Saturday, July 23, 2016

Buh-bye!

I just unfriended someone on Facebook. I don't have that many Facebook friends to begin with (65, to be exact). But when I think of it, I hardly consider all 65 of those people "friends" anyway. But at least now Mark isn't one of them.

On Tuesday morning I posted the side-by-side of Melania Trump delivering a portion of Michelle Obama's DNC speech. I didn't do it to slag Mrs. Trump -- in fact, I stated* that I was positive she didn't have anything to do with writing the speech and I felt very sorry for her. I posted it because, as one who writes for a living, I didn't believe it was an accident. Plagiarism is a serious matter for professionals, and we all know how to borrow without crossing that line. My point was, whoever did this crossed that line and knew what they were doing.

Enter Mark. I met him at the beginning of my career. Back in the 1980s, we were both writers. He moved from creative to production early on because he believed there was more money and more opportunity. So I don't think he's been a writer for decades.

First, he told me I was straight up "wrong." On my own page! He maintained it wasn't "stolen," that it was just "common sentiments arranged in a familiar way." No, it was verbatim.

Then he told me "everyone does it," and sited the Barack Obama/Deval Patrick incident (which, of course, wasn't the same thing at all). How intellectually dishonest is that? Um, how could Melania Trump's stealing be just like Barack Obama's stealing if she didn't steal? I told Mark that he had his own page and he really ought to post this stuff there, not on mine.

My cousin, a musician, chimed in TO ME (he's never met Mark) about how serious this was. In the past he and I have talked about how arrangers can't copyright their "charts," and how that's when honor comes into play. While my cousin said nothing negative about Melania Trump, he did call the Trump campaign "a garbage fire." This didn't offend me, and since it's my page, that's all that should matter. Mark, however, got mad and went after my cousin.

I reminded Mark, for the second time, that he has his own page and his own page is the place to post these thoughts. I told him he cannot argue with my family on my page. I said that, if my incendiary comments caused him to forget his manners, he should hide my feed.

No, Melania DID NOT wear Jerry's shirt to the RNC
The very next morning I posted this photo for my friend Tom. He's a massive Seinfeld fan and I was sure it would make him happy. I'm only vaguely aware of the "pirate shirt" episode of Seinfeld because I never liked the show. But I thought it would make Tom smile. Before I had the chance to tag Tom -- I was posting from my phone and it's just not as intuitive as my laptop -- Mark chimed in that the picture was photoshopped. I KNOW THAT! I do this for a living, remember? Besides, the day before, in my original Melania post, I included a photo of her in the dress she actually wore. Apparently, now Mark thinks I'm stupid.

And if I'm so stupid, why is he tracking my feed so closely? I don't think the photo was up five minutes before he "corrected" it.

And so Mark is gone.

It wasn't just about politics, though politics are what brought out the worst in him. Back in the 1980s, he used to flirt with me a lot. It made me uncomfortable because he was married -- you know how every group has that guy who married younger than everyone else -- and I was involved with someone. I thought perhaps I was imagining it, because I've never been that confident in my looks and Mark's wife is a cute little blonde.

However, when he moved to Texas, an incident happened that made me wary. In 1988, I was in Dallas on business and called him and his wife. They suggested I stay for the weekend and they'd show me the town. I had a motel room -- after all, I had flown down there for a meeting -- and extended my stay on my own dime.

Mark insisted I stay with them, in their home, for the weekend. The drive would be too onerous, it would give them a chance to show off their new house and two sons, and it would save me money. He was so adamant that I gave in.

We had a nice time. Mostly I remember touring Southfork and swimming in their pool. After his wife went to bed, Mark and I were alone in the living room. He told me about how they didn't have sex anymore, and how she refused to see a doctor or therapist. EEK! I'm a spinster! I know nothing about marriage! Get me out of here!

The next morning, we all made small talk about the big storm that crashed overnight. Mark said it would be fun for him and his wife to "adopt" me. Then he could cuddle me when it stormed and hey, maybe even wash my back in the tub. This was said in front of me to his wife! Clearly I was being used as some kind of catalyst for a his/her argument I wanted no part of. EEK! Get me to the airport!

I only ever saw him once after that. It was during the OJ trial. I met him for a drink when he was up in Chicago on business. One drink, 20 years ago.

Yet as soon as I joined Facebook, he wanted me to be his "friend."

We knew each other well 35 years ago. We saw each other for 90 minutes 20 years ago. We are not "friends."

And he's a RWNJ. And he follows me way too closely. And he picked on my cool and very creative cousin.

So I unfriended him. I very nearly shot him a final message: "I'm fat now, you know." I bet if he knew that, losing me wouldn't bother him at all.






*Erroneously, it turns out.

7 comments:

  1. I did this awhile back with a high school friend who was never that close of a friend even then. As soon as we became friends he started picking fights with my friends on my wall. I warned him three times. And then I blocked him. HE unfriended ME at some point.

    I always say it's like walking into someone's living room and starting an argument. Do that, and I'll escort you out. My Facebook wall is no different.

    Why are people so awful??

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  2. I had to look up RWNJ. There are a lot of them here in MO,a few of them have friended me, and it wasn't until the election cycle I found that out. Now I have them hidden until the election is over...if it continues I may unfriend. I don't argue with them, I just don't want to see it.

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  3. Mostly I "unfollow" folks like that and add them to my "restricted" list. They are still my "friend" but they can't see what I post that my real friends see. FB is like playing this new Pokémon game. It isn't real, but it can still cause you to end up in a hospital if you're not looking at where you're going.

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  4. I think the puffy shirt Seinfeld picture is hilarious. I don't care if it's photoshopped.

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  5. What a creep!Unfriend unfriend unfriend.

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  6. Well, you know I'm a conservative...I hate to associate myself with Republicans, but that's what my voter registration says. I maintain it because I don't in general agree with Democratic thinking and in PA one HAS to be registered to vote in the primaries. Independent would be a more accurate description of my thinking. I can't get excited about either candidate this time around. It saddens me that those two are the best this country can come up with. I saw both of those memes elsewhere and I think they're funny. I also think you handled it with grace. Every 4 years we can count on finding out just how low our fellow man (and woman) can sink.

    Your last comment cracked me up. I'm a bigger girl these days, too, and I'm sure some old "friends" would lose interest in keeping up with my life if they knew. People...they're why I like my dogs best.

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  7. I'm not a Seinfeld fan either.

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Sorry about adding Comment Moderation, folks. But look at the bright side, at least I've gotten rid of word verification!