Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Former Friends and Old Lovers

Do you ever just snuggle up to Facebook, tickle it a little and see if it spits out the whereabouts of former friends and old lovers?  Okay, so maybe it's just me.  Every once in a while, I feel the need to skulk around the interwebs, looking for people I used to know.  I blame yesterday's excursion on Facebook itself.  I loaded my FB page only to see the face of an old boyfriend glaring at me from the sidebar under 'People you might know'.  Yeah, I knew him.  I was trying to repress that whole experience.  TYVM  :shudder:

Anyway, seeing him sitting there in my sidebar made me wonder who else is out there, perhaps skulking around the interwebs looking for me.  In minutes, I found five old boyfriends on FB (two of which I promptly blocked), and almost the entirety of my college gang.  Not bad.  The gal who used to be my best friend is still married to the guy she married the summer between my third and fourth years of college.  (I was maid of honor.)  One of my exs is now working at the same place with the guy who was his best friend back in 1990. And that guy I could never remember the real name of - cuz we mainly called him by his nickname back then?  Well, mystery solved. 

In my FB search, though, one person was curiously absent.  Of all my non-computer-junkie friends and exs from way back when, he was the one I was sure would have a page.  So I went to Google (the perfect place for stalking people without them knowing you're stalking them) and typed in his name.  Within seconds, it was perfectly apparent why he wasn't on Facebook.  He died in April of 2007 at the age of 55.  Massive heart attack.  Too bad because he was a nice guy - just not the right guy for me.  He was the first - that I know of - old boyfriend who'd passed on.  (Although that guy I was engaged to in 1989 had such a toxic personality I'd be surprised to learn he was still alive.  Liver failure or a drug overdose should've claimed him years ago.)

It's an interesting thing to go back in time this way.  It can also be a depressing thing.  To find that all the people who were my friends are still friends with each other...  Well, yeah.  That stung a bit.  Most of them went on to graduate while I quit school, got knocked up, and then got brain damage.  Over the years, I tried to reach out to them.  One short phone call here or there.  An interesting but truncated email exchange.  And that was it. 

My friend, Kathy, was the last one I talked to and that was ten years ago.  She's happily married (thankfully not to either of the dudes she dated when I knew her) and her little boy who survived cancer while we all sat around the hospital with her waiting for news is a healthy adult now.  Life is good for her.  Life is good for me.  Our good lives just no longer intersect.

It's an interesting thing to go back, but it also makes me realize something.  I can never go back.  Flipping through the interwebs this way is like reading a set of short stories I can no longer relate to.  Too bad something in me keeps wanting to try.

What about you?  Have you ever tried to find former friends and old lovers using the interwebs?  How'd that work out for you?  I've heard success stories - is yours one of them?


  1. My college "true love" died in March but I didn't hear about it until the alumni magazine came out. It was a shock. I've "buried" a few friends and old boyfriends. I went to my last high school reunion and remembered why I'd skipped so many in between. Nothing in common any more, despite the requests to play Farmville on FB. From college, I have one friend--my BFF--that I'm in semi-frequent contact with. And one friend from my young working adult days who comments occasionally on my FB and vice versa.

    I have to admit that after reading this, I went to look for a couple of old boyfriends. Too many with the same name to shift through to find the right one. Not worth the effort. My life took the path it did and I'm content. Interesting thoughts today, though. Very interesting.

  2. I had numerous pen pals when I was 15. I think I only communicate with one now, and that's at Christmas, only. So yeah, I've searched for old pen pals. Found one, too and wrote him. He responded, but that was it. We used to be such good friends, too. But once I got married, it's like no one wanted to write to me any more. And maybe I did get busier, but it didn't mean I stopped liking them.

    Anyway, I just wanted you to know you're not alone. I search for old friends all the time.

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your college love, Silver. Ugh, don't get me started on reunions. I went to one and it was pretty much a fail. Yeah, finding people with common names is a bear. Lucky for me, I dated some oddly named people.

    Thanks, Stacy. Heh, I used to do the Christmas card thing with old friends - until I realized I was sending them cards and wasn't getting cards back. And then I figured if they can't be bothered, why should I?