Facebook Is An Online Party
Monday, February 9, 2009

My sister has been after me to join the Facebook movement. I told her I was too old for Facebook. She's younger than me, much younger. I am Brady Bunch generation. She is Cosby Show. I didn't think Facebook was was my generation's thing, just barely ahead of Myspace on the maturity level. She persisted, and since she is awesome enough to be Lena's mom, I finally gave in.

I've never been more happy to be wrong.

Facebook is a party with all your dearest peeps from near and far, just hanging out in your computer, waiting for you to join the fun, a key stroke away. And since we are party people, my hubby and I have become addicts. I can't breeze past my computer without checking on everyone's status. My eldest said, "What is happening to the world as I know it? My parents are Facebook addicts!" 

By the way, she denied us, when we friend requested her. I asked her why, when all my sisters are friends with her. She told me it would be "awkward" to be friends with us. That's her word for everything that defines us as her parents, awkward. Funny, I never imagined in all my years of coolness that I would be considered an awkward entity. But, here I am as awkward as Miss Teen South Carolina's "Such As" speech.

But, even without her, I have a lot of friends. It feels good to say that. I haven't been at it long, but I've been hanging with more friends than I usually socialize with at a fabulouso party in the real world. My page is full of friends from my daily world, the multitudes of family members stretched across the miles, old school friends, a couple of days-gone-by boyfriends, and some very dear friends who I'd lost along the way. Facebook found them for me, and now everyday there's a few more typed words, a few more pieces of each other's lives we've missed. 

It is a lovely addiction.

Here's the draw for me. I love words. I love to form them, bringing them out of the air and letting them dance together. Facebook strips everything down to words. People are hysterical, outrageous, sweet and poetic. There is something about having that screen barrier that brings it down to realness between folks and how fun is that. People reveal more in a few typed sentences then they ever have in the years that I've known them.

There are status updates, letting all your friends, know what you're doing, exactly at that minute. There are groups to join. My brother-in-law is a member of "I'll Watch Law and Order Until My Eyes Fall Out." My Hubby joined, "How to Stay Classy. Things I learned from Ron Burgundy" and I had to become a part of, "Reading Is Sexy." Words to live by.

But, my favorite part so far has been the "25 Random Things About Me" that is sweeping Facebook. We Facebookers have made it an art form. I feel like I'm opening a treasure box every time someone posts their list on my page. There are entries that are hysterical, there are many filled with surprises, there are written secrets that can bring you to tears and my favorite, there are the men in all their gruffness, who I think sit down to compose a list of snark only to end up waxing poetic about their wives, their children, and sometimes, the heartbreak of parents who have already gone.

Last week, I composed my list and today I'll share a few. The whole list isn't here. Facebook is a freeing place, leaning towards outrageous and so, for today, outrageous will bow out. I'll share the rest.

1. I can't whistle, but I can do a mean turkey call. One time in Muir Woods, a wild turkey actually came running when I gave up my best gobble.

2.While visiting Oregon, two different women called me Barbie, in a very snide, derogatory way. Women in Oregon are mean and they seem to resent women who wear heels instead of Birkenstocks, dress in anything other than a hemp t-shirt, and have an actual hairstyle instead of a greasy ponytail filled with split ends.

3. I have had a blood clot that had to be removed through surgery. I wouldn't recommend getting a blood clot to anyone.

4. My heart was broken, I mean, snapped in two like a twig, the day my father unexpectedly died. It has been almost seven years and still sometimes the unbidden grief can wash over me when I don't feel it coming. He was a good man, a Tim Russert good. I hope they're friends up there.

5. I have a broken bone in my arm that was never mended. In those days, if you could bend it, it wasn't broken, no need to go to the doctor. A year later, a doctor confirmed the break, after the bone was set. You can feel the lump in my upper arm right above my elbow. And yes, I can bend it.

6. I hate it when my daughters are away from me, spending the night somewhere, or at a camp, or even at practice. I don't feel complete until they're all here with me, one cozy family, under one roof. I'm not sure how this will play out when the oldest goes off to college next year. I can't imagine it. The thought makes me burst into tears.

7. I used to write a column for our local paper. I caused a small town furor when I wrote a tongue-in-cheek column on my aversion to being called ma'am. I'm pretty sure if tarring and feathering were still around, i would have been plumed up good and paraded out of town on a stick. I should have known better when the biggest controversy in this town is our right to display the Confederate Flag, something the South takes as seriously as their ma'am's.

8. My grandpa was an Irish, larger-than-life Chicago City Policeman. He was very proud of the fact that he was on Al Capone's payola in the days that the Crime Lords ruled the Windy City. He always had a good story to tell.

9. I think a hot bath can cure just about any ailment.

10. I own a sheepskin rug. My hubby bought it for me, because he knew I was coveting it. In the tropics, we don't have much use for sheepskin, but it's so luxurious I had to have it. I can't bear to put it on the floor. It's draped across a couch in my bedroom. It's my writing spot. I snuggle into it, fire up my Mac and write.

11. One of the worst moments of my life was when my baby girl fell headfirst over the railing at the top of our stairs, 18 feet to the wood floor below. I happened to be there at that minute in the timing of the universe and I watched her crumple to the ground. Miraculously, after full body scans and numerous tests in the ER, she was pronounced perfectly fine, undamaged except for a little blood in the kidney. The ER doctor called it a miracle, indeed. I called it her Grandpa, Guardian Angel of his curly girl. I know he was there, waiting on the bottom, arms outstretched, there to cushion her fall.

12. I'm terrified of flying. From the moment I get on the plane, I silently pray, Hail Mary's, over and over again. I figure if I say one for every person on the plane, the Folks Upstairs will ensure that we get Captain Sully, that magnificent pilot who mastered a crash-landing on the Hudson.

13. I have a sad, but esteemed memento of 9/11, a beam from the World Trade Center. I can't say how I got it, but I will say it is the most treasured gift I have ever received. It is daunting to hold this steel reminder of that day in your hand. You can feel the weight of despair, the anguish of those who lost so much on that day. I will guard it with honor all the days of my life.

14. If I were Queen of the Universe, I would decree that no one would be allowed to wear spandex and jammies would be considered perfectly acceptable daywear. The world would be a much more peaceful place, if we could all wear comfy jammies in our daily lives. Of this, I am convinced.

15. My now, 70 lb dog burrows into me every night, forcing my ankles apart where I sleep, my legs in a V as if if I am up on a Crucifix. She is snuggly comfy. I am not. I move my legs. She burrows back in. This continues all night.

16. I suck the heads of crawfish. All true Southerners, whether through birth or years of squatter's rights, know this is where all the delicious juice is.

17. One of my favorite things to do: Rent a bike in San Francisco and bike through the city. It's the only way to find all the wonderful little undiscovered niches when you have just a few days. Then after wandering for awhile, bike up, up, up and across the Golden Gate Bridge. On a sunny day, there is nowhere else in the world to be than perched on that bridge, overlooking the bay, with sailboats dotting the landscape while that glorious city shines below you. Perfection, indeed. Then coast down to Sausalito, never having to use your pedals. Have a glass of wine overlooking the harbor. Then grab your bike and take a ferry back to the city. A day well spent.

I'm Joann Mannix and I'm a Facebook Addict.

Today something a little different than a download, a little Grammy magic. Al Green, the Minister of Soul's masterpiece, "Let's Stay Together." A fantastic song when its just the Reverend himself. But, here's cutie-pie Justin Timberlake accompanying Al on a duet that had to be put together at the last minute, due to a thug and his violence against women. (I pray that Rhianna heals quickly and that she has the wisdom to see what so many women won''t or can't. A man who lays his hands on you is no man at all. Lose the loser.)
What a splendid, toe-tappin job JT and Al did on this song. A song that should be in everyone's Ipod Bible. Enjoy.

1 comment:

yves said...

Bless you for that "queen of the Universe" choice of jammies... But why would you ban spandex? D'you feel it's disruptive?

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