He was hot, passionate, full of promise. It was one of those affairs that burn with white-flame intensity. Ignoring the instinctive warning that hit my stomach at first touch, I smiled coquettishly.
Waves of electricity shook my body with his responding grin of anticipation. Yes! As a 39er (many times over) I wasn’t dead yet!
We began like many other couples; a chance encounter through friends formed an instant, tenuous bond. At first hesitant, we fumbled for words. He held my hand just a bit too long on first touch. A red flag tried to rise, but I shoved it back down.
One brief moment led to more; sometimes with friends, but more frequently, we escaped on leisurely walks down darkened roads. Soon we chatted with the likes of old chums. Morning coffee links lead to early evening happy hours. Eventually, we turned to late night smooches with our favorite libation.
It didn’t take long. In mere weeks, I couldn’t deny it … to like him was no longer enough.
|That's My Story an' I'm Stickin' to It! 39AHC|
I was in love. Oh, I still had time for other “real” people and activities … I told myself … for a while. But being “retired” (as a writer, that’s kind of an impossibility) it was easy to beg out of a shopping trip or going for dinner. I’m working on a book, you see. Too busy … sorry.
I had everything I needed in him. (And as long as there was beer in the fridge.)
We liked being together more every day, adding new excursions to our like list, daily. There was more to it than the ordinary relationship, you see. No, really! I … I was bonded to him in so many ways. He led me to like what he liked, with lusty abandon.
At first, I felt no loss, only abundance and a love-glow from his constant attention. More opportunities popped up for us to be secluded in our own little world of things we like … and we were happy.
One day, my inner muse knocked on my head for attention. I blinked for clarity, looked around, and realized I was surrounded with everything he liked … where was I? Where were the simple likes that used to be mine? My nagging gut began to gnaw on my brain.
Something was terribly wrong. He dominated my day from the moment I rose until lights-out. I worried about what he might like without me. Early on, his arms had wound softly around me. Suddenly, I felt them reaching for my throat.
I choked on my coffee. Beer tasted flat. The top of the stairs leading from my loft was dizzying. The dawn of that day exposed the darkness that lurked inside him.
It’s over. Thank Heaven!
Just in time I realized that my inner muse had been right. His charm was forced, his charisma ebbing with each word. Showing his true colors that stretched like a murky, malevolent rainbow across my horizon, I saw him for the malicious and self-serving evil spirit that he is.
With a ravenous, insatiable appetite, he devoured everything I liked and spit it back at me with vengeance. I was done. No more.
Not usually a vindictive person, I began slowing our relationship … not meeting with him as often, refusing to like everything he shoved in my path. It didn’t stop him. He truly didn’t get the hint.
I could no longer take the hypocrisy and his cloying ways. His lies had been revealed and there was no going back.
After one beer too many, with one fell swoop, I severed his head and sent his body spiraling into an abyss on its way to the fire below … may he rest in eternal damnation!
# # #
Yes – a tad dramatic, “A Chance Encounter of LIKE = Love … Lust … and Lies” is a metaphor for Facebook (and other social media) and how we are sucked down its darkened street, seduced with a sweet promise and a kiss on the cheek – just like any bad relationship. Male or female, most of us have been there (at least once).
While I embellished with glee, I have not completely severed my ties … but I’d like to! You won’t be seeing me around as much though … I truly have a book to write.
You will still see periodic posts regarding my writing and other business / world buzz (I do it through Twitter and my websites). And there is no doubt that I do like keeping in touch with old and new friends who do not live near me. I will continue to do so on a limited basis.
However, my close relationships are just that – close up and personal – and we communicate in more personal ways.
If I have garnered any wisdom to share with you about my five year-relationship with Facebook and more than seven years in total social networking, it’s that you cannot allow it to be your “connection” with those you truly care about.
Want to wish them a Happy Birthday / Anniversary / other special day? Call them! Want to tell them how much you love them? DON’T share a Pinterest meme – for Heaven’s sake, call them, see them, TELL them! WE don’t care – but they WILL.
What will they remember on their death bed? Damn sure it won’t be the last Facebook post you made that mentioned them. But they WILL recall the last time you actually spoke with them. Do it. Now.
P.S.: My thanks to Mat Honan of Wired for inspiring this article and furthering my partial exodus from Facebook with his post, “I Liked Everything on Facebook for 2 Days. Here’s What It Did to Me.”