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172nd Friday Blog Roundup

I found out this week that my childhood friend’s brother died and it has affected me disproportionally for how close I’ve been with the family in the last 15+ years–sort of like finding out Ramona Quimby was gone…or perhaps the more accurate analogy is Henry and Ribsy.

He was one of my first big crushes (my first crush goes to Danny from nursery school whom I loved because he was so little and sweet.  I loved him so much that I didn’t call him Danny because I didn’t like that name and called him Benny instead).  When I slept over my friend’s house, I always hoped that her brother would accidentally walk into the room and see me changing into my Strawberry Shortcake nightgown.  He was three years older and I’d write about him in my diary, recording the passing things he said to me as he walked through our marathon Barbie games.

I looked up his obituary to see his picture, and he aged exactly as I thought he would.  Still cute.  He had a kind-looking wife, two beautiful daughters.  The last time I spoke to him was about 15 years ago when I was trying to decide whether or not to apply to the grad school program he was currently completing.  The last time I spoke to his sister was probably close to 10 years ago by now.  It didn’t feel that long until I started to do reunion math in my head.

It feels wrong to pop out of the woodwork to offer condolences and it feels equally wrong to know and not send her condolences.  I looked her up on Facebook, and there was an entry, but I wasn’t sure if it was her because she wasn’t connected to any of our mutual friends.  I have her work address and can mail a card there.  It feels both wrong and right.

He’s someone that I hadn’t thought about for years–she is someone I haven’t thought about much either–but hearing the news from my mother made me feel again like that little girl waiting to be noticed in her friend’s kitchen.  It made me wonder about all my other past crushes and when did I age into a space where some of them might not be alive anymore.  My heart is just with his wife and girls, as well as my old friend who is now without her big brother.


The Weekly What If: Google and Facebook sometimes give you the ability to peek in on the lives of past crushes, though I’ve found that a bunch have seemingly disappeared into the ether.  If you could get a picture and one paragraph biography of any past crush delivered to your inbox (so you won’t have to face your crush–you’ll just get to peek at them from afar), who would it be?

I think, for me, I would choose my sophomore year boyfriend from high school.  I Googled him today and came up empty-handed (though his twin brother is on Facebook).  I found Danny/Benny as well as my eighth grade boyfriend (my first straight boyfriend) who did not age well at all.  At all.


Creme de la Creme is continuously being updated.  Whenever I update the list, I post the date and time in the top right corner of my blog.  I also try to remember to send out a Tweet.


Aaaaah, the ring.  As of writing this, I don’t have news one way or the other and without something to actually celebrate, it feels wrong to get the ring.  My plan right now is to wait until Saturday morning (giving myself through tonight) to call the store and tell her to put it out.  I’m going to ask her to write down every detail she can about the ring and order one for me in the future.  If not, I’m at a place of peace to let it go and wait.  She has so many beautiful things in her store that if it isn’t that ring, it will be another one.  I’m actually sort of surprised at my zen-like state right now, but I feel like a ring will be floating onto my hand in the future.  And right now, I’m just concentrating on that feeling.


And now, the blogs…

I liked this post by The Infertile Breeder about retroactive pregnancies.  In explaining how pregnancy time is counted, she states that she could already be pregnant even though she hasn’t even gotten to transfer yet.  “In the present tense, this is utterly 100% untrue (not to mention physically impossible). But I truly hope that Dr. Snaggletooth will do a little time travel and make it so.”

Barren Albion has a post to mark her five-year blogoversary about how she has changed as a blog writer.  It’s a mellower Ms. Prufrock, one who now approaches her blog as a comfortable friend, one who is constant and enduring.  I love how she has changed and found that peace within writing over the last five years.

This post by Heeeeeeeeeeeeeere, Storkey Storkey touched me for the sheer brutal honesty in it.  In fact, this entire week has been filled with good, angry, venting posts that work through the frustrations of treatments–the equivalent of throwing a plate against the wall.

Serenity Now has a post about the new ideaon her bucket list.  You’ll need to click over to see what it is, but I think it’s the perfect attitude of doing something entirely for yourself, within your control, to make yourself happy.  Anything else after that is just gravy.

Lastly, Six Months (At a Time) has a post about finding infertility blogs.  I’m assuming all of us have experienced this at some point (unless we’re Ms. Prufrock and we were there when the ALI blogosphere was erected 3000 years ago)–that feeling of “holy shit–there are others out here like me who get it.”  She’s right now screaming into the ether for someone to hear her, and it would be wonderful if more people can go over and let her know that her words have been heard.

The roundup to the Roundup: Remembering an old crush.  Answer the Weekly What If about your old crush.  The Creme is still being updated.  No news means no ring.  And lots of great blogs to read.


1 Heather { 01.22.10 at 8:14 am }

The link to Six Months (At A Time) works but the one to her post links to Serenity…at least for me.

2 Terry { 01.22.10 at 9:38 am }

I think your friend will appreciate the card. I often sent condolences to people I don’t know that much and they were grateful. I think it makes the person feel a tiny bit better, it makes the person feel their grief is acknowledged and that they are part of a community, a social network, even if you’re far away, haven’t spoken in a while, etc.

3 loribeth { 01.22.10 at 9:43 am }

I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s brother, Mel. It was right about this time last year that a farm shed collapsed near the town where I spent my high school years. A good looking guy a year older than me was killed. It was his family’s farm & he’d taken over the business. I read about it in the paper here in Toronto & my sister e-mailed me about it that morning. I can’t say I knew him well, although I certainly remembered him — I knew his younger brother (who was in my sister’s class) better. He was married with three children in their late teens/early 20s. It was all I could think about for at least a week.

So many guys I know have died in recent years in their early 40s under tragic circumstances — my grandmother’s neighbour’s son (heart aneurysm), my mother’s cousin’s son (blood clot that went to the heart), the son of another of my mother’s cousins (house fire), my high school best friend’s younger brother (melanoma). All have happened in the years since my daughter’s stillbirth, & have only reinforced to me how fragile life really is.

On a lighter note — your question. I’m guilty of looking up old crushes & flames (isn’t everyone?). Found some but not others. Trying to pick just one that I’d be most interested in learning about is just too hard, so I’ll tell you two — my pre-dh boyfriend (I think he’s in Vancouver now, from something I found on Google, but I’m not entirely sure — his name is not uncommon), & a guy I had a crush on through junior high & high school. : )

I’d also be interested in finding out about the cute, goofy stoner who used to seek me out at dorm parties in my first year of university to make out with me, but would never ask me on an actual date. He eventually dumped me when he realized he wasn’t going to get very far. I lived in residence for four years & saw him do the same thing to a new freshman girl every fall. He was a commerce student & I sometimes joke that, life being what it is, he’s probably the CEO of a Fortune 500 company now.

4 a { 01.22.10 at 10:01 am }

I think a sympathy card to your friend would be much appreciated – it would probably take her out of the grief of the moment, and back to childhood when everyone was invincible.

As to the weekly what-if, well, I had very few crushes/boyfriends. Of the guys I dated, two are my FB friends (one of whom I saw recently), one I blocked, one I could connect with but don’t want to, and the other two or three I haven’t even looked for. Now, I’ll have to Google them or something because I’m mildly curious. Because I’m naturally curious, I’ve already found out everything I need to know about past boyfriends!

5 tash { 01.22.10 at 10:25 am }

I think a sympathy card would not only be appreciated, but welcomed — especially if you included a memory or two. Your friend would most likely revel in the shared experience, and find comfort that someone else out there has small, insignificant yet permanent images of her brother that will never cease to be.

You know, finding out about some of my past crushes kinda scares me a bit. I honestly don’t want to know. Except possibly my first tiny boyfriend from preK/Kindergarten, and I usually get a periodic update on him because our moms are still friends. Everyone else I’m rather thankful is in my past now, and I think I’ll go ahead and keep them there.

6 LJ { 01.22.10 at 10:31 am }

I really only have one that I’d want a peek at, but honestly, I’m happier not knowing. I think I’ve started to learn how to shut doors and leave them closed, a big step for me.

7 S { 01.22.10 at 11:30 am }

I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your childhood friend/crush. How sad.

For most of my adult life, I studiously avoided contact with my ex-boyfriends and old crushes. In the past few years, however, for a variety of reasons, I have been finding out how most of them are doing and where they are now. This trend is in part due to the internet and its reunion sites, social media, and google, and in part because I grew up in a small town where most everyone knew everyone else.

The one ex-boyfriend who I have never had any contact with since our break-up is a guy I will call “D.” D and I had a stormy relationship when I was 19-20 years old. At the time, he was in the military and stationed near the city where I attended college. He was originally from a small town outside St. Louis.

D wanted to marry me at one time (I was not there then) and, interestingly, ended up marrying a girl from the next small town over from mine several weeks after we broke up. Because the two towns are both small and near each other, I know through the grapevine that the two of them are divorced and have been since only a few years after they married.

Truth be told, I am insatiably curious about most things, and my exes are no exception. So even though I have NO lingering feelings for D whatsoever–in fact, I wouldn’t want to pass him on a street–because D is the only one about whom I know absolutely nothing of what he has been up to in the past 15 years or so, I would want to hear about (but NOT from) him.

8 susy { 01.22.10 at 11:43 am }

I’m sorry about your friend’s brother, Mel. 🙁 I think she’d really appreciate a card or some kind of condolences.

As for crushes, I was semi-in-touch w/ my highschool sweetheart through MySpace, even though we didn’t chat, we had each other on our lists. I checked in when Katrina happened b/c he has family in New Orleans, and he’d check in on me from time to time. After we both got married (even though we with our soon-to-be’s) we stopped “checking in”. He deleted his page, and is not on FB. I saw him at church weeks ago and it took me the remainder of mass to realize it was him, and that the preggie in front of him returning to their seats must’ve been his wife. I was admiring her bump and that’s how I didn’t fully realize it was him at first. Anyway, I looked him up, and found….. he lives 2 blocks behind me. I just think it’s weird how the world works w/ that, how we seem to “find each other’ even though we’ve moved on, and we both fully have, I know.

Hope you get the news you want, even though it may turn to another ring.

9 Amy { 01.22.10 at 12:27 pm }

I would definitely send a card. My dad passed away in May 0f 2008 and I truly appreciate all the kind words, cards and visits from anyone and everyone.

10 Searching for Serenity { 01.22.10 at 12:37 pm }

Life is short and seems even shorter when someone whom you haven’t seen in 15+ years passes. I will keep your dear old friend and her family in my thoughts.

I too would love a little peek into my sophmore year boyfriends life. I’ve been stalking his private FB profile (as much as one can stalk a private FB profile) for well over a year now. The last time I checked (this week) his profile suddenly was public and I was able to see pictures of him and his family. I’ve often thought about sending him a friend request. We didn’t end on bad terms and I’d really like to believe that he is curious about me too. He was a really good guy and I’m sure he’s a great husband and father.

Send a card. She’ll be very glad to hear from you.

11 Elizabeth { 01.22.10 at 5:48 pm }

Does sending a card make you feel embarrassed about not having kept in touch over the years? Do you really need to earn the right to express condolences? When my BIL died suddenly in 2005, my sister received condolence cards and e-mails from dozens of people she hadn’t talked to since she was a child – many of them our parents’ friends – and it moved her deeply to know that they still cared.

What past crush would I look up? Hm, probably JG, the little guy with a scruffy beard I was scoping out while thinking of breaking up with my HS boyfriend. He said I had “doe eyes” and introduced me to the Indigo Girls.

12 Kristin { 01.22.10 at 8:09 pm }

I’m sorry for the loss of your friend’s brother.

Hmmm, as for the one person I’d like to check up on…I think I’d like to check up on a guy I dated named Mark. I’d love to know what happened to him without being touched by his craziness…LOL.

13 Bea { 01.22.10 at 8:27 pm }

Will hope you still get that ring, but glad you’re feeling ok about it either way.

And my vote is to send the card. How can a sympathetic card possibly be wrong? I’m sorry he’s gone – sounds like too young and too soon.


14 Mrs. Hope { 01.22.10 at 8:27 pm }

I’m sorry to hear about your friend. As someone who lost a brother, the cards matter. I wanted to know that people were missing him, that people appreciated my loss, that people hadn’t forgotten him. And along the way, I got to hear new stories about him and learn new things about him. It was all important.

Checking on a crush? I really don’t know that I care…of course, I’ve been with my now husband since I was 15 and he was 16, so I guess there weren’t that many crushes before that. 🙂

15 Vee { 01.22.10 at 11:25 pm }

Sorry for the loss of your friend’s brother. Just knowing someone that has passed , even if you have only met them only for a moment, has an impact. I would send the card..

Yes I have searched for my primary school crush, actually I was totally in love with him! I have never seen him since and would love to know where he is at.

I would love for you to get that ring Mel, it sounds so lovely!

16 S.I.F. { 01.23.10 at 12:26 am }

I am so sorry to hear about your friends brother. I think you should definitly send her a card… If I were in her position I would love to hear from an old friend.

As for my crush: About a year ago I said to a friend of mine that I had tried to look up a guy I had dated my sophomore year in high school on myspace, but hadn’t found him. She responded with “Well yeah, you won’t find him anywhere. He’s dead.” I was shocked. Apparently he had died of a drug overdose and the news had just never made it to me. It was very surreal. I don’t worry too much about looking up old crushes now: I’m too afraid of what I may find out.

17 Emmy { 01.23.10 at 2:28 am }

I say offer your condolences. With my 25 year old brother dying 10 months ago, I appreciate all of the support I can get, no matter how long it’s been. Being the sister and not the mother (only surviving parent) I did not get much support, aside from this community.

Do anything you can to support your friend, no matter how long it’s been. As a sibling who has lost a sibling, I felt a bit left out of IRL support, because I was ‘just the sister’ and not a parent. Send your friend food, flowers, comfort something, anything. It’s amazing how lonely losing a sibling can be. She’ll need all of the support she can get. I still do, despite the fact that I don’t get any. In this case, there’s no such thing as too little, too late. Please.

18 Terry { 01.23.10 at 6:19 am }

Hi Mel ! I nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger Award. http://pandabox33.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/kreativ-blogger-award/

19 C h i r l e e n { 01.23.10 at 8:23 am }

Hm. I can see your dilemma about sending the card but I do think it would welcomed. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s brother.

And would I want to know about past crushes, where they are and what they are up to? Sure, I would. I just have to avoid the pull to check in with my ex hubby… (his current wife can’t be nearly as great as me!) 🙂

I’m enjoying ICLW this 2nd time around… I’ve gained 4 new followers! Thank you so much for organizing such an awesome idea! YOU’RE AWESOME!

20 PFM { 01.23.10 at 9:33 am }

It is shocking to hear of death of people around our age. It is sad b/c there is so much life to live. I think she would appreciate a card. Time gets away from us and we lose connections but it does not mean that they don’t still mean something to you.

21 Wishing4One { 01.23.10 at 12:12 pm }

Print the stamp girl. She will appreciate it more than you know.

Past crushes….. well since i consider most of everything before 1997 a PAST LIFE (thats a few posts in itself, one day… maybe) I am not sure I would like to know anything about anyone I used to know. Although there is one person, I do admit I have googled their name, not facebooked, just to see if they were dead or committed any crimes. No such luck.

22 Fertility Chick { 01.23.10 at 4:18 pm }

I am sorry to hear about your friend’s loss and definitely agree that a card would be most welcomed and appreciated. Grief can be such a lonely and isolating thing – words expressed – whether written or spoken can make such a difference.

As for googling/looking up former flames, etc. – GUILTY!

Thanks again for ICLW – this is my second time participating – did my first in the summer but then life and work kept me out of the loop. So glad to be back at it.

23 Battynurse { 01.23.10 at 7:14 pm }

Weekly What If: I’d pick the guy in my sophmore year of high school that I fell for hard. I remember the first time I ever saw him and I couldn’t figure out what it was that I was excited about but I was excited that he was in my class. Who knows what might have happened if we hadn’t moved to Montana. Yes I’ve tried googling him many times over the years. Funny thing is that just recently I tried the 411 thing and I’m pretty sure I found him.

24 lynn @ human, being { 01.24.10 at 1:08 am }

Send the card. It will be kindly received.

In 2005, right before I met my husband, I decided to seek out all my old crushes to extinguish them … or kindle them. I found almost every one, and each of them was nothing like I remembered them. The one I couldn’t find I mostly think about because of the tragic way he went out in high school (he hit a classmate with his car, paralyzing him, then dropped out and disappeared.)

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