Thursday, September 16, 2010

The crazy aunt in the attic

Class Reunion Massacre As a follow-up to my previous entry about being defriended by high school classmates, I have to tell you about this.

I'll admit to feeling a little paranoid and wondering about how many others had defriended me. Not very many...most of those that I've ended up friends with are still there. As I was looking at a couple of pages, I came across a posting between a couple of mutual friends in which one asked the other if they'd gotten any information about the reunion, that a couple of people from our class were working hard to get in touch with everyone. This was our 30th reunion.

Here's the thing...I am friends with several people on there, and I didn't hear one word from anyone about the reunion. No invitation, no phone call, no Facebook message or email.

I have mixed feelings about this. First of all, I wouldn't have gone, anyway. Let's just say that I wasn't sorry to say goodbye to my high school years, and when I got to college, I finally felt like I came into my own and was able to be my own person. But I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't a little hurt by this. I know that I wasn't one of the popular kids, I wasn't a jock...I was a bookworm, and kind of a nerdy kid, I guess. I wore glasses, I wasn't real pretty, and I was a quiet, shy person. I didn't have it bad like some kids, being bullied or getting beaten up--I don't mean to give that impression. I had friends, and I went to games and stuff like that.

But I also felt a mixture of amusement and puzzlement. I know that I wasn't so invisible that people don't remember me...we are friends on Facebook, after all. Am I somehow so out-of-bounds from the norm that I am persona non grata? Are my opinions so abhorrent to others that they don't even want to be around me, or take the risk that if they sent me an invitation, I might actually show up? Thus the title of this I somehow the crazy aunt stashed away in the attic of the Class of '80? I had this mental image of walking into the joint and people flashing the sign of the Evil Eye at me, women fainting, men screaming, "Don't look her in the eye!" Honestly, what the hell? Hahaha!

Class reunion alien I spent a little time pondering it all. As I said, I felt somewhat hurt, but then that was much of my high school experience, anyway! After I got past that, I felt okay about it. I was always kind of an outsider or alien, never really fitting in with any group (and there are always groups in high school), and I somehow find it something of a comfort to know that I've always made my own way and been my own person. If there are times in my life when I haven't fit in, I would much rather deal with that than try to be something I'm not. It took me a while to gain some self-confidence and know that I was a person of value, after years of not being really accepted and years of religious guilt and indoctrination. I finally found my voice, my niche, my talent, and my true friends. I'm happy about that.

I'm also happy about being strong enough to break away from what is considered "normal" in these parts and make my own choices and own decisions. In a conservative, religious, socially restrictive environment, I chose my own way. I didn't do it just for the sake of rebellion; I took many years to consider things and come to the conclusions I did. I got many good lessons and values from my parents, but ultimately, it is up to each of us to make our own way and be true to ourselves after learning and growing and exploring.

If the past thirty years have led me to the point that I feel that I am my own person, I will happily accept feeling a little excluded from certain groups. I'm cool with being the crazy aunt in the attic.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Does this mean you don’t love me anymore?

Defriend I'm getting a fairly large network of friends on Facebook, so it's impossible for me to keep track of everyone. There are quite a few people whose posts I enjoy and comment on and some very good friends on there, and there are some that rarely post. If some of my closer friends and regular posters weren't to post for a while, I would check up on them, but for those who don't often post anything, I don't track their comings and goings. I am not my Facebook friend's keeper, after all.

So I didn't think anything of it when I never saw any posts from a couple of people I went to high school with and had become friends with a while back. I've seen people get on Facebook and not do much with it; not enough time, lose interest, that sort of thing. I think I left a couple of comments early on, probably just saying it was nice to see them on there, maybe commenting about a football game, and I believe at one point I mentioned getting older. (Since we're all roughly the same age, I feel that's a legitimate comment!) I was amused to realize a while later, after seeing the page of a mutual friend, that these people had defriended me. Not only that, but one had actually blocked me! Hahaha!

Now, I know I can be very opinionated on here and on Facebook. I assure you that I said nothing on this person's page that was offensive or in any way controversial. I engaged in no political or religious discussions with them whatsoever. Of course, they probably saw some of my posts and maybe even read my blog and decided that they just didn't want to be my friend. I really don't have a problem with that--I understand that I'm not for everyone--and I have been known to defriend a person or two because of a fundamental disagreement. I don't do it often, but I have done it.

But to block me? Just because I'm opinionated? I was not harassing or even contacting this person after an initial "Hi, how are you?" This makes me think that I am doing something right, and it kind of makes me grin. Whatever I posted that was offensive to this person must have shaken their belief system (both religious and political) enough to get them all agitated. Yes, it wouldn't do to be exposed to any sort of alternate viewpoint. Best not to even see it!

Recently, I received a friend request from another high school friend. Again, it was a quick hello, nice to see you, an agreement that we hadn't seen each other since high school. This was a genuinely nice person, and we were pretty good friends in junior high, and I saw that it looked like they had some pretty strong religious I put them into my group that I sometimes exclude from certain posts that I think might be too offensive. I swear, it wasn't a couple of days before I saw (as before, through a mutual friend's page) that they had also defriended me!

Again, I am not upset by this. If anything, I find it funny. Cousin Shane and I have often talked about how it's odd that out of so many of our conservative, religious classmates and family, we ended up as neither of those things. Considering the area we live in, it's no surprise that the majority are conservative, and the majority in the U.S. are still religious. I suppose I do find it a little sad, to think that someone would be so offended? intimidated? afraid? of my opinions that they would simply choose rather to not see them. And it's kind of silly, because you can hide people's posts from your feed. On the rare occasion that I've defriended someone, it's been because I either wasn't interested at all in their posts, because they were friends only because of games, or because there was a very basic fundamental disagreement with which I just couldn't reconcile. So I guess if I look at it that way, I can understand why they would defriend me...if they had that sort of fundamental disagreement with my viewpoints, then it is certainly their right to do so. Guess I shouldn't waste my time going to any high school reunions, eh? (I have yet to go to one, and I do not regret that one little bit.)

There are a few friends from that era that are like-minded individuals, and that's nice to know. I know I'm not the only one from around here who feels this way!

And just to make me feel even more loved, warm, and fuzzy, my stalker (and occasionally her sister) are still checking me, my stalker usually a couple of times a day. It's good to be wanted, isn't it? It's really too bad they aren't writing anymore, because that was some pretty entertaining shit. Oh well, some people just don't have the fortitude, the stamina, the ideas, or perhaps just the smarts, to keep writing. Nice to know she still loves me, though.