I can remember even my classmates in preschool and grade school, and that was almost half a century ago. I saw one of them on Facebook (my classmate in grade 2) and did my very best to help him recall me. I told him how we were best friends, played and ate together, slept together during cub scout camp, and enumerated other boys in our class to help him place me in his memory correctly.
He remembered some of our classmates I mentioned to him, but he still didn’t have any idea who I was. I was so frustrated. How could a “best friend” forget all about you? But anyway, he accepted my friend request and liked about 3 of my 1,000 posts on my wall.
Then there was this guy who became my seatmate for years in grade school. His surname starts with an “F” and mine with a “G” so it’s easy to see how we sat side by side from grade 1 to grade 4. Then one day, I saw him on FB and we became friends. But he was cold towards me, like I was a total stranger. I tried to make him see that I didn’t bite, to no avail.
A lot of my childhood friends have either totally forgotten about me or become very sophisticated beings that they shun any recollection of the way we were when we were kids. They maintain that defense wall between us now that we have become professionals or career persons. It’s like there’s always some kind of competition going on. They always want to prove they’re better.
So, what kind of old friend do you prefer? The amnesiac or the sophisticated competitor?
Like this other childhood friend I had. He used to be my close big brother when we were kids. We would climb up trees and sit there all day eating fruits and talking of good things. We roamed our hometown on our bikes almost everyday and were often team mates playing basketball.
But when we were in college, things changed. I didn’t see anymore the “kuya” or intimate big brother that he was when we were kids. Suddenly, he became just a neighbor who I saw with classy teenagers dating their girls and attending posh parties and discos. It was like, he was ashamed to have his friends see that we were once buddies.
And the same thing with this other childhood friend who acted like he didn’t want to be seen being with me. Although he talked with me when we were alone.
I wondered about all this, but I was not the kind of guy who’d get so hurt by such people and hate them, seek revenge or something like that. I was kind of hurt, yes, and wondered what I did wrong (and I was bit confused), but I really didn’t care much about it. I withdrew back to my own world where I had my own version of enjoyment, fun and entertainment and where I had my own values system.
But I never felt hatred for them. The times when they looked okay and talked with me like a real friend, I enjoyed talking with them and felt the same love I had for them when we were kids and had treated each other like real brothers.
Now I understand that a lot of friends, even close ones, can one day suddenly turn stranger to you. I don’t know why, but it happens and you can’t do anything about it but to accept it and be strong, not letting yourself be negatively affected.
I always treasure friendships, but often I can’t keep them all even if I want to.