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The Yodeler

Uncovering ‘Gerbil Friends’

Written by Ryan Haymore

You know those friends you have in your life of whom you think back and ask, “We used to be so close?” The memories are memorandums of past follies, mistakes, and entertainment. I don’t think we ever try to lose contact with those people or people in general; I genuinely believe life happens and the direction in which we need to grow to orientate us away from each other. Growth will either keep us steered in opposite directions, close nearby or on a path that’ll realign later.

The memories of those old friends may have caused you to think, “I need to reach out to them and reconnect.” Goodness, those thoughts may have preceded actual actions toward reconnection — although, let’s face it, reaching out probably happens five percent of the time. Case in point, how many times have we grabbed at our bodies in the mirror and vowed to “go to the gym tomorrow!” Let’s face it again, motivation in a moment only lasts as long as that moment — it doesn’t stick around to see us through. Meh, that’s a part of life I guess.

However, have you ever actually reached out to someone whom time lost? I have. And let me tell you, I’ve realized that when you try to reconnect, you’ll find two types of people in those you lose in time. The first is what I call the “Time Capsule Friend.” Those people are people you talk to, catch-up with and feel as though time never passed. You can converse, laugh, connect, and stroll down memory lane as if you just saw each other yesterday. The good news is those people are most likely to be the ones you’ll reach out to whenever you reach out.

Be that as it may, there’s a slight chance you’ll reach out to the second type of person. I term this person the “Gerbil Friend.” Allow me to expound on that — a childhood friend’s sister had a gerbil growing up that she neglected to pet. Whenever she’d reach her hand in the cage to pet it, it would bite her fingers and act as if it never knew her. Gerbil Friends are those friends that once you lose contact with for any length of time, there’s no coming right back. With those people, time is utterly lost and reaching out will be met immediately with chillness, biting and weirdness. With that kind of response, who’d ever venture to reach out to an old seemingly forgotten friend? I sure wouldn’t, but I’m glad for when I did.

Despite the risk you run of sticking your hand into the proverbial cage of a potential Gerbil Friend, I still say you should reach out and try to reconnect with those whom you lost contact. What’s the harm, right? More likely than not you’ll reconnect with someone that you realize you never disconnected with at all. A worst case scenario is you attempt to connect with a friend that’s apparently been gnawing at woodchips ever since life drifted you apart.

The connection is vital; friendship is a bond that can last beyond any other. We can see this. This insight separates us from the animals, in addition to our ability to drink copious amounts of wine, but I digress. Gerbil Friends are people too. And like gerbils tend to do, don’t let them piss on your positive feels of reaching out. Reach out. Keep going; reconnect and connect alike!

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Ryan Haymore

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