I was having dinner the other night at ABC Kitchen in New York City, when all of a sudden I received an alert from an application on my iPhone called “Highlight.” “Highlight” is an app that alerts you when someone you know is nearby. I have been using it for over a year and I get beeped all day long in my office if contacts of mine are somewhere within a few square blocks. Most of the time, I quickly glance at my iPhone screen just to see who is in the vicinity and then go right back to work.
Not this time. I received a notice that a long lost friend was sitting somewhere near me. I haven’t seen this guy since I was 18 (you figure out the math). Two years ago we met up on Facebook. I was looking for him for years because at one time we were very close. There was a group of us that used to go dancing twice a week. He was one of them. He dated a few of my friends but we were the ones who stayed in touch for a few years. There were nights that we would talk on the phone for an hour or two when we supposed to be doing homework. Our lives went in different directions and that was the end of that.
When I found him on Facebook I was so excited. I sent him a message and heard nothing back. I did that a few times and I finally got a message back saying that my name sounded familiar but he couldn’t place me. He asked me to tell him more. The more I told him the fuzzier he became. I was shocked and rather upset that someone I was so curious about didn’t even remember me. I couldn’t believe that someone who came to my “Sweet 16” (the night JFK was killed) and who I saw on a frequent basis for over two years, had no recollection of who I was.
He now lives in Los Angeles. Once or twice a year he sends me a message that he is going to be in New York and we should get together. I ignore his messages because I don’t want to meet a stranger and continue to play 20 questions. I have this character on my email list, Facebook friends, Linkedin contacts and yes, “Highlight” pals. By now you must have guessed that when I received my “Highlight” alert the other night, it was to tell me that that he was just a few feet away.
I didn’t say anything to anyone at my table, but quickly looked around. It took me five seconds to spot him. He was still attractive for a man in his 60s but he did age. I got to stare at him for an hour. I have no idea why he didn’t receive an alert that I was there too, but remember this is a guy who had no clue who I was. Then I did the unthinkable. I don’t know how I had the nerve. I went over to his table to ask him if he had the time. He and his male friend promptly said “10PM.” He asked me if I knew how late the restaurant stayed opened and I said “I didn’t know.”
I don’t want to tell you his name because there is a good chance he reads my blog. If I hear from him I will let you know. For those of you who are interested in expanding your radar screen, download the app called “Highlight.” It is so easy to use. If someone near you also has “Highlight,” his or her profile will show up on your phone. You can see their name, photos of them, mutual friends, and anything else they have chosen to share. When you meet someone, “Highlight” helps you see what you have in common. And when you forget that person’s name at a party a week later, “Highlight” can help you remember it.