1. Odd = Bizarre
I've found dozens of old friends and classmates through facebook. That's one of the glories of the internet... the ability to catch up with people you haven't seen in years. As a person who moved away from his hometown two years after graduating high school (and never looked back) it's interesting to see what's happened to everybody. My high school was one of the largest in the state of Washington so there's a large variety of lives on display.
There are a few surprises. Like the kid who's still acting... but now he's doing it professionally. and the kid who's starting law school. (I say kid as if they're all ten years younger than me. Truthfully they're all the same age as me, but I remember them in the way I last saw them - high school kids). Some have surprised me, but most do not. I'm not shocked by those who are now pastors or those who are happily married and have kids of their own. For the most part, I'm not surprised by a few of the single parents. And sadly, I'm not surprised by those that are still single and trying to party it up like they are still 18.
I occasionally skim through the MPHS class of '97 pages on facebook - mostly just to see who's there. Most of them I haven't requested to add as friends; very few of them I would have considered as friends when we were all in school together. I wasn't the popular kid in high school, and I don't pretend now that I was. I hold no delusions about the type of kid I was in high school. I'm not driven on a quest to be the most popular MP grad on facebook. It's mostly morbid curiosity. Sometimes that's paid off. Like finding my first girlfriend - a girl I swore I'd never talk to again - to discover she's just as normal as the rest of us. Other times... that curiosity has led me to the first definition of ODD: bizarre.
There are a few former classmates I've requested requested to be friends with. But for the most part, I've shunned my fellow MPHS alumni. The shunning part is true of one facebook member (who I won't name... in case any of my friends are friends with him - lets just call him "dude"). It's not like I'm trying to be a snob... but I refuse to be some one I'm not. Most of the best friends I've had were not people I knew in high school so it doesn't make sense for me to request a bunch of people that didn't really like me back then to be friends with me now. Yet I still skim the list of my classmates - rarely finding people I want to befriend. Again... it's the curiosity that compels me. Every time I look through the class of '97 I see Dude's profile picture. I have to resist shaking my head. He looks baked out of his gourd. Which leads me to believe that he's now a 30 year old stoner who just recently moved out of his parent's basement and lists his beer bong as one of his most prized possessions. I may be way off base. Maybe the glazed over eyes that could be blindfolded with a piece of dental floss is his natural look - in which case the expression is genetic and it's not his fault. But my assumption is more entertaining. Anyways...
Like most of my classmates, I have never requested that Dude be my friend. But unlike many of my classmates, my motivation to not add him as a friend had little to do with the fact that we weren't friends growing up. No... I didn't add him because every time I see his picture I think "I remember him... that kid was a jerk." Well that and "he must be stoned." Thinking back to my school days, I don't have one pleasant memory of him. He wasn't a bully. He didn't pick on me. But I can't recall him ever saying anything nice to anyone. Even when thinking about kids who did pick on me... I can remember them saying something nice at some point in time. Not true of Dude. He was just mean. So - logic bearing heavily on me - I've never requested to add him to my list of friends.
So you can imagine my shock when he requested I add him. In my generous belief that people can change... I thought that possibly he'd grown up a bit. Perhaps real life (AKA: life after high school) had taught him some valuable lessons. Maybe the pot-head profile pick was more of a just-rolled-outta-bed picture. So I accepted his request and for the last few months he's been able to see all of the stuff I do on facebook.
Then, last night (shortly after midnight) the facebook chat window popped open and Dude had a question for me.
Dude: Did you go to high school with me?
... long pause before response...
Dude: How it going, Nic? It's been a long time.
Me: It's good.
Before I could elaborate on what I meant by good, he unfriended me. My response about how I moved away from Marysville and fell off the radar for a while was met with the following message: You are prohibited from chatting with this facebook member. What a jerk thing to do. I guess he's the same cretin he was in high school. Not that I care - my feelings are not hurt in any way. The whole experience was just surreal. Odd. Bizarre.
2. Odd = Quirky
My job grants me a certain amount of influence. There's one agent who went through one of my classes that still calls me teach - even though he completed the new hire class over a year ago and he's no longer my padawan. Yet every time I see him he asks "How's it going Teach?" However, it seems he has now created a new nick-name for me - "Cap."
Here's how it happened. Last Friday I sent an e-mail to everyone in one of our departments urging greater efficiency. He replied with one phrase "Eye eye, Cap." If it was anyone else, I'd be offended. But I know this employee well enough to know he holds a decent amount of respect for me and would never purposely insult me. He may joke around a bit - but I'm a fan of humor in the workplace. So, I responded in jest. I sent an e-mail back to him with a picture of Captain Kirk that said "That's right - you better call me Cap." All this led up to a discovery that fit the second definition of ODD: quirky.
This morning when I came in to my office, I found a paper airplane propped against my computer monitor. There was a note written on top - "here's to you, Cap." Analyzing the paper airplane, I realized it was the closest representation of the Starship Enterprise one could possibly fold out of a single sheet of paper. I thanked him, but if I'm Captain Kirk... what does that make him? Scotty? Sulu? Odd. Quirky.