Monday, March 23, 2009

Confessions of a Facebook Slut

I'll forever refer to the winter of 2009 as "my lost winter". I gave it alway on facebook. I have no logical explanation. It's really not my style. I guess I can be obsessive about things. I do so enjoy avoiding the unfinished work on my desktop. "Are you on facebook?" "Oh, you've just gotta sign up for facebook!" "You can really do a lot of networking and marketing on facebook." After having every person who needed to take the time to let me know they hated me publicly share their disdain on myspace, I was gun shy. "But you control who gets to see your page," they assured me. "None of the scary people can get on without your permission." I think I gave in to techno peer pressure around Thanksgiving, and signed on -- though I had to have someone else figure it out for me.
And then, there all of you were...long lost step siblings, high school friends, college crushes, drinking buddies, old boyfriends, writers, musicians, executives, all of my ladies. As many of you know, it's quite a rush unearthing someone long lost and even more fun to have day-long rambling joke-offs with your funnier friends. To become reacquainted with charming people you've met but don't really know -- how oddly satisfying even though it doesn't mean anything. It is sort of like being slutty, no, it's totally slutty. Then there's all those people you don't really know but admire. Trying to friend those folks can take weeks. Once you start collecting notches of infamy on your laptop bed post, you consider irony. I spent entire days thinking of friending people no one in my crowd had thought of friending like say Ernest Borgnine ("Love you as Mermaidman") or the greatly under-appreciated Alicia Silverstone. It's like being a groupie, pop. culture obsessed weirdo, and social commentator all in one. Or so I told myself as the days, weeks, and months peeled away while the snow fell and the sub-zero winds blew. I wanted to be the first amongst my friends to "get" Pat Benatar. I learned which friends' friends lists to cherry pick in order to make my friend population grow.
Then my son's math grades started to fall, my husband gave himself a startling haircut, my cat threw up on a daily basis, my novel was ditched. I had to pull myself together, so I gave up facebook for Lent...not like a big "I joined the "I gave up facebook for Lent" Catholic statement group, more like, I like to utilize the opportunity Lent provides to shed something that's bad for me. I lasted maybe two weeks, making every excuse in the book ("Oh, I need to see if I have any messages from the colleges I'm speaking at, the friends with sick kids, that hip rock icon who relishes turning down my friend requests.....) Then!
Facebook took care of the problem for me by changing their format and layout and sucking the life and enjoyment out of their product. Thanks facebook.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Things Not to Say to Women Over 40

Approximately once every four calendar months (though I guess it's happened twice so far this winter -- I'd better watch it), I go out with the girls, drink beer, stand in front whooping it up while watching a band, and sneak a smoke or two. I did it a couple of Saturdays ago to see one of my favorite cover bands. In between sets I stepped out into the tundra to smoke that forbidden cigarette.
I get overly excited on these occasions because I love to go out and whoop it up, so much so that I have to keep a tight reign on myself because I have lots of Responsibilities. ANYWAY, I was out having said forbidden fruit, the coveted American Spirit, when a sweet young thang addressed me directly with a smile, "Are you pregnant?"
Wa-Waaah. "No," I hissed, "I'm over forty."
Maybe because I was wearing a top gathered under my hard-working false advertising brassiere that billowed slightly every time the doors opened and closed. Maybe it's because I have a terrible habit of standing with my knees hyperextended backwards thus exaggerating my front side. Maybe it's because I've always had a --- gasp! -- tummy. But still.
Of course she felt like crap and started apologizing like crazy which made me feel bad for two reasons; one because I looked like a geriatric pregnant woman that was publicly smoking, and two because my pointed response was so, so, honest. But ladies, please, never, ever comment on another woman's mid-section (especially when she works out more than she cares to and avoids carbs more than she cares to). It's just a bad idea all around.