I've been writing a lot, which is good, since I certainly haven't been doing laundry or vacuuming or working out. I have this whole Anniversary of Hot By Thirty post floating in my head and I do fear it's not going to be as flattering and laudatory of my cumulative efforts as I'd like. But I've been writing and spending a bit more thinking time in my made up world and I tell you that to maybe help explain the rest of this post, to which you will surely respond with loud snorts and giant eye rolls.
I wasn't going to write about it, but the day sort of demands it, I think. Or tomorrow night, rather, which is the night my First Real Boyfriend will be in town playing a show at some local bar, to which I was invited. VIA FACEBOOK.
Most of us have First Real Boyfriends, right? And we are all allowed some amount of irrational and semi-ridiculous angst about these first boyfriends, right? I mean, if we HAVE irrational and semi-ridiculous angst. Some of us are above these things, I know, but I will just tell you right now: I AM NOT.
So First Real Boyfriend was this exceedingly cocky and confident 16-year-old guy and why he wanted to date my exceedingly insecure and naive 14-year-old self remains a mystery. He made me incredibly nervous, but he was persistent and a lot more honest, forthright and in possession of a larger vocabulary than any other guy I knew, so, well, you know. Barf. I know. Right now my mother is reading this and wondering how she raised a daughter who writes about this on the INTERNET. Have I no SHAME?
ANYWAY. I started dating this guy in, like, February or something and as soon as school was out my family was moving. So the whole "relationship" was Fraught With Angst from the get go. I have no idea where my journals are from those years but I bet they are full of excellent material. All sorts of blissful and terrible and ultimately unimportant things happened during those months, and then I moved. CUE THE DRAMA!
Okay! So! It is well documented here that the year we moved was The Worst Year Ever and I'm not PROUD but neither am I ASHAMED to say that was in part because I missed First Real Boyfriend a whole bunch. I think we wrote a letter or two, but other than that, this extremely horribly embarrassingly significant event in my life was KAPUT.
OH THE WOE.
Now! When you go to school on American military bases overseas, NO ONE GOES HOME AGAIN. Everyone is from everywhere else and everyone's parents move on or move home and when you go home for Christmas break? NO ONE ELSE IS THERE. So I knew the chances of seeing this guy again (and anyone else I hoped to reunite with) were nil. My parents, being teachers and civilians, stayed where I went to high school about ninety-seven times longer than anyone else, and the only people I saw again after graduating were other teachers' kids. Who weren't even really my friends, but BECAME my friends for a week or two every year out of convenience. You just don't see people again. They disappear. You are left with Wondering.
And I wondered a lot.
He wasn't the only person I wondered about, but he was one of the big ones, and OH YES I took to Googling when Googling became a thing that you could do. And this is how I found out that First Real Boyfriend LIVED IN SEATTLE OMG.
AND he was in a band. AND I knew where his band was playing. Which meant (OBVS) I COULD GO SEE HIM. And you KNOW I considered this. Some of these venues were places I'd actually been to. I could just show up. I could pretend to not have any idea he was there! IT COULD HAPPEN!
But it didn't, because even I am not that ridiculous.
After a while it just became a Thing That I Knew. First Real Boyfriend lived in Seattle, played in a band, blah blah blah. Maybe I would run into him on the street or in a restaurant or whatever, maybe not. I was extremely proud of myself for this grown up behavior, you guys. No more high schoolish pining and daydreaming, not even any for-curiosity's-sake wondering. Honest! And one day I Googled again (do not tell me you do not use Google for nefarious purposes, I won't believe you anyway) and found out he'd moved away. Astoundingly enough, this did not disappoint me in the least. Tra la la!
But then. THEN.
A few weeks ago. Out of the deep, vast, giant blue. I open up Facebook, which I am trying to use more often (WHY? I DON'T KNOW). I notice I have a friend request and a little part of me dies inside, because lately all my friend requests are from high school and while it's wicked fun to find THEM, I don't really want them to find ME. But this friend request is not just from high school, it's from WAY BACK in high school. It's First Real Boyfriend.
That's it. Just a friend request. No note. No email. No "Hey, what's up!" No "Great to find you!" Definitely no "I've been wondering what happened to you for fifteen years, I missed you so much after you moved, LIFE WAS NEVER THE SAME!"
So I just sat there and stared at it for a Good Long While. And then I shut the computer and ignored it for several days. And then I decided to be a Grown Up and hit 'Confirm'. The End.
Maybe it's just me, but how anti-climactic. How depressing. How absolutely devoid of romance, in every sense of the word. Of all the ways I imagined reconnecting with First Real Boyfriend, freaking FACEBOOK wasn't one of them. I mean, I knew he was on there (EVERYONE IS ON FACEBOOK) but no way was I going to FRIEND him. Well, for one thing, I don't friend anybody (SNOB!) but it's just so... MUNDANE. And you guys, I HATE mundane.
Perhaps it's just the aspiring YA novelist talking. Perhaps I really AM that ridiculous. Perhaps you are all unsubscribing as I type.
It's just one of the ways I find Facebook odd and mysterious. I love how I can post pictures and have my mom's friends in Italy see them two seconds later. On that note it's kind of awesome. But what did First Real Boyfriend have to gain by friending me? Sure, he can see my less than riveting updates, but if he can hunt me down on Facebook he can find the blog (I just did this as an experiment, OMG HOLD ME) and surely that's a better way to stalk me AND I wouldn't know. It's not like he's communicated with me since, other than the mass invite to the show. Or is it just me that wants to do all of this anonymously? And other people have less pride/fewer neuroses? That's probably it.
Here's a potential kicker:
A few months before I got married I was working downtown and running an errand at a local hotel. On my way out I made eye contact with the valet. I instantly looked away. It couldn't be. I walked faster, my head down. I did look back, just once, but he was looking right at me, which made me even more nervous, and I booked it all the way back to my office.
It could have been, right? It'd be a much better story than FACEBOOK.