Review Of Facebook Friends I Don’t Know And/Or Recognize

I.

He’s a man, looks about 28. Based on our two mutual friends, I’m certain I’ve never met this guy before, and that I never will. Not via these mutual friends, anyway. I haven’t talked to these mutual friends in what feels like years. I believe this friend to be American with Persian roots. There’s a translation of his name written in Farsi next to the English translation, I think. I’m pretty sure it’s Farsi. He lives in my city, so I guess there’s a small likelihood we could know each other at some point. He seems concerned with politics on an international level, a fine undertaking for a Facebook friend I don’t actually know. Like, I could probably learn a thing or two from hanging around on his page. Can’t say the same of my profile. He likes Law & Order (both original and SVU), which we have in common. He is in a relationship, which we don’t have in common.

II.

The mutual friends I have with this girl are mostly internet personalities I know IRL who have no relation to one another, which leads me to assume she and I are merely internet acquaintances, somehow. She seems mostly positive. Her updates are usually about what she’s reading or writing. Actually, it appears that she’s an English teacher. She makes teaching seem like an exciting vocation. I feel definitively negative in comparison to her and her sunshined outlook — this despite a recent, earnest vow to control my predilection for being hyper-critical of everything. I’m trying to think positively, is what I mean. “What kind of skilled human are you if you can’t even control your own thoughts?” I read that on a self-help blog the other day.

III.

I haven’t the slightest idea who this guy is. He’s in his 40s and looks moneyed. In every photo, he wears a suit and is sandwiched between young, attractive women. Two of our mutual friends are social mediaites (socialites by way of Twitter) that I’ve had both business and personal relationships with; the third is a college friend — a girl of the Dave Matthews Band and Ugg variety — the disparity making my friend’s identity even more perplexing. He has a comically Italian name. His page is flooded with inspirational quotes, uploaded in .jpeg format. I don’t feel inspired. I just clicked the ‘Born’ link on his timeline and it turns out he’s in his 50s. I feel like maybe I accepted his friend request because I thought he would be a good business contact. He’s the CEO of an LLC, the purpose of which is inscrutable. At this junction, I think it’s best that we part ways.

IV.

This guy lives across the country and we have one mutual friend, there’s no chance we’ve ever met. He looks like he’s in his early 20s. Most of the updates on his wall (his own and those left by friends) are text updates, which is an old school way to use Facebook — markedly so. To which I say, kudos! I remember when people used to write actual messages on my wall. Now all I get is a music video here, a cat photo there. What ever happened to communicating with word-things?

A second glance shows me he’s recently skipped town for Europe, and he’s posted some beautiful photos of his new home. Seems like this guy uses Facebook diligently. I’m proud to call him ‘friend.’

V.

I LOL’ed at a status this girl wrote, but I probably shouldn’t reprint it here because I’m trying to keep shit vague. She lives nearby, but I don’t know her. We seem to share political views and a similar level of anger concerning them. I guess that’s not surprising, though, if I saw some random Facebook friend spitting out polarizing views that I ardently disagree with, I’d probably whistle a joyful, dismissive tune as I unfriended her ass.

The friend in question mentioned my favorite Counting Crows song in an older status update; it’s an obscure one and I only like it because it played on this old WB show during a scene where the protagonist loses his virginity to his babysitter in a car. Wonder if she knows anything about that. (The show, not losing her virginity in a car.)

VI.

One morning, four years ago, I was walking to the deli to get a breakfast sandwich and I ran into a bunch of seemingly wasted, hunky Spaniards. They asked if I wanted to come to a party with them. “When?” I asked. “Right now,” they said. It was 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday. “It’s right there,” one pointed. A large loft building at the tip of my block. “I have to eat something first, will one of you text me in an hour?” One of the guys agreed, we exchanged numbers, and an hour later I was sitting in a ~9-bedroom loft with eight dudes or so, pounding beers. They were still awake from the night before.

I took a liking to one guy in particular, and the feeling seemed mutual. I wasn’t high (they were) but the surrealism of that morning had me strung out, heady. By 10 a.m. I was sauced and my paramour was tailing behind me, following me into the bathroom.

We kissed briefly, then I kicked him out — I actually had to go to the bathroom and I don’t know how they do things in Spain, but watching me piss seems like more of a third date type-thing. I finished and reclaimed my place at the table, my make-out buddy eyeing me in a way that was both flattering and excessive. At times, I felt like a handsome steak waiting to be devoured by a Death Row inmate. A hot Death Row inmate with a sexy accent.

An hour passed, then another, and then we had company — girls who’d just woken up from the night before, emerged from their sleeping quarters, joined our little party. One was my inmate’s girlfriend.

This was not explained to me, rather presented through a series of cues — the body language, the eye contact, the pet names. I was overwhelmed, flooded, drunk — had I done something wrong? I had no idea I was making out with a boyfriend — one whose girlfriend was asleep in the next room, no less — but he… what the hell was he thinking? Why would he do something like that?

As it happened, the girlfriend and I bonded right off (her doing) and we spent the rest of the afternoon drinking and dancing and fawning over each other’s iPod collections and jewelry. The next week, when a few of the guys found me on Facebook, I searched for her. I didn’t care about what her boyfriend had done — I had my suspicions that, had she known, she might not care either — I just wanted a conveniently located friend to smoke weed with. I found a girl who had the same name and mutual friends as the girlfriend did and I requested her, she accepted. It was months before I realized the girlfriend wasn’t even on Facebook; and in her absence, I’d friended someone I’d never even met. I’ve been too neurotic to unfriend her — and admit my mistake — ever since.

This one’s not much of a review, but it does illustrate how simple it’s become to call a stranger ‘friend.’ TC Mark

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