Though these folks provide fantastic entertainment value, some of them need to go easy on the updates. Thanks to my internet addiction, I get the pleasure of reading about everyone’s feuds, breakups, diseases, pets’ afflictions, great aunts’ surgeries, minor accomplishments and accolades, meals, and of course oft-feigned marital bliss. No need for a TV—craptastic train wrecks are brought right to the glowing screen on my lap.
But then there are always those people who provide too much of a good thing and ruin the fun.
Example—there’s a woman I internet-know from an online forum from years ago. We’ll call her Trish. She is in her late twenties, has two kids (each of whom has a different father) and as far as I’ve been able to gather, lives with her parents and does not have a job. And what do 20-somethings with no job and two young children do? They spend all day on Facebook, apparently.
I’ve been following this person’s life for two years, and would have long since deleted her for status updates such as “made scrambled eggs and toast for the kids. Now i'm enjoying a cup of coffeeyummy lol” were it not for the fascinating study of human behavior that is her life.
One of the more notable catastrophes of the past year was when she very publicly broke up with this guy, whom she had of course been professing to love in every single status message. After the post-breakup announcements about her loneliness and oblique references to self-mutilation had been up a while, they were curiously now accompanied by barely-rhyming poetry about backstabbing friends and subsequent comment wars. What had happened, evidently, was that Trish’s “bestie” had slept with the skeezball. Trish also revealed in a note (for the FB uninitiated, a “note” is like a blog post) written in the interest of explaining her early rants that the bestie—we’ll call her Sarah—had also slept with Trish’s ex-husband when they were married—at least twice. Oh, and the husband paid Sarah for it once. (What an idiot—if you get punani for free once, you’ll probably get it free again, dude.) Anyway, if I’m getting my timelines correct, this all happened before the hubby went to jail—for what, I’m not sure. Trish and hubs were on and off again, during which time she had a second baby with someone who’s never mentioned except when Trish bitches about the lack of child support for the younger son.
And what darling boys they are, as Trish makes sure to kindly remind us in two-hour intervals. For, when she’s not with a man and ending each of her status messages with how much she adores the next love of her life, she’s ending each post with some sort of reference to her boys. We get to hear about when they’re being fussy, when they’re running around the house, when they get sick, when one’s getting dropped off at Daddy’s house, when one poops, when the other poops, when they both poop, and the sundry things Trish contemplates doing when both boys are away to remedy how “bored” she is—typically “watch TV lol” or “read Twilight lol.”
The latest melodrama occurred after Trish met a young man nearly ten years her junior—19, the age I usually like ‘em—to whom, after a very short time, she became engaged. Call me cynical, but I scratched my head at that one. Why, I asked myself, would a young, childless, barely-out-of-high-school man suddenly want to move in with a poor, overweight, nearly 30-year-old mom and raise her two children in his future in-laws’ house? I still don’t have the answer to that, but the following sequence of status messages should explain how successful that union was.
January 7 at 8:46pm both boys are in bed. missin my love, sucks being so far away from him. ILY M.
January 7 at 10:39pm I may not be the most beautiful or sexiest, nor do I have the perfect body. I may not be someone's 1st choice, but I'm a great choice. I don't pretend to be someone I'm not because I'm good at being me. I'm not proud of some of the things I've done in the past, but I'm proud of who I am today. Take me as I am, or watch me walk away.
January 8 at 3:47pm Wow everything is falling apart. i fucking give up. guess i'm not meant to be happy! *M's wifey♥*
January 8 at 6:28pm Take this knife to my throat, cut me deep and watch me choke. kiss my cheek and walk away. and i'll use my last breath to say, i still love you anyways.
♥ Trish is no longer listed as "engaged."
January 8 at 9:41pm feels like my heart is shattering into a million pieces.
January 9 at 3:53pm so sick of all the hurt and pain
January 9 at 6:02pm So sick of being used and hurt. so done with everything. just going to live for my boys.*Broken*
January 10 at 12:24 pm so hate fucking men!!! They all lie and break your heart! Just going to focus on me and the boys for now. Going to enroll K in headstart. and I'm going back to school. Just gonna do me!
January 10 at 11:41pm Don't worry she say's all those scars on her arms are just lil reminders of all the times you broke her heart
January 12 at 6:53pm My Heart aches from trying my eyes hurt from crying my wrist burns from cutting and in the end i still have nothing. *No lies just love*
January 13 at 6:44pm sick of crying, tired of trying. Yeah I'm smiling, but inside I'm dieing!
I won’t bother posting the ensuing comments, but they usually go something like this:
Friend: OMG hunnie, are you ok?
Trish: No, my heart is broken and I hate men.
Friend: OMG I’m soooooo sorry. What happened?
[…no response from Trish…]
Apart from the adolescent cries for attention and appalling English-language butchery, Trish’s greatest offense is, in my opinion, her blatant refusal to accept responsibility for anything that goes on in her life. Men seem to continue to come along and screw her over, thereby putting her constantly in the position of either boasting about her good fortune or remaining snuggled in the warm blanket of victimhood. If you ask her, she was just minding her own business and living her life when a man came along, swept her off her feet, and then left abruptly and without adequate explanation because, you know, ALL men are pigs.
I know I’m being awfully hard on someone I’ve never met, but you could argue that, after getting as much information as I have, I have a pretty good idea of how I would feel in real life. I also admit that I’ve participated in comment wars and posted stuff on the internet I probably shouldn’t have—overshares, offensive stuff, etc. But you won’t see me announcing every misery and joy in my life in the hope of having them constantly validated by other people. I do have a blog and Facebook profile of my own, but it is my belief that my private life belongs nowhere on either.
And, unless you would like to read about my bowel movements and breakups, I imagine you readers feel the same.