Monday, May 23, 2011

day 3

What does the word friend mean to you?

This Sunday's Washington Post Magazine Date Lab is the latest in a heap of items making me reconsider Facebook. 
Birthday Roses May 2011

A popular column, Date Lab revisits the details of a blind date, whose costs the newspaper defrays. 

This couple passed on the usual dinner at an upscale  restaurant for a "tree swinging" expedition. What seemed promising, however, began to unravel. They were not suited for each other. He appeared to be zooming around DC almost nightly, probably meeting with potential business clients, having drinks with fuchsia paper umbrellas poking out of them, volunteering, exercising, and shaking hands. The lineup of his life alone engenders a breathlessness. One could sense the woman's eyes glaze over. Sure. She might like vacations to exotic haunts but intimated that most nights, she's crawled up on the couch, maybe with a Heath bar, a book and franchise TV--(Law and Order or the Closer I would guess.) 

Ultimately though, it's their  Facebook revelations that hammered the death nail.The man has over 3300 Facebook friends. She-- about 75.

3300. Is that a typo? I ask myself. Really? Who is he friending? the mailman? the security guards at his job? the dust bunnies under his IKEA couch?

Sometimes, after two years of active posting and an unexpected expansion of my own list, I find myself placing the entire experience under a microscope. I push my eye to the stem, and I shudder a little at what I see on my "Friends" list. Persons who despise the President enough to use words like "idiot" and "putrid". Persons who won't eat ice cream (what?? no double scoop cones??)...or bother posting a kind comment after another "friend" reveals that a parent has died.

Last week, a woman from my college days sent me a friend request. I recognized the name, but we rarely spoke during those four years. On the contrary, the man she would later marry, attempted to have sex with me on a first date.  When I  quietly turned him down, he stormed out of my apartment, the door's slam reverberating . Thereafter, he would walk by me, past the quad's six foot drifts of snow, glaring through his Highway 99 sunglasses, never speaking again. I look at the "friend request" and click "ignore." The truth is I already have my hands full with these friends.

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