One of my favorite things about my teenage and young adult friendships was the ability to spend inordinate amounts of time analyzing people, relationships, thoughts, dreams, and so on. We camped out on the phone for hours at a time, and come to think of it, most of those conversations weren’t about what HAPPENED, they were about what it meant, or may mean, that whatever happened happened.

I’m older now and the luxury of spending hours on the phone or hanging out in person has taken a back, back seat to things that need to get DONE. It’s become a new way of life, and none of my previous phone conversation savvy friends — at least, none that I’m still in contact with — do this with anyone anymore, at least not on a regular basis. We all prefer shorter, at-your-convenience types of communication that can be broken up throughout the day, over a number of days. Texting. Emailing. When the phone rings, we’re annoyed and usually perceive ourselves as too busy to pick it up. And who is so demanding as to dare place a phone call, as if requiring my attention NOW? Don’t I have anything to say about when I can or want to talk? Don’t they know it’s dinnertime/driving time/time I’m busy with the spouse/kid/work? The audacity!

So it was that I looked around mentally at my potential contacts tonight, then flipped through my mental Rolodex for someone I can talk to regarding a new friend I have who is fascinatingly puzzling, and about whom I may have suddenly had a psychological breakthrough analysis…and I find nobody I can have that kind of conversation with. Some of the people I used to talk to are still in my life, but they’re busy with their own lives with things that have more pressing urgency (i.e., young kids) than what I need them for. The irony is that this new friend could be the right person to have this kind of conversation with, provided I do it all over email, but I can’t very well talk to someone about themselves and how I think they may have a narcissist disorder and how/why I think that and what it may say about me given how I came to that possible conclusion.

And then I suddenly recall that weeks ago, I’d tried to recruit another new friend into that position (over email), and how it hadn’t gone anywhere, the friend bowing out of contributing to my theories and analyses by claiming insufficient expertise in the area to discuss such with me. I understood, but bummer.

I miss not being an island.