when i was nineteen, i was pretty sure that people in their fifties were either stupidly or brilliantly settled. there was no romance to being in one’s fifties, because one was sure to be so desperately past pretty that love could hardly blossom in such gray and wrinkled landscape. there was no adventure to fifties, because there was mortgage and grandchildren and pensions and jobs coming to a close. there was nothing to look forward to, no risks and few unexpected rewards.
last year, i made a new year’r resolution to meet all 325 of my facebook friends–the ones i hadn’t seen in thirty years, the ones i had never met, the ones i wasn’t quite sure would be too happy to see me, the ones i needed to resolve a few things with, the ones i wasn’t even quite sure why i was friends with them. i went around the country, around the world. . . .
this year’s adventure has been to meet more facebook friends who are new to me. a lot of them have anxiety and panic issues like i do. just last night, i texted with a facebook friend who prefers to be anonymous because he is scared everybody will think he’s crazy. he’s not crazy–he’s having a perfectly reasonable response to a chaotic, confusing, irrational world! he’s decided to drop out and stay home by himself. on the other hand, he is unhappy. and that is a good reason to get out of the house. to find a purpose. even if the purpose is sort of silly–like meeting your facebook friends.
next week, the house closes. and the place–the “safe place”–of an agoraphobic will belong to another family. i am so happy for them. i know they will have many good years of raising their children, of having parties and get togethers, of feeling secure. and me?
i owe a lot to facebook and to mr. zuckerberg! today’s share price is now $28 and i sense a revival. because zuckerberg has put us in touch with our friends, our family, and sometimes with the part of us that is 51 years old and still wants to be a nineteen year old adventuress!