Monday, March 19, 2012

"But Of All These Friends And Lovers...."

It's time.

Something needs to be said on a topic too hot to be touched by ordinary bloggers, too controversial for the mainstream media to comment on, but I'll say it.

There are problems with Facebook. You're welcome, America.

I don't mean the problems that you see in the news, like when someone is being followed on Facebook by someone he or she doesnt want to be followed by. How sbout the more subtle problems of the social network, like when one spouse friends or is friended by someone that his or her spouse wishes would burst into spontaneous combustion?

I should make a small but important disclaimer here. I have been happily spoused for twenty-five years, my husband for at least seventeen. (Sorry for that rotten joke, but the opening was too good.).

The point is that we've been together for awhile, and have the kids, dogs, and mortgage to prove it. And yet, even after twenty -five years of marriage, we still find things to disagree about. (Sorry, Mom.). In fact, if you look up the word "spouse" in the original Old English, it means, literally, "one is about to disagree with the next incredibly reasonable thing that you say."

So, we are not new at this marriage game. We are, in fact, old at it. We are lucky enough to have reached the point at which we can argue on fairly hot topics, like who should do what share of household chores or how to reach peace in the Middle East, while we are both reading. And that's without either of us looking up from our books. And it includes swearing. But friending on Facebook is a whole new deal. And it also includes swearing.

This is not, I should add, about one particular person on Facebook. The following conversation has taken place more than once in our hovel. The lead-in is from my husband, who is working at the computer in our bedroom. I am on the bed reading, or on Facebook, because I like to breathe the same air that my husband does occasionally.

The first clue I get that he's not strictly working comes in the form of a question. "You're kidding around with that guy?" I put down the book on Hunter Thompson, whom I presumed dead, look over the husband's shoulder, and see that he's on my Facebook page, looking at who I was messaging with, a male friend from college.

"Oh, well, yes, I was.". Back to Hunter Thompson.

"Why him?"

"Because Hunter Thompson's dead?"

"He's after you. "

"No, he's not. Hunter Thompson is more after me, and he's--"



"I still don't like it."

"I can see why. We haven't seen each other for thirty years, and we've both been married for almost that whole time. A pattern is starting to form."

The husband is laughing. "But he's in your close friends group!"

"That's because he's a close friend..."

"Yes, but," and here we get to the heart of it, "I'm closer."

Which is why, if you look on my Facebook page, you will find a group labelled "Husbands". It has two members, the husband and myself. It is not open to the public, and nobody else can view it.

And, if you're my close friend from college on Facebook-- if you didn't like this blog, it wasn't about you. it was about another of my close male college friends.

If, however, you did like it, it is dedicated to you, and was the whole time.

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