Wednesday, June 25, 2008

propinquity and the cursed bean game

In the picture: (back) Rachel, Anna, Terry, me, Javier, (front) Katie, Joel, Serena, Tammy, Becky, Ray.
Sure enough, as predicted, Serena did move away. This is getting a tad ridiculous - I've had that game on my wish list for a while, but now I'm not so sure I want it anywhere near me!

One up side to friends moving away is the send-off party. We ended up at High Cliff State Park, throwing and losing boomerangs, smoking cigars, making s'mores, and tweaking Serena about ditching us.

On the seriously un-up side, it came up kind of quickly, and now she's GONE! She got a job with her company in Chicago, so we of course all wish her well. :-P To give her full credit, she has been pursuing multiple options outside of this area pretty much ever since I've known her, so I really am excited for her as this time it's really happened.

We will get to see "old" game night members in fits and starts over the next month or two - I just found out that Aaron and Patrick are going to make it for Terry's wedding the weekend of July 4 (hooray!), and then Serena, Javier, Tammy, Tom and I are flying out to Colorado for a backpacking trip/game night reunion in the Rockies! Zah hoo! We'll get see for ourselves if all the stories that Bill, Aaron, Patrick and Justin have been telling us are true (I have my doubts).

I read an article today that talked about "propinquity":
"that is, physical distance and frequency of interaction. It turns out proximity and interaction have a greater effect on likeability, collaboration, respect, and inclusion than virtually any other variable. When you examine social patterns or conduct surveys that surface friendship patterns, distance and the subsequent frequency of interaction account for a great deal (often almost all) of the variance. You like people you see all the time. People you don’t see, you don’t care for as much. In more common relationship terms, “Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder.” The more likely outcome is “Out of sight, out of mind.”" full, unrelated article here.
If you're well familiar with the concept, my apologies for canvassing it here; I just hadn't run across it before as a packaged concept. I'm not sure how I feel about this one. Propinquity IS absolutely a key component of relationships as they're forming , and I think has a real effect on how close you feel to someone. But there are definitely people that I feel closer to, even when I don't see them for a long time, than I do with people with whom I have much greater propinquity (co-workers that I have to "work hard to like" - continually! - for example).

If I have a point, I probably can't start threatening all my moved-away friends to move back immediately if they want to maintain the friendship, gosh-darn-it-any-how. I hate it when manipulation and coercion fail to deliver. Am I the only one who's new to the propinquity concept, though?

1 comment:

  1. That one is new to me, too. I had read that "out of sight, out of mind" was more likely with a long distance friendship than "absence makes the heart grow fonder", but not as a packaged concept like you said.