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January 24, 2006

'Friends' Reunited

I had the strangest phone call the other day. It was a bloke from school, whom I hadn't heard from in, uh, *adds up on fingers* twenty-one years. He'd emailed me a while ago on the strength of my entry on Friends Reunited.

I'd got bored, you see, with all of the 'divorced, live in Commuter Town, Home Counties, work in IT in London' which was what every single one of my school contemporaries had put as their entry on the site. So, as is my wont, I had a bit of a rant. 'Hated school', I said, and 'couldn't you all just tell?'. I went on: 'Spent a couple of years after school being depressed and doing dead-end jobs, before finally going back to college and doing A-levels again and scraping into Uni.' It went on in a similar vein, and then cheered up as it went on to describe the LOML and how she saved my life, really, and how much I loved the kids and my job now.

All true. Was depressed, for a long time there. I was so messed up by the experience of single-sex public school and parents who had ridiculously high expectations that it was inevitable, I suppose. I don't have very many memories of my 19th and 20th years on the planet, the ones just after I left - not just not many happy memories, just not many memories. Blanked it out. Spent the time being drunk, riding big motorbikes in the dubious company of the local biking fraternity, most of whom were extremely unintelligent, very aggressive, xenophobic, misogynistic, poverty-stricken, smelly, and drug addicts. Introduce an immature, opinionated, fast-mouthed, left-leaning public schoolboy with a trust fund into this mix and it's an absolute wonder that I wasn't stabbed.

Aaaaaanyway, enough beating up on yourself already. (Do that bit in an American accent and you can forgive me the hideous syntax). I had this email from, ah, we'll call him Mike*. He said he liked the candour of my Friends Reunited entry; had found it interesting. I replied, and then so did he, and then about Christmas time he rang me. We had a nice chat, to be fair, despite the fact that I felt like I was at school again and talked too fast because I was nervous. Despite the upcoming age crisis, I still sometimes feel like I am still a kid trying to speak maturely to grown-ups, and that any minute someone's going to tousle my hair and say 'My, how you've grown'.

So, we'll meet up for a pint sometime. He's still in touch with any number of people from school, and my emails had created a lot of interest with them, and they would love me to go to the summer barbecue thing they have. Some of them I didn't leave on the best of terms with. So this could be interesting. He also told me that three of my friends from that time, two of whom were close enough that I'd kept in touch with them after school for a while, were dead. One unexpected collapse and two suicides. Great.

So I suppose I'll see what happens. We're all forty-odd now. The old prejudices must have washed away by now, surely. If not, I can just walk away again. I will do that without hesitation if there is any sign that the old problems haven't completely gone away.

I'll let you know.

*because his name's Michael.

crisis countdown: 98 days


  • good to see you lived thru the most miserable day of the year!

    By Blogger proud and prejudiced, at 9:14 am  

  • similar story here - hated (mixed) boarding school - left on v bad terms with most people. Fought for ages against 25 yr reunion - was persuaded to go by entreating phone calls - went - had time of life - several ghosts, er, laid to rest - highly recommend it. Oh and also hooked up with LOML again with whom I now share life too. So all in all, recommended.....

    By Blogger the Beep, at 10:25 am  

  • does LOML = OOGF ? we all wonder

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:00 am  

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