Friday, January 23, 2009

THE RABBIT HOLE

A few months ago I joined Facebook, knowing I needed another on-line addiction like a hole in the head.

And at first I showed restraint - more than restraint, I sort of forgot about it.

Then I dipped a toe in. Just a toe - checked in now and then, wrote on a wall or two, and left it at that.

Too swept up in the emotion of Tuesday's history making, I was worthless on Wednesday, and jumped in with both feet. Next thing I knew I'd spent HOURS looking for old friends, and FINDING them! Writing on walls turned to e-mail exchanges, turned to revelations, turned to honest to God re-connecting.

Re-connecting.

Connecting again - but differently, and I'm going to have to say, better.

Forgot about how many funny, FUNNY people I knew in high school.

And they're still funny, haven't had so many giggles in one day as I did on Wednesday, in far too long.

Amongst the funny friends there have been many divorces, many children born, some left childless - and aching. Some of the children are medically fragile, some have autism, some are gifted - all are what children are: complicated.

Some friends are in recovery, some are balding, some have new noses, all have changed the way 28 years tends to do to a person.

Found one friend that had my dad as a college professor - never knew that before. He simply asked, "Your dad still around?" When I answered that no, he had died 12 years ago, he told me that out of the three colleges/universities he'd attended, my dad was the most memorable - left the biggest impression.

I didn't know that man - the man that left positive impressions/big impacts. Facebook gave me a glimpse of a man I am only now coming to appreciate, my own father.

Picked Woohoo up from her high school yesterday, the one that is a near replica of the one I went to so long ago. She has no idea of the roots that are growing deep in the ground these critical years - roots that with any luck, will bring her lots of giggles, and a deeper sense of self someday.

And her family tree.

13 comments:

Live and Learn the Hard Way said...

I have had the same sort of Rabbit Hole Facebook experience. I reconnected with my high school sweetheart after twenty years, and have never been happier in my life. We are engaged to be married late this summer. I have found people who knew both of my parents as people other than my parents. It's strange to see the human side of your parents. Congratulations on reconnecting.

Angie Ledbetter said...

I'm thinking of dipping a toe soon too, and learning to Tweet. (eek) So glad your reconnecting has been fun and funny.

Wanda said...

It must be in the air. A high school friend of mine looked me up last week. She lives not far away and we got together for coffee. It was lovely to re-connect. And as you said, it is better in some ways--now, from this perspective. Thank, God.

french panic said...

I'm jealous. My facebook experience has been absolutely dreadful - I had a visceral reaction when I saw that one of my main elementary school tormentors had given birth to 3 children. The thought of her replicating and spreading her hatefulness......ugh.

And then there are the former friends who couldn't even be bothered to respond to my emails - though they still 'accepted' my facebook friendship request - which made me remember how we 'lost' touch in the first place....

I've never really understood how people 'lose' touch in the first place. Someone always makes a conscious decision to not return a phone call, or 'forget' about calling when they are in town. Faded friendships seem to be deliberately neglected, rather than something that is accidentally 'lost'.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Facebook will help promote your book. See? You're actually working,not wasting time.


: )

kario said...

Oh. I so hope that this continues to be a vehicle for you to learn about your father. What a gift.

I, too, have gotten sucked into Facebook. Damn you, Holly, Jess and Prema! ;-)

holly said...

It only appears to be a giant worthless time-suck when you aren't looking hard enough at it.

Robin said...

I joined facebook to stay in contact with my son when he went to college. He wouldn't answer the phone or respond to email, but at least when he changed his status, I knew he was still alive.

Deb Shucka said...

I want to hear more stories! So glad you received the gift of your dad in a different light.

Amber said...

This is so true! Kory is on facebook, and I look and he is crazy about it now. You are right-- there is something special about the people who knew us when... It is a neat time to be alive, huh?

:)

Amber said...

Oh! also, have you ever heard that Reba song, "The Only Man I Never Knew"? You and your dad here, remind me of that.

:)

Nancy said...

Only dipped a toe nail in so far. Made a page so I could look into what my kids were into and haven't dipped deeper than that. My son makes fun of me because I have no profile and no friends. I guess I should either dive in or delete. Nice to see all of the positive experiences.

Jess said...

Wow, that first one about reconnecting with the high school sweetheart and getting engaged tops mine.

Oh, but actually I have reconnected via FB with a lot of great high school friends as well as my best friend from early childhood who I reunited with last summer and also got to meet her son. Also found several people I dated long ago. And it helps me keep track of my younger (early 20something) cousins very well.

And I have had several very productive business networking moments on FB, too, so do not doubt that it will help your book!