My worse half and I are barely on talking terms. It all started when I said he must create an account on Facebook like the way the whole ‘world and his wife’ is creating. Looking at his mulish expression, I tried to convince him that he could find his long lost friends. He looked at me peculiarly and said he is in constant contact with those who matter to him. I told him that he can read a lot of interesting things on fb. Looking around at our room littered with books and magazines, he said that he had more than enough to read and beyond.
Exasperated, I changed tack and told him that his friends will see our pictures posted on his wall and know how happy we are looking at them. Glancing at our family picture which holds the pride of place in our living room, he again reiterated laconically that his friends know that he was on top of the world! How obtuse! To show my irritation, I stamped my foot though not daintily as I would have liked to. I have far outgrown the dainty stage. It was at that stage in our conversation that was going nowhere, that I gave him an ultimatum. I told him to create an account before our anniversary in January. I told him that I too wanted to proclaim to the world that we both were in a state of marital bliss like zillions of those on Facebook. I wanted to share something in the lines of, “baby….you entred my lif sum 28 yrs bck ur d bezt tat hapnd me?”
He shuddered when he saw the likes of the above on fb, saying that I could say it face to face and told me waspishly that my English teacher would be mercifully turning in her grave if she were a lucky lady and if she had the misfortune to still be alive, would wish she was there 6 feet under and turning!
I have started believing that I am married to a man who still believes in the art of ‘long hand’ and is a staid, old man who acts as if he is 105, though he has not yet reached the retirement age.
I always draw a parallel between Facebook and the New Year’s Eve shows on the TV. Both are full of ‘joie de vivre and abundance of enthusiasm.’ Have you seen anyone who hosts the show say…well it’s another morning, another day, another year? Oh, No! The very idea equals blasphemy. The tone has to be warm, loud and full of bonhomie. Similarly, the posts on Facebook should not be antsy. If everyone’s relationship is going the fb way, marital counselors and lawyers dealing with separation and divorce would have to close shop and slither away to the dark hole of other social media zones, the faceless place where people troll. In fb, it’s all about smiles and pouts; love and joy. We leave the sniffles and angst to other media.
Facebook is an amazing platform. Besides meeting some beautiful people and finding your long lost friends, one can post pictures of food, pets, books, clothes, hobbies, rooms, journeys, family and write about all the above with great deal of enthusiasm. You might not have picked up a book in your life, but we can post one with #lifewithbooks and get many likes. Likewise, you can post pictures of your dining table groaning with platters of food even if you’re just you and your shadow for lunch. Families are loved more on Facebook, Period. The only place where your in-laws are revered and loved unconditionally is on your fb wall. Why people are giving their lives to post their pictures with thundering trains on the background or even have a drowning, flailing man as a backdrop.
PS: At the time of editing this piece, my long suffering husband has created a fb account more to placate his wife of many years and he posted, “I love you baby, you made my life blessed by just being my wife!” I was ecstatic and posted #feelinghappy. Now, our life can be an open book and we can post on our wall sitting side by side in our drawing room. #FeelingExcited# hubby#love#mylife! We can also post some amazing selfie…well as amazing as our chin appears er….less double!
All in all, I love my fb.
An edited version of the above was published in The Hindu
Photo by Yoav Hornung on Unsplash