Harry: What does this song mean? My whole life, I don't know what this song means. I mean, "should old acquaintance be forgot"? Does that mean we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot?
I recently reconnected with an old high school friend via social media. We exchanged brief Hi, how are your, how have you been?. I ventured a Want to get together for coffee and rehash old times since we live about 2 hours away from each other? I got no response to that. I was a feeling a little...miffed.
I guess having no contact with someone for 39 years puts a bit of perspective on the issue....what was the issue? Something stupid, can't even remember. Obviously it involved feeling hurt and betrayed on my part. Maybe hers, too. Carrie was my best friend in high school even though I always knew she was a little....odd. Not bucket of pig blood and torch the prom odd. Still, she came from a difficult family and was affected by life-long marination in her family's history-steeped greatness, local legend status, and exceedingly high expectations.
Carrie and I stopped getting together on school breaks and weekends as we first grew apart and then, separately, grew up. Certainly not having any contact in nearly 40 years there is not so much a void but a monstrous, massive black hole. High school was a blip on the radar, nothing more; looking back we essentially started drifting away from each the day we graduated. Oh, we wrote newsy letters back and forth our first year, she from college, me from my childhood home. I worked for a year before I started nursing school, the best thing I could ever have done although at the time I felt like an isolated loser. I chafed that I was missing out on all those college experiences that my peers were having and living away from home, but I am convinced it kept me from flunking out of school in the first week.
Over the years, I fleetingly wondered about Carrie. She did not attend either of the class reunions I managed to go to; it seemed she had dropped off the face of the earth. I know she is doing something she loves, discovered via her blog detailing her experiences as a teacher. She is positive and passionate. Good for her. I did not relate my blog experience simply because I prefer to keep my identity to a chosen few. I can count on two puny fists people who know me although a former colleague once sent me an email linking this blog, thinking it sounded a lot like my sense of humor.
I can count on those same two puny fists the number I count as close friends, the ones you could unhesitatingly call in the middle of the night; the friends who will show up, no questions asked, with either a bottle of tequila and a lime; or a shovel and bag of lime. I have been fortunate to become closer to my nursing school friends and remain close to my skating ladies, all of whom have been an amazing part of my life and who know where a lot of bodies are buried*. I did not go to high school with any of them.
I guess Carrie's disinterest disappointed because I expected the same type of instant reconnection with a high school friend that I have enjoyed in the past. Wow, yes, dinner, drinks, a weekend away. WOOT! That got me thinking about how high school was the ultimate forgettable experience for a lot of people. Yep, that would be me. Guess I will just let those sleeping dogs lie; 39 years is probably not enough beauty rest anyway.
*Disclaimer: metaphorically speaking. No actual bodies were buried.