Monday, August 16, 2010

That Guy on Facebook Who Just Won’t Friend Me

Well, my previous blog post lamenting my own selfishness and poor parenting skills brought many moms out of the boardrooms, playrooms and kitchens to commiserate with me. I thank you all – I really do – for the wonderfully supportive e-mails, blog comments, and Facebook "inboxes" (as my mother calls them).

(Side note: Mom thinks the Inbox on Facebook is a verb. So whenever she wants to send someone a private message, she tells me she is going to "inbox" them. Which of course makes me think of Mom walking up to someone and smacking them upside the head with a gigantic mail box. Which always makes me want to laugh, but I never do, partly because I want her to keep saying it.)

Seriously, I'm so touched by the many moms who told me my feelings were completely normal and that I don't qualify for the loony bin quite yet. I really wish people would talk about these things at church or in everyday conversations.

I wish more people would say, "Man, I have cereal loops in my hair." "Why is Jim-Joe being such a little crankpot today?" or "Has your kid ever tried to ride the vacuum?"

I think I'm going to start saying these things, just so someone is.

What my woe-is-me-just-because-I-got-everything-I-asked-for post DID do was unclog my brain just the tiniest bit, and so I thought I'd try to blog about the topic that is currently driving me nuts.

That Facebook guy who just won't friend me.

If you've read my blog for any length of time, then you know about The Bully Chronicles (see links at right for the full story). You know my experience at my tiny, legalistic "Christian" school left me physically battered and bruised as well as doing quite a number on my psyche.

I promise I'm not going to rehash those posts. They were painful enough to write the first time. I'm just using them as a springboard for some background.

While I dealt with bullies and bystanders, there were always people who were just on the sidelines. People who didn't sway one way or the other.

The neutrals.

My high school bullies were (mostly) in the class one grade higher than mine, my cousin Charity's class (and while Charity and I had our problems back then, she surely didn't bully me. I'm afraid I gave as good as I got on that particular score. But that's what family is for, right?).

My one-year-younger cousin Colleen's class was a sickeningly sweet swarm of do-gooders with plastic smiles, a penchant for antiquated rules, and a devotion to the dreaded culottes (I may be generalizing here a bit).

The REAL truth is the kids in Colleen's class were sincerely nice people, and not one of them ever treated me poorly, no matter how much I weighed or how sarcastic I was bent on being. Which is saying a lot. Because I was EXTREMELY sarcastic. (was?)

To be fair to Charity's class, the other two girls in her class are still two of my dearest friends (as is Charity, once our truce was negotiated).

Anyway, for the most part, the kids in Colleen's class were pretty neutral. I liked almost all of them, and have maintained a point of contact with several of the girls since high school (mostly through our mothers or shared friend Colleen).

But there is this one guy.

I saw him post a comment on our old science teacher's wife's Facebook status. I thought, "Oh, old Frank-n-Beans is on Facebook. I'll see if he wants to be friends."

I sent off my merry little friend request, and seeing as we already have 20 friends in common, I thought it would be a no-brainer. From a tiny school like Holy Rollers, knowing the same 20 people is akin to practically being family.

I didn't hear from good, ol' Frank for a while, and I chalked it up to his not being a regular Facebooker, like yours truly.

But then his comments started popping up on all my friends' statuses. So, I curiously visited his page to see the "Add as Friend" button grayed up in all its glory.

So, he'd ignored me. That little gray button seemed to taunt me as I began to wonder what was so wrong with me that Mr. Dudley-Do-Right, Mr. Frank-n-Beans would ignore me!

I lurked his page to discover he was married with kids. He looked relatively the same (as do I), and seemed to have a happy little life.

I gave myself the pep talk you give when you feel self-conscious. You know the one, where you say, "If someone doesn't want to be friends with you, then you don't want to be friends with them! It's their loss, so there!"

But it just gets under my skin that he doesn't want to be my friend.

I didn't DO anything mean to him. I was nice as pie. He wasn't exactly Mr. Popularity, but at 300 pounds I was hardly being crowned as Miss Typical Teenager, myself.

When I posted my insecurity on Facebook, I expected a blast of people telling me it didn't matter. Instead, I got sympathetic comments from friends who had felt the same way.

Other friends said they had former Sunday School teachers hit the Ignore button when it came to their friend request. Still other related horror stories about people removing them at a whim and even notifying them that they hadn't made the latest "friend" cut.


So, I suppose it could be worse.

I just wish there was a way to find out why he doesn't want to be my friend.

I think Facebook should invent a way for someone who ignores you to send you a message telling you why - a completely honest message - like, "Hey, I never really liked you." "I have a problem with fatties." "I have no interest in any part of your life, not even the tiniest bit. Not even if you write a blog post about me and how much I don't want anything to do with you."

Or, you know, something like that.


MommaHarms said...

Well, I did "ignore" someone once. See, the individual, who had been my roommate in college, was certifiably psycho. So much so that she actually burned down a dorm house at MBBC. Yeah, that's my definition of psycho. I didn't really want her to be able to follow my doings! Sorry it's bothering you. I agree that I often think "this is silly" but then I can't shake how much it bugs me! I feel the same way when someone "unfriends" me.

Ann-Marie said...

That's what I mean, Nicole. Then she could have gotten a Facebook message saying, "I don't want to be your friend, because you're psychotic and you burn things down." :-)

Laura Brown said...

I've had a few people do this to me (a couple hit "ignore", a couple didn't do anything at all) and it bothers me too, even if the person wasn't particularly important to me. I guess there's no explanation these people can give that won't sound mean (except maybe "you've changed your name and I didn't recognise you").

Heidi said...

As for the person Nicole is talking about, I was friends with her brother and I did become her friend on facebook. I haven't seen her post anything for a while though.
I have had to ignore people because I didn't know them etc...
I have had to unfriend someone because he was weird in high school and I was curious if he had changed, so I accepted his friend request so that I could "check him out" so to speak. He was still weird and appeared somewhat psychotic, so I decided that I didn't want him "stalking" me on facebook so to speak.

Living Creatively said...

The only person I've ever unfriended was my cousin, when she started posting nude pictures. I kid you not.
I have children here, and couldn't let that kind of thing show up on my computer.
I have never simply refused to friend someone that I know. Why hurt someone like that? Occasionally I post videos, pictures, etc with options that only certain people can see them, though.
It hurts, girl, I know. People have rejected my friend requests, too. And it leaves me wondering what on earth I did? I wish there was a "candid explanation" option.

Jennittia said...

The only person I have "ignored" is my ex husband, 'cuz seriously, that's just weird. But it maybe would have been nice to tell him that you put me out to the trash, so you don't get the priviledge of knowing how great my life is now!!!