If you had me alone, locked up in your house for twenty-four hours and I had to do whatever you wanted me to, what would you have me do?
The aspect of the described scenario involving compulsion disturbs me a bit. But - hey - it is just for fun right? And with that in mind I responded to the meme posted by a few friends on LiveJournal. And the thing I found interesting was that it forced me to contemplate how I may interact with friends one-on-one.
Now for many in society one-on-one is the normal way in which friendships are conducted. But for me I still move in groups that facilitate friendships in the short-term but - I suspect - can inhibit them in the long-term. I have commented on the phenomena of friendship groups before. A few times now in my life I have become almost infatuated with groups as distinct from the persons in those groups. But I think feelings of attachment to groups will only serve one so well so far.
I participated in the recent Canberra Intervarsity Choral Fiesta (CIV) which was a wonderful showcase of the diverse talents of IVers (whether they sing or play instruments or play-act or compere or make merchandise or just organize everything). One of the regular events at IVs is an evening of watching what are effectively the home movies of past IVs. We looked at footage from the last time Canberra hosted IV back in 2003 and what struck me was both continuity and change. As a legal fiction IV was the same thing. As a cultural construct it was similar. But as a unique set of faces it was very different.
Groups change - markedly - over the course of several years. It is fantastic to have the opportunity to make new friends. But it is also worthwhile to preserve friendships over time. And if friends move on from a particular scene then that necessitates finding ways of staying in contact once the convenient setting is removed. Which takes me back to that meme.
Over time the ways in which I reckon the closeness of friendships has changed. As a very young adult (undergraduate age) the end-all-and-be-all for me was the rambling conversation. Since then I have recognized other ways of relating that are of value to me. Sometimes it is shared experiences whether challenging or fun. Sometimes it is incidents of reciprocal kindness. Sometimes it is just some difficult-to-define affinity that transcends personal differences. I suppose over time a degree of all these things is important to preserving friendships. O and food and drink... and comfy living rooms... and music... and story-telling. And refreshing walks if only the meme would allow one to go outside.
Update: This refers in part to CIV and I have indexed my seven IVs as of 2013 in this post.