Ritchie Cunningham, Ralph Malph, Potsie and Fonzie never had to worry whether their Facebooks made them cool or made them nerds and not just because they are television characters.
But because in the days before social media no one could say they unfriended someone on Facebook for being a jerk, dick, asshole or douchebag.
They never had conversations with their children about whether their Instagram profiles should be public or private, who they should block and who they shouldn’t.
Nor did they have an 11.5-year-old say that being unfriended proves that people hate you.
I didn’t tell the aforementioned 11.5-year-old that I noticed today that I had been unfriended by a half dozen people or that it might be more because it would have been…awkward.
Dad Specializes In Awkward Conversations
Awkward comes to mind because I am usually the guy who is very cut and dry about friendships/relationships with people.
If I notice that I have to carry the load for our friendship there is a good chance that at some point I’ll decide you don’t really care about whether we continue to be friends or not and I’ll just let go.
Don’t take that to mean I am a scorekeeper because I am not. I am not going to be able to tell you how many times you called or emailed me or how many times we have hung out because I don’t keep track.
But eventually I’ll notice if the only time we communicate is when I make the effort to make it happen.
If it comes to the place where I notice that I’ll probably stop communicating and unless you reach out I won’t because sometimes people grow apart and I’ll figure that is what happened.
Does that sound mature andÂ adultishÂ as opposed to immature and childish?
I sure hope so. I sure hope you get what I am saying and where I am going with this, but maybe you don’t and won’t.
Maybe there is a disconnect there…
Anyhoo, today I noticed I hadn’t seen anything from a couple of people who are frequent updaters and went to check their pages to make sure everything was cool and discovered I had been unfriended.
They never said anything to me about being pissed off. We didn’t have any arguments. It was a mystery as to why it happened.
And then I went back to my friend’s list and noticed it was smaller than it once had been by around a half dozen people and I wondered what happened.
At first I assumed it was a mistake, a Facebook glitch, so I sent out some friend requests and then it occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t.
Maybe It Was Intentional
Maybe they decided they were done with me, dumped me for whatever reason they had with intent and not because of some bug.
Got irritated with myself for overthinking it, decided it was taking up too much real estate in my head. People change. People grow apart.
People do shit without any reason just as easily as they do things with reason. If they don’t want to be connected on Facebook that is their prerogative, no reason for me to wonder why they didn’t want to enjoy Jack Steiner’s traveling circus and monkey show.
If my kids asked me about it, if it happened to them that is what I would tell them.
But I might ask them if they had done anything. I might ask them to just think about it for a moment because it is one thing if one person says you are a jackass and another if a dozen do.
It doesn’t hurt to take a moment to think about it.
Been thinking about Glen Frey and the Eagles and the role they played in my life.
Thinking about a girl who once swore she’d never leave me and all of the places we talked about visiting and the things we’d do and some we did.
If I could I’d dial that old rotary phone that hung on the wall and ask Pablo to grab some coffee with me.
“Neruda, Neruda, Neruda, you understand what it is like to be asked to shower in gasoline and to smile when they flip the cover open on their Zippo because you would do whatever it takes to be noble and worthy of such an honor.”
At least I think he would understand and that we would have the sort of conversation that only a select few could have.
“Pablo, I wonder if I was too intense. I wonder if I am at fault here or if there was something else. Maybe our fire burned too bright and we were nothing more than that comet that shoots across evening sky.”
But there is no answer from Pablo because he is dead and the words that he left behind cannot address any and all matters.
Still I look at his words and I wonder if maybe he left a message for me, something he wrote not knowing who would need it, just that someone would.
â€œI can write the saddest poem of all tonight. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.â€
â€• Pablo Neruda
Ah, yeah, this I get and this I can share but Pablo, is that all you have. Some might not understand, some might hear nothing but sadness, is there no joy.
â€œI crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.â€
â€• Pablo Neruda,
Ah Pablo, this I understand, this I get and maybe a few who have known me would too.
They would feel the heat and intensity of my gaze and know without asking what I wanted and what I crave.
It would be more than just carnal, more than just lust but not obsession.
They would give it freely because both parties understood but that sort of thing comes from a place of deep faith and trust.
A place where you both know that the journey to where you are going is only taken by shedding the walls and false pretenses.
Because without that, well it is likely to be misunderstood and misinterpreted. Hell it might even get you unfriended.