I don't know if it's since we moved to Israel or since I turned 40 or since the war last summer, but I am feeling the love and while I hate to admit it, it has a lot to do with Facebook. Damn you Facebook. Just when I think you are pure evil, I discover your redeeming qualities...
I'm not talking about birthday love, which I appreciate as much as the next guy. A hundred birthday messages straight to your inbox is pretty sweet. But it's more than that. Lately I have felt an incredible amount of support and love from old friends, some even just old acquaintances, with whom I am in touch solely because of Facebook. But there's something about these people that I have known for so long - DECADES - that I consider sacred. These include my oldest friends who I sometimes see when I visit my mom. But I'm also thinking about the kids that I never said two words to growing up and will likely only see again at our 50th high school reunion. We lived different lives. I was nerdy and played soccer and didn't go to dances. I was in Hebrew school and went to Jewish sleep away camp in the summers. And I played piano and did community theater. Those were my things. I wasn't a cheerleader or a swimmer or a stoner or in the Chess Club. I didn't have boyfriends. I wasn't in Glee. In fact I did join our version of the Glee Club my senior year, which opened up a whole new realm of friendships. That was fun and unexpected. We sang about Jesus a lot. Less fun (for me).
Anyway, I'm talking about all of you. The people that I once knew well and with whom I have lost touch and those I only knew by name and face (and reputation) because you were in another grade or we never had any of the same teachers. By the time we were seniors there was a lot of more crossover and barriers came down while we all scrambled to finish and move on. I must say I never felt bullied or teased, nothing that left any scars anyway. I felt appreciated. I felt included. And I thank the almighty infinite powers that there were no smart phones. The only documentation we had was the yearbook and that was plenty. How lucky we were to be born in the seventies.
And over the years I have gotten back in touch with a lot of these people through Facebook. Because it's fun; I'm interested to see how everyone turned out. And I tell you I have a genuine affection for so many of these folks. I see their sons who look EXACTLY like they did in fifth grade and I want to reach through the interwebs and give them a great big hug. I see girls who seemed like train wrecks in high school with wonderful careers and I think YOU GO SISTER. Classmates of mine are living all over the globe, living close to home, married, not married, with kids, without kids, taking over the world, drinking a beer, enjoying life, managing through troubled times. I find it absolutely amazing. Because we share something so elemental. We grew up together. Our family lives and life experiences may have been vastly different and yet we were together from 8 AM to 3 PM five days a week for twelve years. We learned to read together. We had slumber parties together. We went to the LA Olympics together. We lived through the Night Stalker together. We went through puberty together. We watched the Challenger explode together. We had braces together. We did the bar mitzvah circuit together. We toilet papered houses together. We lost friends together. We hated trigonometry together. We sang together. We won and lost soccer matches together. We ate frozen yogurt together. We watched Dead Poet's Society together. We went to Taco Bell together. We learned to drive together. We took the 5 to the 55 to the 22 together. We protested for our teachers together. WE LEARNED STOICHIOMETRY TOGETHER (you may remember...though I doubt it). We applied to college together.
We went through a lot separate, but a lot of it we did together.
I see you all on my screen and get your wonderful messages and some of you even buy my art, which means more than you will ever know and I feel the tricks of time. On the one hand, it's as though no time has passed and we are all essentially the same kids we were back in elementary school. But on the other hand we have been through so much and we've hit an age where we can look back with fondness on a time when things were simpler. And we no longer judge each other or categorize. And we can appreciate each other and be proud of who we have become and all we have done in our forty+ years. I want you to know that I remember you. And I thank you for your part in shaping me.