Me and My Minus-One

Everyone has their own philosophy when it comes to Facebook friending. Some are quite conservative with letting people into their virtual worlds, while others may “friend” every single person they met in the bar on any given night.

I believe I fall somewhere in the middle. I won’t friend everyone I meet or accept every friend request I get, but I am more liberal than many of my real life (RL) friends when it comes to “friending behavior.”

For example, if someone friends me and I don’t know them per say but we have a lot of friends in common, I usually accept. If I meet someone and we really seem to connect or they are someone I can see myself developing a RL friendship with, I will friend them.

From time to time, I get teased by my family or friends for having what they consider to be a large-ish number. I tell them it’s because I have lived and worked in several different states, and as a result, have met a lot of people from all over our 50 states with whom I wish to stay connected.

Now, I don’t think of my “number” of friends as a status symbol, personal affirmation of worth or a mark of my popularity in the world. So I don’t care WHAT the number is. But that doesn’t mean I don’t KNOW what it is. Exactly what it is. At any given time. Maybe there are some hidden, narcissistic implications in that, but I really don’t care. I’m not going to waste precious minutes with my therapist talking about “the number.”

Anyway… Over the years—since I know what the number is at any given time—I also know when I have been… (gasp)dumped. Perhaps some of you have also experienced this. I can’t be the only one who kinda keeps track. Right? Please tell me I’m not alone. You look at your friend list from time to time and notice that the number is smaller than before. It isn’t everyday and it is usually only by one or two at a time. But still you can’t help but ask yourself: “I wonder who the one-time-friend-turned-traitorous-@$$hole is who dumped me?”

I have never tried to find out. I am aware that there is an app for this. An app for seeking out the bastard who ditched me, casting me carelessly to the curb alongside the information superhighway and right into the roadside weeds of the world wide web. But I have never wanted to waste the energy trying to find out. I mean, the higher your number, the harder it would be ferret out the little $hit anyway. Not worth the effort. Not that I haven’t wondered who it was.

In recent months, however, I have quite serendipitously learned the identity of 3 of the perpetrators. The first was in just looking for the guy. He was an old (RL) friend of whom I decided I wanted to ask a question. I typed in his name and he was gone. Just gone. I checked my friend list and he was gone. I checked mutual friends’ lists and he was gone from there too. And YES, I did a little digging into the matter. Long story short, he dumped Facebook. And YES I suddenly felt a little bit better about myself and this particular minus-one.

The second one I like to call Teflon Travis (not his real name) because I had a notification that he had commented on something that I had previously commented on and whenever I clicked on it… I got bounced right back to my own homepage. I “bounced” myself a half a dozen times before I figured out that I’d just been dumped. Another check of the friend list confirmed my suspicions.

The third one was, to me, the most shocking of all. I was reading an old “note” I had written (much like a blog entry) because that was where I used to keep my writing before starting this page. And this person, I’ll call her Disappearing Delores, used to LOVE my writing (at least she said she did). She was always one of the first to comment and made such funny contributions. She and I would go back and forth with several “comments” to one another at the end of many of my notes.

So in this note that I was reviewing, I noticed that the old comments were ALL mine and there were NONE from her. Another quick check of the friend list (I was getting good at this) and yes… she was gone too. And my comments looked so sad and silly like I was having a conversation with an imaginary friend. I would start many of them: “Haha. How true! And you know, Delores… Blah. Blah. Blah.” I didn’t cry or anything. But yes, I wondered where she’d gone. She’s still on Facebook… I guess she just didn’t want to be my friend anymore. Bitch.

I wonder what I did to piss her off? I know that’s why I dump people… because they piss me off. And that’s pretty much the only reason. I wonder if the people I have dumped ever wondered why it is that I dumped them? I guess we’ll never know. All we dumpees can do is pick ourselves up out of the weeds, dust ourselves off and move on. Just us and our now-smaller number of “friends.”

I know what you’re thinking… Maybe it’s not such a bad idea for me to spend a few precious minutes with my therapist talking about “the number” after all.