So 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)
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!
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?)
(*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!)