I have this innocent habit of looking up people in my past that I haven’t seen in a long time, via googling. Some of my friends who are harsh critics like to call this cyberstalking. Not so. And I know that I’m not the only person who enjoys this activity. I just do it out of idle curiosity. No one gets hurt. Usually, no one even gets contacted. It’s just fun to see where people end up and what they do with their lives. All the examples listed below are men, but I look up women friends, too.
As a for instance, I recently googled The Rat Bastard to find that, if you can believe his own website (which I don’t), he now owns his own fabulously successful information technology consulting and services firm. Sure, now he’s rolling in the dough!
Facebook is a great place to do this, too. I’ve found lots of people I haven’t seen in a while. Sometimes I actually befriend them. Sometimes they find me. For instance, a guy that I once briefly dated in college is now my friend on Facebook. He’s a total asshole, but I have no backbone about this sort of thing. If someone asks to be my friend on Facebook I’ll probably befriend them anyway. He’s still an asshole. He at least admits to being married on Facebook, but there are no pictures of his wife and kids on his Facebook. It’s mostly pictures of him with famous liberal politicians that he’s met and pictures from his childhood.
I’ve cyberstalked my main heckler from my junior high school for years now. No kidding, this boy made my life nothing short of a living hell with his constant ridicule from the time I was twelve to the time I was fourteen when I finally moved in the middle of my freshman year. Yet I love to look him up on the internet from time to time. I think I’m secretly hoping that his life is miserable.
The fact is that said young man grew up and graduated with honors with a bachelors degree in English from a state university, then went on to get a masters and even a Ph.D. from a private university in California. Some of those years were spent studying abroad in France. He headed some institute thingy in Austria and then came back to the U.S. to work for a huge, fancy and very famous non-profit foundation in Chicago. Then back to the university where he earned his Ph.D. to work for another non profit. And most recently off to London to work for another type of non-profit, again headed by someone very famous and wealthy who’s concerned with improving conditions for all people in the heavily populated areas of the Muslim world, regardless of their religion, national origin or sex.
When I knew this same young man who is now so concerned with saving the world’s poor and downtrodden, just buying your clothes at Wal-Mart and living in a trailer park were enough to make you the scum of the earth. Being poor was something he believed you should have the good sense to be ashamed of. If you didn’t realize it, then he would do the shaming for you. And I wasn’t poor like the poverty stricken of the third world. I just only owned two pairs of jeans and ate a lot of macaroni and cheese. It wasn’t truly a great hardship. He hit me on the head with a fly swatter once to demonstrate his contempt. I’m imagining just what kind of punishment would befall a poor Muslim woman from the ghettos of Calcutta in his care. Would she get hit with a cane?
Eh. People change. I should probably be glad that he actually seems to have evolved into a decent human being. But I’m happier that he’s going bald, and he’s probably still short.