When Facebook was new I had numerous objections to it, and was a determined holdout. But eventually all my friends and family were on it, and I felt compelled to join so I could keep up with their lives. It was fine for quite a while. But recently I got a private Facebook message from a woman I’ll call Evelyn, asking if I had worked at a company that, for the sake of convenience, I’ll call ABC. The answer was yes. I had indeed worked at ABC about thirty-five years ago. I remembered Evelyn. I liked her. But I wasn’t happy to have her back in my life.
The embarrassing truth is, I was wild when I worked at ABC. I drank too much and missed a lot of work and…well, a sign on my desk said it all: I type like I live—fast, with lots of misteaks. I did stupid things at parties I thought were brilliant. I’m not going to provide details. They could be worse than what you might be imagining right now. Or they could be more moderate than what you’re imagining. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
My biggest regret is that I put a lot of people at risk by driving buzzed a lot. I could have hurt someone, or worse. It was only by the grace of God that I didn’t. I’ve changed a lot since then. I’m not the same person anymore. For one thing I have more than thirty years of sobriety, for which I am grateful. I live one day at a time, committed to being the best person I can be going forward.
Regrets about my ABC days were all but faded from memory when Evelyn’s message showed up. In the old natural order of things, acquaintances who dropped from your life were gone for a reason and stayed gone. Divine Order reigned. But that was before Facebook. Since FB, it’s easier for people to track you down. They mean well but can remind you of unwanted baggage you thought was behind you. I couldn’t even figure out how to delete Evelyn’s message. I clicked stuff and thrashed around, and in the end I just wildly selected the “file” option I saw to make it go away. I don’t know where it went but I can’t see it anymore. I hope Evelyn has a nice life. I also hope that, like in the song Old Lang Syne, old acquaintance will now be forgot and never brought to mind.