"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Facebook Kismet: Christmas in May

I can't stop giggling!

In just a few days, my old/new friend Sherri Frank Zimmerman  and I will meet each other again/for the first time. We haven't seen each other for, oh, at least 34 years since I graduated from high school.

 I live in Iowa, she lives in Wisconsin, yet we have "seen" each other practically every day for the past two months.

And it's all thanks to a little thing I like to call Facebook Kismet.


OK, so the term "Facebook Kismet" doesn't exactly roll off one's tongue. But what better way to describe the totally-random-yet-seemingly-predestined reunion of two old high school acquaintances on Facebook, that wacky electronic friendship generator to which so many of us aging Boomers are now addicted...

I mean, two months ago, Sherri and I were just two 50-something former Cincinnati Kids, both dying from boredom and the emotionally crippling effects of enduring one too many soul-killing winters in our respective, charming-but-out-in-the-middle-of-freaking-nowhere small towns, located in always-rousing cheese-and-corn country. 

Then, apparently, sometime in early to mid-March, both of us -- each horribly desperate for human connection and conversation --  discovered Facebook. We each decided to give it a whirl. We each stalked, er, searched for old high school friends. 

Sherri, a graduate of  Madeira High School Class of 1976, and I, a graduate of  Madeira High School Class of 1975, had socialized somewhat within the same high school circles. Both of us were members of that clique, er, clandestine high school sorority Sigma Tau Omega. But we were never what today one would call "peeps." We didn't really hang out together...

Until now.

Sherri and I, as it turned out, began with  two mutual friends on FB -- Nancy and Beth. Sherri saw my name and picture, remembered me -- vaguely -- and she decided, what the heck, to friend me.  I remembered Sherri -- vaguely -- and confirmed her as a friend.

And the rest is  Facebook Kismet history!

We started chatting daily on FB, commiserating, laughing, crying -- basically picked right up where we never left off -- as if we had been close pals back at good ol' Madeira High. Twins separated at birth. Mary and Rhoda.

I know exactly what she means by "life behind the cheese curtain." It can be equally as spirit squelching as "life in the tall corn state". And she gets that. We both know all too well why the caged tiger paces. 

Oddly enough, we can't remember clearly one social event that we attended together back in high school. We can't even say for sure that we remember ever being in the same room...

Nevertheless, talking and laughing together felt so warmly familiar. Immediately. Kindred Facebook spirits.

It is so weird...

Two totally separate lives, yet our common thread-- self-inflicted social isolation (hey, no one forced us to trade Cincinnati for Green Acres)  seems to have sewn a tight seam.

One Saturday, after chatting for an hour on FB, we dared to take it to the next level - we actually talked on the landline! I'd recognize her voice anywhere! And she, mine. Yet we don't recall any one-on-one gabfests back in high school...

And come this weekend, we will actually, finally  see each other. Again. And yet, in some ways, for the first time.

We can't wait!

I will be riding along with my friend, Jess, as she and her family haul a trailer of goods for a giant neighborhood garage sale at Jess' grandmother's in Rockford -- the town were Jess' mom, Vicki, and I were both born (and on the same day, no less -- but that is fodder for another kismet post). Sherri lives less than an hour from Rockford, and will meet me there.

It's all good!  And serendipitous! It's spontaneous! Just what the psychiatrist ordered.  

So to those who think FB is just a waste of time and energy, or who are too busy to stay connected via the electronic friendship generator, I say, Bah! Humbug!  I have found it to be quite a blessing...and I know Sherri concurs.

"A friend is a present you give yourself," the old saying goes.

And this weekend, thanks to Facebook Kismet, it's going to be Christmas in May. 


Irma said...

OK, i'm jealous, but I believe this is what I would call facebook Karma, don't ya know!? Just save some energy for the wedding, and good old Cincy!

Annie said...

Oh, darling! I will have plenty of energy for the wedding and Cincy! Carpe Diem, and all that! Love, Party Girl

cbranden said...

Dear annjanuaryann...it is now February and a month has elapsed ever so quickly. I spoke to Sherri today. I was commenting on her doppleganger, and how giddy I was that I had facebook to help me through some challenging days-sometimes weeks-of life's bittersweetness. And all I could really think about telling her was that I had found the most wonderful person, and that their gifts of wit, tenderness, perseverance and audacity were truly getting me through..but it was their selflessness that really snagged me. You Ann. I went on and on with Sherri..oh yea, she knows..and we both just felt like we had been touched by an angel, with our similar experiences in friending, YOU. You have gifts that bring laughter and tears to the surface..the same release, what life is supposed to feel like; A passionate heartpounding and a good cry. I just had a good cry. Read "Survivor" again for about the 6th time- yep got me again. I am sorry that you lost your mother. I barely knew you then, but I thnik we are making up for lost time. And that above all is a real reason to carry on...survive....love will keep us together...and hold on to what we've got, and today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream.
Pinch me..I know an Angel, and She is my friend. It is you annjanuaryann. Of all the luck....