratefully.
And PS: we made Round Two (last round) of the Canadian Blogger Awards for Best Personal Blog 2010!! We want to thank you all for supporting us to get to this round. You are the best readers ever!! Voting closes Oct 26 at noon for this the final round. Apparently you can vote once a day (edited to say: once every 24 hours) … but only if you love us once a day, even just a tapas little :-)