Time Takes Its Toll

About a week ago, I mentioned I received a MySpace message from a mysterious stranger who seemed to know me. I replied and I received the following message back.
Subject Line: Ah, same old...

Alison. It's nice to be able to count on some things in life...
Now, my first response when I read this was "oh, it is on!" and I began to compose a detailed diatribe railing against losers who contact people with whom they went to high school but can't be bothered to actually man up and identify themselves beyond a name and a childhood photo. I mean, if one wants to be seen as anything more than a cyberstalker, they have to make the profile public when contacting people. And what the hell is wrong with someone who chooses to look someone up from high school for the sole purpose of insulting them anyway?

But then I got bored with that idea. I mean, I can sit here and type all of the above for you, my beloved readers, but the prospect of saying all of that to this guy struck me as a waste of time. So I replied:
People don't change.
Which in the context of this exchange, is true. For this individual, I guess, I am the same as I was two decades ago.

In reality, however, my response was a total lie. We all change. With every passing second, we mutate into something else. Perhaps something better than we previously were, perhaps something worse, perhaps both at once. While I have expressed a fear of change in the past, I would be foolish to pretend that it doesn't exist. And to suggest that I am the same as I was twenty years ago would mean I would have to ignore everything that has happened to me in the past two decades. It would mean that I have been untouched by the people I have met over the years, those whom I loved who did not love me back and those whom I have loved who did. It would mean I was left unmarked by the child who grew inside my body, the child I bore and nursed, and who now grows taller with each passing day before me. It would mean that I have remained unaffected by experience. It would mean I have not grown.

Which I guess is what bothered me so much about this message exchange. This person was writing to someone who doesn't exist anymore, some girl named Alison who is still fifteen, and he didn't even attempt to engage the woman she grew up to be.

Postscript: As I was writing this, Tom asked to be my friend via MySpace and I saw his profile and, yes, we did go to high school together. So all is figured out, though all is not well. He sent me a message saying he couldn't believe I was the age I am and that I was old. Clearly, we are off to a very bad start with regards to this whole renewing old friendships thing.


Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
I also think change is related to all that we remember or that those remember about us--you know? Even personal history can get rewritten...actually I think it does more often than other kinds in that yours and how you see it or how relates affects the history of others and vice versa...l...not exactly sure what I am trying to say here afterall...long day and 4 kids riding the vomit comet today...was taking a break...ha!
karrie said…
Love the picture.

Tom, you ass, is this your idea of flirting?

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