February 05, 2010

Stirring Memories Through Facebook, Part I

Dear Winkie,

First of all you're welcome that I didn't use your real name.  Despite the fact that most people don't know that Winkies are the guards of the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, I named you that for reasons you should remember. 

{Just for the record, Winkie doesn't actually look like a Winkie.  In fact no one in the world could look less like a Winkie than Winkie does.  This picture is posted here merely for the purposes of putting a picture in the post and letting you know (if you didn't already) what a Winkie is.  Unfortunately this picture isn't even of a real Winkie, but that of a doll.  Doll Winkies are the subject of a whole 'nother blog post, but don't hold your breath as doll making of characters like Winkies for doll collectors is just wrong.  Doll collectors are just wrong.  Neither deserve a blog post of their own.  But I digress...}

Come to think of it, I shouldn't expect that you would remember the circumstances that brought me to naming you Winkie because most of the time in those days you were pretty much stoned or drunk or both.  Be that as it may, I'm keeping you anonymous because frankly you don't really want people from your past discovering who I'm talking to.

I experienced the misfortune of seeing your Facebook page at the direction of Penelope, your long time "friend."  Neither of us would dream of friending you for obvious reasons, but we're not above checking out your page and gasping at what you've become. 

Everyone knows our appearance changes the older we get.  But seriously, as someone who hasn't laid eyes on you in over twenty-five years I must say I would never have recognized you, but may have mistaken you for Louie Anderson.

{This is a picture of Louie Anderson.  It is not Winkie.  But it really looks like Winkie.  I know, this is getting confusing because Louie Anderson doesn't look at all like an actual Winkie, but if you've done your homework you'd know that actual Winkies from The Wizard of Oz don't even closely resemble those described in the book, The Wizard of Oz. So maybe Louie Anderson (and Winkie) really do look the the original Winkies.   Whoever thought of posting pictures in blog posts?  The captions they require are confounding.}

Penelope disagrees, but she's just a little biased.  And suffering from complete denial.  That's not to say she isn't aghast at your picture, she just doesn't think Louie Anderson is a good comparison.

Anyway, the point is, what the hell happened in the past thirty years?  Oh, I know you had a brillant career in the military, got married, had kids and other assorted fun facts.  But seriously, what the hell happened?  In your Facebook picture - what is that hangy thing under your ear?  Oh my God, it's your neck!  And what's with the gut?  The whole tiny hair thing?  It's got to stop.  You were wearing that do when you were a ROTC in college.  It's the one thing you should have changed and didn't.

What am I trying to say to you here?  Have a Facebook page all you want, but keep the pictures to yourself.  You caused quite a shocking surprise to your old friends in that you're looking nothing like you used to.  It doesn't matter that the rest of us have gray hair and crow's feet; we're smart enough to keep those embarrassments to ourselves and off the internets.

So now I'm seeming all superficial and beauty-oriented.  I'm really not.  I just want to remember people the way they were.  Winkie, seeing you on Facebook today can be compared to going to a funeral.  You know how when you walk up to a casket and expect to see the person you've known but instead there lies a completely different person with a bad make-up job?  When I saw you on Facebook it was like I was looking in a casket.

On the other hand, maybe you didn't think that the likes of me and Penelope would ever be looking you up in Facebook.  Didn't it occur to you that you might be Googled by people from your past?  Obviously your Facebook friends didn't know you way back when, or else have grown old with you and probably haven't noticed the semi-grotesque aging process you've undergone.  I'm here to tell you, we're watching and looking and the romantic memories of our youth are shattered by the realities that are Facebook pictures.

So please, either take the picture down from your page or put up a different one from thirty years ago.  You're disturbing those of us invisibly snooping around in your life.

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