Today is your birthday. I know today is your birthday because Facebook reminded me your birthday was coming up for the last 15 days.
I prepared for this. I thought long and hard about exactly what kind of birthday message I wanted to send you. I went back and forth between the standard “Happy Birthday” and the more personal “Happy Birthday!! Hope you have a great day!” I considered tossing in a funny birthday meme. I even thought about getting intimate with a heart emoji.
Ultimately, as you know, I went with the classic “Happy Birthday, Susie!” and clicked “Post” with a sense of warmth in my heart. I propped open the door, inviting our beautiful, neglected friendship to flourish again upon your reply.
Did my birthday message not bring back enough warm memories of our time as classmates back in high school?
Then I waited. I waited for what seemed like decades to receive a notification that you replied to my birthday greeting. I was on top of the world, so proud of myself for being the one to reach out. I knew seeing my name on your timeline would make you remember all the good times we had back in high school. I knew that a heartfelt “Happy Birthday” post on your wall would finally bring down all the ones you built between us.
Hours later, after refreshing my Facebook page to the point of exhaustion, a little red “1” popped up in my notifications corner. “This is it,” I thought. The moment we begin anew.
Then my jaw dropped. “Susie liked your Facebook post,” the notification flashed, disappearing just as quickly, as if to mock me.
I scrolled frantically through your birthday wishes from other friends, assaulted by a slew of your “love” reactions and “thank you” comments to each one. One of our mutual friends wished you a happy birthday and you replied, “I hope you’re dong well!”
So now I must ask, Susie, do you not hope I’M doing well? Do you really just not CARE how I feel?
Did my birthday message not bring back enough warm memories of our time as classmates back in high school? Like the time you dated my brother and said hi to me in our living room? Or when I tripped and spilled my lunch tray and you picked up my banana and asked if you could have it?
I fail to see where I went wrong. My mom always told me, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I took a huge shot with you Susie, and it rebounded and hit me square in the face. Because of you, I may never reach out to another human being on social media. The cold distance you created is enough to make the Arctic look temperate. I am frigid again, lost and unwanted.
As my mom once reminded me after stepping on a yellow jacket nest as a child, “The sting of rejection is worse than that of a thousand bees.”
A friend who will give you one last chance in December with a “Merry Christmas” post, but if you ignore that too then we’re DONE.