Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Knew Facebook Was Good for Something

Not to sound like a social curmudgeon, but Facebook bores me a little bit. I don't have enough to say in snippet-form, so I don't update my status very often. And it seems like most of what scrolls by on my newsfeed is the Farmville activity of some of my friends—they have earned a harvesting ribbon or found a lost kitten they'd like to share or they need someone to fertilize their crops. Don't get me wrong. I love Farmville. I just don't want to see what other people do with it.

So, I was delighted the other day to welcome a new friend, Kitty, who was my first friend ever in real life. We lived next door to each other in our little town in Indiana, and our parents were friendly. Granted, my Baptist father was eaten up by having a Catholic neighbor, and he would grumble every Saturday night when the family would leave for evening mass. He was sure they only went to church on Saturday so they could sleep in on Sunday morning. But the families generally got along.

When I started school in first grade, I had to go to Kitty's house in the morning and wait for the bus there because my mother had to leave for work so early. I would sit on the couch in Kitty's living room while she sat on the floor in her footed sleeper watching TV and eating a bowl of Fruit Loops, and we became playmates. I clearly remember the morning we were staring sleepy-eyed at the television screen when her mother walked in and changed the channel. She had heard about a new show for kids, and we saw the first episode of Sesame Street, a brand new show with puppets and silly songs and a giant, yellow bird.

Kitty and I ate Campbell's chicken noodle soup together, slurping up the broth first so we could scoop out big spoonsful of noodles. We made tents in the yard by draping blankets over lawn chairs, and we huddled in them eating Saltines and Oreos. We played with her Fisher Price toys because I didn't have them, and I remember that she had a circus set with the little round people who fit in the Ferris wheel seats. Once, I stole one of the animals from her set because I was so jealous of all her nice toys. My sisters made me return the thing and apologize.

Kitty had a dog, a boxer named Sandy who was a little aggressive. I was drawn to animals even then and couldn't keep away from the dog even though it was too big for me to handle. I tried to put a collar on Sandy one day and startled her, and she jumped up and bit my nose. I had to get a tetanus shot because of it, the first in a long line of tetanus shots, as I recall, because I was always trying to pet dogs I had no business petting.

So, Facebook has proven to have value. Kitty and I, now middle-aged women, mothers, and in her case a grandmother, married, working—I know I don't work full time, but I do work, you know—can reconnect and send long messages back and forth to fill each other in on the details of our lives. We are so excited to have found each other again after all these years. And she has even promised to scold her brother Shawn for giving me the scarring nickname of Wimpy Wells, which followed me for years and years.


Vanda said...

I just got contacted on FB by someone whom I haven't seen in 20 years. Back then we were both in Austria and she was 4 years old. Now I live in the US and she in Australia.

After an exchange on FB, I got to talk to her parents on Skype. Technology is good for something after all.

MmeBenaut said...

I just loved this tale Robyn: I recently found a boy I sat next to in German class at high school. He's now a nuclear physicist in England. So, yes, F/b does have some value - I also find it fun to see what my nieces and nephew are up to and also two of my sisters. I figure that it's the way of the future and part of me doesn't want to be left behind.

Shan said...

I agree on the boring updates about games and whatever. Did you know that you can click on those at the right of them and it will ask you if you want to hide all farmville or whatever it is. You can hide all Mafia wars, Farm, whatever that you want. I find that very useful.

I find fb so much fun for the reconnecting with old friends and family! An old college friend from Chicago just found me and I have been looking for him for 20 years! That was exciting. I also like the little note and picture passing abilities. It is good for something if you don't abuse it.