Friday, August 13, 2010


                        (August 2009)

This blog post is regarding my 38th birthday, which took place… um.. er… last year. I know, I’m a little slow. Considering my 39th b-day is in two weeks, my goal was to post this blog entry before my 39th. Glad I finally got to it with a couple of weeks to spare :). Enjoy.

My 38th birthday was great and technology; namely Facebook had a lot to do in making it memorable. I must admit, when Facebook came on the scene, I was reluctant to jump on the bandwagon. Now, one can’t push me off of it.

My 38th b-day was a lot of fun. Students wished me a happy b-day, colleagues sent me e-mails, I had a great meal with my family, but my b-day became legen-(pass the milk) dary when I logged onto Facebook (FB) and saw all the b-day wishes I received. I was flattered and humbled. I reconnected with a few people that evening that made the evening more incredible. I was chatting nonstop. I had 3-4 chats going at once, which is so unlike me, but at the same time it was cool to know that I could multitask fairly well. The evening took an interesting turn when I received an e-mail from an old friend named Kim. Kim is a childhood friend whom I have known since I was 7. Kim and I grew up a few doors down from one another. Kim is a great and sincere person who never forgets my b-day and how can she? We were born two days apart. Back in the day, we used to have some great neighborhood wide b-day parties back to back. I always remembered wicked summer thunderstorms taking place as her parties were going down.

Kim sent me a b-day e-mail urging me to keep in touch, which we always do of one another. I then asked Kim if she was on FBand she replied affirmatively and we became FB friends. As I was looking through Kim’s FB friends, it felt as if I was taking a walk down memory lane. Kim was friends with people that we attended elementary school with and Kim also posted photos from her 20th high school reunion from the high school I would have attended if my family and I would have remained in Delaware. Kim had also posted 70’s era classroom photos from elementary school. So, here I was flooded with all kinds of positive halcyon memories, so wanting to reconnect with people who had probably forgotten that I ever existed or would not know what to say to me if we were to reconnect because so much water had collected under the proverbial bridge. My emotions were on the verge of bringing me to tears of joy, warmth, happiness, and a strange feeling that I have yet to adequately place. Then, I saw the piece de resistance, the photo that stopped me in my tracks, Jennifer C (Let’s just call her Jen). Jen had commented on one of Kim’s photos and she was one of Kim’s FB friends as well. Jen was the girl I had a crush on from grade 3 up until I moved to Virginia at the end of grade 7.  In grade 3, Jen and I were the leads in the Nutcracker play. I was the Nutcracker and she was Clara. It wasn’t easy being the Nutcracker in grade 3. My friends busted my nuts for one for being in a play (our music teacher selected me, I really didn’t have a choice). I endured countless jokes. The role required that I wear dark blue tights throughout the play (not cool in grade 3) and I had to hold a girl’s hand (Jen’s hand) for most of the play.  Holding Jen’s hand; I feigned outrage on the outside of holding Jen’s hand, but secretly I loved it! I got to hold Jen’s hand, spend all sorts of time with her during rehearsals and the play itself. Anyway, Jen was a very cute girl. I always remembered her wearing plaid skirts, knee-high socks, mary jane shoes, and she had a smile that would light up a classroom.

Fast forward 30 years. I’m sitting at my computer screen in a land far removed from my childhood in Delaware debating whether or not to reconnect with my grade 3 crush whom I don’t even thinks know I existed. I sent Kim an e-mail explaining my dilemma and she quickly replied, “Go ahead and send Jen a friend request, if she doesn’t remember you, I will try to jog her memory.”  Following Kim’s sage advice, I sent Jen a friend request with a short e-mail explaining who I am/was and the Nutcracker play.

The next evening as I logged on to the FB I noticed that I had an e-mail in my FB inbox and it was from Jen. Jen had replied, “Ryan, of course I remember you! How are you? Where are you? I can’t wait to catch up and reconnect. Let’s chat soon, Jen.” I couldn’t believe it! Within the course of 24 hours, I had found my grade 3 crush and we were back in touch. We ended up chatting on FB the following day and I finally confessed to Jen that I had a crush on her from grade 3 to grade 7  and she laughed. We discussed the Nutcracker and she remarked, “Ryan, you looked so cute in those blue tights that you had to wear,” and at this we both laughed. What amazed the both of us was how much we had in common. Jen attended college in Virginia, she was studying to become a physical therapist at one point (just like me), she is married with two boys, and there were many other similarities. I remarked, “Jen, I wonder how good of friends we may have become if I had stayed in Delaware or if we remained in touch?” Jen replied, “Yeah, we’ll never know, but let’s keep in touch now.” It then occurred to me as we were chatting on FB that when I was in grade 10 in Virginia; I had come across a grade 7 yearbook from Delaware and on a whim one Sunday evening, I phoned Jen out of the blue and we ended up talking for about an hour. And I remembered that we both shared a lot during that conversation many years ago. I asked Jen if she remembered me phoning her and the conversation that ensued that evening. She said that she did and she commented, “Ryan, we’ve been friends a long time.” Jen and I have kept in touch since reconnecting and she lives about two hours from one of my sisters and we have made plans to see one another the next time I am visiting my sister.

My 38th b-day was a memorable one and I look forward to many others.

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