Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind
Should old acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?
I'm not a super Sex and the City Fan (unless it's dubbed in Italian apparently) but here's the best version of the song
What does this even mean? Turns out auld lang syne translates roughly to 'long, long ago' or 'in times past.' Okay. Still doesn't make a ton of sense. How did this oft-sung New Year's Eve ballad become the song of the new year. The only song of the new year, really.
Turns out the poet Robert Burns was writing about old acquaintances and the past. He inquired how we should deal with them. Forget them? Move on? It's a question I've been asking myself lately as my pile of old acquaintances are growing and my days of auld lang syne being mushed together.
This New Year's Eve was a perfect goodbye to Provo. I spent a good part of the day working, packing and hating that I haven't sold my contract yet. I wasn't going to celebrate really at all. Lay on my floor and loathe the world and 2009 better, right? (Maybe fake entertain too, Charlie Chaplin style.) I finally decided to take the offer of this guy from my freshman ward who I didn't know until 2 weeks ago when we met at the MTC for a party up Hobblecreek Canyon. So I readied and beautified and left my room in disarray. I spent some time with my sibling and their spouses (old acquaintances that can never be forgot, thank heavens) and spend the night meeting 50 new people that I'll never see again. Ever. Acquaintances in the loosest definition of the word.
In my six years off and on mixing and mingling in the Provo pot (and elsewhere in life), I have met SO many people. I've become friends with so many people. I've left so many people from wards, classes, and grocery store meetings with the understanding that I'll never see them again. Why even make these connections if they are inevitably going to disintegrate?
I don't have any real good groundbreaking answer to the question of why we make these relationships and how we should deal with parting with them except for that it's worth it. I'm glad for the girl I work with whose name I always forget but who I always have good conversation with after work meetings. I'm glad for that guy in my ward who I will never date but I always flirt with. I'm glad for my old roommates who I shared late nights and breakfasts with and not much else. I'm glad for boyfriends that just didn't work out. I'm glad for friends who knew me well enough to give me advice tailored for me. I'm glad for friends who started as acquaintances and now seem inseparable from my life.
So what do we do with these piles of old acquaintances? Robert Burns gives a hint, in the chorus of his poem:
For auld lang syne my dear For auld lang syne
We'll take a cup of kindness yet For auld lang syne.
Take that for what it's worth. Think about the past thoughtfully, make plans for the future, for old time's sake.
Happy New Year!
And goodbye Provo. It's been fun.