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Saying Goodbye: Here, You’d Best Get Used to It

by Borderstan.com November 11, 2011 at 11:00 am 2 Comments

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When you live in DC, you have to get used to saying “goodbye.” (Luis Gomez Photos)

Borderstan recently welcomed a new contributor in the Lifestyle section. In “Borderstan Candids,” Candida Mannozzi will be sharing her observations about people, places and general things she observes in the neighborhood. She owned Candida’s World of Books on 14th Street NW. Today’s column is a special one, and she will return Thanksgiving week.

From Candida Mannozzi. You can reach her at [email protected].

Borderstan, I don’t think it matters how long you live in DC. This will happen to you, so you might as well brace for it. At some point during your life here (if you live here long enough this will happen to you more than once), a dear friend will break your heart with news of their move.

Yes, they or their fiance/partner/spouse landed that dream job in Manhattan, San Francisco, Paris or Austin and off they have to go. Being the supportive friend that you are, you will of course be delighted for them, truly. But let’s face it: your social life is about to have a gaping hole ripped right out of it and you can essentially do nothing — nada de nada — about it.

Borderstan, I’ve noticed that we cede many good people to other cities. I suppose there’s some minor comfort in the fact that most of them move to cool new places. We seem to be a finishing school for folks who other urban centers happily scoop up and pride themselves on, after they’ve become hipper, more urbane, more international and more well-rounded thanks to their time in our diverse urban enclave. Borderstan, we can pride ourselves on having all manner of close connections in cities around the U.S. and the rest of the world. Miami, beat that!

Yet, local pride notwithstanding, it hurts to lose a close friend, to see them move away. No more impromptu Stoney’s dinners; gone are the last-minute Whole Foods runs for a game night party; goodbye bike rides in Rock Creek Park when you conspire to take a “slick” day; adieu to “he said/she said” phone calls, as you make your separate ways home from another grueling workday. Not to mention the happy hours at Number Nine, Cork, Bar Pilar or Busboys & Poets, to list just a few local haunts. Fuggedaboudit.

Right now I am reeling from yet another such loss: a dear friend moved to… Seattle. Yeah, not even to Manhattan, which an easy bus or train ride can temporarily fix. No, Seattle. Read: “advance planning and travel arrangements required.” Sigh.

Then again, maybe the sigh is not entirely warranted.

Here’s the deal: In my 13-plus years here, I’ve lost my fair share of dear friends to other places. However, “lost” is no longer the term I choose to use. I am turning the tables on this DC phenomenon and referring to it as: we’ve just primed yet another fabulous person for (enter destination). Now we have access to a friend in a new, cool place and the next long weekend or national holiday will see me using my frequent flyer miles or grabbing a rental car to get over there, then post about our happy visit on Facebook for our DC home-buddies!

Borderstan, I say we continue cultivating our friends and neighbors, as we will only gain from it, whether they stay or go. Come to think of it, has anyone noticed more folks staying, lately?

Comments (2)

  1. “Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.” ~ Henry David Thoreau. Whether you are the leaver or the leave-e goodbyes are hard. But modern technology allows for contact to be maintained even at a distance. Cold, digital consolation, I know, but consolation nonetheless.

  2. Thank you for the lovely Thoreau quote! And yes, technology allows for ongoing happy exchanges, so it’s good consolation indeed.

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