Monday, March 2, 2009
"In a relationship"
My friend Susanna has changed her Facebook profile to "In a relationship." She joked that it was the equivalent of "getting pinned." Which I don't remember and no one in my world ever did , but I do remember reading novels from the 1950s when I was young where the "pin" and the letter sweater were the keys to female acceptance.
I'm not THAT old, but I'm old enough to have finished up dating before I knew anything about Facebook. In high school, some of the girls wore their boyfriends' class rings, all wrapped up in yarn so it wouldn't fall off their finger. That wasn't really ME, not least because I would hardly have needed any yarn to keep most rings on my mannish fingers but also because I don't think any of the people I dated (and when I say dated I mean kissed) were class-ring-wearing types. I mostly passed notes in the hall, and then in college there was (wait for it) email. But those weren't for public declarations of any sort. Come to think of it, I don't think I had one of those until I got married.
Most of the guys I dated, there was a runner and a chaser. I would have either vanished into thin air if someone had Facebook-relationshipped me--like that Irish exchange student who I met in a bar and told me outside the bar that something had really happened for him that night--I bet he would have FR-ed me right as the thing was happening and I would have been out of there like a shot. Then Brian--ha! I would have obsessed about it, OBSESSED, waiting for him to publicly acknowledge our relationship of many, many years. And he never would have, that tomato seed. And I would have FR-ed him in like a minute and then kept obsessing and then the anxiety would have driven me insane. Jeff? He's still not on Facebook, that late adopter. He wouldn't have been then either and would generally have been in a cloud of glorious nerdiness all, what's the big deal?
No, it's all good and appropriate that I was in the sandwich generation, in between the letter sweaters and the Facebook heart icon. It was a crazy time full of secrets and undeclared things, but it was okay.