Facebook Fun Week, friends, and hope you are too. I wrote the following piece some five years ago, on a topic I'm all too familiar with -- young love...
My high school crush, Brown-Eyed Editor, got married a few years ago. The wedding resembled that of an elaborate fairytale: held in what looked like a centuries’ old castle with the green beauty of the Vermont countryside as its backdrop. And, of course, lots of groomsmen and bridesmaids dressed to the nines. It was the wedding every little girl sits on her bed daydreaming about.
Well, at least I think so. You see, I wasn’t actually at the wedding. We haven’t seen each other since our high school graduation 13 years ago. So how do I know all this? Simple. I vicariously lived the experience through the wonders of Facebook.
But back then, in the ancient times when social networking was done in, well, real time (doesn't that seem like a world away now?), I was head over heels for Brown-Eyed Editor. We worked on our school’s newspaper together: He was sweet and charming with a Chandler Bing-esque sense of humor. We graduated high school, and with the fling of my graduation cap also went my innocent schoolgirl crush on him. Leave it to the voyeur’s paradise that is Facebook, though, to give me a little behind-the-scenes peek of his wedding. It came in the form of photos posted by one of his groomsmen. Shots of the inside the castle. Shots of the wedding party. Shots of the wedding party inside the castle drinking to good cheer. They were all harmless photos, really, the kind that could have walked right out of a commercial or a JC Penney catalog, and yet I couldn't help but feel my cap-and-gown clad teenage heart begin to resurface again. Even if it was just a little bit.
Over the next few days, I looked at those pictures more times than I care to admit. I got to wondering: Why did this news of Brown-Eyed Editor’s nuptials sadden me so much? Why did I care so much about some guy I had a crush on in the 11th grade?
I eventually began to see that all the information you could ever want did come with a price. And in my case, a pretty high price, to be honest. When is too much information really too much? Where is the invisible line drawn between catching up with an old friend and knowing every intimate detail about their lives?
Sometimes, laundry, even if it's clean, still belongs tucked away in the closet. Facebook is like those fifth-grade health books during sex-ed week. You're repulsed, embarrassed and yet intrigued at the same time. You don't want to look, but you want to look. You don't want to know, but you desperately feel like you need to know. So you look, snoop and above all, keep on coming back for more
What’s more, Facebook is the measurement yardstick of choice for our generation. It's the best way we can stand ourselves side-by-side with our peers and see exactly how we measure up. And I couldn't help but feel like Brown-Eyed Editor was somehow farther along on that metaphorical Yellow Brick Road than I was.
Maybe that's what I missed - the used-to-bes and yesterdays of adolescence. At 17, you have visions of the future as bright as the sunshine on your graduation day. You throw your cap into the air and envision your dreams sailing away with it. At 17, a large part of me actually thought Brown-Eyed Editor and I would get married someday. But I wasn't the one he chose. And so on his wedding day, I'm sure he knew how much his life was going to change. But I doubt he had any idea that it changed mine as well. I closed another chapter in my life, perhaps a chapter that was long overdue for an ending. Maybe not the ending I wanted, of course, but an ending nonetheless. Because we don't always get that fairytale ending we want.
The 17-year-old girl may have been sad that she wasn't the one, but the 32-year-old woman somehow knows I’ll be okay in the end.
I'm sure the newlyweds will have lots of stories to fill their new life chapters. I just hope I don't have to read about too much of it on Facebook. But, like any good book, I probably will because some good books you just can't put down.
[Middle photo via Le Love]