names & faces

so, thanks to daniel, I’ve joined the collective. no, not stoopid poopy friendster, bastion of the socially mercenary– I’m talking about thefacebook. where you can connect via your skooooool connections. college/grad school AND high school. it’s just like that publication we had at hotchkiss, names & faces, which we (girls) used to pore over literally for hours– memorizing who was who, who was dating whom, identifying cute boys. and the boys, well, they in all likelihood pored over the thing, too, just not in our sight line. it was kinda like the yearbook, as a resource, only way better because it came out at the beginning of the year. each new school year you’d go in to the registrar’s office on the first day to get your picture taken for your i.d. card (what did we even do with those things when I was in h.s.– late 80’s–? me, nothing. except collect them in a box as testimonial to my vast improvement over time) and apart from laminating your photo in rigid plastic, They’d used it to fill the pages of names & faces, with name and home address beneath each photo– which was, frankly, quite useful at boarding school. not only for sending christmas cards, but also for identifying who else came from the midwest, who the super-fancy manhattanites were, and who hailed from darien and greenwich (tho to be honest that was pretty self-evident). and who came from the midwest but seemed, or wanted to seem, like they came from darien or greenwich (aka, lake forest and grosse pointe). and who came from places just completely off the map of the known world (“tennessee? kentucky?? florid– now, wait just a minute here, this has to be a joke– do people acually live there? I thought it just shut down when we left.”). I always craved a names & faces of college and grad school– especially when I was in the writers’ workshop, which is every bit just like high school otherwise, so why the heck not. it might have helped me get a lay of the social landscape. cuz, my friends, make no mistake: it’s a minefield out there. it helps to know where to step and where to tread carefully. yeah, so. but isn’t entirely the same thing, then. I mean, beyond the obvious, digital and what-all. it’s more, I dunno, Proactive, I guess. the rabble taking the printing press into their own sweaty grimey hands. you know– like the web used to be. power to the people. unfortunately, you can’t necessarily count on seeing what people look like, since some of us are uncooperative and put up photos of our front porch. but come on! what if that cute boy in biology class thinks I’m vain?

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