February 25, 2009

Not Much in Common

I continue to be amazed by the power of Facebook. I got a friend request from someone that I went to junior high school with.

Those junior high years are crappy years anyway... We're all trying to figure out the whole boy-girl thing... we're awkward and silly. We're shy, and often cruel. In other words, things are pretty much as they are now as middle-aged adults, but we've got more style now.

Anyway, this young lady that I heard from today... she and I had an interesting friendship that went absolutely nowhere. I think back on it now, and I think she probably liked me in that way that thirteen year-olds do. And I think I liked her, too. There was definitely a bit of tension between us - in a good way. I remember her coming up to me one day after school, and asking me if I knew what French kissing was.

We had almost nothing in common. While we lived in a part of the country that was both northern and southern - the Washington, DC area - my family was decidedly northern, and hers southern. I remember calling her home and speaking to her parents, and hearing that exotic southern drawl that wasn't particularly common where we lived. She was also quite the movie fanatic, as was the rest of her family. This was the mid 1970's, before the time of the VCR. Her parents had a home theatre, with video and film equipment, and they would watch first-run movies in their home. She could quote lines from the classics, had favorite actors - none of this would be all that unusual today, but it was spectacularly strange then.

She was an attractive gal back then. She wasn't the beauty queen of the class, but she had very classic good looks, but she also had that southern belle aire about her. When I got her friend request today, I got to see a picture of her, and she's become a stunningly beautiful woman.

In my last year of junior high, we would do the usual teenage thing and talk on the phone for an hour or so every few days... and of course, we would see each other in school. There was that painfully awkward flirting... but I could never get to the point where I could actually find enough in common with her for it to go from that clumsy friendship to that clumsy boyfriend-girlfriend thing.

When I wandered a little bit through her Facebook pages, it turns out we have a bit more in common now than we did when we were young... she's a writer and that's very cool. She does some work in the media, and that's cool, too. She's married, has some kids, and a grandkid, too.

The thing about Facebook is that it is smashing those time-and-distance barriers that we've put between us. As familiar as they seem, we're different people today than we were way back then.

Still not much in common.

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