On a unhurried spring evening, I dropped in on a gathering of good friends that I see irregularly. Many came out, but I settled in a good one-on-one conversation with a longtime friend.
Our usual conversation revolves around ideas and schemes and analysis, though this time it veered into a dimension we don’t usually explore: her relationship with her partner. At the moment, he was away for work and their contact was limited. His access to technology was poor and unreliable, which made for frustrating attempts to stay in contact. I listened intently as she articulated her irritation about missing elements of her relationship that had, up until then, been readily available: sending text messages, airing out unfiltered minutiae about the day, running fingers through hair. Her descriptions of this period of disconnect made me think of the closeness that they normally shared.
So while I tried to be a good friend and let her vent, I didn’t fully understand…the felt need that she was expressing. That conversation has stuck with me, though. Maybe it’s because I just didn’t expect her to feel that way. It wasn’t until I recently had a series of fulfilling conversations that helped me find words for the following thought:
The closer you are with a person, the more interesting you find the mundane details of his/her life.