From the moment I saw you for the first time, I couldn’t look away.
You were just so interesting. So mysterious. So much drama and intrigue. Plus you had an air of exclusivity that made you all the more desirable.
I knew you wouldn’t take me as I am, however. So I decided to change.
First, a new name and a Facebook profile to match.  Something that seemed more mature, more experienced, more technology inept. Mickey Barnes, that would work.


Next, my new look. I scoured my photo library for the perfect profile picture to match my persona. Hmm. That one wasn’t going to work. That one was too on the nose. I landed on an old black and white image of suffragettes I accidentally saved to my desktop while working on a history presentation.
I got such a rush from setting my new birth date on my new profile: august …. 24th…… 1969!!!!!! Ooooabqhagqui. Wow. Still reeling.
Everything was perfect. Nothing was out of place. I was ready to make my move.
I slowly made my way towards you. I hit enter.
And then I was face to face with you. The Duke 2021 Parents Facebook group. In all your glory.
I decided it was time. I hit you with that “request to join.”
And just like that, I was in. I was apart of your inner circle. I made my way around, got familiar with your squad, with the cast of characters in your life. Mostly angry moms and dads confused about meal plans and underage alcohol use.
I was starting to get used to my routine with you. I checked in with you in the morning, after I got out of class in the afternoon, and before I went to work, and then once more before I went to bed. It is safe to say I was enjoying my time with you. Our relationship was getting strong by the day.

And then, you ended things.

I don’t know when I noticed you were no longer there. I felt that things were going quiet but thought maybe it was because you weren’t being as active as usual. Perhaps it was something I –did — was I do overeager? Was it obvious that I was hanging on your every word?
I felt lost and hopeless. A flat out rejection would have been better. Because at least it was a rejection based on my simple appearance — the carefully designed profile that was my new persona. But getting rejected after you got to know me, er, got to know Mickey. I thought what we had was special.
I miss you so much already. I have nothing to look forward to anymore…..
So I guess that means I need to start from scratch.

This time, as Tim Hardbach.

Hello again, Duke University Class of 2021 Parents and Families.

I’m just a girl. Standing in front of a Facebook group. Asking it to accept her.

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