Monday, December 16, 2013

Facebook Friends

are real friends, at least in my case.
I met up with a former co-worker last weekend. Hadn't seen her in either 21 or 22 years, I'm not sure which.
When I worked with her, I couldn't exactly call her a friend. A friendly face, sure--her free McSmile was genuine, all-the-way-through. I didn't know much about her back then, but I sensed plenty, all of it good.

She hasn't changed. She's lived a few lifetimes in the last two decades (haven't we all?) but she still greets life with a smile that's almost unshakeable.

I would never have met up with her if it weren't for Facebook.

I can rhyme off any number of other people, some of whom I haven't met yet but sincerely hope to, who have enriched my life thanks to Facebook. Among them:

  • the woman I first 'met' in alt.horror in '91. I lost contact with her for much of the time between, but found her again a couple of years ago (and thank you, all you folks who include your maiden names in your Facebook monikers!)
  • her husband, who I heard about even back then, but with whom I never had any contact until, again, a couple of years ago. I would say they are worthy of each other, and that means both of them are great people
  • the high school friend who I inexplicably lost contact with after grade 13. We've renewed the friendship and though I don't see him (or his wife, also a high school friend) anywhere even near enough, I am very happy he's part of my life again
  • another former co-worker of much more recent vintage whom I fear I might have lost were it not for Mark Zuckerberg's site. She spent the better part of a year on the other side of the planet recently and I was still able to chat with her almost daily, for no more money than I was paying anyway. This was a Good Thing (tm). I would have paid. I missed her. 
  • The girl who graduated high school a year ahead of me--I worked with her, too, at a store my mom ran for a little while--and who remains the only person I've met who can outpun me
  • The woman I first met through a friend's blog; she became first a reader of mine, and then, over time, a dear friend. She's everything I look for in a friend: intelligent, compassionate, and funny, and that's just three qualities among many. Unlike too many others, I've actually met her. More than once. And I wanna meet up again. Soon.
...There are more. Come wade with me through the thicket of friends and parentheses. The cousin I-don't-know-how-many-times-removed who, let's be honest, I would probably walk past in the street (but then, don't feel bad, C, I've done that to Eva...) If you were to pssst me and say 'hey, Ken, it's me!--and chances are you would, I seem to be insanely easy to recognize by people I can't recognize myself--we'd then spend a day yakking at each other (and probably listening to heavy metal). Another high school friend (who knew I had so many?  I didn't, not until my OAC year) who I have just started to reconnect with. A friend from all the way back in third grade. A person I first noticed playing clarinet in a rival band (gorgeously), whom I have since discovered is a prodigiously talented, insanely talented person at any craft you can goes on. I don't know how many of my Facebook friends read the Breadbin...writing this blog has never been about readers for me, though I'm very happy to have you...but if I haven't mentioned you above, please don't think that means I don't care about and for you.
I'm just amazed at how easy it has been to rediscover people from various parts of my life, even parts lost to memory (or at least mine: there's a woman I went to school with in grade five who remembers more about my grade five year than I do...) Seeing what these friends are up to morning and night enriches my life. The woman I just mentioned, for instance, has a pair of precocious kids who really should have their own Twitter feed, series of novels and probably movie by now.She's on my 'close friends' list for two reasons: one, I care a whole hell of a lot for her, considering I haven't seen her in so many forevers, and two, I want to know the instant one of her kids says or does something remarkable, which is several times a day.

Several times a day is how often I get on that damned site. Between the bevy of friends, the news updates that beat traditional media sometimes by hours, endless revolving Scrabble games, and that damned Candy Crush Saga, which isn't a game so much as it is a #%&*ing obsession--Facebook is one of exactly two sites on the Web I'd be willing to pay for. But Facebook friends...they're priceless.

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