And I used to like Facebook. Lately, though, Facebook has evolved into something terrifying.
My wife is on Facebook now.
At work a few months ago, I sat with my co-workers and checked my Facebook account via my phone. On my "wall", my wife had posted this:
"Please stop at the store on the way home and buy some milk. Love Bridget."
"What the..!" I said
One of my co-workers looked over at my screen and shook his head.
"That's too bad," he said matter-of-factly.
"What's too bad?," I asked.
"Your wife just made you her Facebook bitch."
A few nights later, I sat in my office writing. By "office" I mean that I sat in the dark little bedroom closet where I keep my desk and computer. By "writing" I mean that I was surfing the Internet - which still officially counts as writing because there was no porn involved. I got a Facebook notification that someone had posted to my wall."Sweetie, come out on the porch...Marnie's doing something really cute."
Excellent. My wife, who sat fifty feet away on the porch, was using Facebook on her wireless laptop to send a message to the Facebook servers three thousand miles away in California, which in turn routed that message through seven or eight far-flung computers and back to me - all to command me to come out to the porch to watch our Boston Terrier do tricks.
My wife is one of those people who treats a dog exactly like a human, which leads to some pretty bizarre experiences. I am, for instance, not allowed to call the dog "stupid" in front of the dog. When people ask me how many kids I have in the family, Bridget forces me to include the dog in the count. Occasionally, Bridget even dresses the dog up.
I walked out to the porch.
"Bridget, you can't use Facebook to call me out to the porch to look at the dog."
I pointed at the dog for emphasis.
Bridget looked around at the tableau - me standing on the porch looking at the dog - and she bit her lip. Lip biting is one of the many reasons I love my wife.
"Look," I said. "You're new to Facebook, so you don't understand. Facebook is a dangerous place. Facebook is like the Old West, except gunslingers don't shoot you down. Instead, your friends judge you. When my friends see you sending me on errands for milk on Facebook, they assume that I'm a whipped husband."
"That's ridiculous," my wife answered. "Now look at Marnie. Isn't that cute?"
I could sense that my wife wasn't taking me seriously.
"Besides," she said. "How exactly is that different from exaggerating the foibles and eccentricities of your family to spice up a blog posting?"
This seemed like a good time to change the subject.
"Omigod. Is the dog using your Iphone? That's amazing."
A few weeks later, my wife learned the hard way after we spent an enjoyable Saturday night at a friend's party. The party had great food, little shots of some flavored alcohol and someone roving around with a camera. It was a recipe for disaster that was missing only one ingredient:
The following Monday, Bridget's friend Monica provided exactly that. I called Bridget at work.
"Hi, Sweetie," she said. "What's up?"
I tried not to sound panicked.
"Monica posted the party photos on Facebook."
"Oh, cool. I'll look at them a little later. Are they good?"
I said nothing for a moment and then jumped in.
"You know how they took that picture of you with your arms around Monica's shoulders? You're both smiling and you're wearing that sleeveless blouse?"
I continued. "Well, whoever took the picture kinda messed up the...I think it's called "depth of field" or something...and it makes your arms look...elephantine."
Bridget wasn't getting it.
"The photo makes your arms look like your Nana's arms."
I swear she screamed.
And a parting gift....
Lee Evans from "There's Something About Mary" and the Lee Evans Trio.