I'm not making any sense, am I? I should probably shut the lid on the laptop and go to bed early, but like I told you: better at saying I should probably do things than I am at actually doing them. Must work on this.
My weekend was exhausting, in the dirty, sweaty, manual labor way rather than the fun but overwhelming social butterfly way. The good news is, I am finally almost (ALMOST!) done with the landscaping project that six weeks ago I thought might take me two weekends. (Ha! I slay me. Obviously I will never learn.) The bad news is, a half a tube or so of Ben-Gay seems like a good idea right now, and yet I don't even want to bother because I wouldn't know where best to slather it. People, my everything hurts. Would a bath in Ben-Gay be unwise?
Incidentally, the other good news about my being almost (ALMOST!) done with this project is that when I am done I will finally stop talking about it. You're welcome in advance, as I'm well aware it is interesting to no one but me. Come to think of it, however, that is not unlike probably a solid 75% of what I write about, so scratch that pseudo-apology; obviously it is worthless.
Moving on. I said last week that I had Facebook stories to share. I am going to stop apologizing for telling Facebook stories as well, as I have realized that whether we like it and admit it or not, Facebook has become so integrated into our lives that it comes up as casually and unintentionally as stories about work or family. I rarely talk about work or my family, so clearly Facebook is simply filling some conversational void. (I'm not proud.) Tonight I had dinner with a friend and I realized, in the middle of a Facebook story, that the people at the next table were talking about Facebook as well. So see? It is NOT JUST ME! Technically, however, none of us were actually talking about Facebook. We were each telling a story in which Facebook was simply the venue. Facebook is a conduit for our daily lives, just like any other place (real or virtual) is. This is an angle that actually hadn't occurred to me before, and I'm sort of working it out as I type, and yet suddenly it makes me feel a whole lot better about the number of comments I make or stories I tell in which the word "Facebook" bears mention. Facebook is just the venue. If it helps, we could say two out of three of these tales took place at the mall.
Facebook story the first: Last week, I received a friend request that I sat on for a full three days before begrudgingly clicking "Accept." It was from a former classmate who I have NO good memories of. None. Dude was a smart allecky punk on his good days and an absolute ass on his bad ones. In the eleven years that I knew him, his wiseass remarks weren't directed at me specifically often enough that he's scarred me in any permanent way, though on the rare occasions that I think of him, the first memories that come to mind are ones I did hate him for at the time. The day he pushed me down on the playground and made me tear a hole in the brand new corduroys I'd gotten for Christmas. (They were turquoise with a gray pinstripe checkered pattern, and they were fabulous. It was 1985. Trust me.) The day he stole my stocking cap, and I was too foolish to lie and tell my mother I lost it, which meant she called his mother to complain about him, and I got labeled a tattle tale for a week. Oh, and my personal favorite: the day he gave me the worst nickname I've ever acquired, a nickname I should really have a sense of humor about by now and yet still refuse to share with even my closest friends.
So yeah. Good times. Great guy. I can totally see why he friended me, no?
I almost didn't click that Confirm button. I almost sent him a note to say, "Dude, we were never friends, and I have NO good memories of you. The fact that we went to the same school is not reason enough to link to me." But I didn't. Because really, what is the big deal? The path of least resistance comes to mind. I don't care if he sees anything on my profile, and I don't expect any further direct contact from him to me. I will forget he is there just as I have half the other people I'm linked to, and life will be no different henceforth. But before I commenced the forgetting, obviously I looked at his profile.
During the eleven years of our childhood in which I knew this guy, he made at least two nuns cry. He also inspired one of our CCD teachers to quit her volunteer post, so miserable was the experience for her. And yet, today, the "Religious Views" line on his profile says, "Born-again Christian Believer." He lists the Bible (author: God) among his favorite books. I read his profile and my jaw dropped, and I said (out loud, to the computer screen), "Who ARE you?!?"
So maybe 17 years does make a big difference. Maybe he has changed a bit. Maybe he actually is less of a giant ass by now and would be shocked to learn I remember him as such. Then again, he describes his political views as "Conservative, in the divisive, polarizing kind of way." So nope. Pretty sure I'd still hate that guy.
Do you see now why I pulled these stories out of that meme question deeming them too long to be part of that post? I promise the next two are shorter. That dude got me more worked up than I thought.
Facebook story the second: I told you last week that a new clip had been added to the montage reel of dates past. I did not tell you that I actually ran into that same date a second time a mere four days later. He was at that book club discussion I mentioned, and I wasn't particularly surprised to see him there, given that I saw his name on the list in the related Facebook group months ago now. Still. In a metro area of 3.5 million people? Two run-ins in a week? This is getting a little ridiculous.
More ridiculous, however? The day after that run-in, his face and name showed up in the "Suggestions" box on my Facebook home page. For those of you not yet sucked into this world, the "Suggestions" box highlights people you may know, who you might want to add as a friend. Generally they are people I went to school with, vague acquaintances, or strangers who happen to be friends of my friends. To my knowledge, NEVER has Facebook suggested I be friends with someone I have no linked friends in common with. Not ONLY did it suggest this guy, however, but Facebook also suggested a meMarmony match I emailed with briefly but never dated two years ago, a three-date guy who long time readers with steel trap memories might remember as Boomerang Mike, AND... drumroll please... the damn Traffic Engineer. Facebook should have NO reason whatsoever to know that I know these men. Facebook is messing with me.
It is now entirely past my bed time, and this post has run entirely longer than I intended, but I promise this last one will be quick.
Facebook story the third (and final... for now): I friended my neighbor recently. You know... my super helpful neighbor? The one I have mentioned many times but am too lazy to find a related post to link to? He is the neighbor who snowblows my driveway after blizzards. The one who comes over to start my lawn mower for me when he hears me swearing at it. And the one who fixed the broken shovel that I abandoned in my yard. (OK, that one was recent enough to quickly find the appropriate link.)
I debated the necessity of friending him, but it has already come in handy! No longer do I have to hope he just happens to be in his yard when I need help with something! No! I can pester him directly! Hurrah! I share with you our first Facebook messaging exchange...
From: StefanieWithin 15 minutes, I had this reply...
To: Nice neighbor
Subject: I promise I will not routinely use Facebook for requests such as this.
Hi. OK, I *should* be brave enough to take care of this myself, but I am not. You are far less squeamish than I am, given that I'm pretty sure you hunt and fish and therefore presumably touch dead animals on a regular basis. A squirrel has met his final demise on the grass directly next to your fence and retaining wall. Is there any chance you might be so good as to remove it before other animals start gnawing at its sad, stiff little carcass? If so, that would be awesome.
Poor little guy. Also, ew.
From: Nice neighborI declined, of course, and I also resisted the urge to invite his poor wife over to my house for dinner instead (only in part because that particular night I happened to be having Ramen noodles, and she may or may not have thought that any better an option than boiled squirrel). But the important part? Dead squirrel gone! Fifteen minutes after I noticed him there! And I didn't have to touch his possibly rabies-infested body myself. Whoo hoo.
Subject: RE: I promise I will not routinely use Facebook for requests such as this.
Thanks for the notice. As we speak, it is now boiling in a pot. BTW - Did you want to come over for dinner? ; )
Frankly, if that doesn't convince you that Facebook is immeasurably useful, I don't know what will.