Monday morning, I got an interesting email:
Hey, old friend! Glad I found you on Twitter! Your mom told me you were on FB but I couldn’t ever find you and I just set up a Twitter not too long ago (yeah, I’m way behind). Anyhow, hope your move went well! Ohhhhhh…and I also hope you remember me…Rachel D!@#$%^…formerly R!@#$%^. 🙂
Rachel is the sister of a guy I used to talk to/have a crush on. Ready for story time?
Years ago, ahem…at least 3 or 4, my mom would send me emails that were swirling around her work office. A woman she worked with, Kim, had a son that was serving in Iraq. She kindly asked her coworkers and anyone who was willing to send him a card on his birthday, or just because.
I happily sent him a card, and then kept sending them. We soon started messaging on Myspace (how embarrassing) and I kind of developed a crush on the guy, Josh—a guy I never even met.
Soon enough, we started texting and talking on the phone when he could. And I know you’re all probably thinking I’m a little pathetic here, but he was a sweetheart.
One night, I got a message from Rachel on MySpace:
So, I’m Rachel, Josh’s sister. I noticed him texting you earlier tonight and I’ve heard your name mentioned a few times, so I naturally felt obliged to check out your page…one of the many duties of being a good big sister. 🙂
I usually get defensive when my bro talks to girls (that big sister instinct kicks in) and pretty much automatically decide not to like them until they convince me otherwise because, well, he’s my little bro and I’ve gotta look out for him. Unfortunately, after browsing through your page, I really can’t dislike you, because it’d be like critizing myself. He mentioned that you had a degree similar to mine (I’m an English major, with a concentration in writing and literacy) and to be honest, I don’t come across English majors/writers very often. Other eerie commonalities between us that I noticed while looking at your info:
1. You mentioned that you love anything 80’s. That’s completey me, and unfortunately, not a lot of my family and friends share that passion. I love anything directed by John Hughes (the best 80’s movie-maker if ya ask me), and I was listening to 70’s and 80’s music while my peers were listening to the Backstreet Boys. There’s nothing like a little “Rock the Casbah” to get me pumped up.
2. Counting Crows is #1 on my top 5 list of favorite bands.
3. I have the complete series of Sex & The City and don’t know what I’d do with myself if I didn’t have a nightly dose (re-runs are on a local channel here every night, and I usually watch them, even though I’ve seen every single episode, from all 6 seasons.)
Anyhow, that’s probably the longest message I’ve ever written a stranger, and I think my bro would probably piss his pants if he knew I actually wrote something nice to you (because that’s just not my style), but I completely felt the need. Besides, us 80’s freaks need to stick together.
As you can probably guess, I was a little taken aback and nervous to write reply Rachel’s message, but I did. And she continued to like me.
We wrote for years. In that time, obviously things didn’t work out between Josh and I—couldn’t tell you why. If I had to guess, it was just something that organically fell apart.
My mom still works with his mom, Kim, and she has kept me up to date of what Josh is up to. Since I last heard from him, he married a woman who works on one of the military bases. She has three children from three different men, and is living in a house Josh built for them while he is in Iraq. They eloped and didn’t tell any of Josh’s family for months.
Eventually, Rachel and I stopped emailing…again, I’m not sure why. I assumed she hated me because it didn’t work out with Josh and I.
But, she found me! And we have been emailing ever since…it’s so cool to catch up with an old friend—even though she did tell me that Josh’s wife his pregnant with his child. Fourth baby daddy. It made me sad, but like she said, it’s his fault.
I’m curious to see what else my pen pal and I will have to chat about. Got any fun ideas for email pals?