oh, the things you find on facebook

13 Qudrat 166 B.E. (Baha’i Calendar)
Drumbeat in my head:  Mike Doughty, “27 Jennifers”

Over twenty years ago, I had a relationship with a woman in my college dorm that lasted the better part of a year.  We stayed friends for a few years after we broke up, but we lost touch sometime around 1992.  Every now and then, I’ve thought of her and wondered what she was up to.

Last night I decided to search for her on Facebook.  I thought it would be a relatively easy search because she told me that her last name was actually quite rare in the U.S.  And indeed, when I entered her name on Facebook, only two matches came up.  The second listing didn’t look like her at all but the first one did. 

I couldn’t quite tell if it was her, though. She had her page set up so that I could only look at her profile if we were friends.  The one picture that was displayed looked a lot like her, but it wasn’t a close-up photo of her.  I looked at the picture closely.  The face looked similar, and she appeared to be tall like my friend,  but for the life of me couldn’t tell whether it was her or not.  So I decided to take a chance and request her as a friend.  I figured, if it was her, then I’d be able to reunite with a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time, and if it wasn’t her, well, it didn’t matter because this person wouldn’t know me anyway.

This morning I checked my email and got word that this woman had confirmed me as a friend on Facebook.  I was delighted.  I began to think of the emails we’d send back and forth after a seventeen-year hiatus.  I logged onto Facebook to check her profile.

Her “wall” was entirely in German. 

This didn’t make sense.  So I checked her pictures, of which there were no shortage.  It definitely was not her.  But not only did this woman have the same name as the friend I dated twenty years ago, she actually looked A LOT like her.  I could easily see them as sisters.  Then I checked the profile page.  This woman lives in Berlin and was born in 1990.  Which means she was born AFTER my friend and I dated each other. 

I don’t know why this young woman in Berlin accepted my friend invitation.  I only accept Facebook friend requests from people I know.  It just hadn’t occurred to me that this woman might accept my friend invitation even if she didn’t know me.  Maybe she liked my picture. Who knows?

One thing I do know.  If I ever finally catch up with my old friend, I’ll have to tell her that she has a doppelganger in Berlin.

hello, i’m still here (or, the threads that connect us)

17 ‘Ilm 166 B.E. (Baha’i Calendar)
Soundtrack in my head:  Tigger Outlaw, “Songs for Aging Children”

The first of November always feels different than the 31st of October.  I walk outside and I feel the difference.  It’s actually warmer than yesterday, but the trees are more bare—a product of the ferocious winds that came through yesterday and the day before. 

I’ve been bad about blogging recently.   For the first two weeks it was due to writer’s block, but in the last week or so we’ve had a problem with our Internet connection at our house.  It was completely down for one week—a lot of it was due to an area-wide outage.  My Internet connection is still spotty—it only works on my laptop every other time and my desktop computer seems to have a problem that i can’t explain.

The outage really got me thinking about how dependent we are on things.  Not just the Internet.  The food we get is dependent on trucks making it to our city—even the CSA was subscribe to is two hours away.  When I lived in Hoffman Estates, IL,  I was fully dependent on my car working well enough to drive the five miles to the commuter rail station.  Our comfort right now in our co-op house is dependent on our basement furnace working. My ability to type this blog entry is dependent not only on the Internet, but on the electricity that feeds the battery of my laptop and lights up the room I’m in. 

I don’t think people realize the extent to which all of these things could potentially be interrupted.  A really bad winter storm could make the roads to our city unnavigable for days. A sudden dip in oil supplies could make food and supply deliveries extremely costly.  There are people who believe that the phenomenon of peak oil might make such things possible.  There have been widespread, extended blackouts in the past.  I don’t mean to be gloom and doom about these things, but it’s worth thinking about…