Connecting with Friends by Lisa Martorelli Mancuso
Three of us flew from New York; one of us drove from Connecticut. We were coming together to see and support our friend in Virginia who’s been bravely battling, or as I see it, kicking the @#*% out of, ovarian cancer.
Sure, we’ve kept in touch via Christmas cards, Facebook and email, but except for the two who still work together, most of us hadn’t seen each other in over 20 years. Our connection was that we all met while working in the marketing department at a magazine. Our talents covered all the bases: writing, design, sales & research.
We obviously formed a strong bond, because there we were, decades later, picking up right where we left off. We reminisced about other coworkers, recalled some of the crazy antics that went on in the office and even revealed some of our secret crushes.
Once we exhausted those subjects, we moved on to other topics and one that we all seemed to connect over was books. We talked about the books we’re reading, the books we’ve loved, the ones we’ve been meaning to read. We compared the book/wine clubs we belong to and swapped our favorite titles. I don’t think any of us own a Kindle; we all agreed that nothing beats holding a real-live book in our hands.
At first, I thought it was unusual that we all had such a passion for books but considering we all thrived in the publishing business; I guess it’s not so strange. Yet, it was so refreshing. In this technological world we live in today, I sometimes fear reading books is becoming a lost art. It was so great to be among vibrant, successful women who truly appreciate a good book.
During our weekend, one friend, who is still in the business, said she was recently asked about what attracted her to publishing. She grew up in a house with more than 65 magazine subscriptions, she replied, so publishing was in her DNA. When she said that, I realized it’s the same for all of us. Magazines, books, newspapers, it was pretty obvious that we all love the printed word.
Our weekend ended way too soon. We cried and hugged when it was time to leave our beloved friend but we made a vow not to let another 20 years go by without seeing each other. She’s feeling stronger every day, and recently got some good news concerning her prognosis, so hopefully she’ll be able to come to New York next year for another reunion.
In the meantime, we’ll stay in touch as always and we’re going to continue to keep the subject of books in our conversations; we even spoke about starting a long-distance book club. When I got home that Sunday evening, texts were still going back and forth about book titles and authors we need to read next. Good friends, good books, I couldn’t ask for anything more.
When she’s not reading and talking about books, or aimlessly wandering around her neighborhood bookstore, Lisa Martorelli Mancuso supports her reading habit by working at a nine-to-five job as a PR/blog writer. She lives on Long Island with her husband in their somewhat empty nest. She is working on a children’s book and plans on starting her own blog very soon.
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