My "real" friends love me anyway
Pranking friends and mocking people from afar has never been so easy, now that Facebook is on the scene.
Cathy's never really pregnant like her status line occasionally suggests, by the way. She's just left her account open on the computer in the main room again. I'm sure she'll appreciate your concern and congratulations regardless, so don't be discouraged by the truth.
It's up to you whether to harness the power of social networking sites for good or for humour, but faced with an opportunity, my path is clear. What wasn't clear, was whether I'm allowed to heckle web-specific Facebook "friends" just the same as I do my real friends.
Last night, I tried it and now I know better.
Before going out to meet people refreshingly off-line, I checked Facebook for a totally legitimate reason – to find a phone number – and by compulsion, became distracted by my "friends" status updates. Several were posted by people I love, and others by those with whom I share some nebulous association – an acquaintance from a flight to Nova Scotia, a partier from New York, a hostel-mate from Buenos Aires, or the Home Hardware cashier who attended high school with my sister. Some are ex-boyfriends. Some know my ex-boyfriends. A few play in bands with them.
The status which caught my attention at that particular moment read:
[Bandmate-of-a-guy-I-dated] is cancelled [his lame band] show.
Reading the grammatical error aloud like the snotty third-grade bookworm I still am, I reminded Cathy we'd both dated this band's members. Then we agreed to never, ever speak of it again.
"Their show is cancelled? THANK GOD!" I joked to Cathy, and further mused, "I should write that as a comment on his update..."
"DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!" she said, vibrating a little. Good ol' Cathy; she's always got my back.
We laughed hard enough at the prospect that I forgot I wasn't serious. Surely, he'd see the humour, I thought. By the time Cathy left the room, I'd forgotten there was any reason at all not to comment, for just long enough to follow through. Laughing to myself, I typed in "Thank God!" and hit enter. I sat back and waited. As the page loaded very, very slowly, my smile faded. Contextual details oozed forth from the dankest sludge of my recent memory, and I began to panic.
For every great joke, there's an oh-no moment. It's the silence before the laughter, while the audience susses out whether you're funny or just another inappropriate effing a-hole. I had enough time to see I'd be the latter.
Before going for the jocular, I really should have taken into consideration just how much the band's head man is devoted to hating me – because it's a lot. Over time, he's penned volumes of personalized hate-and-blame email, especially for me.
Months ago, determined to wring some humour from the fiasco, I read excerpts of his impassioned, somewhat frighteningly obsessive work at an open mic night for love letter readings at a Mile End cafe. I got the shock-and-awe audience response I'd wanted. After that, I guess I just forgot.
Last night, I remembered. And I realized that not only would my comment not be well received, but I risked reigniting the rubber of the smouldering, molten tire which was the end of that noxious relationship. No one would read this tongue-in-cheek comment as it was intended. No one.
So you can imagine my relief, when the page finally loaded, to realize that while my comment posted successfully, I'd accidentally done it from Cathy's account. It was her smiling face, not mine next to this terrible comment – karma for having encouraged me. Now, not only is she "pregnant" on occasion, but she's a complete effing a-hole. That'll teach her to log out before she goes to the bathroom.