Princess: Time to stop Facebooking reality
Just so you know, I deactivated my Facebook page.
I’m sure you’re all out there wondering where I went or why I haven’t posted links to my columns lately, or not.
The funny thing about deactivating my page is no one seemed to notice. So not only is all the crap that’s posted on a daily basis not important to me, but it turns out what I have to say isn’t important to anyone else, either.
I’ve been thinking about quitting the Crackbook for a long time now, mostly because I waste so much time looking at it. But it’s not just that.
When I wrote about Facebook a few weeks ago, someone sent me an article from The Economist — “Facebook is bad for you: Get a Life!” — that says studies show the more people use Facebook, the more miserable they are. The most common emotion people experience when using the site is envy.
Not long after that, I was browsing my newsfeed, checking out photos of Billy, my boyfriend from sixth grade, who is now apparently very into CrossFit. He is so into CrossFit that his CrossFit gym in New Jersey regularly posts photos of him looking like the Incredible Hulk, his muscles so pumped and jacked it looks like they might tear right through his shirt, like his eyeballs might turn yellow and he might go, “Grrrrrr,” and turn green and start punching people and throwing things.
The last time I saw him was in 1982, when I discovered, much to my horror, a moving truck parked in front of his house. He’d neglected to tell me, even though he was the love of my life, he was moving to New Jersey.
I started to cry. I had what would be the first of many, many meltdowns over boys who broke my heart.
“You didn’t tell her we were moving?” his mom said, hands on hips, eyes bulging. “You’re such a little asshole!”
The way I remember it, Billy couldn’t get away from me quickly enough. I loved him more than any 11-year-old boy wanted to be loved. The whole sex thing was all my idea. He was into it, but I think I scared him. You can understand why a fifth-grade boy might be intimidated by a sexually aggressive, sixth-grade girl. It’s not like I made him go all the way. I’m not a rapist, hello! I was just curious.
Apparently, Billy didn’t hate me as much as I thought. Apparently, he remembers me well and still thinks about me, enough that he felt compelled to write me this long message on Facebook. He’d been bored at work and decided to look me up. He ended up reading six months’ worth of my columns and was very happy about how my life had turned out, living in a ski town, living the dream.
When we were young, we loved skiing together. My parents were crazy enough to let me take him on a weekend ski trip to our house in Vermont. Can you imagine? Two shrinks dumb enough to allow their little danger-slut daughter to take a boy on an overnight trip across state lines. So this is why they say shrinks are the crazy ones.
The hormones were raging like a storm that weekend; I’m pretty sure Hannah, our springer spaniel, could smell it on us. I remember a lot of hiding under blankets and making out until our lips were raw.
See, this is exactly what I’m talking about. I should not be thinking about this stuff. It’s not healthy.
Billy turned out pretty well. He married a doctor, became a commercial Realtor, had two kids, still lives in New Jersey and apparently is in sick shape.
It’s all good, right? We’re both happily married and living our lives in different parts of the country. No big deal. It’s fun to see how things turned out for both of us, to know that even middle-aged bald guys can have six-pack abs.
But then one day, a photo from an ex-friend popped up in my newsfeed. One of my friends had commented on it, so that’s why it showed up, even though we’re not friends anymore — on Facebook or otherwise. It was a photo of her baby, a son.
We haven’t spoken since my wedding. She was in a bad place at the time, so that sort of explains why she got totally plastered, puked and spilled a pint of beer on my dress. But still. Did she have to wear black fishnet stockings and a mini dress so short that everyone could see her underwear?
Rather than apologize, she wrote me a nasty email about what a horrible person I am and suggested we end our friendship. I haven’t spoken to her since.
So envy is a good word to describe how I felt when I found out she was pregnant, when I saw the photo of her son, when I found out his name, when the reality of her good fortune stung against the rawness of my pain. She has a son. She’s a mother. How unfortunate, I thought, that we spent 15 years of our friendship reveling in each other’s drama as single girls looking for love and never got to share any actual joy.
Without thinking too much about it, I went to my account settings and deactivated my page. It doesn’t really mean anything because I can sign in whenever I want and my page will be just as I left it: filled with photos of my pug, of my cool house, of happy couple photos of us living our awesome lifestyle. Photos of everything and anything I felt compelled to gloat about.
Photos of things, it seems, the world can live without.
The Princess is champing at the bit to get out and go snowboarding on this epic powder day! Email your love to firstname.lastname@example.org. P.S.: You can still follow me on Twitter @aspenprincess.