The Tragic Optimist

messages that I will never send through facebook

I’m as big a fan of facebook as anyone, love that I can keep in touch with friends, get back in touch with old friends, get to know new friends.  I’m pretty open on fb, but there’s still messages that I compose, sometimes even write, but I can never bring myself to click “Share.”

Friend request / invites never sent:

  • It seems weird to ask to be your friend, 20 years now since you told me you didn’t want to be friends anymore.  Your explanation didn’t really make any sense to me, though if I’m honest with myself, I think its because you thought I was lame.  But I liked you, and I wonder how you’re doing and hope you’re doing well.  And I don’t think I’m lame.  But I worry that asking you to be a facebook friend will just sound lame to you.
  • I wish you were on fb, or that I had any other way of getting in touch.  I wish we hadn’t lost track of each other.  I developed a crush on you the day I met you, but if I’d known that it would end our friendship when we got romantically involved, I never would have gone there.  It wasn’t worth it.

Posts I will never leave on a friend’s wall:

  • I miss our talks.  I don’t know why things are different, but I’m pretty sure it’s me.
  • It’s been really fun catching up with you on fb.  Thing is, I do not remember you.  At all.  We have friends in common, and went to the same school at the same time, and you seem to remember me, so I’ll believe that we knew each other, but it’s a little weird.
  • It was more than 10 years ago that we talked about our plans for the future.  Both of us talked about wanting kids with our respective partners sometime in 4 or 5 years.  I think about that conversation some times and wonder about you and your partner.  Did you go through infertility like we did – are you still?  Did you change your mind?
  • I wonder if you know just what you meant to me.  Every 17 year old girl should have someone who really looks at her, and tells her she’s beautiful.  I needed that at that time.  You probably didn’t know that.  But I wish we’d had more time to just talk and get to know each other.  I don’t know how to start a conversation with you now.

(I have this blog set up on facebook, so I could share a link to thispost with all my fb friends, but I can’t quite do it.)


  1. advicepig

    I love this post more than you can imagine. I won’t go posting it to my facebook account since we share so many friends, but that pretty much nails a lot of the conversations in my own head.

    When I turned 30, I thought I’d write a letter a day, like a real handwritten letter mailed with a stamp. Each was to someone who was one of those stories you outlined above. I dropped off before getting too many done, but it was a pretty amazing experience. I only got a few replies. The one I remember most was along the lines of, “it was just as amazing and intense for me.” I had always wanted to find out whatever happened to her. I wish we could have remained close friends. I never heard from her again.

    There’s one I avoided ever writing. It’s still rolling around in my head.

    • Actually, I don’t think any of our mutual friends are the target of any of these messages. A couple of friends of friends, maybe. You’re welcome to post it if you’d like.

    • oh, and I love the idea of the handwritten letters.

  2. This is very good and so true. I thought about this when I saw a group created for my high school class and it was just as cliquey as I thought it would be. Some things never change. The one wall post I will always want to post is – ‘sometimes i wonder what our life would be like if we were still together. i still hurt over the way we ended things as that person was not the real me. i hope you forgive me.’

  3. It is amazing how much things can change, yet not change at all when you are looking back on high school experiences.

    I don’t have a fb page yet, but I’ve been under so much pressure lately, I’ll probably cave soon.

  4. FB can stir up some powerful emotions, can’t it? I wasn’t prepared for that when I joined, and I think I’ve minimized how much FB has impacted my life. I guess I thought it was lame at first, and I still wonder if my addiction to it is healthy. By addiction, I mean that I probably log onto it as often as my email account. Anyway, I have a number of unsent messages that sound eerily similar to yours. Great post.

  5. Gus




  6. Maria

    I have several of those myself – especially the ‘I wish you were on Facebook’ ones. And then there’s the ‘you friended me on Facebook, but now I am kinda creeped out and am gonna just have to say NO’ (don’t you remember tripping me in the hallway in jr high, because I do and honestly I still just can’t get past it) . . . oh, and the ‘you broke my heart and now you want to be my friend on Facebook, but won’t pick up the phone to call me, ever, though I have the same phone # I did when we were going out’. Ouch.

    I’ve also written letters and then never sent them – it’s pretty therapeutic, actually.

  7. Ann – this post made me laugh right out loud – and then suck my breathe in as I felt like I could be writing some of that FB stuff myself! I am having an amazing time with FB as well – but yes, there are just some things…

    ::trails off to ponder more of life’s questions::

  8. ok, I’m back, because the CORN thing made me laugh out loud – not the FB stuff – I went from giggling picturing you doing the corn thing – to reading this – and THAT is why I laughed – and then gasped at the fact that I could have written most of this post myself!

  9. My first crush in on FB, but I *cannot* bring myself to send him a message or friend him. It’s just too emotional and I’m afraid it would be weird (what if he’s weird or creepy now? what if I’m the weird one?!). I love your list!

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