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Friend Me if You Like

February 16, 2009

So, I joined Facebook the other day. Go ahead, go look me up in you like. I'll be sitting right here, wondering what the hell I jabbed up under the nail of my middle finger on my left hand to cause it to sting like this.

Couldn't find me? I'm not surprised. I'm rather unassuming. Also, I deleted my profile within about five minutes.

Here's the thing. I joined Facebook in order to see if I could track down a picture of Betsy Hagar. Not Sammy's wife, but the one to whom I dedicate a post every year on her birthday under the guise of being a Groundhog's Day post. I figured it'd be a great way to sort of bring the whole joke together, to place a face to the words I write every February 2nd. Off to Facebook I went, where I plugged in my high school information and then, lo and behold, there was Betsy. Her last name has changed--it starts with a Z now, in case you care to know--but it was definitely her. There was only one Betsy in my class. I'm not sure what the story was about the picture she used on her profile page--it's either her three children, or it was her and her sister and brother as kids. I don't know if I'll ever know.

See, I went to punch the "send friend request" link...but then I hesitated. The cursor had gone from arrow to finger, as it will when it rolls over a hyperlink, but I didn't push the button. Instead, I sat back, looked at the screen, and then clicked to my profile page.

Now, I had lots of crushes in high school. I could list them all for you if you'd like: Rebecca, Elizabeth, Teryn, Rondelle, Dawn, Beth, Tabbie, Amy, Angela, Olivia, Sarah, Jenny, Carrie, Kathy, Courtnee, Cortney, Larissa, Danielle, Vanessa and two different Tricias. I asked some of them out, I dated a couple of them, some of them were simply crushes--a girl whom I thought was pretty or cool but whom I knew a relationship would not or could not last, if it even ever got started. A couple of weeks later, I'd move along to a new belle and wonder what it was that I saw in that other girl two weeks ago. Such is the fickleness of one's teenage years.

The one constant, however, was my unmitigated and unrequited lust for Betsy Hagar. The biggest problem here was that Betsy was one of my best friends. While Betsy was a brilliant person, I don't think she had even the slightest inkling of the raging hormonal conflagration that coursed through my veins at the very thought of her. Once, innocently enough, around a whole table of friends, we were discussing personal hygiene, and Betsy revealed that every day she took at least one, sometimes two, 11 minute showers! My teenage mind did not in fact spiral downward with this information; my teenage mind plummeted to the depths of my lustful soul and landed with an inelastic thud that disallowed my mind to focus on anything else for the remainder of the day.

Betsy was the physical embodiment of every carnal desire I've ever had or ever would generate. In French class, I learned to conjugate faire, boire and vouloir while staring at her. I spent as much time sitting down during a basketball game watching her patrol the sidelines in her short cheerleader's skirt as I did watching Jimmy Hall run the motion offense. If I had had an art class and was instructed to redraw Botticelli's "Birth of Venus", it would have been Betsy standing in the open scallop shell.

When it comes to lustful machinations, I'm not so big into blondes. True, I was going to marry one, but that's because she had a mouth like a sailor, the appreciation of geekitude like a fangirl, and had the intellectual power and stamina to recite long stretches of Shakespeare--and all that was wrapped in a body of a stripper (fortunately for me, I found the same thing in a different woman...except this one had red hair!). I'm also a fan of large breasts and a shapely ass (again, fortunately, the red haired beauty came with these accoutrements) . Betsy was blonde, small-chested and flat-assed, and still, I wanted her with every shred of my being.

So, when I found her profile on Facebook, I was eager to befriend her through the magical electronic wonderland we call the internet. The lustful fires wouldn't burn so brightly when everything was carried on the backs of a few plucky electrons and, besides, those carnal flames would have ebbed with the passage of time, the maturity of my thirties, and the responsibilities built into the job of "husband" and "father." Right?

However, I wanted to keep the old fantasy. I didn't want to know what ravages time had done to this erotic ideal of feminism that I had cooked up in my formative years. Sure, maybe she's colored her hair, perhaps she now has full, round breasts or her ass had developed a pugnacious perkiness that would send a quiver up and down my spine. I didn't want to know. I liked the memories to stay where they were, buried in the recesses of my mind, floating to the surface every year when February 2nd rolls around.

It's fitting that one of my friends for whom I developed an array of carnal fantasies has her birthday on February 2nd. She's like my groundhog: if I don't think of those long, brown legs or that smile built from scarlet lips that were a bit too wide for her face or the iridescent sparkle in her brown eyes, then I'll know that my mind has slipped into a persistent and irreconcilable winter.

Once I found myself back on my profile page, I looked at all the people from my high school whom I could "friend" if I so desired. I went to a high school of 2300+ kids--that was when I graduated. During my four years there, I probably was in contact with just under 5000 other people. Of that five mille, I speak to exactly three of them: my best friend--The Brewing Optometrist--and his wife, and one of the aforementioned Tricias. Occasionally, I'll speak to my cousin, and even more rarely I'll have a conversation with my brother...usually on a holiday. Sure, there are some people with whom I'd like to keep up a discourse, like "What the fuck ever happened to Eric Cotton?" or "Wonder if Jenny Leutzow ever figured out who I was?" Then, I realize...it's not like it's tough to find this blog and shoot me an email. Besides, I have much better friends who mean more to me that I fail to converse with for whatever reasons, despite having a half dozen emails from them in my inbox.

I promptly deleted my account. I washed my hands of my presence on the social networking site and came back here to continue posting away things that are important to me or that I think might make you all smile or laugh or gag a little while you read.

I guess that's what age and maturity does to a person: it makes you appreciate the here and now, the people with whom you've surrounded yourself, and to be thankful for what you have.

Mother of fuck...that's one hellaciously depressing way to end a blog post, no matter how true it is.

12 comments:

Sass said...

This post wins the award for my favorite post of the week. And it's only Monday.

I challenge anyone to top this.

Seriously.

Susan said...

Ahhh...I so agree with your entire view of Facebook. And by the way, Betsy knew you wanted her like that. All girl "friends" know that. Men can't be "just friends".

Joe said...

So I just befriended the first Matt Jenks that came up in FB. It’s so said that it can't be you; we had so much fun on MySpace. I guess since my new desk will be within kicking distance of you; I will have to get my jollies that way.

Dr Zibbs said...

I'm starting to get Facebook requests from real life friends and frankily - I've been ignoring them.

SouthernBelle said...

I like FaceBook, but I try not to have friends that I wouldn't like to see in real life if I could.

It's good for me because I can keep up with my Aussie friends & fam easily.

Warren Beatty said...

Fuck man.

l8r,
Warren

Giggle Pixie said...

This is exactly why I haven't gone to ANY of my school reunions. I'd rather just let the past be a memory and remember them all the way they were then.

Besides, the ones I really cared about are still my friends now and we remain in contact. That's more than enough nostalgia for me, thankyouverymuch. lol

Sassy Britches said...

Very wise move on your part. Some things are better left as memories.

words...words...words... said...

This feels like something I might write. So I hate you.

No, it was really good. REALLY good. We all have a Betsy Hagar. Mine wound up graduating #1 in her class from Columbia Law, so it's just as well. She'd have smoked me.

BeckEye said...

Yeah, Betsy Hagar could look like Hagar the Horrible by now. You don't need to know that.

~E said...

Facebook is the DEBUL!

Being of like mind with the red horned one...I of course have a profile.

I would say Look Me Up, but.

Fancy Schmancy said...

Well said, I'm still ambivalent about the whole thing, but I stay on because my son's profile is private and I have to be his friend to be able to keep an eye on him. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!