Sunday, March 01, 2009

Why can't we be friends?

I'm pretty hot & cold about Facebook. Like what appears to be most of America, I have a profile there, but I don't Poke or join groups, causes, send plants to save the rain forest, or any of that shit. I pretty much just comment on my friend's status and lose at Scrabble.

So why am I there? Really I have no clue. I already have my own "corner of the web" here at NTM, and I already post my microposts at Twitter. Then a weird thing happened, after being friended by friends, acquaintances and former coworkers, I started getting friended by people with whom I went to grade school and high school. You don't have to reciprocate, but I figure if you're taking the time to push the button and say Hi, I'm willing to let you into as much of my life as I mostly post online (which is actually quite alot). If I say something that offends you, well, then, you'd don't have to follow me.

Here's a story:
Growing up I was a very lonely kid and was filled with a constant longing for friends and good times like those found in McDonald's Commercials. "Good Friends, Good Times" kind of crap going all the way to early grade school. Only twice in my life up until college did I discover that girls liked me: once in junior high, once in senior high, and because they were not "the popular girls" that I crushed on and was rejected by again and again, I shit on them.
What actually happened was this: when I found out that a girl liked me, I was overcome by anxiety and fear, THEN I shit on them, and said mean things to them to make them go away. No wonder my mom thought I was gay.

I blocked a lot of high school out of my memory. Again, most of it was filled with unfulfilled longings, constant rejections and occasional beatings (not like those of today, but more of a jostling, occasionally put in wrestling move kind of thing). But one thing I do remember was being very mean to Laura M, who I heard liked me at some point.

Laura M was a girl who rode my bus, who was pretty but not in a popular clique. She was very quiet and of Native American decent. So when I found out that she liked me, I slagged on her very hard using such terms as "Redskin" and "Squaw." I think I made her cry.

Much to my surprise, 24+ years later, she friended me on Facebook, and I sat there for a minute or thinking to myself, "Really? Now what?"

I believe that we carry every hurt and misdeed with us our entire lives. I'd say the same for kindness, but at the time of this writing, I don't feel it, though I'm open to being wrong. Much like Marley, in "A Christmas Carol" we wear the chains we forged in this life, and the fact that I remember being so mean, I think, says something. And after 24 years, I made a sincere apology for being a dick back then.

I don't know if I scratched at an old forgotten wound on her, and restabbed her, but since I choose to believe it's still with her (as it was with me), I hope that it brings a tiny sense of relief. And as much as I think Facebook is an awful shopping mall of a social network, I think it has the potential to brink that sort of relief to many more people, and I makes me wonder what kind of world would it be if we can all finally get rid of the the emotional ghosts of our pasts.

That idea of carrying hurts and misdeeds around for our entire lives is really sad. We relive our hurts and misdeeds every time we remember them, so we are doing ourselves harm every time we refuse to let something go. Let yourself experience sorrow for the person you were, but then let it go. We all had our less than perfect moments in life, and will have them again, but why carry them around with you when they have nothing to do with the person you are now? Let your present actions and intentions show who you are and let the rest go - the present is the only thing you have any control over.
Don't get me wrong. i don't walk around saying, "Hey wronged someone 20 years ago." But when the name pops up the first thought is, "Oh yeah, I was an utter bastard to this woman." And those are things you keep with you.

You live and you learn not to say such things again...til you get busted for calling Pancakes "Retards" by someone who is an advocate for the mentally challenged (which actually happened last week)

However, I do believe that the ticks define who you are, and most of the time we don't even know they're there until such time as they surface, then you deal with them.

And the point of the post is not, "Hey I'm walking wounded", but a story of what you do when one of these things does show up. You apologize and move on, and hope it takes.

Facebook is huge, and every day more and more people are appearing out of time and memory to reappear in my life, and my post was also a vision about the good that may come from what seems like a random occurrence.

Then again, it might all blow up in my face. :)
I too have been recently contacted by people I graduated with...was all nice and good at first although I never really hung out with any or them, but now....there is a new tone...they are bitching about the language and innuendo used by other graduates on FB....my response: If you don't approve or like what you see and read on FB, GET THE FUCK OFF! Is there nowhere an adult can go and not be censured????
No shit! I have it written into my profile: "Salty Language will be used here. You have been warned. Also i will not be sending plants hugs or kisses, and my Status Updates come from Twitter, so expect Non Sequiturs."

If you don't like it, don't friend me.
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