Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Blast from the Past

I don't know why I did it. I think there was an ad or something on a website, and I clicked. Anyway, I found myself at the website Classmates.com, and I signed up for a free membership which, as far as I can tell, gets you access to a list of names of your former high school colleagues, in case you lost your yearbook. That, and some time killed so as not to work.

I clicked on the name of a guy I once knew. Alphabetically, his name is in my neighborhood. Back then, he was cute and interesting and we (stupidly, in hindsight) had a thing going the year before I met Brandon. When I clicked on his page, there was no further information. I realized too late that I neglected to uncheck the box that let him know that I had visited his page.

This was maybe a few weeks ago, and life went on, with the baseball practice and the eating out and the writing the blog and the canoodling with the Brandon and the chatting with friends and the regular life.

But Classmates.com doesn't want regular life to go on, I discovered. Classmates.com wants you to get in the way-back machine to when you were all too well-acquainted with thick eyeliner and the John Hughes oeuvre. I started getting emails from Classmates. Frequent emails. Don't you want to know who's looked at your page? Don't you want to see who else has signed up? There are PICTURES, Classmates wrote. The "if you know what I mean," was implied.

Last week, I caved. Classmates told me that three people had viewed my page, none of whom had left their names. I figured one of them had to be the guy whose page I looked at (if you saw someone's name, you'd probably click on over, right?), so I looked at his page again.

He'd updated it. And I'm only exaggerating a little bit when I say Marriage was the theme of his updates. Marital staus? Married. Have children? Yes. You know, with HIS WIFE. What does he enjoy doing? Marital things. Meaning, things having to do with the MATRIMONIAL UNION OF WHICH HE IS A PART.

I'm egocentric enough to think all this is directed at me. (Besides, few people are doofus enough to forget to click the box that removes their name.) At first, I was offended. Jesus. Okay. I get it. I wasn't looking for a hook up.

Later, I got a kick out of thinking about how he imagined my adult life. Did I actually seem like the kind of girl then whose magnetism was SO POWERFUL that he feared that I'd email and that he'd consequently become helpless in the face of it? That I was such hot stuff that I was actually dangerous? (I know--poor me, with the low self-esteem.)

Finally, though, I wondered, What I would have put on my questionnaire, if I'd done it? Probably that I was married. Probably that I had a child. Probably that my favorite thing to do is hang out, wherever, with this family of mine. There's a statute of limitations on details, I think; you can't sum up fifteen-plus years, or at least not without boring the people to tears.

What I would have written is really just one type of shorthand for: People love me. I have people to love. I'm doing all right. Carry on.


BarbaraCA said...

But you have to get "I'm smokin' hot and you blew it (and also, I never ever really needed your approval, you English 104 Glossy Girls, and PS I only laughed during the Constellation skit you didn't let me be in to be polite)" in there somewhere! Isn't that, really, the whole point of Classmates.com?

Jennifer said...

I don't know. From my high school, there seems to be more of a trend of I Am Far Too Busy Being A Hot, Successful Person to Fill Out This Questionnaire Therefore You Will Have to Guess at the Degree of My Hotness and Success.