video: Good ol’ days?
Something about the recent flood of alumni finding me on Facebook feels a bit like this moment from The Simpsons:
[flv:alumni.flv 498 374]
It’s not like I want to be anti-social or offend, but it’s so odd for these people that I did not hang out with beyond perhaps 3rd grade–certainly not in high school–requesting to connect with me. They ask me how I’ve been and how it’s been such a long time and I’m thinking, “Whut?”
There were some people that I was close with and I did try to keep in touch with them, but amazingly enough I started to hear from less and less of them over time, especially from the “close friends” that I felt comfortable enough to come out to. And to be honest, I knew these people for a lot longer than some of the real life and virtual friends I have today, but it’s been years. I suppose also my parents moved away from Atlanta not long after I graduated high school, so I didn’t have Atlanta as “home” to go back to on breaks and after college. I’m mostly in touch with one friend from those days and she’s more like family than a friend by now.
I have actually gotten a few “You haven’t changed a bit” comments from old classmates, though they do often mention the beard. Chesnut Cougars/ Peachtree Patriots/ Dunwoody Wildcats 4-EVER!!
I think I would have a number of awkward moments like that if I were to ever run into people I knew from high school.
Considering that most of them still live in the same small town and even the same state, that’s not likely to happen 😀
My sister just connected to me on Facebook. I knew she was on Facebook, but I had resisted reaching out to her because I didn’t want to embarrass her with all my queerness, lefty links and whatnot. Still, if she wants to link to me, more power to her. One friend from college almost linked to me on Facebook, until he saw how queer I’ve let myself be. Other than one friend from high school that e-mails me on average of once a year, I have kept up with absolutely no one from before my coming out, which was seven years after graduating from college. It is as if someone else lived that life and knew those people. (Looking back to jr high and thinking about the guys who were obvious closet cases, I’ve tried to find them online, but cannot – and I have to wonder if they didn’t survive the plague.)
There was a girl who contacted me yesterday… we didn’t get along. In fact we couldn’t stand each other at all. Yet I still get this “Oh my gosh! It’s been so long! How have you been?!” type of message on facebook from her.
While it was high school, if we fought the whole time, it’s safe to say I’m probably not that interested in reconnecting, heh.
@What Liz Said: You just hit on the reason why my high school is not listed on my Facebook or Myspace profiles, I did not get along with many people in high school, and I don’t have a desire to make contact with them.
Though as Kyle said, I wouldn’t mind finding out how many of the guys who tormented me in school are now out, or secretly trolling the Internet for dick as “married/discreet” men.
Perhaps they have no lives or friends because they are shallow, vapid people and are therefore desperate to make any kind of connection at all that they are willing to completely reimagine their past to think that you’d give a shit about them?
@Esprix: I think it might be some of that, but even more I think it’s that when you reach out to/meet up with your alumni, you finally have people who “knew you when” and can see that you’ve actually made something of your life. Or at least you hope that’s how they see it. Such things don’t bother me, really, since barely anyone paid me any attention back then and I could care less what they think of me now.
@kyle: You make a good point about Facebook, however, which leads into conversations I have about virtual identity. Often people create Facebook and myspace pages and don’t even think about all the groups they add, the photos they post, etc. Many people that I know are gay come off as REAL GAY when you look at their social networking profiles. While I was called gay in high school, I’m sure many people from then had no idea whether it was true or not, it was just name-calling. Well if they’re reading my Facebook profile or my blog, they have confirmation, big whoop. But you won’t find “Hot Nude Dude of the Day” as a group on my profile or constant posts of naked men or queer sexploits on my blog.
I maintain that online profiles are a way to find out about someone, but they aren’t a good way to know that person.