Several months ago, I joined Facebook. I had to see what the fuss was all about. People twenty years older than me were asking me how many friends I had. I didn’t know how to respond. How dare they ask that? I have tons of friends. And I’m not even including our mail lady who always says hi to me.
“I have at least 10-15 friends that I can think of off the top of my head.“
“I have almost 120 friends,” one of my older friends said to me. “They send me pictures, e-cards, and we chat all the time.
“You really do all that?” I asked.
“On a daily basis.”
She looked at me as if I was the out of touch, older person.
They were also joining online groups and reuniting with old friends. In comparison to them, I was playing pong on a black and white TV.
She also said her grandson, all of 13, was on Facebook and he had about 60 friends.
There was no need to call me a loser. I was already sporting the big, scarlet L.
Before seniors in nursing homes started mocking me about the number of friends I had, I took the plunge and joined Facebook. I wanted a whole bunch of new friends that I could communicate with whenever I wanted and never had to actually see in person. Ah, the perfect friendship.
I joined and immediately several people I knew found me and became my friend. See, I had friends. Then friends of friends became my friend—say that three times fast—and before I knew it I had plenty of friends, too. People were sending me messages, polls, and asking me to join groups. It was great.
But it didn’t stop there. I began to hear from old college buddies and former colleagues. I saw pictures of their families and we started emailing each other. I even heard from a couple of good friends from high school. Still no complaints.
Then it happened. People from middle school requested to be my friend. All of the sudden I started having flashbacks of being the shortest kid in class, and being the recipient of atomic wedgies, wet willies, and wet louises –when somebody wets their hand and smacks you on the forehead. Why the heck would I want to bring back those memories? It was bad enough that I recently dredged up high school memories of driving the only car in school that backfired, but now this?
Additionally, what do you say to someone who you last spoke to 25 years ago when you were 13? Remember that wedgie so and so gave you that ripped your underwear in half? Do you still have that underwear? Do you still have that retainer? Did you finally get rid of those buck teeth?
Ultimately, I accepted their friendship offers as I was curious to see how they turned out. I wasn’t going to start emailing and chatting with them but I did want to see who became fat and bald and which ugly girls became beautiful women. However, as soon as I hear from former kindergarten and nursery school classmates, I’m drawing the line at friendship. The last time we spoke I was five and kids were shoving crayons in places they didn’t belong. There isn’t a chance in hell I’m rehashing those memories.
Copyright © 2009, Brad Manzo