The other day, I got a "friends" request on my facebook account. Yes, I have a facebook account. Why? I read about a blogger's obsession with the site and I wanted to see what it was all about, so I signed up. I've never used it much, but it's there and until this weekend I had about seven friends.
(Aside: in fact, I got two friends requests this weekend. The first was from one of my first cousins once removed (the son of a first cousin). He's a senior in high school, a good kid and of course I added him. It was amusing and sweet that he even made the request.)
The other request was from Frank Ider. That stunned me. I will never forget Frank Ider but I didn't expect him to remember me, or search me out on a website. Nor did it occur to me to search for him. I was shocked to realize that he's grown older--and is now quite close to my age. When I was 19 and he was 16 (and a half!), our age difference seemed quite significant, now, not so much.
Oddly enough, I was thinking about Frank just a couple of weeks ago. He came to mind when those BYU students protested Cheney's giving their commencement address. We had a protest at my commencement too, though our reason was more prosaic. Instead of inviting an outside speaker, the address was given by the president of the university, William Gerberding, a man who was mainly known for making himself unknown to students. To wit, there was a tiny daily column in our student newspaper called "Gerb Watch," which would report Gerberding sightings around campus.
The day of commencement, some enterprising students handed out white paper armbands for us to wear as a protest. I happily fastened mine around my gown, but it fell off before I even made it into the main hall. Our walk was strewn with strips of white paper that had likewise failed to stay fastened on anyone's arm. It was the little protest that couldn't.
During the ceremony, while Gerb gave a long, boring speech, I was seated next to Frank Ider. We talked non-stop and I had a great time. When I saw Dad afterwards, I told him I hadn't heard a word of the speech and I asked him what Gerb had said. Dad was furious and told me, "It was one of the worst speeches I've ever heard! It's good you didn't pay attention." Heh.
Frank Ider and I had been on exactly one date about a year prior to commencement. In my mind, Frank remains that 16-year-old guy who ended our date with one of the most passionate kisses of my life--a kiss full of angst and hormones. He was acerbic, biting and witty. He was an asshole. But I sure loved joking around with him. Our date was hilarious. We'd been flirting for a while and then started calling each other. Eventually, I told him to ask me out and he did. I borrowed my mom's car and I picked him up at his parents' house in Bellevue. We had pizza and saw a bad Dan Acroyd movie (he liked it, I granted that it was "funny"). I took him home and tiptoed into his basement room where he played records for me from his Depeche Mode collection. When it was time to go, he walked me to the car and gave me that kiss....
I was disappointed that we didn't go out again, but I got over it quickly. At least as quickly as I ever do.
When I got the friend request from Frank, I wrote him a note but didn't write back. I was curious to see if he's changed, if he's the same grumpy, acerbic, funny guy he always was. But maybe it's just as well. It might be better to keep my memory safe. If Frank has mellowed with time, I don't want to know about it.
UPDATE: Just got an email from Frank today. He seems awfully nice and friendly. Sigh.
Grateful for: college.