Long-Distance Calls About Nothing: My New Favorite Hobby

Long-Distance Calls About Nothing: My New Favorite Hobby

The other night, I talked to my best friend from my first college on the phone for one hour and eighteen minutes. The length of this phone call might be deceiving; we were not talking about work, we were not talking about arrangements for one of our upcoming (non-existent) bachelor parties, we were not talking about any pressing health-related issues in our family to comfort each other. Nay, for the entirety of this 78-minute phone call, we talked about one thing: nothing. And it was the best part of my day.

I just moved to a big city at least three states away from anywhere else I’ve ever lived and have come to terms with the idea that never again in my life will all of my best friends (“buds,” if you will) live within a 20-mile radius of me. Such is growing up. And while I’ll never be able to conveniently have in-person access to all the inside jokes, restaurant routines, and other shenanigans that me and my collective best buds — a gender-neutral term, BTW — have accumulated over the years, I am ready to fully embrace being a regular on the scene of long-distance-phone-calls-about-nothing to make up for my physical absence.

It all started when I transferred from Wofford College (shoutout) to the University of Kentucky in the middle of my sophomore year. Billy was adapting to life without his roommate, and I was getting used to life with my new one, Sanghyun from Seoul. Billy regularly had gossip to share from the exciting Wofford scene that I was now missing out on entirely, along with the usual observations from the sports and outside world that we loved to nerd out on nightly before parting ways to sleep in our separate cubes. These routines too were included in the every-so-often long-distance phone calls, in addition to my insights and life updates from the UK world. Before too long, it subconsciously became a habit for us to call each other at least once a week — each time for at least 30 minutes — to talk about these kinds of things.

To talk about nothing.

Some fellow best buds have caught on better than others.

When Kyrie was playing out of his mind Monday night and the Class-of-’12 GroupMe was also out of control, you best believe I’m going to hit up one of them to talk about Kyrie himself, Jeff Van Gundy’s lame commentary, and Draymond Green watching from a baseball stadium 100 yards away — to talk about nothing.

One might ask, “How do you initiate such a random, insignificant phone call?”

And the answer to that question is, of course, a good sense of humor:

Before you jump to conclusions and call me out for associating myself with Bradley Cooper’s intolerable Wedding Crasher’s character, allow me to clear the air: not only do I announce who I am when the given best bud answers the phone, I specifically refer to myself as Sack, and then we recite the entire “Once at my place” gag word-for-word. So no, I am not a total tool.

Ten minutes later, we’re talking about our ping pong talents, prospective lady friends, and other quality talking-about-nothing topics.

One might also ask, “How do friends schedule such phone calls?”

In the spirit of the matter, there is no such thing as scheduling talking-about-nothing phone calls. As with all best friends from college and high school, all of these interactions are strictly spontaneous and are meant to last an indefinite amount of time. After all, when was the last time you enjoyed hanging out with a best bud in a time-and-place scheduled 24 hours in advance? Exactly — all of your best memories are spur-of-the-moment, and so should these.

Although I’ve never been in a long-distance romantic relationship, I can strongly attest that solidifying consistent communication is extremely beneficial to long-distance “best buds” relationships. For newcomers, it will take some effort to get the ball rolling, no doubt, but regardless of the geographic separation, you’ll be as tight — if not tighter — with your best pal from high school and your closest fraternity bro from college in no time.

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Evan Lawrence

I used to wreck deFries and Dave on the Grandex ping pong scene.

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