Alternatively stated, “Death Rate Holding Steady at 100%” says The Onion Headline. Let’s stop sweeping both these topics under the rug. I freely admit I have not used Algebra once this week. I did not understand it when favorite teacher John Duda taught me, and even when I got it right I could not explain it to Mr. Duda when he asked. We all had great respect for the man, but when it came to his course in Algebra, I believe most of the Board of Education book was written in Klingon. Thank goodness that this educational black hole has not kept me from my work as a trial attorney. Actually the lack of mathematical acuity caused me to be a lawyer — as in, “Steve could not get a real job.”
Enough nonsense and on to important subjects for my friends. A Philadelphia writer for the Wall Street Journal proposes that we need to consider dropping some friends as we get older. She says retirement encourages us to throw out stuff in our offices and homes that is no longer relevant to our current lives. So, why not do the same to friends!
We all have friends in different eras, but they come with baggage and some unwanted memories. This is a bit more than the add-and-delete-a-friend on social media. She suggests letting some just lapse on their own. That is, just stop sending cards and emails or calling them. So those connections just wither away. So, all you college girls who were unavailable for dates due to major hair washing that weekend and dead grandmothers, I am tossing you into the memory can. Really you cannot have more than two natural grandmothers to pass away. The few hundred of you in that group are now dead to me. I feel better already.
Rather than be cold-hearted about this, I find that many of the long ago friends have just naturally dropped out of the memory bank. At the periodic school reunions when asked: “You don’t remember me, do you?” I often say you are right: “I don’t have a clue”. It is not conceit or anything of the like. Some password or telephone number has just pushed them out of the memory. If you know Algebra, you know there is a finite space in the mind and I must have used it up and Earl got squeezed out. My favorite grade school kid’s drawing is the equation and the directions to find “X”, and the kid draws an arrow to the X and says: “There it is.” To me that is Algebra at its highest and best use.