My husband (the Cap'n) disapproves of fb and is the last hold-out I know. His reasoning: "Lydia, I am not 16. Nor am I trying to engage in illicit relations with someone who is 16. Therefore, I am not ever going to join Facebook. Ever." My response: "Your mom friended me last night."
But I am now beginning to see his point. Last Friday night, completely out of nowhere, I got hit by a drunk Facebooker. I had one real boyfriend before I met the Cap'n. I have not seen him or had any meaningful contact with him in the last fifteen years (since the Cap'n and I have been together). But we are fb friends. I see some of his updates and we exchange banal birthday greetings. No big deal, I thought.
Then I got the infamous inbox message. I read it and actually slammed my laptop closed. It was gross and inappropriate and made no sense to me at all. I am not easily offended. I actually count offending others among my skills. But this made me mad. So I showed my sister Lucy the message. She has a talent for making off-the-cuff, snarky observations about things that are so undeniably true that you can never really see them any other way again. She read the message, raised one eyebrow and said; "That douche-bag is drunk at a titty bar."
And I knew she was right. He is a d-bag. He had to be drunk. Regarding the titty bar? No idea, but it's all too possible. So I hit delete and I de-friended him and then I told the Cap'n, who was not amused. All of his worst fears about Facebook are now validated.
MommyLand's Guidance on DFB
Back when we were young and single, there was a little something called "drunk dialing". That was the primary means of embarrassing yourself while intoxicated in your apartment late at night. It's now so passe. So 90's. But we would never do that now. It wouldn't even occur to us to pick up the phone. Facebook, not so much.
The thing about DFB is that is both impersonal and written. Your fb friends are only sort of your friends. Many of them may live in Paraguay - we don't know. But you probably don't worry about running into them at the grocery store - so there is decreased accountability for your stupidity. Plus, everyone expects drunk people to say ridiculous crap. And your slurring tips them off. But the written word? It arrives at its intended audience when they are sober and therefore, your inebriation is unexpected, random and even more stupid.
There is also something especially funny and permanent about writing correspondence while drunk. It brings to mind something else from the 90's - Bridget Jones. The following is from Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason. It is a drunken Christmas card (that she did not remember writing) to a man she met one time; her boyfriend's obese business partner, Nigel. Here goes:
I know we have only met once at Rebecca's when you pulled her out of the lake. But now it is Christmas, I realize, through being Mark's closest work colleague, you have in a strange way been close to me all year too. I feel very close to you now. You are a wonderful man: fit, attractive, vigorous, brilliantly creative, because being a lawyer is actually a very creative job. I will always think fondly of you, glistening bravely in the sunlight and the water. Merry Christmas to my dear, dear Nigel.
While we can all agree that the above is totally frigging awesome, it is not something we want to find Saturday morning in our "sent" folder.
[Editor's Note: I am so guilty of this. As you may remember, we got snowed in for 627 days last month. I used one of those days to drink a Target box of wine (which are AWESOME by the way! Not how they taste, but they're just so portable) and write ALL the Christmas cards. The one to my divorce attorney and his wife and children went something like this: "Merry Christmas Allens! Look, a handwritten note. Luckily for you, you're in the A's. You think I'll be handwriting every card when I get to the N's? I don't think so...Happy New Year! Love, McLovin, Kate and the Indoor Homeless People (I'll explain that someday haha)" He's totally not going to be my divorce lawyer any more. --Kate]
So let's all work together to prevent DFB. Here's a quiz:
Are You at High Risk for DFB? (a yes/no quiz)
- In middle school, did you call the little guy you had a crush on like ten times and hang up when he answered?
- In high school, did you memorize your boyfriend's class schedule and locker location, like, ten seconds after he asked you out?
- In college, did you come home from the bar to call a bunch of answering machines to ask why they didn't kiss you yet?
- In your twenties, did you send clever, saucy, flirty emails until you accidentally sent one to the wrong co-worker?
- In your thirties, after happy hour would you respond to potential matches on eHarmony with: You seem completely perfect/Like a d-bag and We should meet in person in 15 minutes at IHOP/Never because I think you are probably be a serial killer.
- Never leave a message for someone you haven't spoken to in more than three years. They will not be expecting to hear from you now. They will not be expecting you to be drunk. Especially if you choose to instant message, they will assume either that you need to start attending 12 step meetings or that you have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
- Try to avoid wall posts. I once left a message that read: "Ths AWESOME. Frggin hilaroud. You awesome abd oiehdk". We shall call this rock bottom, as this person now finds it hard to make eye contact with me in church.
- Buddy up. Get in touch with a friend who doesn't judge (too much) and will think it's funny and may offer you sage advice like: "Why don't you unplug your keyboard until tomorrow morning?"
- Come to a safe place. The Rants from Mommyland FB page, while not endorsing DFB, is an understanding community of like minded people. Plus, we all enjoy a hearty laugh at the expense of others.
The MommyLand DFB Pledge
Facebook. If you send me an inappropriate or offensive message I will de-friend you and delete it. If you are dumb enough to do it again, I will post the most offensive part of your message in a direct quote AS MY STATUS and tag you. And your wife. Then all of my friends, and your friends, and your wives's friends will see it. And you will be busted. For being a jackass. Facebook is not an opportunity to swing. If you try it with me I will swing the righteous fury of Bad Mommy right back at ya. The end.