The title of the post isn't ideal. Not sure what to call this.
This is the curse of social networking websites. I've managed to use facebook to get back in touch with old high school friends whom I haven't seen in at least 10 years. The first three weeks saw me getting three or four friendship requests every day. The trouble is that FB can also be used by friends whom you hoped to leave behind years ago. Perhaps I should explain.
The people of whom I speak used to be two of my closest friends. He and I were college fraternity brothers in the same pledge class. He could be a little annoying when he had too much to drink and had a bit of a temper. But otherwise, he could be great fun and seemed a loyal friend. She was in a couple of classes with me. They got together at a mixer we had with her sorority. Didn't take long before they were seriously dating and then they moved in together in an apartment not too far from the campus. I look back at that time fondly. I was always welcome at their place. I remember whiling away many an afternoon in their living room and crashing on their couch or living room floor after late parties. This was just a fun time, and it makes more recent events that much more difficult to bear.
They asked me to be in their wedding sometime around 1997. It's not fair to blame their marriage, but I date the bad stuff that started to around that time period. The way I understand it, there were money and job problems pretty early on and they were forced to move into her parent's house for a time. I can see that being a difficult time for sure. I know he started some kind of anger management program that turned him into a wicked smart aleck and she started treatments for depression.
After a period of time, they got back on their feet and got a place of their own. That's when she showed me her pill case. I've never seen such an assortment. She was taking one pill for this, another for the side effects of the first pill, another for the side effects of both pills together, etc. She spoke very slowly, took awhile to get the punchline of jokes, and her hands and head shook and trembled almost like someone with Parkinson's. By this time, I'd met the woman who became my wife, so we spent some time with them. She believed all the stories I told about how they used to be.
Well, our wedding came along, and I asked him if he'd be one of groomsmen. He accepted, and she invited herself to be one of the bridesmaids. My wife paid for her shoes and half the price of her dress, and she still complained incessantly about how expensive everything was. Just seemed odd to us.
They started having New Year's Eve parties once they got back out on their own, and initially they were pretty big fun affairs. Lots of people we knew, and some new faces as well. Problem is that they'd have loud fusses in front of everyone. So, over a few years, attendance dwindled until one year around 2003 it was just the four of us. That was a surreal and very uncomfortable evening as I recall. We stayed awhile and managed to beg off for an early departure. I told my wife that I didn't want for us to ever be in that position again, and that I felt like we didn't have anything in common with them anymore. She agreed, and I thought that was the end of it.
Well, like I said, FB seems to bring some folks back together. I accepted her friendship offer against my better judgement, then found out my wife chatted her quite frequently. Tonight, she said that my frat brother said he wanted us all to get together. I told her no way... I'm a little sick right now, so I have an excuse for this week. But that will only be good for a short time. I'm going to have to handle this somehow.
I feel like we have even less in common with them now than we did at that last party. For cryin' outloud, they have a daughter now, which is a scary thought.
Maybe I'm being unreasonable, but I feel like I just want to let this one go. Enjoy the pleasant memories and see the others as a cautionary tale of sorts.