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Beautiful Family: The Facebook Phenomenon

Although I've shed the awkward shyness of my past and abandoned my childhood in Chicago, geographically, mentally and physically, I have been discovered in my little, bitty corner of New York, not by a who, but rather a what.


I am a member of this virtual community that seemingly has taken over the world and recruited legions worlwide to be its acolytes, save but for a mere few. This demon-god seems to show no signs of slowing down or crashing like so many before it.

In the beginning, I maintained a low profile, having only a handful of friends and mostly using it to play Scrabulous (my life darkened the day this game was yanked for legal reasons). But now, an additional hundred friends later, I've been discovered by my past. An awful place I like to call high school (too long a story to tell in this post). I've friended people I can remember (yes, I blacked out 4 years of my life) and the rest, I'm waiting for the memory to return.

The funniest thing about this is that most, including my NY people who I've lost touch with all say the same thing. Something along the lines of:

"What's up?! How's life? Looks like life's been treating you well. Your family is beautiful."

I'm appreciate the sentiment, but at the same time it is a thoughtless one. And here's why.

Maybe my family is beautiful, aesthetically speaking, and I appreciate the compliment. But it's my family, so it is beautiful no matter what. When my daughter was first born, my mother kept telling me these horror stories about children born with defects until finally I had to stop her. I told her that even if my child had a birth defect she'd be perfect because she was mine.

My mother's stories stopped.

So back to the Facebookers:
  • "You look great." Thanks, but was I supposed to look like a leper because I haven't been seen in a while? Here's a little known secret: life isn't something that's supposed to make you worse off in the long run, although unfortunately this often happens.
  • "Your wife is beautiful how did you manage that?" By bringing to the table what I expected in return. And even if she wasn't beautiful by the world's standards, she had to be beautiful by my own (whatever those are) in order for me to marry her.
  • "You have a beautiful family." Thanks again, but my family is beautiful no matter what, just as I hope everyone's is to them.

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