Two years ago, I posted a story about my friend Dawn, a girl I knew in my youth. Dawn and I were very close friends, but we drifted apart and eventually lost touch with each other around 1979. I encourage you to read that story (HERE'S the link) before continuing with this one. It'll only take a few minutes and it will give this story better understanding. Go ahead. I'll wait....
Wow. That was quick. Are you sure you read it? 'Cause you'll appreciate this post more if you did.
Well, the story of Dawn garnered 48 comments — from people I don't know — when I reposted it on a private Facebook group concerned with growing up in Northeast Philadelphia. I received many comments from people who had a similar experience and lost touch with a close friend — or, in some cases, a first love. Several folks asked for a follow-up report, in case I chose to further continue my on-again-off-again pursuit for Dawn. Interestingly, mixed in with the comments were a few leads on how I could track Dawn down after all these years. People my age on Facebook certainly have presented themselves as "yentas."
Well, seeing as I had a lot of time on my hands — what with zero employment prospects and a worldwide pandemic. I decided to conduct a little bit more of my investigation. A couple of Google searches led me to LinkedIn, the business networking website. I had been semi-active on LinkedIn for years and I, very quickly, was able to locate Dawn under her married name. I sent a request to "Join Her Network" and sat back to wait. Actually, I had forgotten all about it, despite a few persistent members of the Facebook group contacting me to see if I heard anything.
Nearly a month after I sent my request, I got a LinkedIn notification of acceptance from a name that I didn't recognize. I jogged my memory and realized it was Dawn. I sent a simple reply through LinkedIn's messaging service, not too pushy and not overanxious. I merely said "Hi Dawn! How have you been?" Almost 15 minutes later, Dawn replied. Look... I understand that few people spend as much time online as I do, but I thought that 15 minutes was a lengthy period to get a response from someone I hadn't seen in 40 years. Especially someone with whom I was so close. I don't want to read anything into this... so I won't. Dawn said: "Hi Josh! Doing good... can't complain... how's about u?"
|You didn't think I'd really |
post her photo, did you?
Her reply was one I never expected.
She said: "As you know each marriage has its own intricacies and complexities that perhaps outsiders wouldn't understand. While it would be fun to chat and catch up on the last 40 yrs, my husband and I have a marriage that neither one of us really has separate friends of the opposite sex. I just wouldn't feel comfortable catching up.. our marriage is based on respect and I wouldn't do what I wouldn't want done to me. It is nothing at all against you.. as I said, these 22 yrs are working well for each of us and I wouldn't do anything to jeopardize it. And again, it's nothing at all against you Josh. You are a good person and I have nothing but fond memories of our friendship." I read and reread this several times, just to make sure I understood it. And I understood it alright. I thought back and it hit me that maybe this was the reason that none of my friends went on a second date with Dawn.
I shared my correspondence with Dawn with my wife every step of the way. That's because my wife and I have a marriage that is actually based on mutual respect and trust. What Dawn describes sounded like something very different from the definition of "trust" that is familiar to me. When I read the final sentiment from Dawn, the always reliable, always sharp Mrs. P smiled and said "Bye, Felicia!"
I have a friend who is a singer-songwriter. He wrote a song called "The Notion." The song is about how the idea of someone is sometimes better that the actual someone. It's a pretty astute observation. I think my memories — as fond as they are — of Dawn have been skewed and clouded by time. Perhaps I wasn't really aware of the real reason we parted ways so many years ago. So, this tale has come to an ending, just maybe not the ending you expected.
Well.... that makes two of us.