Years ago (and not so long ago either), children tended to stay in the same town or area as parents and siblings. When the job market hit bottom (80's) it all changed. How you ask- a recession that brought on high unemployment and mortgage interest rates of 21% (no that isn't a typo).
As a nation, we began to chase jobs to create a better tomorrow and if that meant packing everything up, tossing it into a moving van and moving 3000 miles then that's what we did and still do.
I realize to the under 30 set that the idea may seem strange and foreign but years ago a man could spend thirty years working for the same company doing the same job. But then years ago, a father could go to work, mom stayed home and yes, dad managed to pay all of the household bills everything (on one income) - the mortgage, food, recreation, kids braces, clothes, medical care, vacations, cars, college and so forth and in some cases even had a small retirement account besides social security.
Our migration has a major down side though - we lost very valuable connections. I'm not talking about making 1 million so called friends on social media that you will never meet. I'm talking about the connections people had with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and all those cousins not to mention neighbors who actually knew each other.
With that connection disruption we also lost our support system. Yes, in a new town we can make more friends but that isn't the same as the connections I'm talking about. There is a difference between a casual friend and a connection.
I get that the nation has changed.
If you consider stats: the greater Houston, Texas Metro has over 145 different languages spoken (visithoustontexas.com). In 2016, for New York City and the five boroughs the number is reported as 800 different languages. According to geosla.net/misc/daily_student_life/languages_spoken_in_los_angeles.htm there are 224 different languages spoken.
Yes, America is and always has been a melting pot of people - the diversity is what makes us a great nation. It helps us to identify with other people and cultures.
Now back to the connections.
I'm sure, that without thinking really hard we can all list people who live far away from family or perhaps have lost members of their immediate family. For them, it is a very daunting task to plan a wedding and reception. Think about picking out the dress all alone and not having anyone there besides a clerk telling what looks good and what works.
That's where you come in! Wonderful, special you!
All you need to do is ask!
Stroll up and say you heard they were engaged and then ask if you can help. It's a simple question.
There are so many ways you can pitch in and donate a little bit of time - the internet makes it all possible. You can comparison shop. You can research for what dress type works for her and what tux works best for the service. You can narrow down attendant gifts and flower arrangements. Maybe you know someone who can do low cost alterations, or a photographer who is just getting started. Maybe you know of a great caterer. Maybe you can help with dress shopping and take pictures or hold your tablet so she can speak to distant family members and show off her top picks.
Oh the list goes on and on.
The point is that by doing these small things we help create connections that a person may not otherwise have and in the process you may be creating a true friendship that will stand the test of time.
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