A few days ago, I got a friend invitation on Facebook* from a guy I knew in high school. He was a year ahead of me, and I had a little crush on him for a while.
He has some kind of nerve, was my first reaction when I saw the friend request. My second was, I can’t believe he even remembers me.
My mouse hovered between the Confirm and Ignore buttons. On one hand, I was curious. If I clicked Confirm, I could look at his profile and satisfy my sudden curiosity about what he’d been up to for 20 years. On the other? Well, I had my integrity to consider.
He did stand me up, after all.
We’ll get back to that.**
What I like about Facebook is that it’s a way to stay in touch with friends, or to get in touch with people from the past without needing some sort of context, like a class reunion. And, as I was explaining to a friend the other day, when you reconnect with some people, it’s natural to have a lot of questions about those missing years. Marriage? Kids? How many of each? Jobs? Are you still in touch with…? And do you remember that time…? But, then again, all those years have passed. Clearly, you managed to survive without him/her for that long. What’s another decade or three or four? Essentially, what’s the point? I think I’ve figured it out, finally, at least for myself.
Most of us go through life, leaving pieces of ourselves in place after place, with this person or another, and we take as we go, in kind. Is it any wonder that we sometimes feel the need to gather up all of those pieces? Quite literally, to collect ourselves? All that time and all of those memories might be water under the bridge, but that doesn’t mean a dip in it wouldn’t feel refreshing.
Of course, there’s always the risk of drowning, let’s not forget. That’s why there are settings to make yourself invisible from people you’d like to leave in your past, thankyouverymuch.
Believe me, there’s a lot I’d like to leave back there, in the 20-years-ago pile. Some time capsules should never see the light of day. There are memories that I left behind for a reason – the time when that guy stood me up is a rather insignificant one, and something I wouldn’t have thought of maybe ever again, if I hadn’t been reminded of it. But there are others that feel like a well-loved snapshot, softened around the edges from all the times it’s slid in and out of a pocket, looked at and then kept safe. Sometimes – and this is always a big surprise when it’s not the way I thought – it’s not always easy to tell between the two.
Back to the guy who stood me up. Our date was set to take place at at a bike race on a Sunday (my parents were staging the event, and he was into cycling), and he would meet me there. Except, of course, he didn’t. For hours, I was embarrassed and disappointed. Big letdown.
Until. A very cute, very cool, older guy – someone I would never have thought would notice me – asked me for a kiss after he won his race.
Yes, he got one.
And it was my first. Ever.
Which just goes to show you, you never know how a story will end. And sometimes it’s a lot of fun finding out.
*Quite a few of you are on my list of friends on Facebook. (If you’re not yet, and you’d like to connect there, I would love that.)
**I clicked Confirm. What can I say? Curiosity won out. But I’m completely ignoring him, whether he knows it or not.