Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A family Facebook tale

I love my family, I do. But at times I feel more like a changeling than a real relative. And lately my "otherness" has been more powerful.

Let me start with the least serious and most annoying familial issue: Facebook. I don't have a problem with Facebook itself. To me, it's an entertaining toy that only sporadically holds my interest. Twitter is the same for me. I think it's because they are so both so superficial and public by nature. The place where I participate most consistently, and am most authentic, is here on this blog.

Anyhow, last year, my Aunt Jo (my dad's kid sister) found my oft-dormant Facebook page and wished me a happy birthday. I thought that was very sweet and thanked her. I thought that was it.

Jo is the relative I most resemble physically (as opposed to my two dark-haired, dark-eyed sisters) and she's my godmother. But my she and my dad clashed (he clashed with just about everyone) and mother always thought she was a spoiled brat (an opinion solidified before I was born), so we were never very close. Plus, she and my older sister had quite the knock-down/drag-out over my grandmother's will. So I was glad that bears me no ill will. So there you go.

Except that now my kid sister is on Facebook. And published a photo of me, which I wanted to see because, well, anyone with internet access can get to those photos if they're talented enough and I like knowing what's out there. The photo is fine -- but there's a meow-y comment to my sister from my aunt, hoping my kid sister will stay in touch because "your sister's not too communicative, at least not with me."

Now, for reasons too complicated and wacky to comprehend, my kid sister is always alternately pissed at or jealous of me. And I guess it's my fault that my Aunt Jo doesn't really care about my sister or her family and is just using them to communicate with me.

So I exchanged some really meaningless messages with my Aunt Jo (it occurs to me she might have photos of my grandpa, whom I loved very much, so I don't want to tell her "gee, thanks alot" or "go screw yourself") and wonder how I got into this gene pool.

I mean, just by sitting here, minding my own business, I manage to provoke two family members. I'm trying to consider it a gift.


  1. Facebook is fraught with endless family slights, I unfortunately was friended by my aunt who I hate. Seriously, she's a user, abuser, but seems to have a great relationship with her immediate family, just a shame that she treats my mom like crap. I feel like a voyeur in their lives, since I rarely post. It's interesting....but like you, I enjoy writing on my blog more, though except for one or two readers, It's a solitary project.
    So do you feel like you should just make some popcorn and sit back to enjoy what you've stirred up on your family's facebooks?

  2. I'm like you, I tend to think of FB as frivolous and entertaining. Although I do get annoyed at some of my smugger-than-thou acquaintances. Sorry things got complicated and convoluted.

  3. The anonymity of FB makes it easy for people to bully from a distance and then retreat into cyberspace. Isn't it lovely?

    I'm glad you've held your own and kept your wit about you, even if it involves family, which can be quite upsetting. But I would expect no less from you.

  4. such an agent provocateur you are, Miss! :) Your goofyass sister is gonna pick at you however, wherever she can. It's what she does. Annoying, isn't it? She needs a new hobby methinks.

  5. Which is why I am not on Facebook. I leave that to Andy. He's so nice, no one in either family would dream of involving him in any petty problems. So he gets to see what everyone is up to and tells me what I need to know - and I can stay out of it! But honestly, other than missing out on some photos here and there - I really don't mind if I'm not that informed.