Facebook Makes Me Reconcile the Girl I Was With the Woman I've Become
I use friend as a verb.
I dream in status updates.
I search for a Like button whenever something speaks to me.
I only recognize people by their avatars.
I have Facebook downloaded to my BlackBerry.
Facebook has turned me into a time traveler, yet I don't recall a thing about the long, strange trip I took.
A bit of background: My parents split up. I went to boarding school (my choice, not theirs). I changed schools. I changed schools again. All in all, I went to three high schools in four years (clearly therapy couch fodder, but it seemed perfectly normal at the time). My parents moved out of my home town. I went to college. I moved to the midwest. I went to graduate school. I visited my home town precisely three times in 20 years, most recently just about four years ago.
You see, many of the people I have been reconnecting with on Facebook were boys and girls when I saw them last. Prepubescent. Innocent. Gawky. I myself was a tiny 4'8 peanut with scraggly hair and geeky tendencies. No self esteem, little confidence, lots of cluelessness. My boobs had not reached their full 32 DD. I was picked last in gym and faced the evil terror of Mr. Benfer, whose mother terrorized me in math class. I was an 82 pound nothing with no athletic prowess, mutated social skills, and a nervous giggle, but I could conjugate the hell out of some verbs in Mrs. Robinson's English class.
Now here I am. A woman of 41. Wife. Mother. Business owner. Wannabe writer. Boobs reduced to a perfectly perky and pleasantly comfortable 32 B. Yet that geeky little girl still shudders inside me and is about one rope climb away from wetting her pants. I thought I shed her since I lost track of all the people who knew her in the flesh rather than in the stories that I harbor in my psyche. And so she is real again.
The boys and girls I knew then are men and women now. They shave. They're bald. They're fat. They're skinny. They make mortgage payments. They change diapers. They don't have a curfew. They've had sex...with multiple partners! They're parents, professionals. They are on the cusp of a midlife crisis, astonishing considering they were on the edge of preteen angst last I saw them! Some moved to the tropics, some stayed in town. Now, they, and I, are people with a past. A history. When we knew each other before we were youngsters with a future.Continued on the next page