I’ve noticed that my friend count on Facebook dwindles from time to time. At first I was alarmed that I’d reported something really unsavory. I’m certainly prone to an impolitic soundbite about the Tea Party or the depressing state of Hollywood celebrity, but compared to the people who stream traffic reports and publish photos of every menu they encounter, my own infrequent musings seem benign.
Then I saw this filter through my stream: We’re really excited about our new house and will send out invitations to a rocking hausewarming party soon!
My friends – two people who had previously possessed their own Facebook profiles – had merged accounts. Where I once had two friends, I now had a two-for-one deal.
In the epoch of impressive technology, it’s not enough to adopt a new name, merge direct deposits, and assimilate Green Bay Packers décor within a Shabby Chic palette. Now we are supposed to have a common status update. I was too fixated upon the startling resemblance our pastor bore to Philip Seymour Hoffman that I must have missed him say, “To have and to hold…till opposing social media platforms do you part.”
The elemental mechanics of a joint account flummox me. How do two people emote in one digital voice? It relates to my issue with the modern proclivity to report pregnancy as a shared experience. Have you heard? We are pregnant! I won’t lie, I said it.
But I didn’t inhale.
It never felt like G was pregnant. It wasn’t even like a pregnancy 401K in which for every day I felt sciatica reverberate through my spinal column he would match 30% of my nerve pain.
I feel my spine start to spasm again at the task of setting up a profile to summarize the life G and I share. Our conflict would begin with designating our respective alma maters.
It only allows for one college selection.
Then list mine. It ranked higher.
No, let’s compromise. I went to school in Missouri. You went to school in Maine. Let’s pick a school in between, like New York.
Jesus, Erin, this is why we should be listing my school because my school at least imparted a modicum of geographical awareness so that I would know that Pennsylvania is the in-between state.
If we’re going to fabricate a school, can we just list Harvard then?
For the couples who forge ahead through Education, Hometown, Family, and Career, how do they come to a place of agreement on Hobbies and Interests?
Basketball, Baseball, Football, and Hockey. Oh, and put Reading. Smart people list Reading.
I don’t like any of those things. Except Reading. Obviously I like Reading. Who doesn’t like Reading?
Okay, list Jogging for you.
I haven’t jogged in three years, since Dom was born. And why the fuck are you calling it jogging? I ran. I ran a half-marathon once. No one says ‘I jogged a marathon’. It’s demeaning to say that I jog when everyone else, even Richard Simmons who prances, says they run. Either way, I haven’t moved with a pace greater than a stagger in three years.
Okay…we’ll list Running.
While we may ascribe to the same political party on the Census, the task of declaring ‘Democrat’ would send us down the rabbit hole of ideological nomenclature. Centrist Democrat. No, Civil Libertarian. Moderate Progressive! Let’s just manually type ‘we both voted for Obama.’
Once we determined to leave every remaining checkbox blank due to an utter inability to find the middle ground between Elizabeth Taylor and Vince Lombardi as inspirational figures or Action and Foreign as favorite films we would find ourselves embroiled in the biggest challenge yet:
The profile picture.
It’s entirely possible that the only photographic evidence of our coupledom exists from our wedding, but to display that photo would be uncouth, like Kirstie Alley using an image of herself from Cheers instead of her present-day likeness. We’d have to settle upon something vague and esoteric, like a Jackson Pollock painting. Except that G hates modern art. He thinks it’s juvenile and contrived. He would suggest a more celebrated image, like a Van Gogh. I would decline on the grounds that we are no longer college freshman living in a dormitory. Our indecision would result in the Facebook default image, which would be misleading since there is only one genderless silhouette featured.
I smile to think about the cascade of dueling commentary over the birth of our children since we would likely only ever notify our friends of the most pertinent occasions, much the same way one has to make an insurance company aware of major life events.
Baby born. We’re tired.
What we meant to say is that our beautiful firstborn child made his way into the world at 4:32pm on Wednesday. He was 9 pounds and 21 inches long. It was a grueling labor made easier by the epidural I requested in the parking lot plus some barbiturates I’d slipped into my hospital bag. G remembered most of what we’d learned in birthing class about directing my breath and focusing my energy except he kept losing count in between bites of Quarter Pounders. And I’m not really sure why he’s tired since he fell asleep on the cot and only awoke when the doctor nudged him awake to sign a consent form about circumcision. Nothing jolts a man awake like talk of scissors and foreskin. That said, WE are really happy.
I suppose it’s a relief that in reality my husband thinks Facebook is for pre-teens in Japan and I’d sooner share a kidney than my hard drive.
(What about you?? To joint or not?)