Paul comes over to my house and we sit in the living room and quickly catch up, summing up our lives over the last few months since we last met: no I still don’t care about work and neither does he, his girlfriend’s pregnancy scare and how she wanted to keep it, yes I’ve been OK healthwise but I still think about it every day, his upcoming trip backpacking in New Zealand, a rapid exchange of news over a ten or so minutes.
Then we go on facebook and look up our old schoolmates, schoolmates that we never liked because we were into Gene and 60ft Dolls and David Bowie too much and they certainly weren’t. All those people, all those lives, where are they now? So we look at the profiles that Paul is linked to and we also look at who has joined a group that’s set up for our secondary school and looking through all those people we check for two things: a) are they married and b) what do they look like now?
And if they’re married we classify them as a bit of loser, if they’re not married we classify them a complete loser. And as we do that it occurs to me that the joke is on me really, how dare I judge those people according to their marital status, at least they have the chance to get married, whilst I have to change my name and keep a hidden facebook profile so that none of these people will ever find me and realise what my life has come to. I know who I’d rather be. And it’s not me.
You know in American movies where the main character always goes back to his hometown during some holiday / tragedy / family emergency / other event, and he sees people he used to go to high school with and they’re still pumping gas at the local station and they’re silly and vulgar and have got married to some girl also from high school and have eight children and drink in a horrible bar every night with people they’ve known for 25 years and our character looks down on them because he’s made a lucky escape and is now a successful advertising executive (whatever that means) in Manhattan and considers himself so lucky because he lives the high life and only has to go back to this town for a couple of days a year? Well I’d rather be the guy pumping gas thank you very much.
So Paul and I think that maybe I should set up a second profile, a profile with the original name that I had in school and I should put some pictures up (nothing that shows me in a great light) and make up some stuff about my life now: I didn’t go to University, I’m engaged to some girl, I have an OK but average job, I’ve made some good friends, nothing much is going on in my life, etc.
In other words make a profile showing me with the life I never had. And then I can link my made-up profile to all my schoolmates and chat to them.