5/26/13

Mental Crush . . .

DISCLAIMER - I have the permission of the person discussed below to write/post this content.

I spent about an hour on the phone with an old friend the other day. She called me out of the blue. She apparently "Googled" me not that long ago and - after finding my number - she spent about a week getting completely caught up on my life since we last saw each other nearly a decade ago (in almost painful but not "creepy" (shut up, she probably reads this blog) detail thanks to social media and the information age and it seemed she had a confession to make.

When we were friends, ages and ages ago, we were only ever friends. She didn't find me all that attractive at the time (she was quick to remind me - just what the ol' ego needs these days) but she always appreciated my sense of humor, my caring ways (stop laughing - I can be a good person), the way I carried myself (something about confidence) and - perhaps most importantly - my intelligence (her word, not mine). I felt entirely the same . . . we were best off as friends, clearly.

Anywho . . . we chatted a bit longer and I heard all about her husband and their two kids (fraternal twins) and her family and her job and her "perfect" (her word, not mine - I am smart and cynical enough to know "perfect" truly does not exist) life and I thought I knew why we were talking but then something truly odd happened. Turns out my long-lost friend had a confession to make . . . She has apparently developed (in the present tense, the year 2013, NOT the late-90s/early-00s when we knew each other) a mental crush on me.

I was not entirely sure what to say - it was a little flattering, I guess (she quickly clarified this was in NO way a challenge to her marriage or family nor was she pining for me in any way (we both knew that's not true - she's ONLY human (I kid, I kid)) but she "just" felt like as she got to "know" me "again" through all my random social media things (Twitter, Facebook, my two blogs, my LinkedIn profile, general "Google" results, etc.) and she realized that I'd continued to develop in the ways she had always appreciated and that I was a fantastic father which made it all the more obvious that I was the man she'd thought I might eventually be all along.

Here's the thing . . . it was a little flattered and a lot concerned/confused/annoyed . . . and I said as much. She didn't "know" me. I never really share the negative or the upsetting stuff in my life (okay, fine, maybe I do but not proportionally . . . I'm a curmudgeon and a half in real life) and I don't even know, half the time, how truly accurate most of the crap I say/post/share even is anyway (I don't eat nearly as much Cheez-Its, Triscuits, or hummus as I talk about eating . . . I eat MORE).

I guess the assumption was that if she got a QUANTITY of information about me (and, let's be honest, there  is a BOATLOAD of stuff out there that has been forced upon all of you) she would have a QUALITY impression of who I am today and who I was then.

She MAY be right. If you take all the digital overload and plot it out on a graph and then take a hot air balloon up 30,000 feet (which you should NEVER do) and look down you'll probably see a straight line between who I was when she "knew" me and who I am today. I may actually tell an accurate and full story of myself from that height but there is no chance I really "look" that way from here on the ground.

So I tested the theory. I took all the information she shared about herself in the hour or so on the phone and I  Googled her name and tried to line it all up. She left out a bunch of stuff . . . including the fact that she has a serious penchant from recipe sharing on Pinterest (including lots of bready/doughy goodness despite claiming to be Gluten Free by choice). She Tweets a lot about loving her volunteerism despite telling me how much she despised a few of the groups she's involved with. Her LinkedIn profile seems to be a job or two behind reality. She had a "delicious salad" for dinner, according to her Tumblr account, the night we chatted - but she told me she had deep dish pizza on the phone (heartburn complaint with context). Finally - she "hates" JC Penney but agreed with me that it's the greatest store ever.

So - yeah - digitally or otherwise, we are never really FULLY honest with each other. We never really KNOW what is fact, fiction, stretched versions of the preceding, or what is just made up or left out for color commentary.

I'm a little bummed to realize that this woman (like the rest of her proud/divine sisterhood) doesn't really have a crush on ME. She can't. She doesn't really know me now nearly as much as the idealized version of me that she gleamed from a two dimension, clickable version of myself she spent a few days with.

Too bad, too . . . her Goodreads reading list was impressive. She's even better read and more enthusiastic about the written word than I had remembered. Presuming she's really read/aspires to read the list presented, at least.