05 October, 2009

The Gift of Time, from our Friend Facebook

Stephanie taught me to brush my teeth in the shower for the ultimate in multitasking and to avoid getting breakouts from leftover toothpaste dribble on your chin; that was seventh grade. Kristin tried her best to teach me how to tell time in the first. I learned to love the Dallas Cowboys (or at least the silver pencil from that cool set of NFL pencils) from Craig. And there was that amazing family of singers, Liz, Ann and Mary (and their brothers, Andy, Pete and Jim) who taught me so much about music, harmony and devotion. I learned about Jesus and mayonnaise from Tricia, and went to Hebrew school with Liz. Julie paid me a quarter for each cigarette butt I could find after her infamous high school parties, and I learned how to French kiss from David at the roller skating rink.

I figured out you could talk about race without being a racist with Jeff, and that the color of my homecoming date didn't matter to my parents at all when I went with Tom. Jill (or Jiy'l as she called herself then...) taught me how to rat my hair, and I got scared by a movie the first time when I saw Cujo at Claudia's house. Rachel taught me humility and the value of charity, and I learned how to clean up my own high school parties with Kristi. I learned how to hoist sails with Susan, and had my first crush on Jason.

Tracy and I wrote so may poems back and forth to each other I'm surprised we don't both work at Hallmark (Hugh Prather had *nothin'* on us!), and I bought a bottle of Drakkar Noir for Brian in junior high because I a) loved the smell and b) thought he was wonderful.

I loved the way Margot dressed, and swore that I too would wear a scarf someday. I only began working at the Gap because Emily worked there. She quit right before my first day and I stayed for 11 years.

and of course I could go on and on and on, because I rarely meet someone who doesn't teach me something, and most of the time, when I encounter a situation that is similar later in life, I think of that person most every time. Not most times... really, it's every time. So this means that *every time* I hit a note that fills in the chord, whether I am singing with others or the radio, I think of Liz, Ann and Mary (and their brothers, Andy, Pete and Jim), and Tina too, and Jenny and Briana. Every time. That's a lot of people, and it doesn't even count all of the people from college, like Andria, Katie and Susannah and Stacy, and Susan, and Erin, and, and....
then, not only do I recall their names (or their faces if their names are gone, or the relationship was brief..) but then I wonder where they are, how they're doing, do they have families? Are they happy?

so I have decided that Facebook is actually saving me time. At the very least, it is decreasing the amount of mental clutter I sift through daily. It works like this: I reconnected with one of my college boyfriends, even emailed back and forth a bit, looked through each other's photos. Then, I stopped wondering, every single time I saw a yellow light, whether he was okay, and had figured some things out. He has. He's okay, so I *stopped* worrying every time I saw that yellow light (that trigger is a long story about a car accident he was in with his "next girlfriend"...)

and that family Liz, Ann and Mary (and their brothers, Andy, Pete and Jim)? They are all great too. And so is Tina.

and I know Liz is on a plane to Geneva right now, and that Kristin is having trouble with random texts from Gautamala, and Tom is expecting a baby soon. It's all right here on my laptop.

Facebook, holding on to all of that information, all of that history, so I don't need to any more.

Thank you Facebook. Thank you.
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