Staying In Touch

In today’s world, you don’t need any more information than someone’s name to get in contact with them. I don’t need to exchange phone numbers, emails or physical addresses with anyone. I can’t find them in the Yellow Pages or ask the operator to connect me. For most people I meet, I can just look them up on Facebook. This isn’t exactly a novel concept. We’ve been dealing in the world of Facebook for quite a while now. I’ve been on the site for probably 9 years now and have always talked about how great it is for staying in touch with old friends. It makes me easy for me to keep up with my friends from study abroad and those folks I met while traveling in Australia. It’d be a little more challenging otherwise!

Just recently though, I had my first real encounter with using Facebook to reconnect with an old lost friend. When I was really little (think diapers) I had one friend, a little red-headed neighbor girl. She lived across the street. I don’t think we were much older when her family moved across town. We stayed friends for a few more years, well into elementary school, but after that we just sort of lost touch. Our mothers kept updated with all the news because they both saw the same hairdresser. Thanks Cindy! Sometime in the last few years, we became Facebook friends, but never did anything about it. Last month though, a red-headed girl woman (and blogger Ardent Camper!) sent me a message on Facebook- let’s meet up. I cannot remember seeing her in the last 20 years but I knew her immediately when she walked into Royer’s Pie Haven in Round Top (Go there. Go there right now, trust me.). It was a wonderful experience getting to meet and talk to her as an adult. We found out we had just as much if not more in common than before! So for all my Facebook complaints, I’m excited that we had this available to help us reconnect. 

On the other hand, I recently had another reconnection of a very different kind. Almost 9 years ago, I worked at a performing arts summer camp in Virginia. One of the campers who stayed in my cabin that summer was Jessie. Jessie had been homesick all summer long but when her mom to collect her on the last day, she was just cried and cried. So I suggested we write letters to one another- who doesn’t like mail! So for almost 9 years we’ve been writing letters every month or so. It’s a pretty incredible thing to write letters with someone over such a long period of time. Because she was 14 when we started I could easily and clearly watch her change and grow over the years. I guess she’s been do the same with me! When we went to Virginia this Christmas to visit Alaskan boy’s family for Christmas, I drove to a restaurant to meet up with her. Now, I admit she emailed me the address of the restaurant but otherwise we’ve remained connected and set up our reunion totally by snail mail. Pretty much the opposite of my recent reunion via Facebook!  

Even though I have access to, and use regularly, all this wonderful technology I could never give up letter writing and my pen pals. I have another person I’ve been writing with for almost 17 years. If you ever feel like you’d like to reconnect with someone, I highly recommend the hand written letter.

Pretty stationary not necessary but you will get bonus points for it. 

Are You Domesticated?

I recently turned 26. This neither feels like a particularly young or old age. I am young enough to have no real responsibilities or obligations. I am old enough to have my Facebook newsfeed be flooded with pictures of weddings, engagement announcements, baby photos, updates on pregnancies and the list goes on. I am equally fascinated and repelled by these. Did Cat really marry that boy from West?  Is Abby really pregnant? Is everyone pregnant? Is that where we are now- the age of life where everyone is… domestic?

Part of me is horrified by this. How can everyone be ready to settle down? While I realize that my lifelong idea that adventure ends with marriage is a little extreme, there are some adventures or experiences that can only be had when you’re flying solo. It’s a lot harder to pick up and go with someone else to consider. There are so many places I still want to go. So much of the world left unseen. There is this feeling in my chest, a tightness that I associate with the feeling of being trapped. Furniture makes me feel trapped. I hate owning any. My job makes me feel trapped. I go there five whole days a week (can you imagine?!). And even having a boyfriend means that I am limited in my explorations. I can’t exactly take off, life packed into a bag, for unlimited amounts of time and expect someone to wait behind.

But then, I feel the other side. This side is a new development. It’s something I feared would take over in my life eventually. It’s the need to nest. I want to garden. I want window boxes on a little bright colored cottage. Inside the house are pictures of all my favorite people, places and things. In the fridge are delicious treats. From the oven comes the smell of fresh bread baking. And everything is mine. At home, I wear only my underwear. My messes are always mine. And maybe, if he’s lucky, the boy comes over or lives with me. We fill the house with laughter and music can always be heard from our open windows. Even  though he doesn’t want to, he dances in the kitchen with me. I love to dance in the kitchen.

How do people do this? Balance the need to explore the unknown with the want to make roots? Am I the only one who feels this tug of war?

Why Do Old Crushes Get Married First?

Dear old crush,

Let’s be honest, I don’t honestly care that you got married. Your very expensive looking wedding photos were posted on Facebook and I see that somebody dropped their life savings on this which already tells me we would have never made it.

Unfortunately though in those pictures, you still looked pretty attractive. I’m not really okay with that. If you’re going to get married first, at least have the decency to have gained some weight.

I really would never wish you ill will but sometimes, because the way you were super flirtatious but didn’t mean it back in the summer of 2008, I wish you could gray early or have nose hairs that just get completely out of control.

And the best of luck to you in your recent nuptials.

Family On Facebook

There are many reasons why you should not friend your family on Facebook. It mainly has to do with the posts and photos they will see of you. Like all the photos that brought you to this point:

I’m the person up top, just to clarify. Everyone has these. In fact the picture above is something that can easily be chalked up to enthusiasm. But smart, Facebook savvy parents know that your enthusiasm usually comes from very fun beverages.

The biggest and most overlooked concern about friending family on Facebook is what you will be forced to look at (and cannot stop). Your mother will post treats like this:

There is nothing I like less than cheesy, sickly sweet forwards. Yes, the intention is good but honestly I know you like me. I really don’t want you to send this kind of mass generated crap to me. I will love you regardless. Let’s say I love over the phone, like normal families. I realize this is a clear cut example of just being embarrassed by your mother. Just because I’m 25 doesn’t mean I don’t still roll my eyes and go “Aw, Mooooommmm,” on a regular basis.

This the worst of the family Facebook relations. My thirteen year old cousin. He puts every single emotion that ever passes through his body on Facebook. He rags on his parents, talks about being sad, posts shirtless photos. All the things that thirteen year boys should be doing obviously (except maybe actually hanging out with friends in person?).  Even though I hate reading all his posts, I can’t stop. If I run across one I have to read it. Today I saw this:

Yes, I read all 47 comments.

Here’s a peek at some of the insightful comments:

I read 47 comments by thirteen year old children. And now I’m all in a huff about my cousin’s ridiculous breakup.

Do Not Let Your Family Friend You On Facebook. Your IQ and general positive attributes will suffer.