Today, I'm sharing over at Relevant. “We’ll keep in touch.”
This is the collegiate equivalent to writing HAGS! (Have a Great Summer!) or Don’t ever change! or I wish I had gotten to know you better! in someone’s yearbook when you graduate high school. It’s polite sentiment, acceptable intimacy, and commits us to everything we wish we could bring ourselves to feel without ever having to feel it.
As freshly minted young adults turned out from four years of college facing hiring options and reruns during the summer, checking our phones every few minutes to see if our once close friends still remembered that we’re breathing, we are left with the annoying anxiety that our lives weren’t supposed to end up like this.
If we believe the television—and many of us do—the ties we formed carefully over our collegiate career or any period of high-pressure intimacy, were supposed to ferry us into the embrace of adulthood and provide comfort when rent came due or break-ups snapped.
According to the movies, we all have a clever best friend who—no matter what time we called, pouring coffee out of a stainless steel french press and about to sit down to a dinner in good company, would wax long poetic to us when we mourned our bank statement before he offered a bit of cracking, wise insight as the music swelled (because in this world, we live set to a soundtrack scored by Ben Gibbard) and everything that had ever needed explaining would be majestically made clear. We would be reassured, and then we would have dessert.
Grey’s Anatomy lied to us. Meredith and Christina’s tight-knit friendship, which was identified most clearly by their reference to one another as each other’s person, is perhaps sustainable only in a world of 24 episode seasons an hour a week with hiatus during summer and midwinter. For outside of a carefully crafted script, we usually don’t end up having an actual person, let alone the poet friend waiting patiently and perennially by the phone.