If you're on Team Facebook, then you know those people. The people who scrunch up their nose and roll their eyes at the mere mention of the site. The people that say they're "too busy" or "too private". The people that shrug their shoulders and claim that they "don't get it". You know, the Facebook haters.
And I respect their opinion. I get it. It's not for everyone.
I guess it's possible that some people have enough "social" in their social lives. That some people have all the "friends" that they can handle. That some people can maintain long distance relationships with friends and acquaintances over many years and many miles without it. I am just not one of those people.
I joined Facebook a little over two years ago. In a slightly therapeutic way, it became an outlet. A place to share the good, the bad and the ugly. A place to meet up with old friends and a place to get to know new friends better. A place to connect with others. A place where I could commune with friends in different locations and with different lifestyles. Also a place where I could commiserate with other moms and discuss the joys and challenges of being wives and mothers.
Upon joining, I set out to find some old friends from high school. I was really excited about the idea of reconnecting with Amy. We were friends in middle school and high school. That was over fifteen years ago, so the details of our past were sketchy. But I remembered the big things. Like how hanging out was easy and fun. How we could write each other three page notes, neatly folded into triangular formation, in the span of one class period. How I could laugh and smile until my face hurt. Good stuff.
So we reconnected on-line. And as expected, it was awesome.
We posted snapshots of our lives. We shared our thoughts and ideas. We "met" each other's kids and husbands. We bonded over our similar outlooks on being married and having children. I found myself laughing out loud and looking forward to her comments and messages. When things were particularly crazy or frustrating, I found myself messaging her directly and ultimately feeling better about the situation at hand. We started this blog together and I started referring to Amy as my internet-bff.
Two years and a few failed attempts later, and we actually had hard and fast plans to get together. For this weekend. So after over fifteen years, we were actually going to come face to face.
It was at this point that I realized that I could never have done the whole on-line dating thing. I could, however, have totally fallen into the never-leave-the-house-solely-communicate-with-people-from-the-computer-in-your-basement lifestyle.
At the end of the night, it's so easy to sit on my couch with my laptop. Dishes in the sink, toys on the floor. Wearing sweats and old socks. Typing back and forth. Kind of hanging out. You know, except for the fact that you're not. There's no instant feedback-- no eye contact, no reading the other person's expressions or physical cues. Having unlimited time to think of what you want to say and how you want to say it. And when you run out of things to say, you simply don't say anything. Log off, stop typing, whatever.
My main concern was whether our on-line chemistry would translate to in-person chemistry. My minor concerns included, but were not limited to: what to wear, when to clean my house, what to cook and how our husbands and kids would get along.
Fortunately, after a few minutes of initial obligatory awkwardness, we had such a great day. Beautiful weather, happy kids, plenty of food and good stories and conversation. Even the guys had a good time.
It was easy and fun and the time flew.
Amy was as smart and snarky and hysterical as I remembered. We talked and laughed and shared stories. It was natural and easy and I didn't feel like I had to work to keep up. (As a reader of this blog, you must know however, that as much as she protests life in the MOFN-- she does have a secret love for Nascar, country music and... for the love of God... fantasy football.) Erick was charming and funny and when given the opportunity to watch four channels of ESPN on the couch, he actually opted to hang with us, in the dining room, over coffee. Wow. Lizzie is the sweetest and without a doubt the most polite and mature little girl I have ever met. She totally hung with my wild boys and even indulged my Pokemon-crazed five year old with his obsession. The fact that she's never been in school or daycare is a total testament to Amy's awesome mom skills.
So we packed them up and walked them out and they headed off for their last night in New Jersey.
And sadly, now the whole Facebook thing is a little bittersweet. It once seemed like a totally great way to interact and hang with an old friend. But now, I totally want my internet-bff to come over for a cup of coffee and a chat. To hang at the park with our kids. To hire the kids a sitter and go to a hockey game with the guys. You know, good stuff.
The only problem is that pesky six-hour drive.
So I guess we're sticking with Facebook.