Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Way We Were

So I posted a few photos on Facebook on Saturday, never realizing it would cause a problem.

No, they weren't that kind of photo! We had our clothes on, it was all quite innocent. It was a photo of me and my husband with one of my childhood friends. We had just helped her move into her new apartment in Tucson and the three of us sat on the bottom step and took a photo together. Seeing it reminded me of happy times and I thought she would feel the same. Boy was I wrong!

please... please... please remove that photo of me on your website .... I'd really appreciate it!!!!!!!! I do not like photos of me - especially from the past on anyone's site - PLEASE!!!!! take down IMMEDIATELY. Any photos of me – and our past PLEASE KEEP PRIVATE AND PERSONAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Believe it or not, I don't spend all my time on the internet =) So I didn't see her URGENT message until Sunday. But while I was cooking dinner for my family on Saturday evening, the phone rang.

"Sherrie? It's ____________ ______________. PLEASE take down that photo you posted of me on Facebook."

No hello, no how ya doin' or I've missed you. I was surprised. I didn't know what to say. But apparently my silence spoke volumes.

"You're upset?" She sounded amazed.

"Well, yeah I'm upset. I haven't heard from you in years and now the only thing you're calling me for is to say you don't like the photo I posted of us on Facebook?"

"I have to protect my image. I don't like old photos of myself and I can't have them floating around out there."

I should probably explain here that my "friend" is on TV. She's a newscaster on a Los Angeles channel. So I'm sure that when she goes out, some people recognize her. She's not like Katie Couric famous, but people kinda know her around L.A. So not to be mean, but we aren't talking about major stardom here. And since we've known each other since she was 12 and I was 14, I've got WAY worse pictures I could post of her. I wasn't trying to infringe on her image or exploit her or anything. It was just a photo that reminded me of a good time with a good friend. My mistake.

I fought back tears and tried to control my voice as I spoke to her. It wasn't just that she yelled at me. It wasn't even the fact that she was obviously in the throes of some overblown superiority complex.

I thought of us at summer camp singing "The Little Green Frog" and acting like total dorks. I remembered sleepovers and sailing, going to the mall and flirting with strangers, driving through Beverly Hills acting like we ruled the world. I'd visited her in Miami when her career started to grow, listened to her cry when her mother died. We hadn't been as close the last few years, but we'd always been able to pick up where we left off. Until now.

Who was this person on the phone telling me to keep our past private? Why was she suddenly ashamed to be associated with me? Or was she worried that people might realize she had her nose fixed and her hair isn't naturally blonde? No one in L.A. is a natural blonde. Who cares?

I felt like a part of me died as I listened to her going on and on about her hair and her image. I wanted to be 14 again or 20 or anywhere but here, listening to her voice and realizing how different we'd become.


Susan R. Mills said...

That's too bad. I wouldn't worry about it too much, though. She's not worth your time.

Tess said...

That's lousy. I totally get how lousy that is. It's no fun to get to 'that' point w/ a friend (especially a long timey friend) Sorry. We all have our own issues, I guess.

Katie Anderson said...

Oh Sherrie! That sucks. And I have been there. Not in the same way, but I can definitely relate.

I'm so sorry. I hope you sell your book and become mega famous and she WISHES you would claim to have known her.

C.R. Evers said...

That is so sad on so many levels. I'm so sorry that happened. (((hugs)))

lisa and laura said...

It's sad to lose old friends isn't it? I recently had a major falling out with my oldest friend in the world. We had both changed so much and it turns out that our friendship didn't survive. I know how difficult these situations can be, but usually we end up better off in the long run. And who knows, maybe she'll come to her senses?

Kelly Polark said...

Oh, man. I'm sorry, Sherrie. That must be so disappointing for you. I joined FB last fall because we were planning our hs reunion and it was easier that way. I also posted so many old photos. I never even thought it could possibly make someone mad. The only person I made mad was my hs boyfriend's current wife by taking a pic with him at our reunion! Come on, I dated him 20 yrs ago! (on a different note, I joined for my hs friends then of course my writer cyber friends...many of my photos are not writing related and are from family/friend that fine? But even if its not I still will because my fam loves to post so many pics! ;)
Hugs to you Sherrie!!

Jean Michelle Miernik said...

Oh, that is so sad. It sounds like your friend's sense of self worth has become fully connected to her made-over appearance, which has become more important than life experiences and friendships. That would make me feel awful, too, hearing that type of self-hatred and fear from a childhood friend.

My best friend and I actually like to post old photos of ourselves "before" undergoing makeovers, to show how proud we are of our makeup artistry/workout results and to show that anyone can be superficially beautiful--and that's what it is, superficial, and beauty should be for fun, not to feel worthy as a person. (If you're interested in peeking, see my post called "Fabulous Fake Beauty.")

Anyway, it sounds like your "breakup" with your friend is more about her changed values than her changed nose. :( It's unfortunate, but maybe she will grow to love herself later in life and be able to love her friends as well.

storyqueen said...

I'm with Katie.


Elana Johnson said...

So sorry. *hugs*

PJ Hoover said...

That's a hard one. There are some photos of me I would never want online, but only because I think they're god awful.
Maybe she doesn't have fond memories of her childhood? And maybe you're right about the nose job and blond hair. Who's to know. We can never really get into other people's heads.

Sherrie Petersen said...

Thanks, guys, for all your well wishes and words of comfort. I seriously feel like I'm in mourning today.

And yeah, I'm sure there are pictures of me that I would be embarrassed to see on the internet. But I certainly wouldn't call someone up and yell at them to take them down, especially not a friend I had so much history with.

It's hard letting go of someone you've known for so long.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

Im sorry - seems like FB is causing some friendships. does it come down to - FB or friends? better to weed them out now.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Welcome to Hollywood, eh? Sorry to hear this, Sherrie. This town does have its weird hang ups about appearances.

Carrie Harris said...

Awww. *hug*

Yat-Yee said...

These hurts go so deep. I am sorry.

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh, Sherrie ... this just broke my heart. I'm so sorry ... it's no fun with this happens with a once very close and special friendship.

Jen Robinson said...

I'm sorry you had that experience, Sherrie. But, as the stream of supportive comments here shows, you've made many new friends over the years, people with whom you do have common values. I wouldn't let one person's response to something get you down.

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