My friend Jean is an avid facebooker; iPhone in hand, she's a flurry of activity wherever she happens to be. Sometimes its a little window of insight into happenings in Chicago or Detroit or any other locale she finds herself in; sometimes it's a random stream of unrelated mildly banal postings--cute puppies on city sidewalks or music clips from once smoke-filled city blues haunts. You never really know what you are going to get from Jean, just that her multiple streams will whack you in the head at least twice an hour. Funny thing though, for all the banter that we her friends are forced to endure, she's very uptight about comments popping up in and around her posts. She's as judicious with the delete and untag buttons as she is with the camera and post buttons on her phone--anything that fails to meet her idea of proper will face the chopping block.
There's a story about Jean, an errant jar of Jiff and a boyfriend; it started out rather innocent in nature, but over the years has gained lacquered layers of untruth and vivid sexual overtone, rather like the giant bass that Uncle Pete caught using nothing more than a shoelace, a hook from one of Aunt Rita's (the one with the 42EEE bust) bras and a wad of cherry chewing gum. As I heard the story a few years after its original telling, I'm not sure what's fact or fiction, but the words" Jean" and "trip" are seldom mentioned without either the terms "peanut butter "or "Jiff". It's gotten to the point where it's become fair game to mention peanut butter, PB or Jiff at any point in any conversation one is having with Jean. Most times it will either earn you a smirk or smile; occasionally it will get either mild rise or flush of red cheeks. Mentions may not be made on facebook though; any reference will disappear seconds after being posted. Perplexing.
I posted a note on Jean's wall early last week asking her if I should make no-bake cookies for our euchre game this weekend. I've never seen someone demolish a plate of no-bakes as fast as Jean, I'm pretty sure she even set her phone down to accomplish it, but I was trying not to stare. She likes her no-bakes. She wrote back, asking for verification about the time for cards. "Sunday," I posted back; as an aside I told her that she was responsible for bringing a bottle of red wine and a jar of Jiff too. My post disappeared about 2 seconds after I'd pushed it her way. 3 seconds and a chirp from my Mac more, there was an email reminding me that all comments of a sexual nature would be removed from any of her pages, "My boss and coworkers read this stuff, some of my clients too." How's that for a guilty conscious? My fingers were aching to zip back a mildly acidic note, but as I typed, I knew that I'd not hit the send button on conclusion...
-I'd thought about asking how her boss and co-workers and clients had gained insight into the trumped-up protein-packed tale that never was.
-I'd thought about asking why it was irrational for me to be candid in my postings when turn-about has been more than fair play in a reversal of roles.
-I'd thought about asking what possessed her to add those with prying eyes to her legion of facebook friends.
-I'd thought about asking her why she didn't just click the box to make the conversation private.
-I'd figured that anyone who happened across our thread would make a logical jump from no-bake cookies, card game prep chatter and asking a friend to bring supplies to said card game to the red wine and peanut butter that I'd asked the bearer to um...bear; difficult to make no-bakes sans PB.
I typed all of it up, verbose as it was, and paused: why overstate the obvious (really?), why go someplace in electronic mail land that I'd much rather go in person (wink!), why do this solo when my minions have yet to be clued in (BRILLIANT!)?
Mid-week I sent a text message to a friend, who, it turns out, was also facebook jilted for posting an inappropriate comment to our euchre game thread. He let me know that he'd posted something in the same vein as I, a comment that spontaneously combusted seconds after his hitting the "post" key. My return text to him was simple: This. Is. War.
Jean: I know you probably don't read my blog. You probably never will. I just had to get this off my chest. Please don't take offense, I love so much about you. You are an awesome euchre partner. You are always in-line (and spot-on) with snarky comments and witty comebacks laced with sarcasm. You post amazing shots of off-the-beaten-path places. Should random photo-edited pictures of you appear on my homepage--say high-diving into a water tower-sized pool of peanut buttery goodness or sporting a nifty Jiff jaresque handbag--I can assure you that I had help with my photo-editing. I hope that can see the humor in this, everyone is already talking about it (yourself included); it just seems wrong to not crack open the jar and spread the goodness on the everyday bread of all of our lives. As I wrote, this is war. It's also a heck of a lot of fun...