Juliet, Juliet, Wherefore Art Thou?

on Saturday, November 24, 2007

I am not good at keeping friends. I don't mean that I get into arguments with them and end up lifetime enemies. No, it's just that I keep misplacing them.

It all boils down to the fact that I am or have been very bad at keeping in touch by correspondence and soon lose touch when they move around. When I discovered Google and other search engines on the internet, I actually was successful in finding some of my missing friends.

One of them, I traced by visiting a BBS site on United Kingdom culture and folklore (the sort of thing he might be interested in) and leaving an strong insult that only he would understand and sure enough he replied after a couple of weeks to my calling card.

This particular individual I was able to trace over a period of 15 years even though he tried to ditch me by shifting at regular intervals. The last time was the hardest and I had to resort to writing a letter to a known work colleague at his previous job before I could locate him. Happily, this led to him visiting me in Malaysia about a year later.

Altogether, I have found 5 others via the internet search engines and am still in contact with 4 of them. The last one dropped off the radar in the last 5 years. However, there are a couple of people that I have failed to locate entirely and one of them is Juliet.

Juliet Wilson is a friend from my time at Chelsea College, University of London. How long ago was this? It was during the time of the Falklands War. If you didn't even know that there was such a thing, I suggest you Google it.

Juliet was studying to be a nurse and she shared a flat with two other sweet girls which we took to call the "Bickley Sisters" on account of their closeness to one another and the name of the street where they lived. This was a place that always made visitors feel welcome.

We both served in the Christian Union committee and also grew close through that. Somehow though we seemed to hit it off and we were always able to share our problems with one another.

Juliet was to teach me one of my most profound lessons about friendship. I went through a period of severe depression brought on by my inability to cope with low self-esteem, emotional pressures from my family and my helplessness to help certain dear friends who were going through immense suffering. One day during a break in sessions , in my desperation to just get out of my darkened room and to see some sun, I just called Juliet out of the blue and asked if I could spend the weekend at her home in Winchester.

In retrospect, it was quite something that I was asking. She might have had better plans for her time than to spend it baby-sitting a morosely depressed friend who was no fun at all. Her parents were not at home that weekend which may also have been a problem as it was not her custom to entertain gentlemen in her home alone. I believe she might have had a boyfriend then who also might not have appreciated this scenario.

All I can say is thanks. Juliet, the fact that you said yes to my request without any hesitation (at least as far as I could tell), was very important to me. In fact, all the rambling conversations that weekend and even the way I panicked when I met your parents at the end of the stay, all taught me something about myself and my underlying psychological issues which was the turning point for me in battling depression. You made me realise that friendship and other worthy causes were bigger than social rules and pressures.....an important lesson for me.

Anyway, miserable being that I am, I have also misplaced her somewhere in this world. Hence my plaintive cry, "Juliet, Juliet...wherefore art thou?"

I am hoping she is happily married with kids and living in South Africa. If my some remarkable miracle, one of you readers knows fair Juliet, I hope you will let me know. With my good fortune of re-finding friends via Google, I am hoping Blogger will also perform, so I am not giving up hope at all.


Janice Thomson said...

Gosh I did a double take Lgs. I visit a blog Crafty Green Poet whose owner's name is Juliet Wilson who lives in Edinburgh. You may have seen her commenting on my site. I don't believe it's the same one but the coincidence sure surprised me!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Alas, tis not her, this Juliet of which thou speakest. An English rose is she and not a Scottish Bluebell.

Tai said...

What a lovely memory to have of someone...even if you never find her, you'll still have that.
Though, of course, I wish you luck. A friend like that is precious.

meggie said...

Nice post LGS. I hope you find your lost Juliet.

Josie said...

What a sweet story. She does indeed sound like a friend you would want to keep in touch with. I have a friend like that and I have been trying to locate him as well, with no luck. He also lives in England.

Claire said...

You know Squirrel, the best part of this story is that I strongly suspect you have passed on this friendship thing you learned again and again :)

Molly said...

That's the worst thing about moving around a lot. When we were in Belgium I had a wonderful friend named Julia. She was from Bulgaria. Between her wonderful and my terrible French, and her halting and my native English, we communicated very well......but when we moved back here and she moved back to her country, we just lost touch.I would love to find her....and hope you find your Juliet.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I have been a bit negligent with keeping in contact with my friends as I moved around a lot and so have some of them. Suddenly, I came to an age when it felt important for me to know how they were doing in their lives. that's when I started the searches.

Thanks. Wouldn't that be something special.

What's his name? Perhaps I can employ my finely honed google and other search engine skills!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks. I did indeed take that lesson to heart and have tried to practice it since but the full story was that I was put into a similar situation just 6 months earlier and I responded terribly because i was afraid of family gossip and turned someone away who asked for sanctuary. That person went on to develop some serious problems as a result. I was wracked with guilt and couldn't understand how my standing up to social expectations had caused so much damage. Juliet's friendship showed me the importance of person over form and convention and help me begin to reconcile conflicting thoughts in my mind. Coming full circle as it were.

Wouldn't it be wonderful even just to know that they are well? Good luck to you to.

Anonymous said...

I hope you can find her.

Anonymous said...

That's sweet of you. I think it is inevitable that we lose a few along the way, just because the currents of life sometimes pull us in different directions.

I regret begruding a German friend for ten years. Now that I am done being quite sostubborn, I'm afraid she's given up on me.


Dave said...

Friends are hard to come by and when you lose track of them it is one less blessing. I have recently found a couple of my friends and have made contact with them... Hopefully they will return the call.

Marja said...

LGS you are truly an remarkable friend as well. That you take all that effort even place an insult (hi Hi) to find them back. This Juliet is a great person I see and I hope you'll find her. I googled my old friends but they are unknown in cyberspace. Ah well.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

thanks. My hope too. Take care my friend. Best wishes for you.

Making up is always sweet. Give it a go.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

it seems like many of us are at an age when we have a desire to locate old friends. Good luck with your efforts.

Thanks for the compliment but a "remarkable" friend would probably not have lost touch in the first place! As for googling, I have an advantage in that many of my friends are involved in occupations in which they need to publish papers or reports. This often shows up on Google. The ones that are hard to find are the quiet, law-abiding ones!

CS said...

It's hard to keep up with moving friends - I lost track of a grad school roommate and can't find her to sve my life. It's worse with women because they often change not only their locations but their names.

Kathleen said...

How kind a friend! You never know what little nice thing you do....is what most counts in that moment.... and moments are irretrievable. I am glad she was there for you and I am glad you had the wisdom to reach out to someone. Take care always.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Sorry I'm not the one you're looking for, hope you find her, I am English though, transplanted to Scotland

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