This is a hard post to write. It’s about something that has bothered me for a while. It’s been in my head, but I haven’t unlocked the door on my thoughts to fully get the words out here until now. I get upset every time I go there. My heart hurts, I get a little achy, my throat gets choked up and the tears well up in my eyes. OH. FUCK. I’m losing it already. See what you made me do? Now I have boogers all over me. I never cry pretty. Where are the damn tissues?
Got ‘em. Anyway, at this point, I will vacillate between drinking and crying, so I decide to make it easy on myself. Do a little bit of both. If I am lucky, I won’t write a dumb ass Facebook status that makes no sense to me (or anybody else, for that matter) in the morning (See Rule #4 of Facebook Rules.)
I think I am ready to write this though. Will you grab a drink and pull up a chair? Maybe pat me on the back awkwardly if I look like I need it? Don’t get too touchy though. That might be weird.
Ok, here goes.
I have a friend.
Yes, I know. Earth-shattering news. OK, I take that back. I could see why that could surprise you, given some of the shit I say on this blog. But yes, I have friend(s) actually.
I need to stop making jokes.
Just write this. FACE THIS. Get ‘er DONE, Kiran.
Ok. Where was I? Oh yeah, so this friend is someone I considered to be a good friend. Someone whose children I always loved to spoil. Someone who was one of the first to visit our family when both of our children were born. Someone to whom I have turned to on rainy days or when I had an idea in my head that was getting ready to explode. Someone I thought was part of our extended family.
The thing I realize is that I don’t think she ever considered me to be much of a friend. Or perhaps she DID, but stopped somewhere along the way.
Over the past year, my emails go unanswered. Calls and messages have been ignored. Not only has there been no action to reach out to me on her part, but she has completely stopped communicating at all. It makes me feel that I misunderstood our friendship or have done something terrible that I am unaware of. For all I know, it may not even be like that. In her mind, it may not even be a case of my friendship not meaning much, her being upset with me or anything like that at all.
She just moved on. To other friends. Different friends.
It’s weird feeling like… Like you have been completely forgotten.
It started slowly. We’d make dates to meet up, but there was always a reason why she couldn’t meet.
Pretty soon I noticed how long it would take to get a response back on emails. Over time, there were no responses.
Over time, I would berate myself for even thinking anything was off. YET, there was still this nagging feeling. An instinct.
You think, is it in my head? Is this just me being my normal crazy? Cuz I know I am helluva crazy.
But then you realize that this person who used to “like” every picture of your kids on Facebook, who used to have comments on all the pictures you used to share has been conspicuously absent on anything involving any of your family.
But she is not conspicuously absent from Facebook. In fact, she is there a LOT.
You might say “Who GIVES a rat’s ass? Let it go, Kiran. Focus on people who care back.”
I can and DO focus on people who care for me and whom I love. Maybe not as well as I always should, but I still do. That doesn’t still mean that I don’t hurt or mourn the loss of this friendship.
You might think – what if your friend reads this? Won’t she know? Isn’t it easier to just talk to her? The answer is no, I don’t think she will recognize who I am speaking about, I don’t think she will read this post and I have already tried to talk too many times. Besides, this email is not an “outing.” Not at all.
I just have to accept and get rid of this feeling. The best analogy I can come up with is I keep knocking on a door and can hear people inside, the loud voices of a party, but nobody answers the door. I knock again, certain that I hear my friend’s laughter. But still. No answer.
Now, unless I a) want to try and blend in with the doormat b) have ten Papa John’s pizzas that need to get delivered or c) am a fucking stalker, I have to walk away from that door and stop knocking. Because my instincts are right. There is someone peering back at me through the peephole. They just choose not to answer.
Wait a minute. Is this what being on a Mormon mission feels like?
Ah, hell. That sucks. But just for the record, I ALWAYS answer, guys.
I have to accept that I may never get the closure I need. Maybe writing this post will help me. Sometimes life just works that way. You don’t always get a pretty ribbon to tie all the loose ends of your heart up. I need to put my big girl pants on and put a Little Mermaid band-aid over the part of my hand that is raw from all the knocking. I accept that it will heal.
In the meantime, I won’t lock my door. If she wants to knock on it, and come in, she knows where to find me.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this?
“Doing what again?” I asked.
“You’re getting into political debates on Facebook.” Oh, shit.
“Are you spying on me?” Marriages are built on trust, buddy.
THIS is exactly why I try to hide everything I do from him so we don’t lose that. Keeping a marriage alive is hard work, no shit.
“I can see it every time you responded to that stupid thread. When are you going to learn?” Um, NEVER.
Ok, so I’m busted. I knew exactly what he meant when he said, “that stupid thread.” After talking a good game in the post I wrote called Facebook Rules, the one where I expertly explain how to successfully navigate the muddy waters of Facebook without losing your mind (and your sanity), I have reverted back to old habits. As always, I am great at doling out the advice, but am not so good about following it myself.
The rule I primarily broke was, Rule #9 – Don’t get all political up in my Facebook grill, yo.
Now the premise of Rule #9 is that it’s important to not encourage or engage in aggressive behavior by writing inflammatory posts or comments regarding political parties and beliefs, etc. There is an implied aspect to Rule #9 as well, that if someone writes something which you find offensive, to walk away from it. That no good can come of it.
I know these things. I have written a primer on it. Yet, like a moth to a flame, a fraternity boy to a drunk sorority girl, Rihanna to Chris Brown – I get pulled towards these posts. Before I know it my fingers are click-clacking away at the keyboard and my jaw is clenched. I’m on fire. On a mission.
A mission to what, I do not know.
So what happened in that thread? I am going to simplify this as much as possible. A Facebook friend who does not support health care reform in the United States and openly opposes “Obamacare” posted some inflammatory things about it. Now, I don’t care if he opposes or believes in health care reform. What drew me to his post were two things.
1) The post was not true
2) He kept calling President Obama, “Hussein.” Which IS Obama’s middle name. But he repeatedly pointed it out – “Hey, from now on I am going to call him Hussein.” or “Watch me now – I can call him Hussein walking backwards!” or “Look, NO hands this time – Hussein!!!”
I didn’t want to add fuel to the fire so I just commented (politely, of course) with a link that explained what he was saying had been fabricated. He responded with another point, which again was not factual, so I once again sent him (yes, calmly. Gosh people) some links from respected news sources (Forbes.com is respected, right?), explaining how those points were NOT true either.
He then grudgingly acknowledged that what he shared was NOT true. However, his dislike for the plan and for the President justified why he felt comfortable sharing the link. He would not delete it because at the end of the day he still hates “Hussein” and liberals and his false post is therefore justified.
And then I said….
Well. Here’s the thing.
I know what I said. But I want to hear what you think I SHOULD have said.
Now, I don’t know care where you stand politically or on the policy in question. It’s not about who you voted for or why. Policy, Shmolicy.
Let’s pretend for a moment that NONE of that matters. Party lines don’t matter. Heck, maybe you are not even American as it seems many more of Masala Chica’s readers seem to be popping up around the globe.
Let go of all prejudices and political affiliations.
In and out.
Did you breathe? Seriously, I need you to be all Zen and shit when you comment.
How do you feel when people pass along fiction as fact? Especially knowingly? Do you think it’s different than when someone spreads misinformation because they haven’t done their research? In this day and age, is it acceptable to not do your homework with all of the information we have at our fingertips?
If fiction IS shared to strengthen your OWN beliefs, do you support it? Do you see it as a necessity to push towards the greater goal of accomplishing what you believe in?
AND last, but certainly not least,
What do YOU hear when someone calls the President of the United States “Hussein”?
If these questions sound simple, I ask you to still answer. I don’t think they are that simple but then again, I think my parents dropped me on my head a few times too many when I was a kid, so that’s not the best indicator.