ok, this is an off-the-cuff post.
normally i would be at yoga right now namaste-ing this current angst away, but i’m not because as i was about to leave, my stomach suddenly got sour and i had to use the bathroom. the rest is personal.
one pepogest capsule later (i love that stuff) i’m feeling a bit better, but not enough to do six sun salutes nonstop. i’d likely be doing another kind salute if i went. some bug is going around school, so it’s just as well.
i’m pontificating today about perspectives. and how we all have them. and how mine is different than yours and yours is different from his and his different from hers and hers is different than yours… i hope you know where this is going.
if not, here goes: you are in your head and there’s usually room for just one of you. it is nigh impossible for you to be in my head. i can barely be in my own head sometimes. it would be inane, on a phantasmagorical level to suggest that even my appreciation of breeze, a flower, a sound or a song is the same as yours.
so what do we do? we remember: i am me, and you are you and despite coo-coo-ca-joo and all that we aren’t always all together. in more ways than one (one being that i’m not always all together: i have bad days and good days and bad minutes and good minutes), we are not all together because we are our own bunches of DNA and chemicals and hormones and memories with legs and eyes and all the rest. plus, The Beatles were stoned when they wrote that, so i don’t give it much credence.
so in this mass me-dia age of e-Bathos, e-Sympathy and e-Angst we have a wonderful engine: facebook, to add yet another layer of confusion and misunderstandings and the occasional lack of perspective.
o facebook! that facebook of our times! it has become something like a locker room, a school bathroom, a bar bathroom, a utility closet, a waiting room, a front hall, a back hall, a just around the corner and i’ll be there in a sec place … even if you’re with another person on that facebook place, you’re not in the same place. ya dig?
where is this going? well, nowhere i suppose if you don’t understand what i’m saying. bear with me.
regarding facebook, users have an unstated cosmically wrong so-called mutual (800 million mutual) understanding that posits thus: “we all know what you mean.” when in reality i suggest this: “no, we don’t all know what you mean. in fact, some of us have no clue what you mean.” a posting from me could mean something vastly different to someone else.
say i post “i love ice cream!” on my wall. that’s pretty innocuous, right? ha. one of my fb friends sees this and it makes her sad. she used to love ice cream, but she wrote a poem about her love of ice cream in high school that her teacher said was rubbish and horrid and that ice cream is what killed her teacher’s lover when he slipped on a melting ice cream cone on the sidewalk of a busy street under a construction scaffolding canopy that couldn’t stop a steinway grand piano from smashing on him when a mover had a heart attack and lost his grip on the rope and pulley that was holding it up. he had a heart attack because he hadn’t taken his medication for the past few days because he was so overwhelmed that his daughter didn’t get into Julliard and she was writing more sad, poetic stuff that her teacher didn’t like.
woo-woo… how’d i do that? well, it all did itself. that was fun, wasn’t it? i had a F Scott moment there. thanks, FSF! must be the pepogest.
c’mon… back to Right Now… that’s right, here we go: so the friend who wrote the supposed bad poetry instantly sees the “i love ice cream” post and says something offensive to the innocent ice cream lover. and everything goes pear-shaped. feelings are hurt, people are considered insensitive, other people get involved and the ice cream eater gets depressed and eats a whole gallon (eight pints) of chunky monkey, which requires some pepogest.
i’m writing about this because in my own experiences with facebook, i’ve had the following situation: it was my birthday. a mutual friend posted on my wall, “happy birthday, hope you’re having a great day! i miss you, i’m so busy with school, we need to go out!” or something equally benign and sincere.
a mutual friend posted as a comment to that friend’s stand-alone, unsolicited happy birthday greeting, “oh xfriend name would go here but it won’t ’cause this is realx you’ll be done in no time! you’re almost there. i’m so proud of you … i’ve still got another 2 years to go! hang in there, blah blah blah.” (blah blah blah mine)
this mutual excited-for-our-friend’s-almost-being-done-with-school fb friend, whom i actually know in “real life” (remember that?) and whom i suspect strongly meant no disrespect to me whatsoever, did NOT say “hey molly, i’m gonna make a follow-up comment to a mutual friend who posted a birthday greeting on your wall but i won’t say happy birthday to you or even acknowledge that it’s your wall, i’ll just be like a random insect and splat myself on your 45 mph windshield,” because she didn’t need to. i know this person and she is . . . wait for it . . . unique. she is herself. and that’s allowed. she is a good person with a heart of blood, connective tissues, muscle and arteries (i’m not gonna say “gold” because it’s not gold – now don’t go thinking i mean something bad because it’s not gold — no one has a heart of gold, get over y’selves). she is also terrifically distracted, completely overwhelmed and i needn’t say more, but i will, she’s wholly in her own head.
so what did i do? i acknowledged her in-her-own-headness and because i possess an active id and had my birthday ego on, i took the high road: i blocked her ability to post or comment or anything on my wall for about 3 months. nyah. i didn’t want to deal with the randomness. that’s my choice. i know that my saying something about how my feelings were hurt woulda absolutely gone in one ear and out the other. this is not to suggest that she would ignore me, it’s to suggest that she’d simply not be there with me; she doesn’t have the bandwidth. that’s cool; that’s what the privacy settings are all about.
another blessedly wonderful friend and i have a phrase about behaviors like that — facebook behaviors that comment on a remark with content that has nothing whatsoever to do with the original point as “i like candy.” she knows who she is and she makes me laugh, and sing, and cry and hyperventilate at the randomness of life. i hope she’s reading. we’ve been known to write “i like candy” on our own walls per comments that have nothing to do with the original thread. are we perfect? heck no. but are we paying attention? yep. i believe our use of “i like candy” is our common acknowledgement that other people are just doing their thang.
i think, or i like to think that we all know this about life — that not everyone’s on the same page and yet it can irk us when it happens. why? because those people aren’t in our heads and for me, i have the gall, honesty and complete arrogance to say that it bugs me. it’s about being seen and heard: a deeply primitive core need we all have. God save the person who doesn’t hear or see another person (code: me). it’s that lack of perspective: the act of reading the same book, but being on a different page that we all experience.
rather than being angry that someone doesn’t get our joke, or see our pain, or live in our shoes we could do a whole lot better by celebrating our uniqueness and allowing that person the wonderful gift of not having our cares in their world. does it make that person a bad friend? an evil force? unsympathetic? uncaring?
heck no. it makes us and that person human. what’s more? four gold stars and smiley face stickers for us for giving everyone, ourselves included, the few steps back to be OK with the perspective that we lack perspective. that’s better than nothing.