Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Facebook, Pictures and Vanity

The Fan tweets. Now there is something the Fan never would have predicted five years ago. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, the Fan tweeted (stupid, isn't it?) that Facebook has become a new part of his life. But what on earth is the proper use of Facebook? The Fan just doesn't get it.

The Fan was an early pioneer of AOL and also IRC (a chatting system). In fact, the Fan was on AOL so early that the screen name didn't need any numbers on it and chatting meant 24 baud and dial up connections. At the time, those places made sense. You met people, you bonded with some, had "bashes" where you met some of them face to face. It was an interaction of sorts with people that ordinarily you would never meet. That made sense (at least in that point in the Fan's life). The Fan hasn't "chatted" in ages.

The Fan was also a bulletin board kind of guy. Remember those? Those made sense in a pioneering sort of way. Facebook seems to be an amalgam of all those things except the chatting isn't in real time nor as personal and there are lots of confusing things like surveys up the yin yang and a bunch of requests from old acquaintances for friendship. Well, okay, that's nice and all. But a lot of times, the Fan ends up approving friend requests with people he would just as soon forget, but has to approve them anyway to prevent being rude. A lot of people use it for business and contacts. Well, the Fan is in business, but doesn't see the point. Perhaps the Fan is just being obtuse.

The Fan's wife loves Facebook. Then again, she loved AOL and still goes there when she wants to browse the web. The Fan thinks that's silly but keeps his mouth shut. Perhaps she has a fondness for AOL because that's where she met and fell in love with her Fan. Anyway, she is on Facebook and she was disparaging the Fan's picture there. "It's a stupid picture," she says, "and it doesn't do you justice."

So, since the Fan loves his wife, he patiently sat for her as she took a new picture. The Fan dutifully posted the new picture and the wife smiled a lot at that. A few minutes after the picture was posted, the Fan got a "message on his wall." Whatever that wall is. It was from a girl the Fan went to high school with way too many years ago (the power of Facebook). Her words were something to the effect that she wondered how the Fan hadn't changed much and looked much the same as high school. Mind you, the Fan thinks she's nuts because that was 35 years ago. But the Fan has to admit he has aged fairly well. Must be the Sicilian heritage that makes up half of who the Fan is.

Now, the lady who posted the nice comment looks pretty darned good herself after all those years. The Fan was surprised she even remembered this old guy because the Fan was pretty much a recluse in high school and was seemingly invisible. The Fan moved away from there right after high school and has only been back twice since.

The Fan has a confession to make. The lady's comments flushed this old geezer like a peeper frog. The blood quickened and the heart fluttered and for a brief second, the Fan felt like a little bit of a stud. It passed quickly when the Fan went to the bathroom and remembered what he looked like. But aren't we funny? Isn't it silly how easily we are inflamed with such vane thoughts? Like Rudolph, we fly through the air shouting, "She said I'm cute. I'm cuuuute!" Silly people. It doesn't take much to get us going.

Once the Fan came back down to earth, he realized that his cherishes his wife and as long as she thinks this old guy is the be all and end all, then that's more than enough for life to be really, really good.

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