Put a ring on it

Sometimes I'm amazed at how smart Facebook can be. Except, at least, for the part where it tells its users to reconnect to certain friends who they haven't talked to for a while, but only because they're already dead.

One day, it told me to reconnect with a couple of my 380 friends. Quite a subtle way, really: the person didn't appear on my recommendations, but rather on my profile itself, as one of six friends that the site randomly serves up. So, I thought, I'd click on the name and write a quick wall post. Funnier, I've been meaning to do that. Smart, smart Facebook.

Now, I'm not mentioning names for a reason: I don't want to tag anyone when this blog entry makes it to Facebook. Let's just say that the person - a girl, I must add - was one of the many crushes I've had over the past decade or so, and if you've been reading my blog the same way you watched Inception, you'll know who this is soon enough. Anyway, it's been that long - a decade, more or less - so it goes without saying that the feelings are gone. Long gone. I even told Gwen that it's a "silly" thing when it unfolded back then.

So I posted this wall post. It's just a parenthetical "buzz". And then I saw her feed, and there was this photo album, and inside was a photo with her arm outstretched, with a guy kneeling, putting a ring on the hand. Damn, Facebook is so smart: she's engaged!

Welcome to the most surreal feeling I've had.

(Yes, at this point it should get obvious who I'm referring to. Now, if you're wondering why I'm not mentioning names here, well, you're getting ahead of the story.)

No, it's not because I suddenly had those silly feelings for her again, a whole ten years - okay, nine - after they came in and were promptly shown the door. It never got serious - silly, get? - and, just to drill the point, the three steps to moving on are in full effect. But yeah, sure, it felt absolutely surreal that someone who I went to school with and had a (relatively) huge crush on is getting married, when people your age - well, most of them - aren't really rushing to tie the knot and do everything that it entails.

It was when I started reading her blog, and going through the photos, and seeing her flashing that hand with the diamong ring, when I realized that I'm absolutely getting left behind.

"I just remembered this," Gwen said. "My TRED prof once said that not everyone was built to be in a relationship."

"Ouch. I do think I'm destined to be alone and helpless. Nobody picks me for anything."

"I just remembered it. I feel like I'm not built for relationships either."

"But you are in one. Kinda?"

"Yeah, I think."

Well, that's not exactly it, I thought. I mean, I'm surrounded by couples every day for the past ten years and I should be feeling extremely bad - more so with increasing cynicism - but I'm not. Okay, maybe I do, but it could be worse, but oddly, for some reason, I felt bothered about the news. And then I realized that it's in the photos, and that huge smile in her face. Genuine happiness.

I just clicked "like" on the blog entry. (It's on Facebook, obviously.) I didn't post a comment, not because it'd be weird, but because I didn't really have a reason to do so. No, I don't want to sound like a miserable git because of that, because I'm a miserable git already. And there are many things I could've done within those ten years that would've made me a little bit like her. A little happier. Genuinely happier. You know, following hunches, asking for phone numbers, starting conversations, staying the route...

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