Something has been getting to me recently. The whole ‘it’s my anniversary so I’m changing my profile and/or cover picture’ to a generic wedding photo. Gah.
Look, I am the first person to go through your photos when I become your Facebook friend. I’m a total and self-admitted social media voyeur and I have no plans to stop formulating theories and opinions on your life based on nothing but Instagram pics of the food you eat and your most recent status updates.
But this whole ’12 years ago I met my best friend and I never let her go’ stuff seriously makes me want to send you job placement ads for greeting card companies, and then Unfriend you.
I get it, by the way. This is all my issue.
I am completely jaded and angst ridden due to my recent separation, and in all fairness when I see one of the aforementioned ‘Anniversary Statuses’ my initial response is still a belaboured ‘Awwwwww.’ But then it quickly turns to ‘Uggggggh’ and then I’m just thinking ‘HULK SMAAAAAAASH’.
Is it jealousy? Perhaps.
Exposure to Gamma radiation? Likely.
Ok, ok, ok. Fine. You got me.
I am actually a succor for your love stories. It keeps me going. It really does. Anniversaries are awesome. They’re amazing. And I totally get the whole Facebook broadcast agenda that is our lives right now and why people feel compelled to adapt their timelines to every little thing that goes on in their lives.
Full disclosure? I am totally one of those people.
But I needed to vent. And I'm sure I'm not alone.
In this new era of realtime communication isn't it just something we should all keep in mind? I mean I'm pretty sure you hate my 9000th Star Wars meme, and I am just admitting that I'm going through a teen angst phase with your anniversary pics.
Let’s just be honest and put that out there. Am I right?
Can we still be friends?
For your Facebook/Tweet-iquette Easy Reference, I have formulated what I consider a list of other inappropriate status update anniversary celebrations that I think you might want to look at.
If you can think of any others, put them in the comments.
We’re totally going to go viral with this.. I can feel it.
As always, even when you are cranky and jaded -
Last post I looked at why married couples avoid their separated friends. I fully intended to write something snappy and editorial to explore the other side of the story - why we choose to stay away from our married friends. Then I realized that aside from some of the more generic 'our lives are just different now' social explanations, there was something brewing deep in my own life that was making me dodge friends. Here's my story.
I’m an a-hole.
There. I said it.
I said I’d go to my good friend’s baby shower and I didn’t. Instead I just sat here, frozen, palms sweating. My face is flushed. My heart is still slamming against my chest and my tongue feels like some weird sponge that just keeps absorbing all the moisture in my body.
This is one of my good friends we’re talking about.
This is someone I love.
My actions are officially inexcusable.
It’s like for some reason the love that I feel for this amazing woman in my life isn’t motivating me to get off my ass and move towards the door or get in the car.
And what I’m about to say next may make me sound like the most ridiculous person in the world, but it’s the truth.
I feel like if I see her I’m going to jinx her. Give her some kind of weird bad luck. Rub some bizarre ‘everything just hit the fan’ separation/miscarriage juju into her aura.
When things are going well for people, especially in their pregnancies — and their marriages— I tend to stay away.
I bought her shower gifts weeks ago. I put so much thought into them. I wanted to make her laugh. I wanted her to have something silly and memorable. I wanted her to giggle and get excited for a few minutes without harnessing that most amazing and terrifying pre-natal anticipatory stress of ‘do I have everything I need before this kid pops out of me?!'
Even in the store I was shaking. Oversharing. I always ramble and overshare when I’m nervous.
“Yeah I’m going to see my friend and she’s so amazing and her dad actually married my ex-husband and I, and I designed the print stuff for her wedding but I haven’t really seen her since and I am so happy that she and her hubs are pregnant..” Stop talking Kat. Stop it. The sound of my voice is grating and high pitched, like a teakettle whistling forgotten on a stove burner.
“She looks so beautiful and I’m so happy for her. So happy. I really can’t wait..”
I’m swallowing hard in the store. I pay for my strange ‘in-joke’ type gifts and surprise myself with the force of my weight against the glass door on my way out.
My lungs are burning. I want to cry.
What the hell is wrong with me?
Why can’t I move beyond my own experiences?
“Seriously? Everything is not just about you, Kat.” I practically spit the judgment to thin air. Then I realize I’m talking to myself. Great. I’m doing just freaking great.
It used to be that I had no idea how I was supposed to fully recover from my past reproductive traumas to get to a point where I want to try and have kids again.
Now I realize that I actually still need to get over something as teeny as going to baby showers.
I can’t help but laugh at the weighted irony of my self-pep-talk. Then I realize no matter what I say now it’s going to sound trite and back-handed.
I stop for a minute and try to justify my inertia to make myself feel better.
Well this is a different scenario all together. You guys haven’t talked about the split from your hubs. You haven’t really talked about the miscarriages. And now you totally shouldn’t! Because hello, that’s like the most inappropriate and terrible thing to chat about at a baby shower, Kat.
Your life is inappropriate, Kat.
I stop for a minute; look at the clock.
The baby shower is over. I’ve sat here freaking out the entire time.
The world takes on an odd, foil-wrapped sound, and I feel strange and dizzy.
I remember the delicate silver cross that my beautiful friend placed around my neck before my wedding ceremony. It was something she wore at her First Communion. I remember telling her and her husband how I would so love them to be Godparents to any of Baby Girl's syblings.
I start to cry with renewed fervor.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry..” Crap. Talking to myself again, mascara running down my cheeks in thick molasses streaks.
Part of me feels like if I don’t breathe for a few seconds it will all be ok somehow.
Part of me knows I’ve put a friendship on the line.
And still part of me takes the time to feel that particular kind of unbridled and uncontained joy that my friend is going to be an amazing mother soon.
That no matter what, I would do anything for her and her soon-to-be family.
I love you, Porkchop. That’s all I can say.
No matter what.