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Bartlesville Babies

September 20, 2006

I was thinking the other day, “I have a bunch of friends who have been married for several years now and none of them have any kids. Crazy!”

Well, it turns out I was wrong. As I have found out through the beauty of MySpace several of my long-lost married B-ville friends have had babies. In fact, several of my old college pals have gotten married. Normally this would be good news, but it made me sad.

How dare my friends, estranged though they may be, have any kind of children or ceremonies without telling me about it. I did everything I could to track them down when I finally graduated from college. And with the notable exception of Julia Butcher, who’s new last name I don’t know cause I didn’t know she got married, I found almost all of them.

So why didn’t these people let me know they were expecting children? Did they think I didn’t care? Did they think informing me of the upcoming birth would be perceived as a shameless ploy to gain baby gifts? Did they remember that babies don’t really trip my trigger?

Okay babies terrify me, but I love these guys and I might love their children enough to get over my fears.

The scariest “what if ?” I came up with was, “what if my old friends don’t care about me anymore? Or maybe I never was as important to them as they are to me.”

That idea really made me sad. Almost as sad as the day I returned to Bartlesville to watch them graduate together, without me. Great now I’ve made myself cry!

But maybe that’s why I’m not all that important to them. True, they aren’t the only ones who didn’t stay in touch. I tracked them down to mail them my graduation announcements, I could have tracked them down for a chat. But the sad truth is life has scattered us across the nation — okay it scattered them. I’m back in Rapid City where I started.

Obviously, I thought about this a lot. I also overreacted a bit. But the whole thing just punctuated how far away my Bartlesville friends all are — even the ones who aren’t married and aren’t having babies they haven’t told me about.

And it all makes me feel that much father from that great place now known as OWU. Each day my the distance from that part of my life grows, and so does my distance from the friends and acquaintances I gained there.

That’s life, right?

But my time at BWC was so formative and so important that even my mere acquaintances became a part of my soul.

To all of my estranged Bartlesville friends, I regret the distance between us, whether avoidable or not. And while I hope we can somehow become close again, I accept the fact that it is unlikely — what with real life getting in the way and all. Plus, most of you are busy with new spouses and children.

I just wanted you to know that you had a hand in altering the direction of my life. Thank you.

Okay now for the good part … I have been blessed enough to find some of these old friends recently on MySpace.

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