Sunday, January 04, 2009

Facebook's Blast from the past mechanism & Phoenix Friendships

Okay... it has be utterly amazing to me the number of individuals I've run into on Facebook in the past 24hours. I mean, amazing. And I've BEEN on Facebook for at least a year or longer. But I spent about 9months sleeping on it by barely checking in to see what was what. Between Myspace and Bison Roundup, I was like, fuhget Facebook, I don't have time! But sometime around October of last year (since we're officially into the '09!) I finally decided to get back into the swing of Facebook, and BOY am I glad I did!!! The sheer number of people I've connected with yesterday alone is mindblowing. I mean you hear the stories all the time of how your whole childhood/adolescence/early adulthood/professional life pulls up to the screen and waves at you like "Come'mere!" But when it really happens you're still like "WHAAAAAT!!!!!" And I can totally dig it!!! I love it!

So what made it even more mindblowing is one particular person I reconnected with who I haven't seen in yeeeeears! My promdate (and first official unrequited love- I say in gest!) whose profile name I just could not believe I was reading!!! Now, grant it, I don't actually believe I was in love with him back then, but when I tell you I liked me some HIM! All of my friends from that time period will tell you that's the understatement of the century!! I met him at the 2nd highschool I attended, and I don't remember exactly how our paths crossed... (or maybe now that I'm thinkin about it, I do remember exactly how we met... out in the front corridor of the campus...! I haven't thought about that in at least 15 years!) So yeah, he gave me his number on a folded piece of paper and I called him that night, and we must have become instant phone buddies. You remember how it is, you talk on the phone til all hours of the night but really don't hang out at or after school. That was all I was gonna do anyway, I was soooo wholesome and shy when it came to boys back then that I couldn't even imagine trying to spend a whole lot of extra curricular activities with him. But we were genuine friends! We had a connection that started with music (some things never change!) and grew from there. I do believe he is the person who got me loving Lee Morgan's Search For The New Land to this day! I knew he was out of my league though. Not in the sense that he was better than me or anything, but by 10th or 11th grade he'd already fathered a child, and I was barely even kissing boys!!! We had a lot in common, but it stopped with intriguing conversation on music and random other things church girls talk about! No mas, no menos.

So, whereas I don't remember all the details from my 11th grade year (which was his senior year) I do know that I remained in contact with him when he went off to college during my senior year, with me probably totally crushing on him the whole time. So as my senior year unfolded in the most memorable of ways prom was approaching, and since I wasn't dating back then I didn't really have an idea of who I would go with, though I knew I wanted to go with him. I think he was still out of town, or had just returned from the semester ending in May, so I figured I'd be brave and ask him if he wanted to go. And he agreed to my delight. So I settled on a color scheme and dress (a floor lengthed empire-waist/jackie-o style baby blue dress with pearl white elbow length gloves, with his white tux and baby blue cumberbun and bow tie) and told him I'd take care of everything while he agreed to get the car and corsage. My details are a bit fuzzy in my mind... I haven't thought about this in a hundred years!!!! But what I DO remember is that he called me up with less than a week before prom to say that he couldn't take me because his babymama (or child's mother, depending on how hood you are, who may or may not have been his girlfriend at the time, but probably was) didn't want him to go. Just like that, not going. (WAIT! I remember, this took place a couple of weeks before prom and before he got back from college because I remember that I wanted to just cancel everything and not go, then I was at school one day and unexpectedly saw him on campus, visiting since he was home from college, and during that encounter -which was the week of prom- I think he convinced me that I should still go and that he would go with me. I think that's how it happened. He may remember it differently! But we're going with my version!!!)

So here we were, back on again, and it's the day of the prom and he didn't get the car (who knows what happened)! And on top of that I THINK I remember that he didn't bring my corsage either!!! (Wooooooooo this story is a doosey, ain't it! :) But he did show up, looking very handsome! So we ended up taking my mom's car, which was nice but not what you do at PROM! LOL So we made our pre-prom rounds and ended up having a ball at the prom itself, taking pics and dancing, looking very classy if I do say so myself! I remember getting compliments from a few of the teachers and chaperones. But he'd only agreed to come to prom, so once it was over I had to drive him back to his house and say goodnight so that I could re-join the rest of my friends for Afterprom, etc. When we got to his house, I FEEL LIKE I REMEMBER that he was kinda lingering before he got out of the car, as if he was waiting for a kiss or something.....? (Am I remembering that correctly???? Probably!!!! I don't know, but I feel like that's what I remember!) But you know it didn't go down! So we eventually said goodnight, and I was on my way..... That is the last real memory I have of him. I think I ran into him once at the gas station sometime while I was home from college but that's it, our friendship basically severed at that point.

I say all that to say... WHY I RUN INTO THIS FOOL ON FACEBOOK YESTERDAY!!!!! HAHAHHAHHA Straight up and down, no messing around, saw his name as bright as a neon arrow, and it's one of those names you just don't forget. And I couldn't resist "friending" him nor could I wait to see if he would be just as surprised as I was to see him.... And don't you know, he was :)

"Maisha! Wow, I miss you more than I ever could tell you! I felt so bad how we left off. I am so sorry. I apologize for how I was with you in 96'. I missed you so much after that; it broke my heart. I was immature and going through differences. Please forgive me and allow me to be a good friend to you. You were one of my best friends."

Just like that.... 13 years later, we've reconnected and he felt moved to clear the air! And the funny thing is, because I don't hold grudges, the whole thing had been water under the bridge for years now as far as I'm concerned! Like, writing about it now is the most I've thought of the whole thing in ages!! I can't front, from time to time I've wondered how he is but never in a salty-I can't believe what he did when we went to prom- kind of way. Just wondered. I haven't even thought about the fact that we started off as such good friends in years; and NEVER thought he'd express that he missed me and would ask for my forgiveness for the way things turned out back then. Talk about left field! But it tickled my heart and definitely made me smile in a real way. I guess you can't front on that initial spark or attraction that genuinely draws people to friendship. It's a beautiful thing that people are able to grow into caring adults, and that we can laugh about our past pain. To a 17 year old, messing up prom is the worst thing imaginable. To a 29 year old, it was one of those quintessential childhood experiences that worked out for everyone involved. So I've totally forgiven him and am even excited to hear that life has been unfolding favorably for him with his career and family. SO I say to him, Hello friend, where ya'been! :)

It even gives me hope that in a few years I'll be able to rekindle some more friendships that seemed to have painfully ended. Losing significant friendships is not my style. (Just today I said "happy new year" to someone whose friendship with me has painfully ended, but it's apparent that there is nothing more than awkward one-word greetings to share at this point. And I knew that, but I miss him dearly.) So I tell myself: Keep living, keep progressing, keep loving the right way... and I'm sure it will come back around (I hope anyway). Cause I HATE to lose significant friendships that are life-changing. And when it does, I'll say, "Hello friend, where ya'been...!"

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