By: Mary Fran Bontempo
This past week, my high school boyfriend came back into my life.
No, it’s not romantic in any way–we’re both happily married. In fact, not only isn’t it romantic, I kind of threatened his life.
A few days ago, I received a Facebook friend request from John. And no, I won’t give you his last name, although anyone who sees the attached pictures and knows us will easily recognize him. Oh, okay, it’s Dignam. Why protect the not-so-innocent, as you’ll soon see?
We’ve seen each other perhaps three or four times in the last 35 years, usually in relation to some kind of play (we were both drama geeks in high school). So, I thought maybe a drama geek reunion was in the works. If only.
What was in the works was that John’s daughter discovered some of her father’s old prom pictures in the attic. And John, in one of those moves only men who have no sense of vanity can make, posted them online for all of the world, and all of our high school friends, to see.
You know that feeling you get right before you get hit by a bus? I’ve never been hit by a bus, but I’m pretty sure that’s what I felt. I’ll just say, it was not pretty. Nor was I, despite the assurances of the Facebook community that we were all gorgeous. Except for my other friend from high school, Sean (McGrath–no mercy, here, either), who just posted, “Hahahahahahaha!” I can always count on Sean to be brutally honest, emphasis on the brutal. (Weird side note: All three of the girls in the pictures are named Mary. John also married a Mary. Catholics in the ’70’s….)
As we get older, some of us become nostalgic for our lost youth. I am not one of those people. My teen years were painful; I wouldn’t go back there for anything. In fact, I’m pretty happy with where I am right now. Sure, I’d tweak a few things, but all in all, I’m good.
And as awful as those pictures are (Oh my God, he just posted another one–I think this guy hates me!) they have served to get some old friends back in touch–friends weighing in on the photos whom I haven’t seen in decades.
There may be a drama geek reunion in the making after all. And if there is, this time, I’m going to take and post a few pictures of my own. I’m no photographer, so I can promise, they won’t be pretty.
Which is exactly as it should be.