Making friends is a funny and mysterious process. How much do you share with people before you really know them well? Do you share your dreams? There are times when it is perfectly normal to share your dreams and hopes with total strangers. Like at a New Years Party when everyone starts talking about resolutions. This is what happens with Bartholomew in Bartholomew Makes A Decision, the fourteenth story in The Book of Bartholomew.
Have you ever blurted something out, something that was the truth and embarrassing? Bartholomew is so excited about his possible new friends that he shares more than he is comfortable with - but somehow he is comfortable with sharing a little too much. He wants these people to know who he is and what is important to him. He is happy to laugh at himself a little bit if it means he is actually getting closer to others. Besides, sometimes laughing at yourself helps relieve the sense that you're a nerd.
This story is titled similar to the very first story in The Book of Bartholomew, Bartholomew Makes A Decision. In that story, Bartholomew makes the decision that he needs friends in his life to help him make good decisions, so he doesn't get taken advantage of by people like Gerald. In this story, he makes another decision - what he wants to do with his new friends.
Here is an excerpt from Bartholomew Makes Another Decision.
Topping stood in the doorway with a New Year’s hat on his head and a beer in his hand.
“Bartholomew, come in!” he yelled above the din of music and conversation while handing him the beer.Bartholomew entered the small, warm apartment that was packed wall-to-wall with people. He had not been around this many people in a long time and felt a momentary sense of dread. But then he saw Ned standing in the kitchen by a table full of food. Ned waved a Donkey Burger at him. Topping and Bartholomew made their way through the crowd.“Hey, Bartholomew. How’s it going? You have a nice Christh-muth?” asks Ned as he stuffed a pig-in-a-blanket in his mouth.“Yeah, it was okay,” Bartholomew lied. Bartholomew had not enjoyed the holidays since his parents died. Was this really the third Christmas he celebrated without them? Could their deaths be that far away already?“What’d you do?” Ned asked as he grabbed another pig.“I went to Aunt Josephine and Uncle Jeffrey’s house and had brunch and exchanged presents. And exchanged presents with Oliver.”“Who’s Oliver?” asked Topping.“Oh, he’s my cat.”Topping snickered, “What did Oliver give you?”Bartholomew blushed a little. “My Aunt Josephine and Uncle Jeffrey buy me a present from Oliver every year…and three presents from Santa.” Bartholomew wasn’t sure why he shared that last part.Topping and Ned laughed.Wanting to change the subject, Bartholomew asked, “What did you guys do?”“I just went to my parent’s house,” said Ned after he finished laughing. “Nothing special.” He surveyed the cookie tray.“Charlotte and I went to my parent’s house and then her mom’s house,” said Topping. “My parent’s dog gave me a Christmas present,” he said looking mischievously at Bartholomew. “He took a whizz on my shoes.” They all laughed together.Bartholomew, feeling hungry, glanced at the table. It was the usual party fare: store bought foods and a few homemade dishes that were of questionable origin but whose creators insisted they were the most delicious things they ever made. Bartholomew did not doubt these assertions, but chose to pass on the food for now.