I missed the memo about memes, membership and modern friendship.
This is the first post I’m writing which is inspired by a prompt from another blogger. So Helen Redding at Crumbs and Pegs, thank you for the kick in the ass to put together a few thoughts. Helen passed the torch of a simple exercise, which is to make a list of “10 Things You Don’t Know About Me.”
I was tickled to be asked to participate because getting these little invitations feels good. When I’m tagged in a Facebook note, or when I clue in on some viral video early rather than late, I feel like one of the cool kids, like I’m in the club and in on the joke. It’s a small thing that feels like a big deal.
And the “10 Things You Don’t Know About Me” prompt called to mind the fun Facebook meme that was really popular back in 2009. Did you write your list of “25 Random Things”? I did, and I’m going to poach from it (sorry, is that cheating?) because between writing that list and telling you that I got bad Botox and I didn’t learn to drive until college, I’ve pretty much already spilled all my secrets. Well, not really, but a lady needs to maintain at least a little mystery…
And just one more tangent before I get to my list…getting Helen’s tweet got me thinking of the nature of modern friendship. Helen lives a continent and an ocean away from me, but because of social media, we’re very accessible to each other and we could, in theory, become very good friends. And never meet. Ever since I switched over from dial-up, I’ve wandered into various forums and chatrooms and eventually found my way into some really meaningful friendships with people I might not recognize on the street and whose voices I have never heard. Trippy, huh? Sadly, I think there’s a tendency to de-value these connections as somehow “unreal” or less important than one’s “friends in real life”.
I think there’s a fair amount of justifiable cynicism surrounding online friendships, because people can portray themselves inauthentically online and that can lead to all sorts of dishonesty and confusion. Typically what I find myself doing is trying to make the virtual me resemble the best version of the real me, which is no different from what I’d be doing if I were meeting new people at a cocktail party. I think that’s aspirational, not dishonest, but let’s discuss…
Anyway, I’ve prattled on, as I often do. So, after much ado and unsolicited exposition, here are Ten Things You
May Already Know Don’t Know About Me:
1. I have been mistaken for both an albino and a foreign exchange student; I am/was neither. I suppose being a fair-skinned girl with a fondness for Fisherman’s sweaters makes people in Virginia Beach think that you’re Icelandic.
2. My eyes are probably blue, but I like thinking that they’re green. (A beautiful French boy once serenaded me with Elton John’s “Your Song“…”you see, I’ve forgotten if they’re green or they’re blue…” I nearly died from the romance.)
3. I get a little depressed when I’m not super busy; I consider this a pretty serious personality problem. And by busy, I mean frenetically starting new things and often not finishing them. Seriously, it’s kinda effed up.
4. I have a rare blood type. (And I therefore give blood regularly; if you can, so should you!)
5. I like hiding behind my glasses. As my vision deteriorates with age and eye abuse, I really haven’t given any thought to wearing contacts. To the extent that stereotypes about bespeckled people persist, I aim to fully live up to them by being the biggest nerd I can possibly be.
6. I am a fantastic dancer but a wretched singer. In a Hip Hop dance class I once took, a fellow student, who happened to be about 13 years old, complimented me by telling me that I “really worked it” and that I was “the best of the moms”. At the time, I had no children, but coming from a tween, this was high praise. And seriously, I’ve got some moves. But my singing…even my son, who loves me, says, “Stop Singing!”
7. Becoming a lawyer has made me bitchier than I was before; I have mixed feelings about this.
8. Even though I’ve never been there, I daydream about moving to New Zealand. (See item No. 1 above; I think I might blend in nicely as a Kiwi.)
9. My mom and I look a lot alike, but I’ve been asked by more than one person if I was adopted. Never has a question been more hurtful and validating at the same time.
10. The kid behind the counter at Long John Silver once told me that I had a great aura. Not sure what he meant by that.
So that’s it. Except for the passing it along part…
Tag, you’re it. Memo received.