Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Unfriended: Life as the stinky kid on Facebook

I saw something primo nasty this morning and I wanted to share it with two of my former colleagues on Facebook.

I couldn't find them.

It didn't take long before I realized that they were no longer fellow travelers on the Facebook trail.

I had officially been unfriended.

What was weird was that it took me three months before I even noticed, ninety days since our last meeting in a downtown bar where we traded gossip about our old bosses, made fun of singletons wearing silly costumes and nearly drank Ottawa dry.

It was fun for all of us, especially when a couple of their lounge lizard buddies ambled by to hit on them, as these lizards probably had done every week for the past year. One of the guys was particularly repulsive -- one of those guys who is too old to hit on chicks, and was still using the moves he developed in 1985.

I've met many of his kind over my years as a bar fly, and my bar-dar tried to warn the chickens that the fox was in the hen house. He took one look at me, the one woman at the table who was near his age and he scowled, as if the ladies had brought along a chaperone, or their mom.

So I wrote about it in this space, about the lugubrious eel, about how cheesy the dating scene had become (had it always been thus?) and pushed the send button. I didn't hear back from the ladies who lunched, but didn't think much about it.

It's only this morning that I realized they were Gone Baby Gone, and I was no longer welcome at their table; I had been cast off by the Mean Girls, and become the stinky kid once again.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would have offended them by that blog. They're the type of girls who love to rib other people and make fun of them. I didn't name names. It could have been any bar on Elgin Street.

Ottawa is a big town; what was the likelihood of it getting back to the eel and ruining their fun?

Today is one of those days in a blogger's life when she realizes that not everybody is totally enamored with her way of thinking. In the old days, I would have taken to my bed with a self-help book and cried myself to sleep.

Not anymore.

I don't give a shit. I am tired of people with thin skins who like to have me around cause I'm fun but drop me in an instant if the flames get to close to their skirt tails.

So instead of sending them a note of regret, I did what all right thinking bloggers do: I blocked them.

It was a charitable thing to do.

As for the eel, he can just slither under a rock, for all I care.

I have written thousands of words in my career as a journalist, columnist and blogger. In all that time, I've offended, maybe, twenty five people. Even when I was a gossip columnist for the National Press Club, I only got one complaint and that was about a piece my editor added to my column without consulting me.

Mostly, I get into trouble when I'm writing something nice about somebody, believe it or not.

I've written horrible things, too, particularly when I was reviewing rock bands back in the 70s. Musicians lived in fear of me.

I was only 23.

In the decades since, I've become a gentler, nicer Rosalita.

I try not to rain down on people unless they deserve it.

Like Stephen Harper and Rob Ford.

And my ex-husband who deserves much more than I could ever to do him in a blog.

When people take offence, they seem to think I'm sitting in judgment of them. But they've got it all wrong.

My writing is observational. I write what I see. What I feel.

Perhaps that makes me sociopathic. As Hannibal Lecter once said: "I don't have a perspective. I have a view."

Anyway, two people are no longer my friends on Facebook. That's leaves roughly four hundred I have yet to offend. So I have my work cut out for me.


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