For the longest time, I resisted Facebook, believing it was merely a modern day-device for hooking up with teenage girls.
I don't need a social-networking Web site to do that. My daughter's now 13. I only have to walk into the living room, join the wii game and start sharing with her friends limericks about the man from Nantuckett.
Not that I do that.
Though it seems a better way to seduce a teenager, if you wanted to engage in that sort of behavior, versus picking another password, registering, and uploading a bunch of crap to set up your personal page on Facebook.
I'd ignored incoming "be my friend" Facebook invites from colleagues, acquiantances., strangers, and actual friends. (The sincere-sounding woman from Nigeria who personally knows the king and wants to give me all that money if I'd only set up a private bank account in our names hasn't contacted me on Facebook, only e-mail).
Another reason for blowing off Facebook invites is after joining networking sites like LinkedIn and Plaxo, I now receive e-mail alerts that Joe Blow's birthday is only seven days away. I don't give a rat's ass if it's Joe Blow's or your birthday. The older you get, the more birthdays suck. They're a stark and unnecessary reminder of stress tests and body cavity probes you keep putting off. These days, I hear the word "birthday" or even see a pair of latex gloves, and my sphincter tightens.
Then one day, from the royal blue heavens, comes a Facebook invite. From my wife. It took me about 12 seconds to join.
I was thrilled to be connected on line to the love of my life. (Read: This is the world's greatest invention for checking up on her during the day. I check because I love.)
During ordinarily miserable times of the day like conference calls and mortgage refinancing applications for that stupid adjustable I took, I found myself clicking on Facebook to check out my wife's burgeoning list of friends.
First, I wanted to remain sure I have more online friends than her. Having more friends than Viviane is more important that you can possibly imagine.
B, I wanted to see who her friends were. My wife is not supposed to have any friends, and if she does, they should be confined to a group of plain, unattractive women with adult acne, dull lifeless hair, and bodies the shape of a gourmet grocery store pear.
I was relieved to see she'd befriended not a single teenage boy. (She watches every single movie on Lifetime featuring a Meg Ryan type falling for a buff twelfth grader who cuts their lawn and should be with her daughter.) No, there were no young boys, but there was that slick tan Frenchman who surrounded himself with young Gucci-clad Eurotrash in a different club every night and insisted on changing his topless bare-chested photo from the latest Mediterranean vacation every three hours. Talk about being in love with the sight of your own nipples.
I'd commented about all this over dinner. I didn't sound EXACTLY like a stalker, but it became pretty clear I had a pretty good idea who my wife's new friends were, along with their religion, political slant, alma mater, relationship status, and number of nipple-bearing photos.
Later, after dessert, when I logged onto the laptop, Viviane had already "removed" me as a Facebook friend. Cold.
My wife claims this is essential to our marriage. She has to stay mysterious, she says. "If you are fully let into my life, all the steaminess will escape from our romance," she explained. "I need to be a mystery to you. Therein lies the spark."
The question is: Can two people share a bed, a life, a destiny, a checking account without being Facebook friends?
I'm having a hard time with this. Now, in the long run, we are all dead. In the more immediate future, sure, I will be all right. At first I was afraid, I was petrified. But I will survive.
If you are familiar with both Viviane and me, and we're "mutual friends" on Facebook, you know what's next. You have to choose. It's time to take a side. No more of this Facebook "mutual frend" bullcrap. I'm counting on all of you current "mutual friends" -- especially those I've brought to the fold -- to immediately remove my wife as a Facebook friend. After all, she's catching up to me on number of online friends, and hers are showing their nipples.