My personal life has certainly had its ups and downs. Let’s start on the low end, shall we? Until last month, I was on my way to being a “Mrs.” for the second time in my life. Unfortunately it was not meant to be. Though the decision to end the relationship was mine, it was not the clean break that I’d proposed. Instead, the process itself was a long three weeks, complete with promises of change, some begging, a few immature attempts at attention, and visits by law enforcement. The other person I’m sure will tell you differently, but such is the nature of break-ups. Bottom line is that as hard as it was, I know I have done the right thing. To top it all off, the night the shit initially hit the fan just so happened to be the eve of my birthday. (Further confirmation that I should have stopped trying to celebrate them years ago).
But in the midst of the entire ruckus, there was Facebook. And more importantly, Mary on Facebook.
Now, when it comes to fb, I liken myself to the old man in the commercial that calls it “The Spacebook and Myface.” I don’t do Farmville or any of that crap. If you “just clobbered a snake” or “need fast money,” don’t look at (or poke) me. Furthermore, I will not be boring you with what I just cooked for breakfast or what shade of toenail polish I am wearing. I just don’t find me that interesting every minute of the day and neither should you. However, if you are the friend that used to be my world and I haven’t talked to you in twenty years, I am going to sit up, take notice, and yes, answer you.
Mary came into my life when I was a junior in high school in Fairfax, Virginia. Before that , the majority my high school days were spent alone and in silence as I had no friends to speak of. Suffice it to say, I was miserable. Finally, the summer of driver’s ed, I managed to acquire a small and happy circle of girlfriends. It was through someone in that small circle that I met Mary. We hit it off instantly, but at the time I had no idea why. I was a total dork. Mary was the coolest person I had ever seen or met: Creative, outgoing, individualistic, beautiful, and so very, very talented! She could make stuff with her hands. Beautiful things were her hands themselves, as were the creations that were born from them.
For whatever crazy reason, Mary and I just clicked.
Mary and I didn’t have any classes together, but we kept each other posted with our “note” books: Spiral things that we passed back and forth to each other between classes that were as much journals as they were a way of swapping information and gossip. I don’t know how many of them we filled, but I know that it was several because we just never ran out of things to say to each other. After school and on the weekends we were almost always together and we had such a damn good time! We’d drive around town in my mom’s silver Honda Accord, blasting whatever cool music Mary had introduced me to. I remember fondly my tape of a tape of The Violent Femmes' “Blister in the Sun” and "Add it Up." (I thought I was such a badass because I knew this song with the F word in it! Ha.) People gravitated to Mary, and rightfully so. And I happily went along to see what would happen next. Never did she disappoint me. Most of all I was so thrilled to have an awesome friend who thought I was pretty awesome, too. She made me happy.
How cool is this?!!! Mary sent this of her and me...
This is us on the beach, I think, in San Diego.
Mary is on the right... Notice her hands???
Unfortunately that spring, I would find out that I would be finishing my high school career in San Diego as my dad was once again being transferred. So though Mary and I didn’t get to graduate together, we communicated constantly through letters. And I don’t mean one-pagers, either… Our letters took the place of our notebooks to me, and we told each other everything. A couple of years later I would be thrilled to find myself back in Virginia, and to be reunited with Mary. Unfortunately, it is also when we would part ways. It has been a very long time…
The day I got that first message from Mary on Facebook I was thrilled. What was written in it was so special and lovely, but really I was just so happy to see her name. What it made me think of was my wonderful friend, and not what had kept us apart for so many years. To me it is just water under the bridge, and there is no need for apologies, only a lot of catching up to do--and hopefully a face-to-face meeting before too much longer.
The story within the story is a great one, too: As I mentioned, The Big Breakup happened on the eve of my birthday. In all of her sweetness, Mary ordered me a lovely bouquet of flowers and sent them to the address she found for me via the Internet. Only “problem” is, there is another Amy in my relatively small town, who lives only a few miles from me; another Amy with my same last name! So the “other” Amy was surprised to say the least when she got the delivery intended for me. Turns out, her husband works at a local church and he was willing to take the flowers with him and leave them at the church office so that they might be retrieved by yours truly. In the meantime, I was dealing with trying to get someone out of my house (no, they were not going quietly!) and all the drama that went along with it. So it was my sister to the rescue to retrieve the flowers. When I picked them up from my sister’s house, I was so touched, not only by the gesture of the gift, but also by all that had gone into getting them into my hands. They were so bright and beautiful and lifted my spirits more than I can ever express here.
The flowers were beautiful and so were the notes with them. The original enclosure card was a high-energy, happy note from Mary. On it was also a hand-written note from Amy Samelastname. Hers was just as sincere, and what I took from her words was that she enjoyed very much being a part of The Big Flower Caper. The flowers are gone, now. But I keep the note on my nightstand to remind me of everything this time in my life has meant to me, and to remind me that there is so much that is good about this world, and so much that I have to be thankful for.
Through our email exchanges since, I found out that Mary has been dealing (and quite bravely, I might add) with some issues similar to my own. Yet her spirit remains as high and her outlook as luminous as I remember. It is remarkable how we seem to have just picked right back up where we left off. I am thrilled to pieces to have her back in my life.
More than twenty years ago, Mary showed up in my world when I was the loneliest I had ever been. Though she may not have known it, I believe she saved me. I don’t care about what happened so many years ago that kept us from talking for so long, what I do care about is that we have the opportunity to know one another again. The fact that she showed up this time when I was again at a very low and lonely place just proves to me that there is just something about her that I don’t want to lose ever again. Her coming back to me has inspired me to come back here to you. If there is anyone out there reading, thank you. If not, that’s ok, I will do this for me.