How Facebook Helped Me Dodge a Bullet

Facebook Dodge a BulletSo then…my sister Della urges me for the 52nd time to look up people from the past on Facebook so I can catch up with all my old friends from high school and college.

I tell her that I prefer to think of those people as perennially young, vital, and attractive – rather than glimpse them as their current wrinkled, paunchy, older selves. Like me.

To prove my point, I share with her some emails I recently exchanged with one of my high school friends Liz.

TO: Della (my sister)
FROM: Darcy
Subject: Why It’s Better Not To Know

Della, here’s a good example why I don’t wanna participate in Facebook and School Reunions in general. My high school friend Liz sent me this email:
“The other night there was a happy hour thing for alums of our girls’ high school and the boys’ high school because a guy named Tim “Mac” MacIntyre* was coming into town from Nebraska or somewhere up north. I went, and it was fun and all, but am I supposed to remember this guy? He said he remembered me, and I feel horrible for not knowing him. He was a football player all 4 years & graduated the same time we did. Anyway, do you know him? He has a pic on Facebook if you wanna look him up. Catch me up if you know this guy. –Liz”

So I replied:
Omigosh, Liz, you don’t remember that you lost your virginity to Mac?
And he tattoo-ed your name on his inner thigh!
And you signed a contract that if he ever needed a kidney, you would be first in line to donate.
How could you not remember this guy?
(OK, I don’t remember him at all either. Sorry. I even looked him up on Facebook and didn’t recognize him.)
The only football player I remember was Kevin Riley* who I thought was pretty dreamy — but he was very shy. I asked him to a Sadie Hawkins dance and he declined! I prefer to think he objected to dancing in general, and not to me in particular. But I will never know!
— Darcy

Then Liz sent me this response:
Thanks, and I’m glad I don’t have total amnesia for my high school days! I do have some further scoop on Kevin Riley*. He married a friend of mine and they had 5 kids and then a few years ago, he had some kind of midlife crisis and divorced her and moved in with a younger woman in Texas, last I heard. So, be glad he refused your dance invitation; that could have been you! — Liz

So my dear sister, do you see what I mean? Prior to this email exchange, I had fondly recalled Kevin as that dreamy football player who was so shy, that most other girls didn’t notice him, but I had a crush on him. And in my mind, he was young and cute and muscular — and represented a cool “what if” fantasy if he HAD said yes to the Sadie Hawkins dance.

But NOW I picture him as some plump, balding, desperate middle-aged man having a midlife crisis and being such a jerk that he dumped his wife and 5 kids to run off to Texas with some cheap young floozy.

THIS is Why It’s Better Not to Know.

My sister Della responds:
OR…maybe his wife was a pyromaniac, kleptomaniac, nymphomaniac shrew who stole things, set fires, and slept with his friends — and he is still dreamy, cute and muscular, but he had to leave for the safety of his children. Jeez — Why do you always think the worst of people?

(But you still dodged a bullet — ‘cuz he’s got FIVE kids. Who needs that hassle?)
— Della

(*not their real names, by the way, to protect their identities!)

Ha!  Indeed, sister, indeed!  Who needs that hassle?  Better the Texas floozy than me!

— Darcy Perdu

(Any Facebook posts or Reunion events where you discovered your crush has not aged well – or hasn’t turned out the way you thought? How about that mean girl in gym class – what happened to her? Anyone who HAS held up surprising well – or turned out really nicely? Share updates on your classmates in the Comments Section below; just protect their identities!)

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And You Are… ?

And You Are - Image
So then…I answer the phone with a cheerful hello, and I hear my 5-year-old daughter’s voice saying, “Hi Mom, it’s me, Chloe, your daughter.”

I laugh at her thorough manner of identifying herself — which she does every single time she calls me.

Does she think I have dementia?

It’s as though she thinks I couldn’t immediately recognize her voice –

or figure out that a female voice saying “Hi Mom,” must mean it’s my only daughter on the line –

or realize that she is the only Chloe I know, so it must be Chloe my daughter as opposed to Chloe the baker or Chloe the hair stylist.

So I always respond with, “Oh hello Chloe my daughter, it’s so nice to hear from you. This is Mom, your mother, Darcy Perdu. Shoe size 10. Bra size 36C. What can I do for you?”

To which she replies, “Mooooooooooooooooom!”

I imagine there is some eye-rolling happening as well, but after all, we are on the phone, so I can only assume.


Of course, as she grows to be a teen, the tables turn. Apparently, now I am the one who is over-identifying.

Chloe, shaking her head and sighing, as she looks over my shoulder at my computer screen:

“Mom, you don’t need to sign your comments on Facebook! You don’t have to say, ‘Happy Birthday, nephew Brian. Love, Aunt Darcy’ — he KNOWS who he is — and he can see YOUR name is Darcy Perdu right there on the Facebook screen!”

Well, all right, Chloe daughter female off-spring. Jeesh.

— Darcy Perdu

(How do your kids identify themselves on the phone? Or are they texting monkeys now? Do you struggle with appropriate etiquette on Facebook like I do? Share in the Comments!)

And You Are P