Facebook Is Weird
I resisted as long as I could because frankly, I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about such things. I spent enough of the '80's looking stupid that I've developed a bit of an aversion to blind allegiance when it comes to trends.
I buck trends. I eschew fads. I am my own woman, dammit!
Do you know how long I resisted boot cut jeans?
I ate a lot of crow when I realized they balanced my child bearing hips quite nicely, made my portly posterior look merely curvaceous, and mitigated my muffin top to a very satisfactory degree.
Still...I regard anything that is over hyped with a healthy amount of skepticism.
But then Husband got a Facebook account and night after night I listened to him exclaim at having found this person or that person. He grew up in a small town where everybody knows everybody from the cradle to the grave. He was one of the very few that moved away and married an outsider.
So when he showed up on Facebook there was a lot "Hail fellow well met!" crapola going on. Within days his friends list was ridiculously long.
I began to feel a little left out. So I created an account and commenced searching.
Like most everybody my age, there are people in my past about whom I wonder: My first love. That dude with the fedora that stalked me in high school. The girlfriend who held my hair the first time I got drunk. That hot young lawyer with the BMW who completely ignored me because I was just the receptionist. The wanna be country star that broke my heart.
But do I want these people on my friends list? No. I'm a pretty private person at heart, and I don't really want every Tom, Dick and Harry from my past privvy to the particulars of my present.
I find it odd that people have friend lists several hundred people long.
Since I blew town as soon as the ink on my diploma was dry, I don't have many deep, lasting relationships with people I went to high school with. There were a few people with whom I wanted to reconnect and other than a few exceptions, I found them easily enough.
I saw a lot of names I remembered vaguely, some I remembered all too well, and some I had done my darndest to forget. I was curious about some of them, I admit. But not enought to invite them into my little sphere of Facebook familiarity.
It seems that some people have no such scruples. Suddenly, I was getting friend requests right and left from people I had scarcely spoken to.
I wasn't popular in high school, but nor was I unpopular. I sort of existed on the fringe of several different groups, accepted readily enough, but not committing myself wholly to any one of them.
I liked it that way. It gave me a certain amount of freedom, but also a little security. If one group rejected me, there was always another.
There were groups that were closed to me due to the rules of socioeconomic divergence. I was not a rich kid, so those that were privileged paid no attention to me. I wasn't scorned outright. I was simply a non-entity.
Why then, twenty five years later, am I suddenly getting friend requests from the sanctified ranks of high school glitterati?
I don't get it.
I understand that things change, people change; things that were once of massive import are now silly and sophomoric. But I still don't understand why someone wants to be my friend when they were never my friend.
Not long ago, I got a friend request from someone whose name was not even vaguely familiar. I noted that she had gone to the other high school in town, and surmised that she might have me confused with someone else. My maiden name is distinctive enough that it was a remote possibility at best, but I couldn't really think of any other plausible explanation.
I sent her what I thought was a polite and diplomatic message.
I don't mean to be rude, but I'm pretty protective of my family's privacy. I'm afraid I don't recognize your name at all. I notice that you went to High School A, but I went to High School B. Is it possible you have me confused with someone else?"
She responded almost immediately.
Ummm, I think we might have gone to John Doe Jr. High together?"
I could think of no way to graciously decline her request and so I accepted, reasoning that I could always unfriend her later.
Not long after that, while trying to remember the name of another long forgotten friend, I remembered that I had brought all my yearbooks home from my parent's house years ago and went in search of them.
I located the yearbooks, found the friend, and then, on a whim, looked up the mystery gal.
When I saw her face staring back at me from the grainy black and white pages of my yearbook, it all came rushing back to me.
She once threatened to kick my ass sideways.
She was one of the tough chicks. She smoked and wore too much makeup and always had hickeys on her neck.
We called her kind "the dirts".
One day, out of a clear blue sky (as fas as I could tell) she took a notion that I was interested in her boyfriend. She advised me to keep my eyes and my hands off of him, or she and her band of hoodlum hangers-on would make mincemeat out of me.
After that, she made a point to terrorize me regularly. She took particular delight in tormenting me about my last name, which, owing to the fact that it sort of rhymes with a certain part of the male anatomy, lends itself quite well to such ridicule.
But I wasn't interested in her boyfriend. Her boyfriend scared me.
She scared me.
And now, she's on my friend list.
And thus, I assert...Facebook? Is Weird.