Wednesday, April 6, 2016

On Deleting my Facebook App, Crying, and Spring Snow Storms

A title that rivals the wispy brilliance of Joyce Carol Oates, to be sure.

I often wonder about truly prolific writers.  Because, the older I've gotten, the more I feel perpetually stumped for material.  I used to be able to coax moderately charming narratives from the mundane but, these days, my calls to the gap customer service line to fight my noble crusade of getting them to honor my expired coupon codes just seems downright prosaic.

Yet here I sit, sipping my Tempranillo out of a white wine glass because #yassqueen (also #the red wine glasses are all dirty and I am currently playing chicken with my sink #we're both winning), doing my best to conjure some content from the pallid humdrumness of the everyday.

Last week, I was sifting through my blog archive, which I almost never do on Friday nights when I am bored and all my favorite bloggers have already "taken the weekend off", and I came across a draft I had written a couple of months ago.  It was a fine draft.  A good beginning.  They always are.  But like so many of my drafts that mirror the lifespan of a Trader Joe's daffodil bouquet: it bloomed brightly and briefly, then shriveled and I was like "whatever, it wasn't that much anyways" and threw it into the waste basket.

I had written this particular entry during one of the few bouts of bad weather that we experienced in this milder than mild winter.  I had made some remark about having thus far suffered under the delusion that we would be able to glide into the spring with ease. I read this as the sun shined and the magnolia trees blossomed outside my window and thought I doubt I will be able to use this, blithely clicked delete and it snowed the very next day.  And the day after.

So let that be a lesson to all you writers out there: hoard your material.  You never know what you might be able to use.  Even if it seems like the writing equivalent to an empty chobani container, it might actually be something of value--it might actually contain the exact, dazzling turn of phrase you want to use in a situation you couldn't foresee.

But onto the more pressing matters of the day: why did I delete my Facebook app from iPhone?

A question for the ages.

And the answer is as delightfully nuanced as a Tamara de Lempicka painting.

See, you take one Women's Art History course in college and it gifts you with a catalog of pretentious references for the rest of the your life. But I do love her.  Only partially because she's Polish.

Anyways, the deletion of my Facebook app isn't nearly as dramatic as it seems because I still have a Facebook account.  It's not as if I've entirely liberated myself from the clutch of the claws of the social media beast.

Nope. I needed some room on my iPhone because I never delete pictures and I don't know how to use iCloud.

Well that AND I was starting to feel daunted by the immediacy of my access to it.  It's so millennial of me to see it as such a gross expenditure of excess energy to open my laptop and click the Facebook icon than to literally do the same thing on my phone.

But I assure you,  it is.

When I was teaching, in an effort to protect my sanity, I created a number of relatively arbitrary boundaries for myself:  I couldn't check my email after 8PM.  Why 8PM?  No reason.  But the important thing was that a line was drawn and I adhered to it.

Facebook is such a wondrous and terrible thing.  It brings out some truly lovely parts of my personality and some really, really hideous parts as well.  I don't act upon the grotesque because I am not entirely devoid of impulse control. Well, when I am sober at least.  But the fact that it can engender such insidious thoughts as: why did so and so's picture of their breakfast burrito get more likes than mine? I thought my breakfast burrito looked 100x more delicious.  Ugh, I HATE everyone.

Um, I am sorry but no.  Just no.  I'm thirty-one years old, I barely get ID'd anymore.  To say I am too old for this shit, would be an insult to the rest of the shit that I am generally too old for.

These days, it's hard enough for me to feel connected to others, the last thing I need is the virulent  strain of Facebook competitiveness to further the chasmic divide.

This brings me (sort of, but maybe not really) to the last prong of my trisected title: crying.  My relationship to crying has entirely changed over the last few years.  I went from crying whenever I remembered that swan's could be gay to only ever crying about my brother.

I had no more tears left for Tilikum or Jess in google chrome commercial.  (Both of which were guaranteed weeping fodder in my younger songs of innocence days.)  I couldn't even manage a good cry about work-related stresses like I used to.  Every day.  In the Otis and/or LMU bathroom stalls.  And it may seem strange to miss something like that but I saw it as so intertwined with the admirable parts of my personality--compassion, a desire to do well and help others--that to lose it so abruptly made me feel like a sociopath.

But, I am happy to report, that two weeks ago, I almost cried out of frustration after having spoken to my student loan providers.  And that, dear readers, feels like progress.


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