"If Relationship George walks through this door, he will kill Independent George. A George divided against itself cannot stand!" --George Castanza, Seinfeld
One of my family's favorite Seinfeld episodes is the one when George freaks out about his "worlds colliding" when his friend Elaine wants to become friends with his girlfriend Susan.
Whenever my brother and I have had anxiety about two different groups in our lives intersecting, we've jokingly referenced that episode. When it comes to introducing my work friends to my college friends, or introducing someone that I'm dating to my parents, I don't know why, but I, like George, have always desired keeping the different parts of my life separate from one another.
So when someone talked my mom into setting up a Facebook account, I was adamant about not letting "Daughter Steph" and "Facebook Steph" cross paths. She sent me a friend request when she first joined, and I ignored it. What a slap in the face to the woman that raised me, especially since I'd friended my aunts and cousins, her college roommate and countless randoms from childhood that I don't even know. She didn't raise a stink about it, though, understanding my constant need to maintain distance in my life.
But in the spirit of trying new things and feeling that I needed more mom in my life, I decided that on Day #9 the thing I would do that I've never done before: Befriend my mom on Facebook.
Truthfully, I do find it a little weird that my 60-year old mom is even on Facebook and I've told her so. Considering she just figured out how to upload pictures and send out an online photo album, imagining her navigating through her friends' profiles and now my profile amuses me a little. And sometimes I laugh when I think about her spending an afternoon "facebook stalking" someone she went to high school with and then picking up the phone to call her sister to talk about it.
And then there is the overlap, the intersection of "Facebook Steph" and "Daughter Steph." I mean, "Facebook Steph" isn't leading some questionable or weird alternative existence or anything. Random strangers aren't "poking" me or sending me inappropriate gifts. But now that she can see this side of me, will she start asking questions about it? "Stephanie, who is that wrote on your wall?" or, "Do you really want to use that picture for your profile?" and,"Is there anyone on Facebook that you could date?"
Or worse, would she tag me in unflattering pictures taken on family trips?
I don't even how often she uses Facebook, and I'm certainly not as frequent a user as I used to be, except to promote this blog, so all this worrying was probably for nothing.
I placed the friend request on Monday evening, but just like any self-respecting Facebook user, she played it cool and waited until Tuesday at 5:35pm EST to accept. Well done, Mom.
No surprise, by 5:59pm EST she had commented on my last two blog entries:
"Well, first you complimented my nails; then you complimented my cooking, now I get to be your facebook friend-what next? It was fun to have two today! Love, MOM"
She's a smart woman, or maybe she's learned over the years to be suspicious of me. She knew that friend request was not just for fun. I had to fill her in (and I wanted to see if a Wall Post would throw her), so I wrote on her wall:
"Monday's entry is 'Befriend my mom on facebook.' Get ready!"
Without missing a beat, she commented right back:
"Well, that makes me very nervous. But seeing as you have over 600 Facebook friends, I should definitely be there too. After all, I am your first and best friend ever. Love, MOM"
She's good. Really good.
I don't know what I love more, her instant concern that she would be the topic of this blog entry, or that she signs all of her comments and wall posts, "Love, MOM."
Welcome to my Facebook world, Mom!