Saturday night was the holiday party around these parts, and it was a pretty great time. We ate and drank and laughed and danced. We were inspired by generosity; warmed by friendship.
And another thing happened too that maybe wasn’t quite the best part: people got drunk. Yes, there were some who partook a bit too liberally which, perhaps, caused some equally liberal dance moves to pour forth. And along with the dance moves (or lack thereof) were the conversations that occurred. Drunkspeak that is a steady flow of superlatives and hugs and I love you man’s. On the sober side of things, these chats are interesting, comical, and memorable.
But it is not so for the intoxicated party.
Today is Monday after a long weekend for some, and it is quite a phenomenon to be greeted with a tidy, mannerly, “Hey, man,” from a guy who had just 36 hours prior gushed with love for me and my wife (whom he had just met) for twenty minutes. He told us all about his break-up and his move and his love for golf and his dream dog, and yes, about his love for us. But now, on Monday, that is all gone. At least for him it is. “Hey, man,” is all that remains.
And it makes me think about my day-to-day interactions with folks. Sometimes, totally sober, I can make interactions totally one-sided. I spend time with a person that fades as soon as we go our separate ways. “I’ll pray for you,” I may offer . . . maybe, I don’t really recall because the moment is gone—the self-serving conversation a blur at best.
Conversation is what we have. It is our means of connection, the first point of friendship. It is where vulnerability is shared, and help is found. It is where causes are born, and where the world is changed—in both small and big ways. Conversation is where love is born. Often, though, I think we just view it as a passing burden: deal with it, and move on.
I don’t begrudge the intoxicated for forgetting some of the details of the other night—in fact, it might be good that they have forgotten the eight-minute running man they did in the bathroom or the off-key karaoke they condemned those waiting in the taxi line to.
But today, on this sluggish Monday, perhaps it is time to listen, to remember, and to engage? So let’s drink to that—to conversation and joining it. Let’s see where that takes us.