I STILL HATE YOU, MARC TEITELMAN.
I digress. Until last year, those little Valentine’s Day cutout cards had been my only measure of popularity, until Facebook. Listen, this isn’t my first day on earth. I know a lot of friend-ing is about collecting, about self-esteem and self-satisfaction. Most of my Fb friends have more than 500 pals while I remained at a woeful 189, which I was okay with until two weeks ago when I saw my number drop…by one.
I scrolled up and down my list, studying it with the same intensity needed to find a dropped earring back. And then I made the ugly discovery: The woman who’s been dating our best friend was gone. I hadn’t responded with enough sympathy, it seems, when she needed to vent about their relationship. And her response was to cut me off cyberly. I made up that word.
It was worse than not putting a card on my desk; it was as if she’d lain one down, re-evaluated me, then snatched it back. I masked my hurt in incredulity then mockery. “She’s acting like a child,” I complained to my husband the other night. It took a nanosecond to realize the irony.
She and I are always going to be nine years old. I imagine we’re in good company. It was a time when we were discovering how our peers perceived and judged us. Something we still consider – and some of us worry about – day to day. It’s a big suitcase we never unpack. However, I no longer have to figure out creative ways to hide the area between the tops of my knee socks and the bottom of my hem.