Forgetting about, but not being forgotten about

Published on 16 May 2008 in , ,

Like the world and his giddy aunt, I’m on Facebook. And for various reasons, I’m rather hidden on it – if you don’t know me, you won’t find my picture; you can’t see my friends list. You can find me, but you can’t find much out about me.

Err. Yes. When you think about it, it is a rather odd policy. After all, on this very website, the whole world can read all about me and what I do, then pop over to flickr to see that wedding I went to recently, before rushing headlong first to to find out what frankly wonderful stuff I’m listening to (Simon and Garfunkel right now).

But frankly, I hide myself away on Facebook for one reason – to keep it to people I know and care about.

Not for me the random acquaintance I met once in a pub in Barnsley. Nor for me, the long lost school friends from primary school who probably never liked me at the time anyway. Maybe there’s a really good friendship in the making out there. But chances are that there isn’t.

As a policy it kind of works and I don’t think I’ve had a single friend request from any long lost person from primary or secondary school. Until this evening when one popped in.

And lo, the name just drew a complete blank. Even the picture didn’t help. I had absolutely no idea who she was. Only by going through her friends list and spotting a few familiar names, did I work it out. And she’s not the only one. I seem to have completely forgotten most of the names of the people I spent seven years being educated with. I can remember all sorts of random junk, but tell you the names of half of the intake of ’82 – blimey, it seems to be gone.

I guess it’s partly down to my time at primary school. It wasn’t hugely memorable. I didn’t have that many friends during it and my memories consist of little more than throwing a chair at a dinnerlady (oh the happy memories!) and “getting married” to Jacqueline in the juniors.

Unlike most of the school, I didn’t go from Godley County Primary School to Longendale High, and at that point – bar a few people I knew from the church youth group – I said goodbye to everyone and put it out of my mind.

Which means now, twenty years on, I’ve forgotten most of them. And frankly, I’d rather expected that they’d forgotten me. But clearly someone didn’t.

For whatever reason, someone remembered. And I’m just hoping it’s not for the whole chair incident…

Incidentally, in the unlikely event that said friend-to-be is reading this, I really do apologise profusely. I blame getting old…


  • I remember one of our dinnerladies kept swapping my knife and fork over because I was eating “left-handed”… but I never threw a chair at any of them. I’m sure you had your reasons.
    When I first joined Facebook, back in the days when you could only join with a university e-mail account (three years is a long time in internet history), I was one of those people who added everyone I recognised. Now I’m a bit older though (three years is a long time, etc.) I’m subtly removing people so that my “friends” list is a more accurate representation of – well, my friends!
    I think you’ve adopted a sensible approach!

  • Andrew Bowden says:

    Can’t for the life of me remember why I threw a chair – I know I lost my temper about something or other. If dinner lady (or should that be “lunchtime attendant” these days?”) in question remembered it, then she never let on as I knew her throughout my teens. But hey, you do stupid things when you’re a kid.