Dear Mail Carrier,
You’ve been bringing me my mail for like, ten years now, so I can’t say I was shocked when you friended me on Facebook several months ago.
I realize that the request could have been a little awkward- I mean, some people like to reserve Facebook for actual friends— Clearly, I’m not one of those people. I’m more than happy to accept friend requests from former kindergarten classmates, neighbors, the cafeteria lady at my kids’ school, my gynecologist, and really anyone who even just wants to be friends- I mean, unless the friend request comes with a message like this one:
Anyway. Deepanshu, sadly, did not make the cut, but you did, Mail Carrier, and I had to admire the way you immediately got all up in my life and started giving my posts and photos a big thumbs up. In return, I ‘liked’ the photos of your fishing trip, and even managed to wish you a happy birthday a day in advance. We were nicer to each in person after The Friending, too- Our smiles were more genuine when we met outside my house, our hellos more jovial. I was glad that you could finally see past your image of me as the kind of woman who gets Soft Surroundings and J.Jill catalogs (which I DID NOT ORDER, by the way)– and instead see me for the fun loving, adventurous, adorably quirky Facebooker I try to make myself out to be.
And then, something happened.
I don’t really know what happened. I don’t even know when whatever happened happened. All I know is that last week, for some reason I thought of you, and it occurred to me that you hadn’t liked my posts in a while. With a vague sense of concern, I looked you up on Facebook, and there you were…
…with an ‘Add Friend’ button underneath your picture.
“My mail carrier unfriended me?” I whispered, staring at your blurry Facebook profile picture in shock.
“My mail carrier unfriended me?” I said again.
“My mail carrier unfriended me?!” I asked a third time.
It was a dark day at the Ferrier house, a day I’ll remember forever as the time I lost a friend… who was never actually a friend.
Since that time, I have to tell you, Mail Carrier, you’ve put me in a bit of a Facebook funk. I mean, I have so many questions about this unfriending. Did I somehow offend you with that joke about the two old ladies and the parrot walking into a bar? Were my periodic humble brags about my kids (trust me, sometimes I want to slap myself) unbearably irritating? Was it the constant linking to inspirational videos and sayings that put you off me completely?
Couldn’t you just have kept me around as a hate read, Mail Carrier?
Yesterday, you pulled up to my mailbox as I was taking down the Halloween decorations outside. I paused, not sure of what to do next, half-expecting a scowl come across your face the moment you spotted me. After all… We were now officially Unfriends. It was bound to be ugly.
To my surprise, you smiled and waved. “Hi Mrs. Ferrier,” you said.
After debating for a moment over whether to rush at you shouting, “Why did you unfriend me, Mail Carrier? WHY??! WHY?!! WHYYYYYY!???!!?” I finally raised a hand in greeting and bared my teeth in a grin-like fashion. “Hello,” I croaked. As you shut my mailbox and drove on to the next house, I stood rooted to the spot.
Hi Mrs. Ferrier? What was that supposed to mean? Were you merely observing the proper etiquette of one who has unfriended a Facebook friend that was never really a friend in the first place? Are we truly supposed to just continue on as though we barely know each other, simply because we barely know each other?
It’s really too bad I’m spending so much energy trying to solve this impossibly complex social conundrum, because I swear, I was right on the verge of figuring out how to end world hunger… and then THIS happened.
Have a nice Thanksgiving.
Your former Facebook friend,
P.S. Please stop putting my packages in front of the garage door. Yesterday, I ran over our new DVD player.
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