Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Friended by Old Friends

By Robin "Red Hot" Kaye

This past weekend I was procrastinating. I know, hard to believe, huh? I went on Facebook and found that a friend from high school had posted on my high school’s Facebook page. I commented and then looked at the other graduates who liked the page, wondering if I could find my old friend Ed. Ed had graduated from the same school several years before me and came to mind last month while I was driving through the town where Ed had gone to college .

Ed hadn’t liked our high school’s page, but I typed in his name and sure enough, a guy who looked like him popped up. Wow! I messaged him and asked if he was the same Ed I called a friend all those years ago. Sure enough, the next day I was friended by him and received an email catching up on 25 years in five paragraphs. It was amazing. After that, I was on a roll. I tracked down his stepbrother, Steve, the same way. More emails, more OMGs, and more catching up. It was wonderful!

I’m now back in touch with old friends I thought were lost to me forever. I was thrilled to find that the three of us are all happily married, we all have great careers, beautiful families, and even after all the hell we raised together way back when, we turned out just fine.

I also discovered that after all these years, we’ve changed very little. Steve still sports that same boyish grin/smirk—one photo and I was tossed back to the summer between my junior and senior year in high school and could hear his voice in my head spouting a New York accent and a smart-ass remark. Ed still plays guitar, and wore the same look he wore while playing the lead on a Crosby, Stills & Nash song.

The best thing is that our friendship is still there. Both emails mentioned shared memories that were ours alone—my father’s penchant for threatening to shoot them in the kneecaps if anything happened to his precious daughter—moi. The road trip to the beach where we were trapped inside for an entire rainy weekend with no TV, the seemingly endless string of summer days sitting by my pool and drinking all my dad’s beer. I can still hear Steve greeting my father when he came home, “Have a beer, Mr. Williams. It’s the last one. We saved it for you.” They mentioned the years we spent together, supporting each other, being each others’ bullshit meters, helping each other through rough relationships and broken hearts. It feels as if we’re back where we began, except with different families and jobs. Life is good and finding my friends again just made it all the more better.

So what about you? Have you rediscovered old friends on Facebook or MySpace? Did you feel the same absence of change?

23 comments:

Diana Quincy said...

I've rediscovered friends from every stage of life - from 5th grade, high school, college and every job. It is hard to get together with people so FB offers a wonderful way to keep in touch!

Vanessa said...

Great story, I'm amazed learning so much about people from high school and college due to FB. I know them better now due to photos, regular status updates, comments, etc. than I did back then, it seems.

msullivan said...

Great blog topic, Robin! Just last fall my first boyfriend contacted me through my website, out of the blue, after twenty-three years. We got together for dinner when he came to town and had a ball catching up on all of those years. The biggest thing we noticed about each other? We both still have the same mannerisms we had way back when! When you see an old and dear friend the years just melt away, don't they?

Diane Kelly said...

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love catching up with people, but I hate that I don't really understand how to use it right!!! : )

Eliza Knight said...

Hi Robin! Its amazing how social networking has brought people back in touch with each other that you thought you may never see or hear from again. With the way our lives can be so hectic, being able to catch up through email and facebooking makes it so much easier, and you feel like not a day has gone by! Great story!!!

Robin Kaye said...

Diana - Thanks for dropping by! Wow, you found someone from 5th grade? That's amazing! I've been looking for a few of my old, old friends but so far, no go. I'm happy to have found Steve and Ed though.

@ Vanessa - With Steve and Ed it was like stepping back in time. What a strange feeling!

@ MSullivan - It's strange, isn't it? I friended my ex-fiance and spoke to him on the phone once. It was a very amicable break-up and he's just the nicest guy. It was weird when he said goodbye he still said "love ya" just like he always had.

@ Diane - I'm with you on that. There are so many things to find out about how to use it and I just don't have the time or inclination. Still, finding old friends is awesome!

@ Eliza - Thanks for stopping by, sweetie! Yeah, I'm pretty stoked about being back in touch with the guys. They were a huge part of my life back then. I'm thrilled to see them both so happy!

Judi Fennell said...

Yep, have reconnected with old classmates (and not old in terms of age, but, er, well, yeah, maybe...)

Amazing how 20 some years out of high school and it only takes one "remember when..." and we're right back in it! :)

Judi Fennell said...

Oh, and I found someone from 2nd grade. She was only in our school for maybe 5 months, but we were great friends for those 5 months, and she had such a distinctive name that when I searched it and found it, I knew it had to be her. Yep, it was. And she remembered me, too.

Robin Kaye said...

@ Judi - LOL aint' that the truth. It's amazing what shared memories will do to erase the years. That's so cool about finding a friend from 2nd grade. I moved around so much, my lost friends must be in the hundreds...

Heather Bitzer said...

I love this topic Robin! My girlfriends and I planned practically our entire high school reunion using facebook. Now, it's a real lift to my day to be able to joke with my friend from 6th grade. Happily, she's exactly the same, except her crush on Patrick Swayze has kind of faded!

Anita Clenney said...

Loved this story Robin. But then you are a great storyteller. You've had a very interesting life. I still remember the skiing story you told me about, from when you were a little girl.

Diane Garner said...

Great story, Robin. Much to my family's chagrin, I've yet to tackle Facebook. A part (a really teensy tiny minute part, of course) is a little afraid to open the Pandora's box of my past. So many things I hope my kids never know. Just sayin'...

Gwynlyn said...

Not a beer drinker, but I think I might know these guys---or their Philly cousins!

No rediscovery for me. What was was. Going backward has never done anything but fuel regrets for me. Eyes on the prize. Forward into the fray!

Robin Kaye said...

@ Heather - LOL - I did so love Patrick in Dirty Dancing...sigh. That's so cool about planning your reunion on Facebook--it's amazing how it's changed so many lives!

@ Anita - You're kind to say so. I can attest to the fact that Clint Eastwood is one hell of a skier. LOL And I thought he'd have a hard time keeping up with me. He was a lot younger back then, but to a 13 year-old, he was a really old guy! LOL

@ Diane - I know what you're saying. But then my kids know most of the stories--definitely everything I'd ever mention on line. LOL

@ Gwynlyn - They were from the Main LIne of Philadelphia. We lived in Paoli and Berwyn back then. LOL You just might know them after all--call me some time and we'll dish!

Grace Burrowes said...

If social networking has a redeeming value, it's this ability to mine our pasts for purposes of enriching our futures. One of my clients who was bouncing through years of foster care even found his birth mom on FB, and they're visiting regularly. Ask him if social networking is worthwhile....

Robin Kaye said...

@ Grace, what a wonderful story! I think there might be a book in that. Hmm...food for thought. The only thing better than rediscovering old friends is discovering family--the kind you want to have at least...

Diana Cosby said...

Hi Robin,
I'm with you, FaceBook is totally amazing at reconnecting with people from your past. I'm on move #32, and I've found people I went to high school with in Alaska, some in Vermont, worked with in Spain and so on. I agree, even over the span of time, I've found that people changed very little. So, it's truly a small world, more so with the advent of on-line forums such as FB. :)

Diana Cosby said...

:) And I'm sure you're over that procrastination thing, right? *G*
^5 Wishing you continued success!

Robin Kaye said...

@ Diana - LOL I got you beat. I've moved 35 times (if you're counting houses) so I'm with you. Unfortunately, I haven't found many of my old friends. I'm still looking through.

Diana Cosby said...

LOL, Robin, I pray that I don't pass you! Yikes, did I mention I'm moving this summer. Ugh. *G* I assure you, your record is one I want you to keep! :) ^5

Amanda Brice said...

I love rediscovering old friends from high school or college on FB. What's even better is when I find out we live in the same city!

Robin Kaye said...

Diana - I hope I have one more move in my future--I'm so looking forward to heading back to Idaho sometime soon, maybe after my youngest graduates from high school. Then I'd be content to stay put for the rest of my days...I think. I am one hell of a packer--my mother, my sister, and I used to get up 8 hours before the movers were expected and just pack. We had it down to a science since my mom refused to live around boxes.

Robin Kaye said...

Amanda - that's so great! I know one of my friends from my first high school lives in the DC area. I'd love to see her but we've never quite gotten it together. Maybe someday!