Mining the inertia of daily life on Facebook can be both a joyous event and a frustrating one. One minute, 14 people will Like your super-witty status and inflate your ego. The next, someone will post something on Facebook that, in everyone’s narcissistic quest to broadcast on the Internet that they have The Best Life Ever, will make you cry battery acid. A potential example of this is one I faced the other day when, while perusing the ol’ FB with my morning coffee, I discovered that my ex got engaged over the weekend. Seeing as this is one of those occasions that can cause you to see something on Facebook and instantly make you feel behind in life, I realized that when Zuckerberg’s baby forces us to encounter these feelings, we are all left with options of how to react. Said reactions can be the good, the bad, and the cast of the New Jersey Real Housewives. Lo and behold, they’re below.
Option #1: Bemoan About Being Behind in Life
Message your friend and tell them about the news you discovered on FB. Make it clear that your soul is dying and the Internet is to blame. Make your own Facebook status about how if The Game of Life were a popularity contest, you’d currently be the racist love child of Adolf Hitler and that douchebag who stole your grandma’s car. Bemoan about how Bridget Jones looks like a stable, desirable singleton compared to you. Cry about how the only house you’ll ever own is possibly the cardboard box from your Maytag fridge. Sob to everyone you know about how you will die and your reproductive organs will be as barren and useless as one of those sad homeless women you see pushing their pet homeless dog in a shopping cart full of dog sh-t, beer cans, old Persian rugs and broken dreams. Tell these things to everyone you know. Ponder why you’re single.
Option #2: Get Angry
Declare that your ex is a colossal douchebag, and stare endlessly at their FB status, jaw firmly planted on the floor. Shovel jaw off the floor, hinge back into place, and declare, “he would” get engaged to “that harpy.” Announce that he is a conniving, soulless bastard, and that you feel bad for your ex’s new soon-to-be spouse and their future divorce proceedings. Recall the great injustices that your ex put upon you, and curse fate for leaving you sad, (bitter) and alone, while your ex, or as you prefer to refer to him, the “Greatest Mistake Made in 1985 and that Includes New Coke,” gets to sail off into the sunset. Go to kickboxing and tell your trainer to f-ck off as you punch a hole the size of Saskatchewan into a punching bag/break your sparring partner’s sternum.
Option #3: Go Insane
The Go Insane option is different from the Get Angry option, because Go Insane means that not just your ex is to blame, but the entire planet. Berate your ex on the internet for all the aforementioned reasons in Get Angry. Continue on to declare that their new fiancé is a tramp, a filthy whore, or other terms that suggest sexual promiscuity. Ignore the fact that they started dating six months after you broke up and you have not, in fact, even met them aside from your ritual Facebook stalking. Blame your parents for not breeding you into a life of privilege/having the cheekbones of a supermodel. Blame your friends for not hooking you up with their attractive friends. Blame your gay friends for being your soulmates but not being heterosexual and having no straight friends that are “just like them.” Blame the coworker who won’t take your advances/borderline harassment suit seriously. Blame your own genitals for wanting to do sex/make babies already. Blame the housing market for making you feel broke and behind in life. Blame the planet for having too many people on it to weed through. Blame the human race for not inventing an I Want a Husband Store. Tell everyone you know about all of these things, and then repeat doing so on all forms of social media, as you sit in front of your computer eating only the marshmallows out of a box of Lucky Charms and waiting to die.
Option #4: Get Jealous
Pine for your ex. Look at photos of your ex with their new betrothed, and get sad. Recall all of those “happy” times that you had together, and wish that they were still around. Miss their smell, the way they perhaps made you laugh, or how cute they looked while they were sleeping. Romanticize the sex, and think about how it was the best sex you’d ever had. Fail to remember that in reality it wasn’t that great, and was more like watching a greyhound trying to have sex with an eggplant. However, because Greyhound/Eggplant sex is still better than all the No Sex you’re getting as President of the “I’m Never Getting Laid Again Fan Club for Barren Holes,” you get jealous. Curse the existence of your ex’s betrothed. Go through their Facebook photos. Curse that they have changed their privacy settings when they got Timeline and now you can only see their Cover photos. Google their name and look for more photos that way. Find their Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn, and judge accordingly about how you’re a superior human being, and that they are a bridge troll undeserving of your ex’s eternal love. Tell all of this to the bartender standing in front of you at your local bar, as they kindly inform you that you cannot have another shot of Jagermeister, they’re cutting you off, and sending you in a cab home.
Option #5: Declare to the Entire World How You’re Better Off
React to the news with little more than a slightly raised brow. Mention in passing and with particularly casual flair that you found out on Facebook that your ex just got engaged. Say it with a tone in your voice that gives the impression of apathy. Do this to every single person you know on the planet. “Oh yeah, so FB told me today that _____ is engaged to so-and-so. Not that I care.” Completely end up retracting this statement by then spending the next 25 minutes telling everyone you know about how “you’re so over it” and that you’re “genuinely happy for them,” and how you’re “way better off.” Tell everyone about how you’re happy that they’re happy and getting married, because that’s “what they always wanted.” Mention that you’re better off because “half of everyone gets divorced anyway.” Be sure to make use of the term “dodged a bullet” as many times as you possibly can. “Totally dodged a bullet there!” “Man, I’m so happy I dodged a bullet on that one.” “I’m SO good at dodging bullets that I’m Neo and this is The Matrix.” Realize at the end of the day, that by telling this to everyone you know, they have seen through your façade of trying to act casual and over it, and giving off more confusing mixed messages than that old guy at the end of The Matrix Reloaded who kept saying “vis a vis”.
Option #6: Get Over It, Already
Just be happy for them. Even though it’s not you who’s having that “happy moment” that you get to broadcast on social media to the entire goddamn planet, you will have those moments. So don’t ruin theirs. Smile, congratulate them genuinely, and move on with your day. They moved on with theirs, it’s probably a good idea that you do as well.