by Jennifer on December 19, 2008

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.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Sturdy Girl December 19, 2008 at 6:03 am

Ok, you have given me pause to consider the whole facebook thing again. I’m mostly opposed to it, but now I have to rethink a bit.

I can’t help feeling it’s like one long class reunion and who really wants that?

Sturdy Girls last blog post..Remember The Time I Fell Out of The Family Tree?


jenrantsraves December 19, 2008 at 6:46 am

I think you should get his side of the story! And, of course, post it. My parents ran into a guy that I had a crush on in high school, and they mentioned that to him when they saw him. To my surprise, he told them he wished he knew because he thought I was cute! Things aren’t always as they seem.


Jennifer Harvey December 19, 2008 at 6:58 am

What he told me at school was that he was hungover that day. It’s crossed my mind, of course, that there’s either more or less to his side of the story. Or that there was, and maybe isn’t anymore. Who knows if he even remembers it, but if I learn anything else, I’ll let you know.


David Brazeal December 19, 2008 at 7:40 am

Just so you know, I’m totally ignoring him too, in solidarity.

And seriously. A guy who was too hung over to go out, while still in high school, is not dating material.


Manic Mommy December 19, 2008 at 7:46 am

I love your metaphor of splashing in that water under the bridge.

As you know, I too am on Facebook. It’s fun re-connecting with the high school people. I was a late bloomer and I’m enjoying showing them I turned out pretty cool.

Manic Mommys last blog post..Do’s and Don’t’s When Attempting to Adhere To a Strict Diet


Gwen December 19, 2008 at 8:43 am

I was trying to explain to my mother in law the other day why Facebook can be a good thing. Maybe I should just forward her this.

What I like about it is that you can keep the relationship to the past as deep or as shallow as you want, depending on the situation.


Coco December 19, 2008 at 9:18 am

He stood you up? The slimy git! I will also ignore him on your behalf.

Although I do love the ending of the story where you got your first kiss from a cute older guy. I’m a serious sucker for those unexpected White Knights.

Cocos last blog post..The Kiss – A Short Story – Part 2


Heather December 19, 2008 at 11:22 am

I have a facebook account but I don’t do much with it. I have bloggie friends, current friends, friends from high school. It’s a little weird seeing people from all life stages in one place.

Heathers last blog post..A Little Bit Nuts


Madge December 19, 2008 at 11:33 am

what’s facebook?


Mrs. G. December 19, 2008 at 12:42 pm

This is why I won’t go near Facebook. I can’s sustain anymore connections.

Great post!

Mrs. G.s last blog post..Helen


Franki December 19, 2008 at 12:53 pm

Facebook has shown me what an asshole I really am. Exes who I’ve run from and never spoken to again keep finding me. I’m refusing them closure. Nice me.

I will look you up though, cuz I’m always looking for more folk who aren’t my stalkery exes to kick my ass in Wordscraper.

Frankis last blog post..Like…what?


melissa December 19, 2008 at 1:05 pm

I’m buying your theory–it’s quite well thought out. But Facebook is still never for me. I prefer my past behind me!

melissas last blog post..listing, and not from the egg nog


Momisodes December 19, 2008 at 7:14 pm

First, what a rockin’ first kiss!!!!

Second, I feel the same way as you do about Facebook. I often hover over accept and ignore. Actually, I’m terrible and limit some friend’s viewability of my profile.

Third, um…are you feeding your blog posts onto your account so that your “friends” are able to view them as they come in?

Momisodess last blog post..Crouching Rodent, Hidden Santa


anymommy December 19, 2008 at 7:25 pm

I’ve been avoiding facebook exactly because I’m not sure I want all those pieces collected in one place. You make it sound almost like fun though.

Great first kiss story. My favorite first kiss story was my college roommate. She was twelve and she thought kissing was gross and then a cute fourteen year old gave her a kiss at a party. She told me she felt all tingly and she was ‘like, OH, NOW I get it.’ Still cracks me up.

anymommys last blog post..Of Lice and (Wo)Men


Jenn @ Juggling Life December 20, 2008 at 12:00 am

He probably realizes by now that it was his loss.

Jenn @ Juggling Lifes last blog post..Inside My Tired Mind


flutter December 20, 2008 at 2:16 am

awww, Jenn!

flutters last blog post..They say grief moves in stages


Lisa Milton December 20, 2008 at 8:24 pm

He doesn’t necessarily deserve it, but I’d be curious too.

Lisa Miltons last blog post..a week in review


Denise December 21, 2008 at 5:08 pm

I’m so bad on facebook. Friends with people but I never log on. :o) I like blogging so much better. And twitter. Go figure.

Denises last blog post..Happy Birthday Tiny Dancer


the mama bird diaries December 21, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Oh, I totally would have hit confirm. Not a chance of ignoring that one.

I love this… “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? ”

Perfectly said.

the mama bird diariess last blog post..surviving a sucky economy: the addendum


V-Grrrl December 21, 2008 at 7:27 pm

I don’t believe we ever leave anyone or any experience behind; it’s within us and affects us whether we acknowledge it or not.

I am a person who believes all time exists at once and our perception of it being linear is an illusion to feed our belief we are “making progress.”

I carry friendships from all ages and stages of my life. Still, I don’t automatically accept Friends requests on my Facebook account, though I usually acknowledge them with a message…

V-Grrrls last blog post..Yes, this is about you…


Em December 21, 2008 at 8:32 pm

My brother finally talked me into Facebook last week. I had resisted for so long. Now I’m trying to resist looking up random old flames. I will resist!! But to be honest, I have yet to tell my hubby that I created an account. I feel like it’s dirty or something. Odd.

20 year high school reunion for me as well. Yippeee.

Congrats on the great first kiss!!


Ems last blog post..Great, another lawyer. I mean GREAT!!!!!


RiverPoet December 22, 2008 at 7:03 am

You know, I’ve had so many invites to join Facebook, but I just feel like I can’t squeeze anything else into my day. And honestly, I really don’t care to reconnect with all of those people from my past. Those were awkward times for me, and I’ve moved on. I’m glad you’re ignoring Mister Stand-Up. What a bum.

There’s a little something for you over at my place today – Peace – D

RiverPoets last blog post..What’s Christmas?


Ann December 31, 2008 at 2:30 pm

What a blast from the past! Cool.

Anns last blog post..What’s For Christmas Eve Dinner?


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