Sometimes I wish I could go back to knowing someone the way I originally met them.
Like, “Oh that’s the guy from the subway I see every Thursday at Starbucks and he gets a grande latte and still uses Sweet and Low…” Then you find out that person judges you for using flavored coffee creamer, and hates animals. Yes, this is a pretty specific description, and all you want to do is think, “I wish I didn’t know that he hated animals and flavored creamer.” But you cannot un-know things once you know them and it goes both ways and I’m sure plenty of people have their opinions on me.
Or the guy on the F train you saw ten years ago and randomly reconnected with so many years later and they ended up being really rude.
The idea of who someone is-and the reality of who they end up being-can go either very good-or very bad-or just disappointing.
When you meet someone on the internet and if you eventually meet them in person-odds are they will never live up to whatever image you may have of them, or maybe they will, you just never know.
There was a man who used to frequent the club I worked at. For almost ten years my co-workers and I tried to get to know him, and he never quite opened up and was friendly, but avoided giving anybody details at all about his life. We all seriously thought he was a spy, or did something for the government. He was THAT secretive and it drove everyone crazy.
I found out that he worked with someone I went to high school with and he it came out that he actually sold some very bizarre type of insurance. A fine respectable job, and that’s great, but the letdown of thinking he was a secret agent for over a decade, to find out that he sold insurance crushed our dreams-in a really superficial way. It was fun to think that he was a spy, all of the mystery and the buildup just went away. Ten years is a long time to put up such a slick and secretive facade, but everyone liked the idea and the mystery of him. We still liked him as a person of course, but it changed things. It was fun not knowing who he really was. Eventually he got very angry when someone asked him for advice about an insurance policy. Then he actually started being really rude to everyone at the club and stopped coming in altogether.
The idea is sometimes better than the reality. It’s hard to be let down. You compartmentalize all of the positive things and then you both let each other down in a way.
And you can not go back to un-knowing someone to the way you originally met them and that sucks for everybody involved.
A handful of people reading this may even think it’s directed to them specifically. If thinking that makes you feel confident and evokes that kind of emotion, then I’ve done my job as a writer to make you feel some kind of slight ego boost.