I have a weird approach to Facebook. Apparently I'm an anomaly for not striving to have 1000 friends or more. I mean, on the one hand, it's really useful for contacting long lost friends. On the other hand, I've kept in touch with everyone from high school that I've wanted to keep in touch with.
On the one hand, I've reconnected with everyone that I studied abroad with. On the other hand, it seems that everyone who was ever in my sorority (ever) has sent me a friend request, and sometimes I don't remember them even after I've seen pictures and combed through the limited information they choose to post online. (Ugh.)
On the one hand, it's so easy to arrange get-togethers (Hi Jill!) On the other hand, everyone can see how intelligent (or unintelligent) you are. (Stupid Pathwords.)
I actually like putting real pictures on there, and putting status updates about what's really going on in my life. Stuff that I sort of only want my friends to know. Even if I remember your name from high school, and you send me a friend request, there's no guarantee that I'll accept it. I mean, if we exchanged two words throughout all the years we went to school together, why do I want you knowing that I suck at baking, I'm taking my dogs to daycare, or I hate my professor for not posting grades fast enough? And if you're a complete stranger? Forget it. I like to say that I need to be able to have a conversation with you before I'll "friend" you. If we haven't met face to face, chances are slim we're going to be Facebook friends.
But I currently find myself with a Facebook dilemma. And it has to do with one of the two people I've been trying to hunt down since I graduated from high school.
Let me back up. High school, for me, wasn't the cesspool of angst that it seems to have been for so many others. I mean, it was no joyride, and I struggled through all of the insecurities that plague every teenage girl... But on the flip side, I never really cared about being popular, I had great friends that I always had a great time with, and even though I had the most evil parents ever*, I managed to have enough fun to suit me by only breaking a couple of rules. In fact, in a recent discussion with my parents and another high school friend, my dad was teasing us for being nerds in high school. Yes. Yes we were. But it was still a fun experience. I can only remember being treated badly by one mean girl and being tormented by one group of upperclassmen when I was caught alone in the halls one day.
I know it wasn't like that for everyone. In fact, there was this guy. Let's call him Phil. And he was a nice guy. He was always on the fringes of my group of friends. I didn't know him very well, but if we had a class together, or the same lunch period, we always sat in the same group. He didn't have much social success in high school. If I had to guess, I'm going to guess that Phil wasn't treated in the best manner by all the kids we went to school with. Still, despite an inappropriate teenage-boy-hormone-fueled comment every now and then, he was not a disagreeable person from what I can remember. We even "went together" in the fourth grade or something like that. It's during that time that my grades were the best they ever were as we competed to see who could get the highest score.**
He asked me to my junior prom. I didn't have a boyfriend. No one else had asked me yet. I had no reason to say no. But I did. He worked up all of his courage, asked me in a rush of words after class the last day before Spring Break, and didn't make eye contact with me the entire time. Not even when I said that I would get back to him.
I didn't really want to go with him. During Spring Break, a close friend of mine, Rob, asked me to go, I said yes, and when I got back to school, I sat down with Phil and told him that I was going to go with someone else.
I completely regret that decision.
Oh, it's not that I didn't have a fabulous junior prom. I had a great date, we had a great time, there was a huge storm that knocked out power afterwards, so we were all in my parent's basement playing pool by candlelight. We stayed up talking into the night, and even now, I count Rob among my closest friends.
It's just that Rob could have found another date. And he still would have been at my parent's house afterwards. And Phil didn't go to the prom. Nor did he go to senior prom that I remember.
It hurts me to look back because I know how hard it was for Phil to ask me, and I so wish I would have gone with him. I know we would have had a good time - no one had a real date and dances were all about the group, and stupid group pictures in our dresses and suits, and hanging out at my parent's house afterwards - and I think that it might have made his high school experience a little bit better.
As I get older and have more experiences, I feel like I'm getting better at being the person I want to be. I feel like she was there in high school, but I just didn't have enough practice. Even though I tried my best, and I don't regret much, that prom is one thing that bugs me.
And now Phil is on Facebook.
And I've always wondered how he's doing. I've always wanted to catch up and know what he did with his life. As smart as he was, he had the same procrastination issue that I've always had, and I would love to know what career he ended up in, whether or not he got married, had children, etc.
But I'm a big fat wimp, so I won't friend him. I feel like he'll see my friend request and think evil thoughts about me while he hits "Ignore." Maybe that's just my own guilt, but it's enough that it's keeping me from even sending a message to say hi. What do you guys think? Send me a message or just let it go? I don't suppose there's any chance at all that he's completely forgotten about asking me to junior prom? Pretty please?
*To be fair, I only had an evil mother. And I was a terrible teenager.
**Look how cute we were! Getting good grades for fun!***
***Looking back, I wonder if he didn't let me win every now and then.