Last week Diane Davis was in town visiting a lot of her friends from Orange County--many of whom were in school with her at PCC/Hope. In addition to their PCC friendship, she has been one of Kristi's blog buds since Kristi started blogging last year. Even before I started my own blog, I would check out (stalk?) Diane's blog when I read Kristi's. Then, when I cranked up my own blog in January, Diane responded to a couple of my posts--I think the first one was about an Anne Lamott book I'd quoted.
Anyway, when Diane was here in the O.C. she went out of her way to squeeze Lyn and me into her busy "visiting" schedule. I thought that was so neat. And it got me to thinking. In our frantic-paced culture today, sitting down with friends for a period of conversation with no agenda is basically unheard of. Who sits down with a neighbor to chat? Who, besides your family, ever plops down on a living room chair? Do we have to officially "entertain" people to have those kinds of experiences?
Even as cool as our visit with Diane was, it was still somewhat governed by an agenda: "meeting Kristi's parents" in the midst of her very busy trip itinerary. (Meeting again, actually--she'd been in our home years before, but Kristi and Jennifer had so many friends in and out of the house over the years, it was hard to keep track of them all.) Agenda or not, the visit with DD was great.
I remember as a kid when friends just "popped in" for no reason. Just to sit and talk a while, maybe watch some TV (black & white), or play some Monopoly. I even loved being at my Grandma's house and getting to know all her senior-citizen pals. Some of those old ladies had amazing stories to tell. Some of her old-men friends could spin some tall tales in addition to lamenting about the woes of the world--and the Kennedy-Nixon debates!
But it wasn't just old folks that "visited." It was a part of the culture of the 50s and 60s.
Of course, we're much more sophisticated these days with our cellphones, instant-messaging, and mind-boggling schedules. I just regret that we don't get to just spend time with each other. When Diane sat with us in the living room that afternoon, simple face-to-face, non-electronic conversation just happened. Way cool.
I guess the cultural absence of sit-down-for-a-spell visiting is why blogging is such an interesting (and satisfying) phenomenon to me. Not only are people preserving their thoughts in writing, but it's almost like having a real conversation--minus eye-contact. (Especially the comments. Raves, too.) I suppose that's why I wrote what I did yesterday.
In addition to blogging, I would suggest that we look for opportunities for our living room sofas to become acquainted with the backsides of people outside our families. On-the-fly, unscheduled living room ("parlor") visiting can really be a heady experience. If you get a chance, try it! Meanwhile, PLEASE keep blogging!!!