Posted by: Joan Spiller | February 7, 2011

Facebook, Friends an’ stuff

So as I was lying in bed this morning texting Jackie in Christchurch, as well as Facebooking Jackie in Christchurch (she’s very high maintenance!) I got to thinking about communication and how much it’s changed over the years.

I wonder how long it’ll be (or has it already happened?) before “facebooking” someone is a common verb in our vernacular? As in documented, not just ‘known’ of. We shall see ..

Anyway I digress..

Back in the early 80’s, I had a penpal. (I should look him up – he’s probly on facebook) his name was Andrew. He lived in Rotorua. I can still recall his address, cos I wrote to him every single week for many years.

I vaguely recall getting his name from one of those Christian magazines Mum littered the house with. In the kids section there was a penpals area and I found a boy my own age and sent him a letter.

Imagine my surprise when he wrote back!

Andy and I kept in contact for over 10yrs. He almost made me fail a School C exam cos he turned up on his motorcycle all cool in leathers and told me he wanted to take me to the beach for the day. I nerded out and did the exam but we went to the beach straight after 😉

Last I heard he was married with kids, and living up North somewhere. Again. Must facestalk him and say hello.

So we were in our early teens and we wrote the usual things teens talked of back then. I complained about school, my brother, my Mother and Father and whatever else ailed this spotty teen at the time.

We didn’t text; we didn’t FB, Tweet, Stumble or Reddit each other. We didn’t poke each other (not that Mum ever believed me!) nor did we Skype, MSN, AOL, IM, AIM, ICQ or Yahoo each other.

We wrote letters.

With paper and pen and stamps and stuff. We had this lil scam we ran where we’d cellotape the stamp to the envelope so we could reuse it. In our defence, stamps weren’t cheap – they were 10c by golly!! We got away with it a surprising number of times lol

And we wrote LONG letters.

He was a fabulous pen pal. He had an older sister as I recall.. dunno if there was any other siblings .. but he clearly had time on his hands cos he wrote religiously (hahah). He would respond to every single comment I’d made in my diatribes to him too.

It wasn’t uncommon to have a 10 page letter winging back and forth between HB and Rotorua! We shared every thought and feeling that was raging thru our teenage brains. I don’t think I have any of the letters now which is a shame cos I’d love to read them but oh well.. perhaps some things are best left in the dim recesses of the past lol

Where am I going with this? Not too sure, but I guess it got me to thinking, it’s kinda funny how people can be so terribly important to us at various times in our lives and yet we move on and they slot into that “memories” part of your life ..

I used to fret at that happening but have come to realise it has to happen. We simply do not have the capacity to be all things to all people and as we progress thru various stages in life, so our friends change too.

Mind you, being filed away in someone’s memory banks as a friend from ‘back then’ aint all bad really.. Least I don’t think so.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to go “friend” Andy on facebook..



  1. So did you ever find Andrew?


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