Dear Kiss & Zutell—
A few months ago, my kids set up a Facebook account for me. Suddenly, old friends are coming out of the woodwork. It's been a lot of fun having these Internet reunions. Then the other night, I received a friend request from a college boyfriend who was my first love. The good wife side of me says to ignore it. But then again, I am curious.
Welcome to the wonderful/frightening/addicting/ time sucking world that is Facebook. I joined FB about two years ago for the sole purpose of promoting my novel—at least that's what I convinced myself. And when that high school love "friended" me one day, I agonized over this. I suppose we all need a little Desperate Housewives drama in our lives.
OMG! What should I do? Tell my insanely jealous husband? Friend him and hope our pent up feelings don't ignite into a passionate affair? Ignore him and pray he doesn't post photos of me with my eighties perm?
After I played out these all too real scenarios, I decided do the right thing and tell Larry, my husband.
"Winthrop wants to be my friend on Facebook," I said. My heart hammered away. Larry studied me. "Why?"
I was about to respond, "Duh, don't you get it? He's probably still in love with me. " But Larry shrugged his shoulders. "Facebook is too stupid for words…and who's Winthrop anyway....sounds like a circus pony."
No drama's gonna happen there. Larry's actually a little too laissez faire about my social circle. I could probably 'friend' Robert Blake and he'd say, "oh that's nice. Tell him I dug Baretta."
So I accepted Winthrop's request. I looked at his photos. I perused all his status updates (yes, all of them—from the moment he signed on to Facebook two years earlier).
Big disappointment. No, he wasn't bald with a beer gut. But the witty, funny, brilliant person I thought I had loved once upon a time, has lost 50 percent of his luster—which made him a half-wit.
He invited me to join Farmville and play Mafia Wars. He bought me a virtual Margarita. He wrote status updates that made my grocery list look fascinating and ended too many of them with, "time for a brewski." He listed Dude, Where's My Car as his all-time favorite movie.
Where was the Winthrop I had known? Had time changed him? No, I sadly realized after analyzing his "25 Things About Me" posting (he likes to pee sitting down). He was the same guy. I just hadn't seen it then.
Curiosity didn't just kill the cat. It murdered my past. Or at least my perception of the past.
This is the real danger of friending old loves. See, the truth is, your past is like Soviet Russian history. You're never supposed to realize how much you've revised your life. That's the way is has been throughout time. But Facebook has ruined this illusion forever. We're supposed to fondly remember The One Who Got Away. Now we don't have to remember. We can click onto his page and discover that he likes to pee sitting down.
You've been warned. Go play Farmville instead.