Snap! Snap! A Snap of a Chat: It’s OK That You Don’t Stay Forever

It’s hard to say exactly where my love for music began.

Was it listening to the Beach Boys and The Beatles with my parents while growing up in the sticks of Pennsylvania?

Was it covering every inch of my room with The New Kids on the Block as I sang “Step By Step?”

Was it hanging out at punk rock clubs like the one I talked about at the beginning of this blog?

Who knows exactly where my love for music began but it’s one of the few childhood pastimes that actually intensified over the years from posters on walls and CDs in cars to midnight ticket buys, shady clubs and back-alley dealings with artists who said, “Just eat half!” as they presented me with a brownie. (Despite the temptation, I never partaken).

Oh what lengths I went to for a great show!

Which is where I found myself a few nights ago.

It was one of those shows by a great indie band who has been around for years, but who found themselves hitting the big time when one of their songs was in the latest John Greene summer blockbuster. Never-mind the years toiling away on the indie circuit – now teens everywhere were showing up to their show to sing one song – which is exactly what happened.

As a people observer, I was enamored particularly with three beautiful girls of generation selfie who were standing in front of me. They were everything I wasn’t at their age – beautiful and stylish who I envisioned saying, “You can’t sit with us” to someone like me. Their appearances simply said, “We’re popular. We’re the coooooool kids….”

Of course the room was full of young people snapchatting and taking selfies in their vein attempt to capture the moment.

But what is the point when a moment just goes away? All this fleeting snapping that just disappears?

And then to my surprise, one of the popular girls pulled out an old school Polaroid disguised as a new school gimmick that was likely purchased in the chachki area of Urban Outfitters. Suddenly some permanence!

Yet as I stood there thinking of this dual use of technology and how this new generation sees the value in each, I began thinking of it in terms of how I am as a person, as opposed to how technology and I interact.

I began to think of my own fleeting moments, the snapchats if you will, of times that come and go with people who come and go. They only stay for a moment to serve some kind of purpose and then they leave.

These moments are typically not inline with my character as I always was the type of person who sought to hold on to things forever. Friends, relationships….I never could understand the “You were great for me for a time” mentality, and instead would often ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” if whatever “This” is isn’t going to be around later?”

And as I continued to observe, I began to think that while our lives need permanence, it’s often the snapchat moments and people who pepper our lives with stories and memories to remember.

“I met someone once…”

“I heard that once….”

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J is a happily single 30-something currently documenting her stories of love and loss. Her blog, “I Quit Dating” features excerpts of her journey as she reflects on the lessons learned from the men she loved. A complete collection of essays detailing her walk away from finding Mr. Right in order to pursue a more fulfilled life will be self-published next year. She recently moved from Los Angeles to New York. Contact: iquitdating (@)

3 thoughts on “Snap! Snap! A Snap of a Chat: It’s OK That You Don’t Stay Forever”

  1. “You were great for me for a time.”

    Yes, I’ve heard that once or twice myself. And my response, not always verbalized, was “If you think I’m so great, why don’t you want to keep me in your life?” But I think what they were really communicating and didn’t want to say outright to me was “I think you’re great but not great enough that I want you around long-term. I’m still hoping for better.” It always hurt to figure out that translation.

    It does seem to be the people who pass through our lives who are the most memorable. Maybe that’s because we have a sense of unfinished business, of possibility unfulfilled with them. They never become permanent fixtures in our lives, never become open books to us, never lose the aura of mystery or novelty they had when they first appeared. Or maybe it’s because those few moments are all we have to remember them by. They don’t fade into a backdrop of memories like we have with lifelong friends or family. Maybe it’s a little of all these things.


  2. What band was this?
    Snapchat moment is a good way to describe brief interactions with temporary people. I tend to hold on to small moments in which nothing really happened. I wish I could remember those moments more often. I think I’m going off into a direction you weren’t talking about. Sorry about that.


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