Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Stella prefers to smell like herself, thank you.
Facebook makes me feel like a stalker. I say that because I suddenly have all of this information about what is happening in my friends' lives, even friends who are not-particularly-close friends, and while I hate myself for it, I can't help checking back and back and back again to see their status updates. In the single year since I've been on Facebook, I have learned more about some of my acquaintances than I was able to in a solid decade of speaking with them face to face. I have come to sense their moods and rhythms. I know what they're eating, when they're feeling sick, what movies and songs are on their minds. The people who name such things are calling this "ambient awareness" and it is a phenomenon that is so uniquely modern that it scares me.
I am not sure that I need to know all this stuff about these people. I am fairly certain I don't want to. Some of it is heartbreaking - a friend, whom I wasn't really close to in high school, but who I liked and admired very much, is flying Blackhawks in Iraq. I hadn't thought seriously of him in fifteen years, since he attended my graduation. Now I think of him in that fucking sandbox every single day, as I look at the pictures of his gorgeous fiancee and read his tender comments. Some of it is too much responsibility - I have access to info about my nieces that I'm fairly certain their moms are better off in the dark about. Some of it is baffling - inside jokes between my friends and their college or high school or summer camp BFFs, broadcast for the world to see, but not understand. Some of it is just plain irritating - political ugliness abounded recently, and some update TOO FREQUENTLY (you know who you are.)
The thing is, though, that I can't stop myself. All these people I didn't really get along with all those years ago? We are more alike than I ever dreamed. All these people I thought I was kindred spirits with? Turns out they have abominable taste in movies, or listen to the sort of Top 40 dreck that turns my stomach. And my real friends, my good friends? Facebook is just one more way to interrupt their work and force them to send me pictures of Jonathon Rhys Meyers dressed as David Bowie. I am addicted to knowing that I am connected, to knowing that people are following my story as I follow theirs. I really write this blog for myself - well, and La Fab - and I am never sure who is reading along and smiling or crying or caring. Facebook, though... I can rest assured that no matter how silly or obscure or profound my update is, someone will see it and get it, or ask about it. Someone out there gives a shit. Kind of. In an incurious, time-killing sort of way. I'll take what I can get.
For those of you who missed my Facebook update this a.m. (or who, heaven forfend, don't Facebook), I posted it as the title of this post. It's because I broke my bottle of Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue on the tile floor in my hotel bathroom in New Orleans, and for a few days, before I could replace it, I used some other scents. This morning, when I opened my shirt drawer, the sweater I wore the other night was on top of everything else, and it smelled of some other woman's perfume. So did everything else in there. I reacted like I would if it were on a lover's coat rather than my own sweater: I reared back and wrinkled my nose in distaste. I dug something to wear from the very bottom, where it was least tainted, and shook it out before putting it on. Then I sprayed my hair with D&G Light Blue, just to maintain equilibrium.
I am obsessed with this song right now, so you have to listen, too: