Help me find the Guy on the Train!
June 2, 2014 6:53 PM Subscribe
Should I try to reconnect with an old high school acquaintance? Or just leave it be?
posted by ChickenBear to Human Relations (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This time last week, I was on a train home to visit my family. While on said train, I noticed that there was a man sitting a lot further up front but that he kept craning around to look at me. Several times. I'm pretty eagle eyed so I thought I recognized him, even though I was only seeing him in profile. My suspicions were confirmed when he stood up a bit later. He was someone that I knew briefly in high school. He was a senior (I think) and I was a freshman. In a weird burst of extreme extroversion in the library, I drew attention to myself in some quirky and amusing way (can't remember the details as this was ages ago) and sort of reeled him in....although this was not my intention. I was just making a scene because that's what teenagers do for fun.
We never, ever spent time with one another one on one or outside of school. But for the rest of the year, we had a hallway flirtation where we would reference said quirky incident and build on the joke, further amusing ourselves. Like I said, not a substantial relationship...but there was a kind of hidden depth to it. A recognition of sorts. 'Everybody in this school is normal and boring. Thank god we're both crazy.'
When I saw him on the train, and noticed that he had recognized me or was at least trying to place me, I was surprised at how giddy I got. I had thought about him over the years but just assumed he had totally forgotten me. We got off that the same stop and I was just a few paces behind him. It was one of those things where both people are too shy to speak up...and the moment is lost. But I really feel like he did want to say something.
I'm told that nowadays, there is usually an easy fix for this situation: Facebook.
The problem is that going on Facebook sends me into a black hole of depression like nothing else. I loathe it. So, I haven't updated my status for like 10 years and I have apparently have something like 50 friend requests, blah blah. Apparently he is on it, but has lots of privacy settings.
Then I went on LinkedIn and found him and was happy to see that he's been doing well and making strides in his chosen profession- and again, I was surprised at how moved and happy I was for him.
A friend of mine said I should just get a LinkedIn account and reach out to him that way. But I have concerns about doing this, mostly due to my being a wimp. They are:
1.) I don't have a LinkedIn account so if I just set one up now, I probably seem like a stalker. Or at the very least, totally transparent.
2.) LinkedIn doesn't give you any personal info. He could be in a serious relationship. He could be married. That could get awkward quickly.
3.) How do I broach the subject of running into him if it's been over a week? Does that seem like I've been ruminating about that whole thing for too long? It's weird, right? I message him with "Hey, did I see you on the train 2 weeks ago?" With my brand new LinkedIn account? Awkward.
4.) I don't have a *career* career. Things are looking up and they could one day get really exciting....but I in no way that have the same kind of impressive resume that would match his on a site like that. So what do I put in my profile? Could be potentially embarrassing...
5.) It was fun being crazy with him when we were young. But a friend of an acquaintance who dated him long ago says that he really was crazy. In a bad way. If I reach out, maybe I'll be initiating something with someone that I will later regret. I really have no way of vetting him.
a.) But this is probably unlikely given all the accomplishments he's racked up in the last few years in his field. I don't think he'd be able to do all that if he wasn't fully compos mentis.
6.) We were technically not that close So does it just seem straight up strange to reach out to him?