Distorted Legends

Last week, I had probably the weirdest reunion since the time when I found myself unwittingly participating in an awkward situation in-the-making at an after-bar party thrown by a third-tier friend and his roommate. I didn’t find out until I got in the door that the roommate everyone had been referring to as Bill (not his name, but you’ll get the point) was actually the guy I’d lost my virginity to and dated for a year and eight months as a fifteen to sixteen-year-old. I’d known him as William (again, not his name, but you see what I mean). I’d dumped him over the phone in a screaming rage when I found out about a series of lies he’d been telling me for our entire relationship. If the fact that he lied to me doesn’t make my method seem any less harsh, this was also the previously mentioned boyfriend in Filling In The Blank with the slicked back hair, tiny pony tail, and an uncle in the Chicago Mafia. See, he totally deserved it. Oddly enough, the last time I’d seen him was when he started hanging out with an ex of mine that I was still semi-friends with. The Jenga Game of guys doesn’t end there. I went to said Ex’s apartment with my Current Boyfriend to give him some of Current Boyfriend’s ugly old furniture. Tiny Ponytail was there, much to my shock. It turns out that things I had revealed to Ex Boyfriend were not kept confidential due to our semi-friend status and Tiny Ponytail knew about some things I didn’t want him to know about. Let’s just say, we both had reasons to break up with each other. He wasn’t necessarily mad, but he definitely wanted me to know that he knew.

You can imagine the awkwardness of being in his apartment and seeing him again after somewhere around seven years. Well, it actually turned out okay because we said hello and acknowledged how weird the situation was. It’s a good example of how time heals wounds. We’re definitely not besties, but anytime I see him, I say hello with a smile and he does the same. But, I digress.

My point is, I had another similar experience while out to eat with my mom at the local buffet. We were seated in a remote corner (just where I like to be) when this guy and his wife were seated a booth behind my mom. I’d had a huge crush on the guy when I was a tween and teenager when he’d been our neighbor. Captain Crush had always known it, too, and liked to tease me relentlessly. Ever since he’d gotten married, he’d been very leery of making eye contact with me when we ran into each other, let alone small talk. I’ve always sensed a tight leash was present, though I’ve no proof of that. I signaled to Mom that he was behind us and she turned around and said hello and I waved and it was all rainbows and unicorns. His wife even smiled at us. Then things got exponentially weirder.

While at the buffet, I looked through the steamed-up sneeze guard and saw the guy who first kissed me when I was thirteen. He was eighteen at the time. In hindsight, that probably was more disturbing than I found it when it happened. That first kiss ignited an infatuation that had been kindling for the previous two years. I was a giddy mess anytime I was around him and my friends and I mooned over him like he was Mark-Paul Gosselaar or Scott Baio (What? Am I the only one who thought Charles in Charge was a hottie?) First Kiss had long hair and was about six-three. I thought he was so smart and wise and the best kisser I’d ever…well, he was the only kisser I knew of at the time. He made me so nervous I would shake sometimes.

I would say that seeing him through the glass gave me that same giddy trembling, but honestly, I’d traded that in for a strong distaste for him. I’d seen First Kiss over the years and he’d always been hopeful that something would happen between us that was beyond friendship. Unfortunately for him, as I was nearing the end of my teen years, I was also realizing that his status as legend in my mind was fading. So, over the last twenty years when I’ve been around him, I’ve seen the truth. Where I’d once seen intelligence and wisdom, I now saw pretentiousness. His long hair was long gone and his height was no longer attractive as he’d stand before me, smoking cigs and pontificating about life. Another gem I unearthed during the last time I’d associated with him was that he had nearly no boundaries. He started calling me at work asking me to bring him cigarettes. When I got a new job in a customer service call center, First Kiss called there and when I wouldn’t answer my desk phone, he had them page me so he could talk about pretty much nothing. I was afraid his nonsense was going to cost me my job. I told my mom about it and she called him up and told him to stay away from me. And that was the end of our contact until I ran into him at a bar one night about three years later. I tried to talk to him but conversing with someone so egocentric is difficult at best. I cut my night short just to get away from him.

Then, there he was at the buffet. I managed to dodge him and scurried back toward my table. I stopped at the booth where Captain Crush sat and said through gritted teeth, “First Kiss is here!”

Captain Crush busted out laughing and said his wife had just pointed that out!

As I sat down with Mom, I realized that First Kiss was actually sitting directly behind Captain Crush, facing me. I tried hard to keep mom’s head between him and me.

You might wonder how all of this is related. Or maybe not. But I’m going to tell you anyway.
First Kiss and Captain Crush were good friends in high school. Our neighbor, C. Crush, brought First Kiss around when they were sixteen. They liked flirting with my mom because she’d been a nude model and was a bizarre type of local celebrity for appearing in a girly magazine. I was smitten with both boys. For all of us to be seated in the same fifty square feet, after all those years, was a little Twilight Zonish for me.

What was truly unsettling was when we finally decided to reveal our presence to First Kiss. He came over and began the most awkward conversation I’ve had in quite some time. Maybe ever. If uncomfortableness was measured in plates of food, then I had eaten every last thing on that buffet. I won’t go into what he said because that’s not important. It’s the realization that matters. I’ve known for a long time that he wasn’t the guy I imagined him to be as a thirteen-year-old. It’s incredible though, just how far he’d fallen from that pedestal. And it isn’t just my perception of him that tumbled. It’s very much a reality. He’s like so many teen heartthrobs who fall out of favor, start spiraling downward, dabble in drugs and alcohol, suffer from poor physical health, poor mental health, and have no friends. I felt bad for him, even as I wanted to get up and leave. Quickly.
It wasn’t just him either. Captain Crush packed on the pounds and though he still has a baby face, it’s that of a much hairier, much fatter baby.

I know for a fact that Mom is no longer the stuff teen boys shut themselves in the bathroom for and that I fell off my own pedestal a long time ago. I’m pretty sure the thing is actually on top of me, I’m so far removed from the heights of young, thin and busty. It happens to everybody eventually. Youth is one of those things you never fully appreciate while you have it. You spend the rest of your life remembering it, sometimes grabbing at it, but almost always realizing you’re better off now than living amongst a bunch of distorted legends.

Wasn't he dreamy?
Wasn’t he dreamy?

~L~

The People of Facebook

We all know one or more of these folks and we’re probably guilty of being a few too. There’s other lists like this out there, but this our take on the community of the social media giant and sucker of productivity.

The Stalker

They claim they’re never on FB but in reality, they’re always watching, checking in on any number of their 3,735 friends. They never comment or like, but they always know about your breakup or new job. These types don’t even have to be your friend to keep tabs on what you’re doing.

Stalking

The Snob

This variety of Stalker is constantly on FB but regularly posts and states that they’re too good for it—all while continuing to browse fellow Facebookers’ pages.

The Delinquent

Their posts are often scandalous and always accentuate their incredibly dysfunctional lives. They’re often spotted in underage drinking pictures and giving peace signs or “gang” signs in bathroom mirror selfies. Can be confused/interchanged with the Partier.

The Partier

Every picture on their profile and those that they are tagged in are drinking pictures. Drinking in someone’s garage. Drinking at the bar. Drinking in the car (Don’t confuse them with The Genius’s). Drinking by themselves.

Little-drunks

The Genius

They give everyone a play-by-play of their lives and often have their profile’s set as public. Because who really understands internet security? They often tell everyone where they are eating or shopping as they arrive, perhaps as an open invitation for friends, relatives, murderers, robbers, etc. to join them. These people are also likely to board a plane for an exotic vacation and publically announce that their house is unattended and will be for several days.

Social Cockroach

Unlike the easy-going, likeable Social Butterfly, the SC is going to be your friend whether you like it or not. It’s as though they have a quota to reach or they’re in a competition with someone over the number of “friends” they have. Delete them after a year of not interacting? Who’s that friend request from? That’s right. Somehow, they knew you disappeared from their growing friends list and they’re trying to put a stop to your escape. Just like cockroaches, their insecurities existed before you were friends, and they’ll exist long after you’re not.

cockroach

The Unfiltered

Nothing’s a secret. Their feelings. Their opinions. Their test results. Their latest trip to the bathroom.

Selfie Whore

These compliment fishers use their faces as bait. They’re likely to have 5000 photos in multiple untitled albums of their mug in slightly different positions. From a pouty duckface to a “sexy” smile, they can be counted on to give you enough images of their face to put together a flip-book where it looks they’re frowning, making a peace sign, then smiling and back again.

daisy-duck

The Police

These users logon and openly judge everyone else. They, of course, are infallible.

The AssHat

This person can find something nasty and scathing to say about everything. It’s as though someone ruined their FB experience at some point and they feel it is their mission to ruin it for everyone else.

Like Lover

It doesn’t matter if you’re posting that you just passed The Bar Exam or that your dog died, the LL is on that like button faster than their newsfeed can reload. They think they’re being supportive, but really they just come off as easily impressed and a little insensitive. Come on. Who “likes” a sad post about a deceased pet? It’s possible that the Like Lover is just too lazy to comment on things and clicking “like” is the easier method of informing everyone that something has their approval.

Enabler

Do you have a new boyfriend every week but know it’s not you, it’s definitely him? Do you post redundant, out of focus, filtered selfies every few hours in groups of no less than 30 pictures? Do you have a drinking problem that everyone knows about and still post about your wild weekend and how you’ll do better to stay sober next weekend? Well, the Enabler probably just liked every last one of your posts.

The Gullible

They think that sharing a post can somehow generate money for a small, ill child in a picture (who is probably in their 20’s by now) or that they will win prizes for sharing statuses of shopping websites. They often induce panic amongst the other Gullibles with their posts of false news stories. No research is ever done before a link is shared as gospel because if it’s on the internet, it has to be true. The Onion wouldn’t make things up.

The Baby

cryingbaby

These individuals post endlessly about how bad life is treating them as any given moment. You can almost envision their faces turning red as they stamp their feet during a rant about how bad they have it. They appear to believe that if they whine and cry they will get attention, like a bawling infant. This belief is often solidified by the Like Lovers and Enablers that shower their self-centered posts with kudos and comfort.

Awfully Ambiguous

They can’t come right out and say what’s going on because that might make them sound like a Baby or The Unfiltered. They require that people ask them about the super vague details of their posts before divulging everything, and then some, in the comments. Another favorite move is to alienate 99% of their FB friends by telling a specific commenter/ Enabling friend to send them a private message for the details.

Hypochondriac

Willing to share the most personal details about their health and bodies, the Hypochondriac might actually be sick, or they might be turning a pimple into a cyst with their frantic, often too detailed posts. They think they’re doing you a courtesy by involving you in the agony of their kidney stones or the mystery of their strange rash. The most considerate will accompany their description with a picture.

The Liar

This person likes to say or share things that might not necessarily be true. When called out on their falsehoods, they often recant and delete the statements in question. Unfortunately for them, they don’t understand screenshots, copying and pasting, or that there’s no take backs on the internet.

The Perfectionist

Every picture and status update shows a perfect existence. Perfect house, car, family, kids. They’d never allow a tagged picture of themselves with no makeup or without their hair done. They’re masquerading Liars.

The Zealot

They carry their beliefs to extremes and have no room in their self-proclaimed open-minds for anyone else’s opinion. They openly post their opinions on politics, religion, society, justice, etc. Like a wolf taking a deer down by the throat, they attack anyone whose opinion is not their own. After a while, the ranting style of their posts becomes too much for most of their friends and Zealots are often deleted, unfollowed, or just scrolled past.

The Paranoid

ParanoidPersonalityDisorder

Every post is about them. They just know it. The arch nemesis of a Paranoid is the Awfully Ambiguous.

The Nose

Being overly interested in what everyone else is doing, these types will look at the public info on your page, even if you’re not friends. They’re the first to ask, “What happened?” to someone asking for prayers for her grandma. If you change your relationship status from “in a relationship” to “single,” you can bet that they will be the first to comment, usually asking you to private message them.

Game Nazi

Facebook game requests

They’re on the fast track to being deleted by sending endless game requests. It seems like they play every game on FB and assume that all their friends do too. They blindly click the windows that pop up in these “Share” your score, level achievement, game win, “Invite you friends” games. They could just hit cancel when prompted to send these requests, but that would require them to read the dialog box and there’s not time for that when they need to get back to playing.

Poker

WTF is the point? Just knock it off already.

poke

~L~ and *d*