Friday, August 28, 2009

The Legend in My Own Mind

I was an army brat growing up. We moved every 1 to 3 years. I lived
in Alabama, Michigan, Texas, Germany and Maryland and traveled to
all different states and countries in between. For some kids, like my
sister, all this bouncing around was hard. We had to leave friends behind
and start all over in a new place, new house, new school, making new
friends. I'm an extrovert. I just thought of it as new signatures for my
"autograph book" (remember those? Like any of us would fall over some
famous person and we just so happened to have an autograph book in
our back pocket next to that long handled plastic pink and yellow marble
colored comb?)
I was great at making friends. I always had the quantity, even if I
didn't always have the quality of friends my parents preferred for me.
I always felt sorry for my sister. Just one good friend at any particular
place we lived...maybe two or three more that were close acquaintances.
Of course, MY friends were usually popular and loud and everyone knew
them so I must have been fairly popular, too. Right?
Reality check: Facebook is great for reconnecting with old high school
friends/acquaintances. I've reestablished communication with lots of
people I went to high school with in Germany the first three years and
with a bunch more that I knew my senior year in high school in Maryland.
(Damn Army....dragged me off before my last year in Stuttgart!) So, there
was this really good looking guy who I met in my drama class my junior
year in Germany. He was very nice and always talked to me whenever we
saw each other in the hallways. My sister had a massive crush on him and
begged me to introduce her to him. ..which I did....begrudgingly...after
hearing how it's so not fair that I know all the good-looking and cool guys
and jocks, etc. So, I introduced them. And they began to talk in the halls
between classes.
Twenty-five years later I open a Facebook account. While looking up
people from my two high schools, I ran across this guy's name. "Oh, wow,"
I thought to myself. "I always wondered what happened to him." So, I
sent a message and an add friend invite and then NOTHING. I figured
surely he MUST remember me. I hung with all the popular kids in my class
and even though I was a year behind him in school, he MUST know me.
I was so damn cute in high school. You know, despite the braces, freckles,
really curly hair when everyone else was wearing it straight and feathered
back....and blonde....except mine was reddish brown. But I stood out.
Among all the other popular kids while we were selling donuts for the
junior class formal. Yeah, he knew me. He HAD to remember me. Afterall,
I remembered him.
Two weeks went by and still no word. Well, until today. I got a Facebook
message that had my total reality check in just a couple of bland, ego shat-
tering sentences: I'm sorry. I'm old now. Help me did you
know me?
"How did YOU know ME?" Okay, that verifies that he didn't know me.
"I'm sorry" that's just common courtesy. "I'm old now" that's just crap. He's
41 maybe 42. "Help me remember" means, "all those conversations that we
had during drama class and in the hallways, and even meeting your sister
was all just time I passed nodding and smiling my dazzling, popular guy
smile while in my head I was thinking, "I wonder what's for lunch in the cafeteria
today" and "Who the hell is this dorky chick with the braces who keeps talking
to me all the time? Oh yeah. I think she sells donuts or something. I wonder if
she knows the girl with the big boobs in my calculus class. If she ever shuts up
I'll ask her. Oops there's the bell."
Yup. I apparently was a legend in my own mind. I must not have made an
impression on as many people as I thought I had. My sister will be relieved.
Perhaps I'm one of those "sympathy friend additions" on Facebook. You know,
where you feel a little guilty because you don't actually remember the person
who's friending you and you have to run to your yearbook and look them up and
you think, "Well, I saw her around. It's been 25 years. Maybe I WAS friends with
her and I just don't remember." Man. I think I'm going to go get the whole word
LOSER tattooed on my forehead, instead of just the letter L. At least then, I'll make
an impression on any future friends I make.


Anonymous said...

You should post a hs pic of you. And by the way I am old (42 on the 12 of Sept) The kids have worn my mind out. Maybe he smoked alot of pot and has lost his mind. Tina

Anonymous said...

I'm old too, and even though I knew about everyone and about everyone knew about me I would never say I was popular. But how could anyone forget about bubbly redheaded sparkling (and not from the braces) smiled Nikki. Her face is forever emblazoned in my mind. Michael G