The beauty of Facebook is that it allows you to stalk people from your past. The crime of Facebook is that it allows people from your past to stalk you.
And we’re here to talk about that latter scenario.
Back in college, for a brief time, I dated a guy we’ll call “Leroy” – because, it’s my blog and I can.
Anyway… I met Leroy in Elementary School. We went to different schools but were both enrolled in a once-a-week enrichment program at a magnet school. I decided that among these people, I wanted to be known as “Allie” because it was friendlier than the longer, stodgier Allison. It didn’t take. Except with Leroy. I kind of think we “liked” each other – and he was nice, and geeky and funny. And once a week, I’d get to hang out and geek along with him.
This was our 5th grade year, and at the end of it, he gave me his phone number. I didn’t know what I should have done with it, but it was a nice gesture. I never would have called him, it wasn’t done.
It’s possible I ran into him in High School a time or two – again - different schools- and in fact, rival schools. I seem to remember seeing him at a football game once. That’s about it.
And then came college. We were both at UGA. Now, I don’t remember how he found me. He may have seen a letter I wrote to the school paper, or he may have seen me on campus. But he got my number, and talked with my roommate who confirmed that I was the Allie of his youth.
From there, we met up one night on campus and talked for hours. We caught up and made plans to see each other again over Spring Break, that following week.
Now, for those of you not intimately familiar with my sad dating history, this was my sophomore year, after I’d had my heart stomped by another geek from a different rival high school. So I was glad to get back in the game. My mother was glad, too. I remember with chagrin, we went clothes shopping so I’d have nice things to wear on dates. Plural. She had hope for me.
Our date took us to a carnival where we rode a ferris wheel –and that’s the sum and total of what I remember, except that I wore a pair of shoes Mom and I bought on our spree. They were Keds that were made out of a burlap looking fabric. Yeah, it’s the little things.
When we got back to school, he invited me to his apartment. We were going to watch a movie.
Now, given that I have never been saddled with a lot of religious guilt, I thought we were going to have a sleepover. That was not a correct assumption. We definitely made out, we did not watch the movie – and I used to remember which movie it was and cringe whenever it came up in conversation – but I hinted around about staying over and got the brush. He had some marching band obligation early in the morning.
I had this bad habit of falling for guys who were really uncomfortable with the idea of sex.
Anyway, a few days later, he calls and explains that basically, he’s not that into me. Or, that he’s not ready to be that involved. Or, I don’t know, that I’m a whore and it makes him feel icky.
I don’t remember the actual reason he gave, but ultimately, I had come on too strong and freaked him out.
And that was that. I didn’t see him again. I had a pair of Keds and nowhere to take them. I couldn’t exactly explain to my mother why we weren’t seeing each other.
Now, Leroy had one lasting legacy. He had recently lost his father and was seeing a therapist in the counseling center. I didn’t know we even had a counseling center. He told me where it was, and I ended up getting linked up with Diana, my therapist for the remainder of my college career. She was the best free shrink I ever had.
Cut to this week.
I got a friend request from Leroy.
So as not to appear desperate, or weird, I waited awhile, relived the whole squicky incident, then accepted.
Later that night, I got a message from him that read, in part:
“The last time we communicated wasn't positive - and I want to apologize for that. It was a very emotionally charged time in my life, and I should have handled it much better.”
So I replied that it was water under the bridge and I hadn’t given it a second thought. Even though I totally had.
So the question is – why now? Well, here’s how I think it went down. A friend of mine from college, who we’ll call Kitty, made a post on FB Monday, and I made a HILARIOUS comment on it.
And as it turns out, Kitty’s had a roommate in college, Lorraine, who married Leroy.
So I bet Lorraine is reading Kitty’s post and show’s Leroy my comment. And he says, “Oh, I know her, that’s Allie!”
And I speculate this because he mentions Kitty and Lorraine when he sends the message about his negative communication.
And here’s where it gets a little weirder.
Guess where Leroy lives?
If you guessed Nashville, you win. He also commented that it was funny we ended up in the same city.
So, I got to relive all that awkward all over again.
It doesn’t seem likely that we’ll run into each other. He’s married, has kids – works at Vanderbilt, goes to church.
Whew, dodged a bullet on that one! Now, as my colleague Jim would tell you, while I'm thinking that, he's looking at pictures of me and thinking, "She looks like a freaky wild woman. I'd like to get some of that strange."
I doubt it, but his spin definitely makes me feel less awkward.
For the record, though, Leroy - I am a freaky wild woman, and my husband appreciates me for it.