I’ve noticed that my friend count on Facebook dwindles from time to time. At first I was alarmed that I’d announced something really unsavory and had lost friends as a result. I’m certainly prone to an impolitic soundbite about the Tea Party or the depressing state of modern celebrity, but compared to the people who stream traffic reports and publish photos of every menu they encounter, my own infrequent musings seem benign.
Then I saw this filter through my stream: We’re really excited about our new house and will send out invitations to a housewarming party soon!
My friends, two people who had previously possessed their own Facebook profiles, had merged accounts. Where I once had two friends, I now had a two-for-one deal.
In the epoch of technology, it’s not enough to adopt a new name, merge checking accounts and assimilate Red Sox decor within a Shabby Chic palette. Now couples are supposed to have a common status update. I was too nervous during the delivery of our wedding vows that I must have missed the part in which the pastor decreed, “To have and to hold ‘til opposing social media platforms do you part.”
The elemental mechanics of a joint account flummox me. How do two people emote in one digital voice? It relates to my issue with the modern proclivity to report pregnancy as a shared experience. We are pregnant!
I won’t lie. I said it. But I didn’t inhale.
It never felt like my husband was pregnant. It wasn’t even like a pregnancy 401K in which for every day I felt sciatica reverberate through my spinal column he would match 30 percent of my nerve pain.
But even the woes of pregnancy pale in comparison to the establishment of a profile which summarizes the life Greg and I share. Our conflict would begin with designating our respective alma maters.
It only allows for one college selection.
Then list mine. It ranked higher.
No, let’s compromise. I went to school in Missouri. You went to school in Maine. Let’s pick a school in between, like New York.
This is why we should be listing my school because my school at least imparted a modicum of geographical awareness so that I would know that New York is not the in-between state.
If we’re going to fabricate a school, can’t we just list Harvard then?
For the couples who forge ahead through listing education, hometown, family and career, how do they come to a place of agreement on hobbies and interests?
Basketball, baseball and football. Oh, and put reading. Everyone lists reading.
I don’t like any of those things. Except reading. Obviously I like reading.
Okay, list jogging for you.
I haven’t jogged in three years since the baby was born. And why are you calling it jogging? I ran. I ran a half-marathon once. No one says, ‘I jogged a marathon.’ It’s demeaning to say that I jog when everyone else, even Richard Simmons who prances, says they run. Either way, I haven’t moved with a pace greater than a stagger in three years.
Okay…we’ll list running.
While we may ascribe to the same political party on the Census, the task of declaring Democrat would send us down the rabbit hole of ideological nomenclature. Centrist Democrat. No, Civil Libertarian. Moderate Progressive! Let’s just manually type that “we both voted for Obama.”
Once we determined to leave every remaining checkbox blank due to an utter inability to find the middle ground between Elizabeth Taylor and Vince Lombardi as inspirational figures, we would find ourselves embroiled in the biggest challenge yet:
The profile picture.
It’s entirely possible that the only photographic evidence of our coupledom exists from our wedding, but to display that photo today would be unfair, like Kirstie Alley using an image of herself from Cheers instead of her present-day likeness. We’d have to settle upon something vague and esoteric, like a Jackson Pollock painting. Except that Greg hates modern art.
Once we became established as a joint account there would likely never be a status update because Greg and I are the sort who would only notify our friends of the most pertinent occasions, much the same way one has to make their insurance company aware of major life events. The birth of children would be the only milestone worth documenting, and I smile to think of the cascade of commentary over that.
Baby born. We’re tired.
What we meant to say is that our beautiful child made his way into the world at 4:32 p.m. on Wednesday. He was 9 pounds and 21 inches long. It was a grueling labor made easier by the epidural I requested in the parking lot, plus the barbiturates I’d slipped into my hospital bag. Greg remembered most of what we’d learned in birthing class about directing my breath and focusing my energy except he kept losing count in between bites of Quarter Pounders. And I’m not really sure why he’s tired since he fell asleep on the cot and only awoke when the doctor nudged him awake to sign a consent form about circumcision. Nothing jolts a man awake like talk of scissors and foreskin. That said, WE are really happy.
I suppose it’s a relief that in reality my husband thinks Facebook is only for pre-teens in Japan, and I’d sooner share a kidney than my hard drive.
Erin Donovan moved with her family to the midcoast where she constantly is told she says the word “scallops” incorrectly. She performs live and produces Web sketches derived from her popular humor blog “I’m Gonna Kill Him.” Follow her misadventures at imgonnakillhim.bangordailynews.com and on Twitter @gonnakillhim.