And here’s another problem with Facebook – it makes me feel bad about my life. It takes no more than a 15-minute perusal of status updates to convince me that I’m raising my children badly, not eating enough vegetables, don’t have enough friends, haven’t read enough books, and have totally screwed up my writing career. As proof, here are some quotes from Actual Updates: I love today! What an AWESOME weekend! Best friends for life! Guess whose book won the BLAH BLAH BLAH award? Away for a romantic weekend and I miss my kids so much!
Really, people? Are you just trying to torture half-assed achievers like me? Or do you really have such admirable appreciation for your life? Because my updates are more like: Guess whose dog just pooped out another roll of toilet paper! Vodka gives me much less of a hangover. How can I get Sharpie off of leather? Nicki Minaj just taught my son how to say FUCK. Gawd, I’m tired of wiping butts.
I know my proverbial glass is half-full, I know that. But sometimes it seems half-full of Metamucil – the coarse unflavored kind – and it’s just a bit hard to swallow. Doing life right is Hard Work, and it’s time-consuming. I find myself taking the easy way out far too often, and I could live with that if not for Facebook friends showering me with their daily accomplishments. I could just look away, I suppose. But I love you guys. I just can’t quit you.
You would think reading status updates about other people’s happiness would inspire me. Sometimes it does! But not really. Instead I just sort of snarfle out of jealousy and continue to take the easiest daily path.
As an example of the differences between me and Certain Other People, I invented this quiz.
Choose the more likely scenario:
1. Creating a colorful chopped salad redolent with dried cranberries, fresh greens, boiled egg and gorgonzola cheese
2. Eating leftover cold chicken, and grinding some sea salt in your mouth to make it taste better
1. Herding the kids outside to breathe fresh air, and – after swatting mosquitos, a heated discussion about who hit whom with the whiffle ball bat, and cornering the dog, who is in a frenzied search for cat shit – forcing them to ride their scooters around the cul-de-sac until someone needs ice or a Band-Aid
2. Letting the kids play on the computer while I watch Ellen and fold clothes
1. Taking a long peaceful soak in scented bath water, and reading a good book before falling asleep early
2. Watching Law & Order reruns until 11 pm and going to bed with two workouts worth of sweat and stink
1. Spending hours scouring the web for family-friendly 20-minute recipes that disguise quinoa so that it doesn’t look like white rat poop.
2. Rotisserie chicken
1. Disallowing in-vehicle eating, calmly pulling the van to the side of the road when the children are fighting, taking away the plastic sword that’s about to put somebody’s eye out.
2. Yelling loudly and breaking the sword in half.
1. Writing, fine-tuning a manuscript, conjuring up a book proposal.
2. Facebook. GAH!
Count the number of 1s that you circled.
0-1 – Fist bump, sister/brother. You share my inadequacies.
2-3 – Call me. I think you could teach me a couple of things.
4-5 – You should know that it’s okay to occasionally eat food off the floor.
6 – Unfriend me immediately. Because of you, I’ve had to up my Cymbalta dosage.