i was recently talking a good friend on the phone. she, like my girlfriend, is much less into the social media than i am. in fact, when my girlfriend knows i will be talking to her, she says to say hi to her “non-facebook friend.”
we were talking about our various ways of dealing with people and our desire for new people to connect deeply with, and after talking about how private she and my girlfriend are, i talked about how i tend to approach new people (not all new people, just the good ones) with something like that book are you my mother? except my version is “are you my new bff?”
it’s so hard for me, the level of shallowness of relationships being a grown-up sort of necessitates. there are people i am close to, but man, i want the grown-up version of sitting outside of dorm rooms sharing secrets with almost-strangers.
i think of things like this blog and facebook like that, but one reason i’ve been lacking in posts over here is because of how creepy the motives of facebook seems to be. as a human, in dealing with humans one-to-one, i think of oversharing as a way to stay safe almost– if there are no secrets, no one can find out your secrets. but then, these days, big brother is a reality in ways i can’t fathom.
i think of blogs as being like the end of the movie pump up the volume when all of the radio stations start popping up. it’s magical. and it makes me nauseated when i think that the reason these services are free is that data is being collected like mad. i dislike when my naivete is shattered, y’all.
although i was raised by hippies and have some lovely pagan friends, i’ve never been able to use “witchy” in as fabulously flattering a way as i can when i use it for friend fifty-eight. a fellow paraprofessional at a school in san francisco, friend fifty-eight always impressed me with her caring, wisdom, calmness, beauty, and artistic talent. bringing a love of the ethereal and the natural to the students at the school, friend fifty-eight is a wonderful gift for any school to have, and i miss working with her.
when i lived in olympia and did americorps, friend sixty, who i will refer to here as “beth meyer,” worked in the office, doing really impressive organizational things i didn’t understand. i loved working for her because she had nikki mcclure pictures, a great laugh and sense of humor, and i really felt like she Got Things, in terms of race and class and oppression. shy admiration impeded my ability to become actual real life friends with her, but our conversations about our lives when i’ve called her for recommendations for new jobs has made me think that if i was still in olympia, we could meet each other as peers and that would be awesome.
in my senior year of high school, at my peak of shyness and social awkwardness, friend fifty-nine, who i will refer to here as “beth marrier,” was in the group of friends i ate lunch with. and the fact that someone as smart and sarcastic and funny as she was would actually eat lunch with me made me feel like i might actually be cool, too. to add to that, she was also a fantastic comedic actress in high school as well. we haven’t seen each other since i graduated, but i’d love to see how confident me would fare in conversation with her.
yesterday, my girlfriend burst into some of the biggest laughter i’ve heard from her in a long time. “i’m not sure if this was meant for me or not, but friend fifty-seven just sent me a text message that said, ‘fuck, now i can’t tell the difference between celery and green onions.'” for this, i will be forever grateful, because we’ve been having a sad time in our house, and things that make her laugh make me happy. and i don’t care if he can’t tell the difference between the two as long as he leaves them both out of my food.
for about a year, i really only knew of friend fifty-seven from word of mouth– he was the teacher in the class that my girlfriend worked in. cute and/or distressing stories of kids and the amusingly aloof music aficionado of a teacher made it home regularly. later, she started working as a teacher at the same school as his fiance and so i’d get to hear stories about him as boyfriend as well– impulsive tattoos and leaving when the house was full of crafting women further filled out my perception of someone she clearly liked and respected.
we got invited to their wedding where we became “the dancing couple” at the reception (later learning, though my girlfriend had suspected, that the party music standards we were dancing to, were not actually the songs they had carefully, meticulously, and artfully chosen). we’ve hung out a few times, and our various shynesses and social awkwardnesses, as well as our very different interests, have not made for the best conversations. but i know that he enjoys my facebook posts about watching “wings” so i feel a little less awkward.