This is my old high school:
Spent 3 years there.
At the time, it was the only high school serving the entire southern half of the city.
We had so many students, we had to go to school in shifts, 8-2 and 10-4.
There were all the usual cliques - jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, ROTC, brains...
you know, because you had them too.
We were all overly concerned with image, with being liked, with being cool, with fitting in.
What does this have to do with Facebook?
Up until a few years ago, I saw all my old classmates only at the reunions,
secretly glad I didn't look THAT old.
Up until a few years ago, I had kept in touch with only a couple of them,
and those were cherished friendships.
Up until a few years ago, I remembered them as they were in school.
But then, something happened.
Technology crept into my world.
It really started with BS (beloved son) begging me to join Facebook so I could do the farm game with him.
"Oh puh-leez! No way."
"Come on Momma. You'll like it."
"I don't wanna. Facebook is stupid."
"It'll be something we can do together.
(Good grief, did he have to go and put it THAT way?)
And back & forth it went.
I resisted for a few months, but apparently I have the spine of a jellyfish.
So, there we would sit, at least when he came home for visits, mother & son,
side by side on the sofa, each with our laptop, tending our farms.
Quality time, doncha know.
If any of you are considering playing the Facebook games, DON'T!
STEP AWAY FROM THE ZYNGA!!!
But while I was glued to my cows and chickens, harvesting my crops, a funny thing happened.
I started hearing from some of my old classmates from school.
Some of them were farming buddies, others intermittent chat buddies.
We even planned some casual get-togethers.
And you know what?
Well, other than discovering some will-power to 12-step my way away from the farms,
I discovered something about all those classmates.
Time becomes the great equalizer.
35 years later, the cliques are gone.
Our image is pretty much the same - wrinkles, bags, sags, gray hair, no hair, bulges and rolls.
No one really gives a flying hoot what the others think any more.
Granted, some of these classmates were virtual strangers to me.
I hadn't known them well in school, but since the masquerades of youth had melted off,
so did the foolish blinders fall away.
I discovered a treasure trove of wonderful people.
People I might not have wanted to be friends with in school,
being the spineless twit that I was,
ended up being people of humor, intelligence, wit, kindness, generosity...
What is it about youth that prevents us from seeing those qualities before?
Maybe because those qualities take time and life experiences to refine?
Maybe because it's hard to recognize qualities in others when they are
sadly underdeveloped in ourselves?
Life does that, I guess.
Reinforces the truth that youth is wasted on the young.
For whatever reason, we can be friends now.
There is little awkwardness.
There is an instant connection of shared history,
It creates a bond; a fellowship; a camaraderie.
I can cherish these people now.
One in particular, especially.
Facebook brought me together with the love of my life.
(I mentioned him in my last post.)
I knew him in school, but didn't really know him all that well.
Our separate lives have brought us each to a place and time that,
where we probably would have scoffed at the thought back in school days,
now I see the utter beauty of the man I couldn't have seen in the boy.
And I look forward to being able to appreciate that for years to come.