Are you on Facebook?
Do you Twitter?
I get asked this with more frequency.
Two words: Old boyfriends.
Two more words: Weirdo magnet.
I’ve signed on to many social networks, gotten so far as a preview page. And when I see all my stuff out there, like so many pairs of my big-girl panties blowing on the clothesline, I freak and shut the whole thing down.
I blog, true. But semi-anonymously.
But old boyfriends and weirdos scare me. Sometimes old boyfriends are the weirdos. Sometimes the weirdos are old and they want to be my boyfriend. Get the picture?
A million years ago I was a paid writer. I had a daily byline in the newspaper and a monthly column with my mug shot attached to it. While I enjoyed the opportunity to get my words out there to the world, there was the downside. There are the scary folks who come out of the woodwork. They call or show up. Sometimes they want your time or a favor. Sometimes they have inappropriate gifts. Sometimes they want a pair of your big-girl panties.
The fringe element made me want to go anonymous.
Maybe I don’t want to be found, to reconnect with certain people from my past. I’m sure there are privacy settings and all that, so this long-winded diatribe is probably a lame-o excuse. I realize I am a hypocrite. I spent about two hours on the Internet last night Googling the names of old boyfriends. I found nothing. Do they feel the same?
Somehow all this made me think of “Northern Exposure,” a show about Alaska that made me want to go to Alaska, before Sarah Palin ruined it for me.
There was an episode in which former debutante/current bush pilot Maggie follows a Native American ritual and cleanses her soul by writing letters to all her dead boyfriends so that she can move forward with her life.
I’ve often imagined how something like that would go:
Old Boyfriend No. 1: Former altar boy gone bad. What was your turning point? You were so chaste and hot and sweet as a young man. Last I heard you were working as a DJ in nightclubs and had quite the notched belt, if you know what I’m saying. I know you thought we’d get married someday but it just wasn’t in the cards. Especially considering your appetite for the buffet table.
Old Boyfriend No. 2: I blame my reclusive ways on you. We reconnected on the Internet a few years ago. I thought it was for the purpose of a platonic friendship. We vowed we would stay in touch this time. I guess I was wrong. After two years of what I thought was nice communcation, you pulled the plug when I told you I was adopting a child. I may as well have said I was pre-op transsexual. Can you say shallow?
Old Boyfriend No. 3: You died in a horrific airline disaster right here in our hometown. You were 24 years old, just married and had a baby on the way. I cried for you and your family for months. I wanted to come to your funeral but was too afraid. I still think of you and your little family that never was to be when I drive by the airport. Do you miss life here on Earth or are you truly in a better place?
Old Boyfriends No. 4-7: Hi, it’s me, your good-luck charm. I say that because after me all of you went on to success and wealth. When we dated, you were poor. You scraped together change and singles to take me out to dive bars and drink pitchers of watered down
pee water beer. You drove in your ghetto cruisers to pick me up. Don’t get me wrong, we had our fun. But it still kills me a little to hear years later that all of you are living the good life: huge McMansions in the tony suburbs, all the amenities, including the blonde beautiful wifeys who made beautiful babies for you. You all owe me a real dinner, in a restaurant with cloth napkins, you hear?
And finally, Old Boyfriend No. 8: Have you come out of the closet yet? If so, I hope you’re living on the East Coast and not the West Coast. I hope you have a nice life partner and live in a deliciously appointed loft in a gentrified district of a dynamic city. Seriously, no girl likes to hear the failure of a relationship is due to “I think I might be gay.” All I can think is: Was I the one to help you come to that realization? Ah, well, I forgive you. Times are different now.
As for the rest, yeah, I think we both knew the chemistry was off. Either you or I made a very bad judgment call. It’s best that we keep the distance and the mystery in “Whatever happened to?”
Now that I’ve cleansed my soul, maybe I can now move forward and put my face out there.