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Facing Facebook

Even though it's less than half the average I'm comfortable with having only 62 Facebook friends. I am. Really.

The first time I tried Facebook I remember feeling pretty good about climbing to seven friends in less than a month. Then a guy I used to consider a real-life friend said to me . . . loudly . . . in public . . . "Seven friends! How cute is THAT?" In a blink I was back shuffling through the mean halls of junior high, head down, carrying the nickname "Dumpy".

It took a very long phone call to get Facebook to remove me from their database, partly because I thought the young woman was speaking Spanish but later realized she was speaking some new form of high speed English based entirely on rising intonation.

Three years and 750 million Facebook users later I was signing up again. Well, not really again since my "removed" account turned out to still be active. I studied the difference between home and profile and wall and news feed, doctored up a profile pic in Photoshop, invented a few stats, poured a glass of social media chardonnay and waited for the friend requests to roll in.

Okay. I did have to send out a few friend requests. Sixty-two to be exact. Well, seventy-four, but I'm sure 12 just didn’t go through (or maybe second uncle Al is dead?). But now, there they are – my circle of kind souls and confidants. We know everyone's doings and whereabouts, "like" each others photos and comments, wish each other happy birthday.

Wait a minute. I LIVE in Facebookville. Everyone in the Methow knows (or knows of) each other and what they are up to, there are no secrets (even though many think there are), and Paula and Marvel at the Tenderfoot remember birthdays. This whole Facebook thing is nothing but a digital small town. Why in the world would I even bother to create an online Mayberry when I have enough of a job living in the real thing?

I had every intention of answering that question but responding to wall posts simply took all my time. Oh well, I guess I'm doing fine with my double small town life anyway.

Make that WAS doing fine.

We had a little party at our new house not long ago and 20 or so people came by (many of them Facebook friends, but that's not the point here). We felt happy with the crowd and company and life was good. Then, a few days later, we came home in the evening to find the street littered with the cars of what must have been 400 people attending the neighbor's party. It was my first Facebook attempt all over again, this time in real life. I'm sure that somewhere in that crowd was some wine sipper chatting about the "cute little party" down the street the other day.

To cheer myself up I watched news about Somalia, Syria, the economic collapse and starving children in our own country.

Then yesterday I caught myself shuffling through the grocery store, head down. But I cracked a joke at checkout and got what I'm positive was a thumbs up "like" from the eternally friendly checker.

Maybe that's the secret - just mentally moosh Facebook and real life together until it fits. Kind of like playing both parents to get what you want. And what's the harm in making winners feel like winners by being the lose . . . . .

Nope. Not going there.
But I am going to get some construction paper and start making birthday cards for my 62 friends.