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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Feeling Raw Because of Facebook, Part 1: The Wonder Years

I'm not going to write anything new for the next few days, I think. But since I posted a story the other day about what may have been my first crush I was reminded of some other stories that I posted on another blog that has been inactive for a while. If you've read these stories before, well, you've been reading this blog for a long time then and that makes you awesome. Also, don't spoil them for everyone else :}

Like most adolescent boys I was a more than a bit girl-crazy when I was a kid. No, that's too mild. I was obsessive, fascinated, and thrown completely off balance by girls. I was also always always always the new kid, and in each new place there was another girl to throw me for a loop.

One of my first crushes, and certainly my puppiest crush, was on a girl in grade school. She was a year older than I, but we were in a split grades 5-6 class. It was my first year in a new town, and she was pretty, and popular, and energetic, and the leader of the girl-pack at that school. I was in whatever passes for love in a 10 year old, and surprisingly enough she managed to not ignore me. In fact, through the various pairings-off that happened in that first romanticized pre-teen year she and I were a couple at least once. Who knows how long these relationships lasted? They felt like moments and years both.

But she was in the 6th grade, and our school only went to 6, so at the end of the year she moved on to a middle school, 7-8, and I stayed behind. Partly because of her attention, and partly because it was such a small school, I got over feeling like the "new kid" by the time 6th grade began. I remember thinking about her a lot during that year, though. And by 7th grade we were again at the same school. She seemed even more popular and pretty and social, but she was also long past going out with younger guys. That was a long year, and the occasional phone call from her (or to her) was only enough to keep me enthralled, but never enough to bring us really close again.

The next year she went to high school and I saw her maybe once in that time. A final teasing phone call and then we were done: I moved again.

We had lived in a small place in Eastern Ontario; I moved to a smaller to finish out 8th grade. Then I moved west and went to high school, graduating a year early and eventually going to the University of Toronto, a school with more students than our town had residents. And on my first day of university, sitting on a grassy knoll at an orientation bbq, I met her again. We lived 4 floors apart in our college residence, and we were in the same history class. Despite our proximity we didn't see each other that often. I had gained a lot of confidence since those timid days in the 5th grade, and I had plenty to keep me occupied; and she had a full life of her own, and I only saw her sporadically. But here was this girl, this woman now, whom I had known as a child and who used to hold my heart in her unknowing hands. I admit it; she made me feel shy and awkward all over again. So I never really asked her out (I don't think potatoes at Futures counts as any kind of date), and just before Christmas she left school and never came back.

12 years after we saw each other last, probably in that history class she would sleep through, we met again, on Facebook.

It feels a little bit, from my side, like Kevin Arnold meeting Winnie Cooper at the plane in the final episode of "The Wonder Years." And once again I feel awkward and shy: how did she ever find this guy interesting?

There is someone on Facebook who is not a member of my family whom I have known for 20 years. That's a little bit humbling.


Rachel Coleman said...

Dear Crusher,
Sure sounds like you've always been a crusher!

for a different kind of girl said...

You were a bold little ball of hormones at 10, weren't you? Shy and nervous, sure, but look at you, all calling girls up!

I let the friend request from the first person from school who found me on Facebook languish in my email for a few days before granting access into my inner, still lame sanctum. All I could think of was how he used to make fun of me when we were in school, and how he must just want to check in and see if I was still that lame, not cool girl.

Totally the case.

Anonymous said...

Young love. Sigh. It seems like yesterday I was holding hands with Andreas Schimmel (don't laugh, he was from Germany, he couldn't help his name... plusI had a thing for foreign dudes, even back then) in Mr. Hotchkiss' class.
He broke my heart. He moved back to Germany and never called me again.

Anonymous said...

She sounds like a stalker to me.

Do you have a rabbit?

The Stiletto Mom said...

Lucky guy, I keep getting found by people I'd rather not have find me! the stockings hanging on the wall behind you...what was that package you were opening??

Will said...

Remove all the Canada references, and that was the life of a Navy brat as well. If there is one good thing about Facebook, it finding long, lost friends.

Julie Pippert said...

Wait, did you contact her on Facebook?

I'm impressed by your memory. I can't recall the last name of boys I crushed on in fifth grade.

I do remember "going with" boys---mainly the the skate rink (but we grew up in different decades I believe, so I don't know what kids did later).

Ilina said...

Oh, Kevin and Winnie! Facebook has hooked me up with several Kevins of my day.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I just saw the guy equivalent of that for me at my gym yesterday. There are eighty million cities in California and he has to pick this one? Dick.

Anonymous said...

That's it - I'm tracking ALL of you people down on Facebook and poking the hell out of you.

P.S. FADKOG - That dude now has no friends and leads a pathetic, lonely life ruined by the bad karma incurred when he made fun of a sweet, innocent schoolgirl. He found you on Facebook to atone for his sins.

That is all.

Aunt Becky said...

Awwww! You were a cute kid.

And I'm annoyed: I haven't met a soul on Facebook that I have missed over the years. I keep waiting to find someone I'd been dying to reconnect with, but nothing comes of it.

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

and they call it puppy loooove... ehm, sorry 'bout that. I don't know, I think all my crushes from my teenage years are the ones that still have the most power on me. Maybe because I can still remember how it felt the first time you hold hands with the one you like, the flirting, the phone calls... *sigh* I miss it a little bit sometimes - being happy and excited about the little stuff.

I deleted my Facebook account, so there's little chance I'll get back in touch with those people. I think it's cool she added you.

Anonymous said...

That is cool you reconnected! I remember in elementary school when we all have 2 and 3 boy friends at a time...and it was okay. Because really, what did you DO with your boyfriend at age 10? nothing. You just called him your boyfriend...LOL. Thanks for the trip back :)

Anonymous said...

Cody Holmes.

He was the first boy to ever talk to me in my grade three class. I was the new kid. New to the school, new to the city.

We never went out, no matter how many times he asked, but he followed me through high school, still watching, still waiting.

He found me on Facebook last week and I got a little misty eyed.

I should have let him kiss me underneath the goal posts on the soccer field when I was 8. Sigh.

Mike said...

Dude. Way to go to get the hot chicks from your past to "friend" you. I only get psychos who once tried to kill me!

PAPATV said...

Funny, we had the same exact Xmas stockings! Oh, and I was a mad crusher, too. I did girls homework. That gave them time to their boyfriends. It was a non win/win for Papason.

Anonymous said...

I keep the crushes of my past locked quietly away... they know too much! Heh.

I like this story... it's all warm and tingly.

Tina@ SendChocolateNow said...

It seems the people you want to keep up with are the ones that languish, and the ones who show up on Facebook are just not the same.

I just recently reconnected with an old crush of mine... he is doing well. And that was a long, long time ago; I am a completely different person.

Maybe some things are better left alone?


The Microblogologist said...

I have a friend on facebook who I have known since kindergarten, so 20 years. Never a romantic connection but it is cool being able to say I've known someone since kindergarten.