Firstly, to the uninitiated, or those who simply don’t know, I am gay. SURPRISE! I am qualifying this remark by writing today about a piece of music from a classic musical, most often the domain of fabulous people such as myself. Quoting lyrics from musicals is common-place for me, so hopefully none of this will come as a shock. But now down to business.
In ‘My Fair Lady’ Lerner and Lowe wrote a song called ‘Show Me!’ In the song, Eliza is frustrated with Professor Higgins’ inability to express his emotions, and when Freddie starts to profess his love for her, he gets mad, and sings, in part: “Haven't your lips Longed for my touch? Don't say how much, Show me! Show me! Don't talk of love lasting through time. Make me no undying vow. Show me now! Sing me no song! Read me no rhyme! Don't waste my time, Show me!” and so on.
Her angry tirade is appropriate to how I am feeling at the moment, although with a few slight differences. Firstly, I realize I live in the far off land or Canada, and also in the boondocks, according to just about everyone, so I don’t expect everyone to show up at my door. Secondly I strongly believe in the power of words, as I spend most of my day using them. Having said that, let me try and explain what I mean when I say to you “Show Me!”
When someone professes to be my friend, I find it so frustrating to have to always be the one who picks up the phone, or starts the conversation. The joy of communication in a modern age is this: communication mediums work both ways. Granted, I talk a lot. I write a lot. I blog quite a lot (some would argue I should blog more, other less). But if I am your friend, shouldn’t you put in the effort too? Shouldn’t you also check in to see how I am doing? Shouldn’t you want to know what’s going on in my life? I know I post stuff on Facebook etc, but (and sorry to disillusion anyone here) I don’t post everything about what’s going on on there.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do understand we all have our own lives to lead, and things happen beyond our control to prevent us from communicating with friends. But when that one day of being out of touch turns into weeks on end, don’t you think about your friends? Don’t you wonder how they are doing? What they are doing? Don’t you wonder if they are ok? Or wonder what lies beneath the facebook statuses? Or, indeed, between them?
I know this sounds a little like an attention seeking plea – and I suppose it truly is, but as someone who places a very high value on their friendships, I don’t feel it is too much to ask. I guess in some way, I feel tired of playing second fiddle to people who I care about on many levels. I find it hurtful and painful that while I sit somewhat alone on a daily basis, other people who are friends don’t seem to be arsed about how I am. It leaves me feeling alone and isolated, and not very valued at all. Am I placing too much value on my friendships? I don’t think so, but perhaps I am.
So there is a lesson here for those of you who have friends in your life: take a little time out – say ‘Hi, how are you’, reach out and communicate – I DO believe in the power of words to brighten a day, to change a mood and definitely to save a life – I have seen it happen. This is important, because if you ignore your friends when things are good in your life, don’t be surprised if they ignore you when you truly need their support in bad times.