When life's like a John Hughs movie... (longish)

So back in the, my sister and I had a good friend “Heather”. She and her little brother and my big sister and me started our friendship over dirt-clod wars in a construction site where we weren’t supposed to play. One winter we all piled on to a toboggan, careened down a hill and all of us bigger kids ended up in a big pile… on top of her brother’s head. He was probably out cold for barely ten seconds, but when you think you’ve killed your friend’s baby brother, it feels like HOURS.

She also went to the same summer camp as my sister and me and there the dirt-clod wars continued. And we tried to convince younger kids to eat bugs, and er little brother was really good at faking bug eating, so the other little kids might follow suit. In the tenth grade, I took her her to a high-school semi-formal. We went as frineds. She wanted to make her ex-boyfriend jealous, so we created all these outlandish tails about our “whirlwind romance”. We had a fun night and laughed, and laughed and laughed.

I switched to a different high school to take a language course that wasn’t offered at mine. (And it was dropped from the curriculum right after I enrolled) and she moved. So we didn’t keep in touch much, until I ran into her in a mall.

I ran over “Hey, Heather! How’ve you been?” She looked at me. And without a hint of irony, she said in the frostiest tone: “Do I know you?”

For a split second I was just about to naively answer “It’s me! Cellphone!” but in the nic-of-time, the Babel Fish correctly translated “Do I know you?” to “I am going to pretend that I don’t know you.” I mumbled something like we went to “Summer camp… Just thought I’d say ‘hi’… hafta go to practice.”

My sister said she saw her too, and Heather "pretended she didn’t see her ". Neither of us ever had a falling out with her, but we’d heard she’d moved up into the ranks of the Popularity Elite. My sister and I were both very social kids and got along well with everyone. So while we weren’t on the top rungs of the social ladder, we were in the upper middle with most of the other sporty riff-raff. But that didn’t cut it anymore as far as Heather was concerned, I guess.

The cool thing about being a grown-up is that high school bullshit-poltics don’t matter so much anymore. Last year I ran into a guy I actually got into fist-fights with in school. (I’ve mentioned in other threads that having a gay sister in high school meant I sometimes had to defend her honor, or mine… that was the guy!) He spotted me and said: “Hey, you went to SMC High. Cell… Cell… Cellphone!” Then he looked a little mortified and said “Oh. Yeah… Hey, how’s your sister doing? Man, I used to rag on her a lot in school. I’m really sorry, buddy. You know how it is. KId stuff.”

He looked genuinely regretful, so I said “Yeah, well that was a long time ago. My sister isn’t one to hold a grudge, so I’m sure she doesn’t hold it against you.” A half-truth. It’s true that she very rarely holds a grudge, but in his particular case, she still thinks he’s an assclown.

But we chatted a bit and that led us to suddenly going off to have a beer. We talked about our former schoolmates, our favorite activites (we have a lot in common acutally) and left it with “Yeah, we should go for a beer again sometime.” We probably won’t, but that beer was a good one. That’s what being an adult is about. You’re mature, you can get past petty childhood drama. You can get along like old friends even though you were at war in the playground.

Now back to Heather… Bored at work, I plugged in different names of long-lost friends into Myspace … and lo’ it’s Heather! She even looks almost the same in her picture! She looks like she does aerobics, has two perfect-looking kids, and her site said she “drives a Mercedes.” I sent her a quick message about dirt-clod wars with her brother and a few other funny shenangigans we all got into.

The answer I got back: “Do I know you?”


Assuming you are telling the whole story (I have no reason to doubt you) it sounds like “Heather” is now an assclown as well.

She is obviously either holding some kind of grudge, or else she thinks she is above you. It sucks but there may not be anything you can do about it.

Have you asked your sister if she has had any contact with Heather? Maybe she can shed some light.

I think I would answer back “Well, I thought I knew you, but I guess I really did not. Good luck with your new life.” and never look back.

If there’s a grudge, I know nothing about why. There really isn’t anything else to the story. We never dated, and we never got in a fight ever. My sister was wondering if she was the problem (eg/ if Heather’s a homophobe or doesn’t want to associate with our family for that reason), if that’s the case, then she’s suffering from sserious douchbaggery.

We do still cross paths with “David”, her little bro, from time to time (our mom’s still keep in touch) and we usually go out for a beer or something when we do. Back around Christmas my sister ran into him and asked about Heather and the only answer he gave was “She’s bitchy now”. Apparently they don’t talk much because she doesn’t like his wife but won’t say why.

(The kid who once put an actual grasshopper’s leg in his mouth on our mission to get other kids to eat bugs, actually got married!)

I don’t think it’s just me. I have a feeling she just grew up to be a female version of that asshole in Pretty in Pink. ::shrug:: I’m not too worried about it. She’s not the same kid I used to know, that’s all.

What she said.

Dude, she’s just not that into you.

If your mentioning dirt clod wars didn’t engage her memory, and she didn’t say, “I’m so sorry, I had a freak accident 10 years ago involving a marmot and a memory potion and I don’t remember anyone from my childhood,” then you can safely assume what she meant was, “I’m not interesting in knowing you. Buh-bye.”

Well, but why be so nasty about it, in that case? I’m going to assume she is not genuinely unable to remember him at all; there are people who briefly touched my life that I probably don’t remember well anymore, but someone who was a friend for several years, and with whom I went on a (friendly) date to a dance… well, I’ll certainly still remember them.

So: he messaged her to say “howyadoin?” If anyone from my past sent me a message like that, I would do one of two things:

(1) If I was interested in further contact, write back a friendly, “yeah, hi, nice to hear from you, got married, had a kid, still live in Jersey, write for a living” kind of message.

(2) If I wasn’t interested in further contact, I would likely not respond at all. Just ignore the message.

But that isn’t what happened here. She received a friendly message, one with nostalgic overtones. Barring marmot/memory potion, she knew who the sender was. She didn’t just trash bin the message. She cared enough to write back. And her message was - given that she clearly does know who he is - deliberately nasty. Meant to be insulting.

I don’t buy that she doesn’t remember, or doesn’t care. I’d put money on the guess that while OP thinks they parted on good terms, and lost contact amicably but naturally, the girl felt differently. One way or another, she left with bad feelings: maybe she had unreciprocated romantic feelings for the OP, or maybe she just felt like he didn’t make enough effort to sustain their friendship once she moved and he transferred. But she was pissed about something, and has been waiting however many years since it to fire off that little barb.

Do I know you?

Come on. Who says that to someone they obviously know, unless they’re trying to be mean?


I think you’re obsessing over her just a wee bit too much. Honestly! Not everyone stays in touch with their childhood friends. Nor on good terms, even.

It sucks, yes, but it’s probably time to move on. She doesn’t care to know you anymore. That’s life. Seems to me like it’s her loss, at any rate.

Anyone who needs to mention they drive a Mercedes on a website that has nothing else to do with cars probably isn’t worth knowing. You dodged a bullet!

What? How am I obsessing? I send ONE message to someone who was one of my best friends for years (and who comes to mind usually only around Christmas when our family stops by to visit her mom). Then I posted about my disappointment at being rebuffed. Big deal! Where the hell did you get the idea that I’m obsessing?

Am I broken up about it? No! I’m a touch chagrined, yes, to be sure. But mostly I was just waxing nostalgic. I mean it’s really interesting to see how we all turned out in life. I have some great memories from when I was a kid (building a tree fort together), and some sad memories from when I was a kid (not measuring up to her “new improved” friends). That’s just life. And it’s the kind of mundane little stories thta get posted here.

Yeah, tell me something I don’t know. She was never “into me” she was more like family. If you thought I was looking up an ex-girlfriend, you are woefully mistaken. Our families wen on holidays together. It’s more like we were cousins.

Geez, remind me never to get nostalgic on this board.

Well, we are assuming that she knows and is trying to deflect. Maybe we should just take the question at face value, in which case, go ahead and send her back a message with name, hometown, and additional anecdotes about childhood. Either she’ll say, “OH! Right! Now I remember! Sorry, I’ve blocked out a whole lot about my childhood. I thought you were a MySpace jerk or spambot: I challenge everyone who contacts me through there. I’m so sorry if I offended. How are you?”* And friendship ensues. Or she says, “Nope, sorry.” And that should be the end of it. She doesn’t owe anyone an explanation.

*This would be my response, actually. I’m so sick of porn, spam and people looking for porn or spam messaging me on MySpace that I ask everyone I don’t immediately recognize if I know them, because I’m only interested in having actual friends as My Friends (with a few exceptions of my choosing.) I did, inadvertently, run off at least one ex-boyfriend that way. Oops.

Swallowed My Cellphone]

Am I broken up about it? No! I’m a touch chagrined, yes, to be sure. But mostly I was just waxing nostalgic. I mean it’s really interesting to see how we all turned out in life. I have some great memories from when I was a kid (building a tree fort together), and some sad memories from when I was a kid (not measuring up to her “new improved” friends). That’s just life. And it’s the kind of mundane little stories thta get posted here.

Geez, remind me never to get nostalgic on this board.

Well, of course you can get nostalgic. But it helps us know how to respond if you let us know what the thread is for. Do you want advice? The first couple of replies went that way, so I thought that’s where we were going. Do you want other stories about meeting old friends after a long absence? Or did you just want to share with no replies? If the last, then a blog is probably a better venue. If either of the first two, or something else, then let us know in the OP and we won’t bother you again.

No, we like good juicy gossip, so keep it coming.

It sounds like, based on your description, that she can’t possibly not remember you (unless she’s a sniveling idiot). Unfortunately, then, you’ve come across a true assclown, who never matured beyond the maturity level of high school.

I like looking up old friends on the interent, as it’s always fun to find out what happened to ole’ what’s-his-name. It’s got to be disappointing, then, to find out how this one turned out.

I don’t think I remember most friends from junior high, nor from the first few years of high school. University too, for that matter. I have good friendships, some come and go, some last for a long time. The friendships that end tend to fade in my memory.

Regardless, I’ve never been one to look back and want to reconnect with people. My current life is pretty full.

Although I agree she seemed rude about it. I’d try to be polite at least :slight_smile:

It is kind of neat. And I guess a lot of people do it seeing as Classmates makes some serious coinange off it, and so many people have flocked to Facebook.

It’s most fun to discover people have done a 180 and became as adults, people you’d never have expected the to be. Like the shy, book-lover who is now a popular orator who loves to be the center of attention. Or the hoodlum who grew up to be the most upstanding pillar of society.

::Looks at forum title “Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share”::

I guess my definition of “mundane pointless stuff I must share” is different than yours.

I’ve seen a post that did nothing more but describe some poster’s joy at looking at an out of date photo of his kid, but nostalgia about dirt-clod wars and memories of teen angst must come with a solicitation for advice or some other disclaimer. Got it.

I agree - rude. I’m terrible with both names and faces, so if I didn’t remember someone who came up to me out of the blue, I’d try to play it off.
Hey! How are you? What have you been up to? Well, nice hearing from you after all these years. Later!
I figure my not remembering people reflects badly on me - not on them. The least I can do is be polite.
But then I only drive a Nissan.

Perhaps she has an abusive spouse. The kind that keeps her isolated and is threatened by any other friendship she may form. She shut you out cold because she cannot possibly explain, nor does she dare resume any sort of interaction with you. Maybe her spouse reads her myspace page too.

Or, maybe she had a stroke or a head injury, it happens.

Just a couple of wild ass guesses.

If your life is like a John Hughes movie, it’s time to get a better agent. You don’t want to end up as a pop-culture punchline like Molly Ringwald, do you? Heck, has anyone even seen John Cryer or Judd Nelson in the last decade, or were they salvaged for spare parts by Beverly Hills plastic surgeons? I recommend a John Frankenheimer production where you get in a heart-thumping high speed car chase with your former friend going against traffic through the Lincoln Tunnel and delivering lines like “I once removed a guy’s appendix with a grapefruit spoon,” but maybe you’re more into profane edgy drama like Glengarry Glen Ross, or perhaps a nice paranoid John Carpenter story like The Thing or They Live. Whatever floats your boat; just stay away from those Eighties teen comedies scripts not staring John Cusack; nobody gets out alive from that.


Hey, Stranger, Jon Cryer has a hit sitcom called *Two and a Half Men * on CBS, for which he recently was nominated for an Emmy. :slight_smile:

Oh, and Frankenheimer is dead.