We have been away from home now for over three months. And in that three months I have learned many things. I have learned that Italians like to correct your grammar, that they text and drive, that a mixed seafood antipasto is really all you need for dinner, that my husband is a patient man (okay I knew that), that I really should do a photography course, and that sunflowers are at their best in late July. I’ve also learned that my friends are crap correspondents.
I’ve always known that I tend to find it easier to email or write than others do. I don’t know if that is a reflection of how needy I am (talk to me! read me! remember me!), or if it is a reflection of my wish to keep connections alive, or simply that I find it easy to sit down and chat with my fingers, when others don’t. On this trip I’ve blogged and face-booked. I know that people are reading the blog, but the comments are usually from other bloggers, rather than friends or family. One friend (who will be reading this) has given herself a temporary reprieve from inclusion in the CCF category (Crap Correspondent Friend/Family) after a couple of decent messages, telling me of a completely new job weeks after she started. (Hmmm, maybe she shouldn’t get that reprieve!). My younger sister has generally responded to an email or two, and we’ve skyped or texted. (My older sister gets a reprieve for other reasons.) And one sister-in-law has kept in touch, enjoying the fact that for once we are both in the same (or similar) time zone. But other than that, there has been a deathly silence. Lots of “likes” on FB. But frequently, nary a word there, my blog, or in my empty email inbox.
I guess it seems from my blog that I’m so busy running around having an exciting time I don’t need to hear from my friends and family. I hope that they don’t feel that their daily lives aren’t as exciting as mine right now (they shouldn’t), and that’s why they are silent. Or of course, maybe they’re just busy. The thing is, after almost four months away, I’ve had a total of half a day with friends in Slovenia, about four days in Qatar with family, and just recently a visit from a friend for four days. Eight and a half days out of 103 where we’ve had someone to talk to other than each other. Because let’s face it, waiters and landladies and even Italian teachers don’t really count. These conversations are superficial. Temporary. They provide light relief, grammar tips, but no real connection. That’s why friends and family are so important. And I miss them. But, as much as I love them, I do have to say that they are – by and large – crap correspondents.