Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Silence is so NOT golden

Finally got a nice, long email from my best friend. My first of any consequence/content since March 8! I was so happy I almost hugged my laptop.

Why has he been so quiet? It's just as I suspected, which is better than what I'd feared.

On March 1, he entered his seventh month of unemployment. All the leads have dried up. He's volunteering at his daughters' private school, helping them revamp their marketing materials. As he wrote, "It gets me out of the house and gives me the opportunity to interact with people." Beyond that, he says he has nothing to say. That made me sad. I remember when we used to compare notes about everything -- news of the day, his daughters' varied interests, his dogs, my cats, movies, music ... but his lack of success on the job front is getting him down and he's pulling into himself. That worries me.

He and his oldest daughter are spending next week in New York and Pennsylvania. She wants to check out some colleges and he's taking her. I suspect his in-laws (his FIL is, quite literally, a millionaire), are footing the bill. I didn't ask because, well, he hates taking money from them, though his wife sees nothing wrong with it.* So instead I checked out what's playing on Broadway and recommended shows that might be good for him and his eldest. I was happy and impressed to see how many shows that are now hits on Broadway actually opened here in Chicago.

What I'd feared was that my friend's mother was sick again. Recently she had a panic attack that mimicked heart trouble and her scare scared him.

But no, what's he's dealing with it more garden variety, more typical. Of course, by saying this I'm not diminishing how he's been suffering. Joblessness can be soul numbing. The longer this damn Recession drags on, the heavier its toll.



*His wife isn't evil. It's just that she sees the money as something between her and her father -- they have a very complicated relationship. I just wish she was a little more sensitive to the impact of taking the money on her husband.

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