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Is forward the only direction?

Agent009's picture
on February 28, 2011 - 6:34pm

I have an amazing stylist. She gets me, my style, my fierce independence, my need for hair that looks stunning but takes little to no effort and my preference for organic products. We are kindred spirits.
I had an appointment with her last week, and while I was getting this fabulous hair color, we got into a conversation about how nostalgia can be toxic if the sentiment only leaves you aching for what was or wondering 'what if'.
I told her that I had once tried Facebook, but when it became a 'coming out of the woodwork of people I didn't like than and don't care to know now,' I closed the account.
I'm not about going backward. I'm about going forward.
Class reunions do not interest me. When I recently had one (that I did not attend), I got a few email. How they got my email address, I don't know. Those people feign interest and pretend to offer friendship, but don't find the time to make an effort except when there's a reunion. While I humor their requests for life updates, I've yet to find one of those people that's really interested in a relationship now. The correspondence ceases after they get the dirt. They just want to wallow in the nostalgia and find out ...stuff.. So, I call them peekers. They peek into your life, do the little slide-rule comparison using whatever barometer they cherish, and then they disappear until the next memory lane event that causes them to want to "check in" and "measure up" with the people they knew long ago. Peekers. I don't much care for them. Get in or get out. Be in my life or don't. Don't pretend. Pretend is nauseating.
(and yes, I realize that the 'get in or get out' approach means a very small circle of friends....but I prefer a small circle of friends over a large circle of acquaintances-saying-they're-friends)

Last week, I got a call from an old friend. He and I did not go to school together, but were remarkably close in our young days. We never dated or were romantically involved. It was thought, by many people, that we were a couple. Neither of us cared enough to correct it.
When it came to this friend, one of our mutual female buddies swore up and down that my close companion had a great deal more feeling for me than I realized. He never acted on this alleged emotion, so I didn't believe her. Honestly though, over the years he did move more than one mountain for the most unexpected times. Life takes people in different directions....

Said friend has not been in touch in years....haven't spoken in at least two, haven't seen him in seven or so. Thus, hearing from him was a shock. He is on vacation, right now, in Florida with his wife and children. He called the day they flew into town (why not before?). Would I like to meet them for dinner when they visit the gulf coast? I said sure, it'd be great, but.
I. Have. No. Idea.
It flies in the face of my going forward philosophy. But there's a part of me that's really conflicted about that. This guy was really important to me for a part of my life. I would love to see him and his family. It IS just a dinner. No biggie, right? So, why am I agonizing over it? Why do I think that if we meet and talk there will be....weirdness.

Honestly, he doesn't know me anymore. Even from the brief phone conversation, I can tell he still thinks of me as the girl he knew at 18, innocent and open to anything. I feel much baggage and damage. Perhaps it'd be better to skip this meeting and allow him the continued pretense of 'who I am' rather than shatter the illusion.
Or maybe it'd be good. Maybe he'd walk away going "wow, dodged a bullet there".
Or maybe that's all me, once again over-analyzing a ridiculously simple thing. Hell, I never agonize over actual dates as much as I'm over thinking THIS....probably because in this case I do care...and dates, not so much.

And maybe all of this is irrelevant. Perhaps even he is having second-thoughts about meeting. I don't know what day they're coming to the area....he hasn't called back.

For a person who detests drama, I'm sure making a fit over a trifle, eh? See, it's all that nostalgia.....toxic to the core. Even if I make this exception, I still contend that the past is better left in the past.
But....will I make this exception?

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