When my mom “friended” me on Facebook, I thought, “Really?”
I thought she might cramp my style a little and I’d have to tone it down a bit, but she pretty much just lurked in the shadows and didn’t do anything to embarrass me or anything. Then my dad suddenly started popping up on my mom’s account, commenting on posts with the tag, “Dad” or “Papa.” That went on for a bit, and became sort of a running joke between my sister and me.
We implored him to get his own account instead of piggybacking on Mom’s all the time. We just really didn’t think that through. A perfect storm happened when my brother-in-law took matters into his own hands and set up Brian Windholz with an account of his own, listing his interests as “Naps, Swearing, and Bacon.” At the same time, it was February in Kansas so golf was off the table, and my mom went out of town for a week and left him on his own with the dog.
Soon he was popping up on Facebook Chat to tell me what he had for dinner, what the dog was doing, that he had a chat going with my mom or my aunt at the same time. Then suddenly he was friends with my friends, including my neighbor, my priest, a co-worker from college. And he’d ask questions like, “How do you know Dana Hale?” And I’d be all, “No, the question is, how do YOU know Dana Hale and why are you bothering her?”
He started taking offense to people popping off Chat as soon as he showed up, thinking they were avoiding him. He didn’t get that most of the time I’m in and out of Facebook on my phone, or have it up in the background when I’m doing something else. I’m too much of a multi-tasker to just sit and watch what goes by on Facebook all the time. Typically I’m editing photos, writing, sometimes watching TV, sometimes reading, sometimes not even in the same room. In most cases if I happened to log off when he came on, it was pure coincidence.
Finally I think my mom told him to step off, and some normalcy returned. But stuff Dad throws out there is always a source of amusement. One of my favorite chats was the following that took place on Thanksgiving night, 9:37 pm.Brian: teri , sgurke—-==00099 ti tii tii too an nabmany
Brian: lock up
Brian: shirley teri & rian just went to old navy to shop
Jennifer: now? lol Justin’s beating on his bed with a drumstick, so that’s fun. Brian: yep this fucking lap to p doesn;’t work half the time
Jennifer: lmao, mom’s?
Jennifer: I need to get crazy Alex to bed. I’ll catch you guys in the morning.
Brian: have to clsoe ckise l[[ close chat ^ reebter reeber ti reenter ti ti to naje maje na l make it work
Jennifer: Ok, good talking Martian with you tonight.
There is just so much in that short exchange that is mind-boggling. From the first gibberish sentence out of the gate, and then the second post, which said only, “Lock up,” and was not followed up immediately with a response. Lock up? What did that mean? Had the zombie apocalypse started and he’d jumped onto the laptop to try to warn me? Did the aliens who were abducting him freeze his fingers in place, thus preventing him from typing a coherent sentence?
The next thing that struck me as downright hilarious, especially if you know my dad, is that the word that came through most loudly and clearly was “fucking.” Right there it was, amidst the rest of the Martian text. As my brother-in-law put it, “That really is sweet.”
Ah, Facebook, ye art a fun ride.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011