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Old friends, new lessons on Facebook

Facebook is an amazing thing. All right, so maybe that sounds funny. But the social networking Web site most often utilized by teens and college students has had a notable impact on the recent events of my life.

For instance, there is this guy named Josh. He and I didn’t get along at all in high school. Come to think of it, we never got along at any grade level.

Now, thanks to the wonder that is Facebook, I regularly trade messages regarding our now-similar musical tastes.

Then, as if finding common ground with a youth-long “nemesis” weren’t enough, Facebook provided another unforeseen benefit recently. But to explain the now, I have to first explain the then.

When I was in elementary school, I rode the bus with a girl named Brandy. We will avoid using last names so as to provide these individuals deniability in the event their association with me is ever called into question.

Anyway, Brandy and I sat together on the bus most days. She was the first girl I ever had a crush on. Only, in elementary school, you don’t really know what to do about crushes and are far from being able to comprehend what they are.

But I knew that on “Family Matters,” Steve had a crush on Laura and often made it known. That seemed reasonable. So, I did what any self-respecting fourth-grade boy would do. I wrote her a note. Think George Strait song without the multiple choice option.

Brandy effectively checked “no,” flawlessly delivering the “but we can still be friends” line even at such a young age. That was the first of many times I would hear that line in my life.

Nonetheless, we grew older. We grew apart. She spent her senior year at another school. We both went off to college. We led entirely separate existences.

For 10 years, Brandy and an elementary-school crush were little more than the residue of a memory.

Then, a few weeks ago, Facebook suggested Brandy as someone I may know. That was very astute, as I once did. So we exchanged Facebook messages and, eventually, phone numbers. There were text messages And last weekend, I went on a date with Brandy, the girl who I first had crush on more than 15 years ago.

Maybe it is chance. Maybe it is circumstance. Who’s to say? But this goofy little social networking Web site that I generally use for little more than a suitable time-waster has given me the opportunity to re-evaluate, remember and reconnect in ways that never occurred to me.

Jeremy D. Smith is sports editor for the Demopolis Times.