Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The life you could have lived

My name is Tam, and I’m a Facebook addict. I willingly admit this and endure all of the repercussions (my husband’s constant teasing). This weekend during a stellar Facebook stalking session… I saw a picture of THE EX. He’s not on Facebook (trust me I’ve checked) but as I was clicking through some pictures of a wedding. BOOM. A stupid picture of HIS FACE and his WIFE/GIRLFRIEND (there was a glass covering up his left hand so I couldn’t see a ring). There he was hanging out with the same cohort of jocks and ditsy girls that I chugged Natural Light and Boons Farm with in high school – only now they’re weathered and frumpy and have half a dozen snot-nosed kids at home. Next to him sat a guy I knew since the third grade, who dreamed of going to Duke and becoming a doctor, but married his high school sweet heart at 19 and attended community college instead.

Flashback: THE EX was the most popular guy in school – football running back with tanned skin, muscles ga-lore and touted as the most decorated wrestler in the state. I was the cheerleader, honor society, lead in the school play, red head who rarely mentioned her AP classes and secretly applied to pre-med programs. He got a full ride to state university and I went away to a liberal arts (“aggie”) college on a vocal music scholarship. He cheated on me with a college cheerleader and stopped returning my phone calls. I was devastated, and begged, and offered to do all of his term papers, but nothing worked. This was not a shining moment for me. For the next four years, I swore off men relationships, secretly waiting for him to realize his colossal mistake and come crawling back to me.

Getting dumped flat on my ass by that boy was one of the best things that has ever happened in my entire life.

Looking at that untagged Facebook photo, his face was rounder and his black hair was thinning. His eyes looked beady and bored. His lady was a completely AVERAGE looking blond, a little on the homely side probably drinking water so she could drive them home. There he sat at a table of his high school cronies, who sell either insurance or beer for a living. Not a bad job, but they don’t have school loans, political insight or stories of world travels. I’d venture to guess none of them volunteer or donate to charity. Am I a snob? Probably. Am I stuck living in the SAME town, with the SAME friends, shagging the SAME two pump chump I met in the tenth grade? No. But I could have been.

[From Smitten]…basically, if I were going to name the application, I'd call it the…narcissism app. In eras past, when WOmen have lain in bed wondering what alternate lives they may have had, they were relegated to imagining those BOYfriends of yore, conjuring images of them in their heads, looking all lithe and tan and pretty and whatnot. Only now you just have to type in HIS name and suddenly you can see pictures of her with a terrifying-looking three year-old and her very unfortunate bob haircut HIM with gelled hair and a stodgy girlfriend probably still reminiscing about high school rushing yard records.

My husband went to Duke and is becoming a doctor. I never dreamed of him. I own a house, have traveled abroad and work as a respected researcher in a field that I love. I never dreamed of that either. I actually used to dream of the life those people are living.

I got more than I dreamed of.

Thank you Facebook, for reminding me.


Jennie! said...

Facebook is scary sometimes, what with coming across people I'd long forgotten about. Looking at some of the people I went to high school with makes me feel really good about myself.

Heidi said...

I saw said picture of douchebag and you are MUCH better off with your hunky doctor.

Also, he missed out.

Mermanda said...

I too have stalked my ex on facebook and was all too pleased to see his hollow eyes, plain girlfriend, and frat-boy type friends, chuggin' beerz with him.

I'm about to be married, about to be a homeowner, and have three years under my belt in the industry I set out to work in many years ago. What's he up to? Getting his master's because he couldn't land a job in the field he dreamed of (couldn't pass the Actuarial Examinations, poor kid). But I truly believe he is only getting his masters/PhD in college administration because he is terrified to ever face the real world. That's sad, right? Ooops, look at me not feeling bad for him. ;)